Walking in Edinburgh's Lockdown

By Asha


It is hard to describe the feeling of walking during lockdown. This privilege to go out and walk every day, look at the hills, the greenery, the tenements, it feels almost indulgent.

Walking has taken on a new meaning during lockdown that it didn’t always hold before. The freedom to do anything, let my legs take me anywhere, to sit under a tree where no one is watching, to watch the wind play with the leaves and the grass. Down by the canal, you can see the ducks enjoying the quiet. You pass slightly too close by strangers.

Before March it was rare that I allowed myself the pleasure of a walk for no reason but to enjoy the scenery, or spend time in my own thoughts. But now this is my favourite part of the day. Enjoying the long summer evenings is what makes it so special. Places that would usually be bustling with people in June are quiet, calm, serene. Sometimes I see a small group of friends sharing a pint under a tree on a rainy evening. They squeeze onto a small blanket. Sometimes I see an old couple sitting on a bench in the sun. Maybe this is their first time outside in the park in months. Sometimes I see people out in their best outfit. Like that man who walks in the suit. Sometimes I see people hanging out of their windows, sitting on the window ledge. Sometimes on a chair, sometimes above a shop. I am also one of these people who hangs out the window. More time to be outside and breathe in the air, be a part of the street life. The cold keeps us from street life for most of the year but now we long to be on the streets.

In lockdown I can walk for hours and lose track of time. Holyrood park watches over the city and the rocky hills grow thick grass and wildflowers.