The River

Explore Edinburgh’s hidden natural asset, the Water of Leith. Flowing for around twenty-four miles from its source in the Pentland Hills, the river winds its way through the heart of our capital to its outflow into the Firth of Forth at Leith. 

Once Edinburgh’s industrial heartland, the valley was host to over seventy mills harnessing the power of the water to produce paper, fabric, and flour with the river-mouth supporting a vibrant dock and boat building industry. Today the river is home to a wide diversity of plants and animals from wild garlic and orchids to brown trout, heron, kingfisher and otter, and can be explored on foot or bike along the thirteen mile Water of Leith Walkway.

For detailed information about the river, its catchment, uses, water quality and quantity, habitat and species, access and recreation, heritage, landscape and geodiversity, you can view The Water of Leith Management Plan 2020-30

Water of Leith Walkway

River Management
& Projects

Discover who looks after the river and what exciting projects are underway

& Habitats

Explore the diversity of plants and animals which call the river home


Stretching back to the Bronze Age the rivers history awaits your discovery


Open season from April to September

Art & Attractions

Discover some of the unique things to see and do along the river

Audio Trail

Listen while you walk and learn more about the river and its past