Trainspotting running tours take in film landmarks in Edinburgh

Actors Ewan McGregor and Ewan Bremner running through the streets of Edinburgh. Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Actors Ewan McGregor and Ewan Bremner running through the streets of Edinburgh. Jane Barlow/PA Wire
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EXERCISE might not immediately be brought to mind by the drug-addled adventures of Trainspotting – unless you count running from the police, that is.

But one energetic and enterprising Edinburgh entrepreneur has combined the two to create the T2 running tour.

James Armandary who is organising Trainspotting Running tours in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

James Armandary who is organising Trainspotting Running tours in Edinburgh. Picture: Ian Georgeson.

James Armandary set off on the first run yesterday .

“I’ve been doing running tours of the city for a while,” said James, 32. “I came up with the idea while working in a running shop.

“Tourists would come in and ask me where was safe to run in Edinburgh and where they could do a tour – so I decided to combine the two.”

It was on his regular canters around the Capital that James, from Leith, devised his idea for T2 runs.

“I actually came across them filming a few times,” said James, after spotting cast and crew last year.

“At Calton Hill I thought I might try and get in shot but as I got closer and closer and saw them all, I thought maybe not,” joked James, who runs EMF Running Tours.

The T2 running tour starts at Holyrood before taking in Trainspotting landmarks including the Carlton Road railway arches immortalised in the first film.

After a breathless tour of the town, the 7km run finishes at the foot of Arthur’s Seat – location for a scene featuring Ewan McGregor, as Renton, and Ewen Bremner, aka Spud.

“I’m a fan of the film and, obviously, a fan of running as well, so it seemed obvious to combine the two,” said James ahead of the inaugural jog.

And he urged novice runners not to be put off.

“It’s for everybody,” he said. “I actually had a group of women in their 70s on a run the other week and some Olympic-standard triathletes the next.”

The T2 running tours cost £27.50 and include a goodie bag of Edinburgh souvenirs that James hopes will ultimately include film memorabilia.

London-based director of Brit Movie Tours, Lewis Swan, is also planning to bring T2-themed tours to the city later in the year.

“It’ll be in a vehicle and we’ll set off around Edinburgh and Leith to see where they filmed and also landmarks in the books,” said Lewis, envisaging four-hour tours to cost £29 each.

“It’s hard to say how popular it’s going to be because it all depends on how well received the film is,” added Lewis.

“But there’s certainly demand for it.”

One man to rule himself out of any T2 tours is Tim Bell, who led the original, and for some controversial, Trainspotting excursions around Leith.

“I’m too old,” he told the Evening News.

“The tourist authorities didn’t like my tours,” recalled Tim, currently working on an upcoming book about the walks he led from 2004.

“In 2005, the [Tourist] Board was replaced by VisitScotland which adjusted the attitude – acknowledging that New York makes a virtue of the body of literature that lives in its underbelly.”