Edinburgh landscape and scenery

Landscape in Edinburgh

We have a beautiful city with attractive scenery and views. Find out which areas are special, and how we protect them.  

Landscape character

Landscapes around Edinburgh are quite distinct and can differ greatly. Our map of landscape character types outlines the differences. More detail about landscape character is provided in the Edinburgh Landscape Character Assessment. Both can be downloaded below.

Special Landscape Area

Edinburgh's best landscapes are shown on a map of 22 Special Landscape Areas. The Review of Local Landscape Designations explains why and gives a description of each one. These can be downloaded below.

Gardens and Designed Landscapes

Historic Scotland maintain an Inventory of Gardens and Designed Landscapes. This shows 21 sites in Edinburgh which are nationally important. These may be chosen because of their history, who designed them, how they were designed and what layout from the past still remains. The Council has also carried out a survey of designed landscapes of local importance.  A summary report, map and site survey reports give main details. These can be downloaded below.

Skyline and views

The Edinburgh Skyline and Key View Study shows views from and to the city's core landmarks. This is a tool to help prevent development that would affect these key views.

Landscape planning guidance

To help protect and guide change in the landscape we have a range of policies set out in Local Plans and Planning guidance.

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