The best walks around Edinburgh: Hermitage of Braid

In the fourth chapter of this new video series, local resident Ruairidh Mason is exploring the best and most scenic walks in and around his home city of Edinburgh.

The Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill
The Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill

The YouTuber and videographer negotiates heavy snowfall to explore Hermitage Of Braid, the city-centre nature reserve encompassing Blackford Hill.

Wandering through what he describes as a “winter wonderland”, Mr Mason explores the category A-listed Old Hermitage House, which was built in 1785 and designed by architect Robert Burn.

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Other reserve attractions include the Ice House and the Doocot – a structure intended to hold pigeons or doves – within the walled garden.

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The ten-part walking series, sponsored by the Scotsman and the Edinburgh Evening News, will celebrate the best of the outdoors in and around Edinburgh.

Mr Mason returned to his native Edinburgh in October after spending five years living on the Spanish island of Mallorca.

The burn in Hermitage of Braid

After spending lockdown on the European continent, the 40-year-old has set about reconnecting with his native city by filming the series of outdoor guided tours.

In part four, Mr Mason explores the 60.3-hectare reserve, which was originally the property of the de Brad family. Henri de Brad was the Sheriff of Edinburgh in the 12th century.

Mr Mason describes the reserve as “brimming with wildlife”, with owls, warblers, shrews and bats among animals that live in the surroundings.

The Old Hermitage House

In future parts of the series, Mr Mason will be trekking out to Cramond Island and heading further afield to the Pentland Hills, once Covid restrictions ease.

The peak of Blackford Hill
The view across towards the Salisbury Crags and Arthur's Seat
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