Edinburgh is a walking-city. (I think I just made that into a word, Google told me it was an idea proposed by British architect Ron Herron in 1964.) You don’t need a car, you just need shoes, and preferably flat ones because there are a hell of a lot of cobblestone paths and slopes. It seems like no matter which way you are going, in Edinburgh you are always walking up-hill. According to Wikipedia, the modern city is often said to be built on seven hills, namely Calton Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill, Arthur’s Seat and the Castle Rock. So there you go.
I didn’t consider myself out of shape when I lived in Connecticut, but after two days in Edinburgh, my calves were burning and my heels were sore. I realized that I had better get used to walking and I better get used to it quickly.
It’s crazy how far things could seem, like walking from my house in Connecticut down the street to the gym. I would always drive the five minutes there, but I walk triple that distance daily in Edinburgh. I went home for Christmas and walked to the gym as much as I could, now baffled at how lazy I was. Within a few months, I noticed I was losing weight just from walking. I can now walk from one side of Edinburgh to the other and think nothing of it, though a break for chocolate would be nice.
Check out the difference in steps from 2015 before I moved to Edinburgh through to summer 2016. Keep in mind that in December/January I went back home for the holidays.
Not bad, right? (this is from the Health app on my iPhone.)
It’s recommended to walk at least 10,000 steps a day. If you live in a city, hopefully that should be fairly easy. If I'm ever torn between walking 15 minutes or taking the bus, I ask myself: "Do I want to lose calories or cash?" Calories win every time!
There is so much to see when you walk. There’s so much to take in, and plenty of time to stop and take photos of whatever catches your eye. I can walk through Old Town, down stone streets and tight closes, then cross North Bridge into New Town where the shopping is along a park underneath the Edinburgh Castle, then walk into Stockbridge and find hidden gardens and weekend markets.
I encourage you to explore your area. Keep your eyes and ears wide open and let me know what you find.