Corstorphine Hill Nature Reserve Edinburgh
Laurence only moved to Edinburgh 2 months ago, but he does this road every day to work. Granted, I’ve driven on this road a lot because it leads to a huge 24/7 Tesco superstore and I have a guilty pleasure for supermarkets that I can roam at 2 am when I’m bored with Netflix and just in the mood for some sushi, yet I never noticed it. Perhaps because unless you’re really looking, this place is really hard to notice! I remember even when we were driving there and Laurence said, “Look there it is,” I looked and still couldn’t see anything.
Corstorphine road is a very long road, and one of the widest in Edinburgh. You can find a lot on this road, but mainly very large buildings and hotels, some large estates with tall fences around them. There are also lots of beautiful trees. So when he pointed to this, it looked like simply another tall trees fenced out area, probably hiding away more tall buildings, but behind some of the overflowing shrub I saw the sign ‘Corstorphine hill nature reserve’ on a black painted gate. There are no two words I love more when it comes to outdoors as ‘nature’ and ‘reserve’, and the fact it was hidden in one of the liveliest places in town made it 100x more exciting to me. Here we have, a tiny little narnia! (One which wasn’t so tiny after all).
It was a beautiful day this Saturday. Not a cloud in sight. When we first walked in, we went enjoying the beautiful warmth and weather, content with just being somewhere peaceful and pretty. And then we saw the coolest tree ever.
Naturally I had to sloth it out. (We love our sloths.) It wasn’t only pretty, it was like a mini jungle! The trees were all over the place, like a climbing heaven. There were even dirt tracks where perhaps people on their dirt bikes raced or practised tricks. I think our ancestral instincts kicked in and Laurence could not help himself either.
Despite this there were still nice paths to walk on.
As I was admiring the tall trees, and sun bursting through the leaves, Laurence went rustling somewhere and found another path, one which led up and up. So steep, I had to tell him to stop running ahead! As I caught up, the grass became more and more light, until it seemed we were surrounded by an arch of orange and yellow. There was actually an actual arch there too, which made our entrance to the top even more amazing.
When we got to the top, we discovered there was a whole separate park land, wide green plains of grass and with places to sit and have a picnic without the busyness and bustle of the Meadows (a popular large park attraction). And when we turned around we were baffled by the amazing view of Edinburgh city, from an angle we had not seen before.
Admittedly we have not explored this park as much as we wanted to or could have, because as soon as we saw this, we dropped our jackets and planted ourselves right under a single tree, facing this incredible view and bathing in the sun. When you find a place as beautiful and as peaceful as this, you have to do like the flowers do and be part of it.
As we lay there we noticed maybe one or two people walking their dogs across the paths behind us, so we knew there was more to this hill undiscovered, but it felt so cosy and separate from the city while still being entirely inside it, that we were giddy on the grass, like one would be under a homemade fort with blankets and pillows.
It was like ‘our secret place’, shared with a few doggos we internally wished would come to us and bestow their little heads for us to pet and boop.
There were many orange bushes up there, which added to the charm of privacy from the city right in your back door, in the midst of the wide plain grass fields.
How pretty. Walking back down I needed some help so I wouldn’t slip, but we were so lost in our little adventure that we were talking all the way back about what it would be like if we were stuck on an island and which kind of roles we would do. It was pretty fun.
It’s difficult to find parks in cities that are beautiful and aren’t overflowing, especially because sometimes the reason we want to go to one is simply to enjoy the nature and get away from people, civilisation, while still having it near enough to us. So we were really happy we could find this.
We marked it immediately as a picnic spot for when the sun finally visits us again.
Laurence I particularly liked this (well hidden!) nature walk as it reminded me of the scenic and relatively untouched Island from which I grew up, Shetland. It is a rare and underappreciated treat when you can enjoy a tranquil and picturesque setting, just minutes away from the hustle and bustle of city life.
However, Corstorphine Hill Nature Reserve was not only pretty and peaceful! It offered an escape; an escape from monotonous work life, an escape from responsibilities, an escape from the pressures of society. Sometimes as individuals we forget how to relax and how to just let go of little things that are constantly irking at us.
The nature walk reminded me to always take the time to enjoy life. And I guarantee if you ever find yourself stressed out, please take the time to enjoy the outdoors, perhaps do this walk on a breezy warm summer’s day… and you too will feel recharged 🙂