Edinburgh landscape and scenery

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 landscape character assessment.

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.

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 are chosen because of

  • their history
  • who designed them
  • how they were designed
  • what layout from the past still remains.

We have also carried out a survey of designed landscapes of local importance. 

Download gardens and designed landscapes summary and map - PDFs

Download gardens and designed landscapes site reports - PDFs

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.