A bumper post for you tonight, Blackford Hill in all it’s glory. Found out to the south side of the city Blackford is one of the 7 Edinburgh Hills and has some of the best views of the city. The highest Hill, Braid Hill sits to the south of Blackford but it’s views are largely spoiled by Blackford in front of it! Blackford Hill is the home of the Royal Observatory in Edinburgh and a local nature reserve. It’s a popular spot and you’re very unlikely to get the hillside to yourself, even at night in the dark where it’s still used by joggers, dog walkers and yes, even photographers!
There’s a few access points to Blackford Hill but for the sake of being lazy, lets start off at the carpark to the side of the Observatory.
It’s a fairly easy walk to the top up here it’s paved all the way up to the radio mast near the top, from this side you get some great views out the the south east of the city and beyond.
This is a view over the fields towards Liberton, Liberton Tower is the building on the left. It’s actually luxury accommodation rather than a historic building you can go and poke around.
The radio mast. It’s kind of dominates the hill itself but if we all want mobiles these things are kind of needed and we’ll just have to put up with them!
One of the many benches on Blackford Hill, with Braid Hill to the rear.
These steps up next to the radio mast lead down towards the Hermitage of Braid, believe me, it’s better to be going down them than up.
If you follow the path to the right of the steps it’s the easiest route to the top of Blackford Hill, once you get up there you get a great view of the allotments at the bottom of the hill.
Looking to the west, Craiglockhart Hill (east and west) and in the view, with the Napier Uni campus Craigshouse at the top of the hill.
Also from up here you get your first view of Edinburgh Castle, this is the complete opposite side you see from Princes Street and also a great location to watch any fireworks from the Castle.
Looking down from this point it’s a fair drop down to Blackford Pond. You can walk up from there to the top but your legs won’t thank you for it.
Just to the side of the pond is the old Astley Ainslie hospital, when I say old I mean it’s been there for a while, it’s still a working hospital, I’ll let you google to find out more about it.
The view to the West over the city, Murrayfield Stadium to the top right.
And now to the highest point of the hill, the trig point marks the spot. Great views over the city and to Arthurs Seat.
Also on the top is the marker to show you where everything is, well, other hills and things at least.
This is probably the most photographed bench in Edinburgh and a great place to grab on a summers night and watch the sunset.
It can be windy at the top, even if it’s not windy lower down, as this guy was finding out. At this point my nose was running like a tap in the cold.
The views of the city are great from this part of the hill, this is looking deep into Marchmont and the Grange.
The view over to the Firth of Forth and Salisbury Crags.
The view towards East Lothian and Cockenzie power station.
The north side of the hill is pretty steep as you can see from the view down the way.
This is the Royal Observatory, unlike the one on Calton Hill this one is very much operational.
And a closer view of one of the domes.
This is the weather station on the east side of the hill, this is where the 102mph gust was recorded during the January 2nd storm that hammered Edinburgh.
And to finish up, another one of those Blackford benches with a view.