Edinburgh is well-equipped for sports and fitness fans, with a variety of gyms, swimming pools and alternative sports facilities.
Being as it is in the middle of Scotland, home of the great wilderness that is the Highlands, outdoor pursuits like climbing and biking are popular round here. Arthur’s Seat (that big hill in the middle of the city) offers locals their very own wilderness experience, and climbing this dormant volcano and its adjoining Crags is a popular weekend pursuit.
Edinburgh’s not short of hills to walk up – Calton Hill offers peerless views across the city and over to Fife, while the Hermitage on the southside is another corner of urban wildness. Disused railway lines have been turned into wild pathways through the city, popular with fitness fans for running and biking.
Alien Rock is an indoor climbing wall located in Newhaven which offers classes and equipment hire as well as climbing and bouldering for your more experienced climber. On the other side of the city is the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena, AKA Europe’s tallest climbing wall.
The city is equipped with a series of swimming pools housed in glass-roofed Victorian bath houses. Warrender Park in Marchmont, Glenogle in Stockbridge, Dalry Swim Centre and Leith Victoria are all council-run and host 25 metre pools. For a bigger pool, head to the Royal Commonwealth Pool, built for the 1970 Commonwealth Games and used for diving during Glasgow's Commonwealth Games in 2014.
Dance Base on the Grassmarket offer a range of dance classes from hip hop to ballet, catering to all levels of experience. Yoga fans will find regular classes in venues including Summerhall on the southside, Union Yoga in Canonmills and the New Town’s Edinburgh Yoga Room.
There are also many commercial gyms dotted across the city, from Bannatynes to Virgin Gyms to the no-frills Pure Gym (that’s pure gym by the way) and various hotel fitness facilities.
Heading out of Edinburgh, Hillend is home to the city’s dry ski slope. Further outside the city, the Borders offers various different downhill mountain biking tracks, notably ‘probably the best mountain biking centre in the UK’ at Glentress.