5 of the best 5k running routes in Edinburgh

Whether training for a race or simply trying to keep fit, there are plenty of fun running routes to try in Edinburgh. Here are some of our favourite 5k runs in the city.
Edinburgh is a runner's playground (Photo: Shutterstock)Edinburgh is a runner's playground (Photo: Shutterstock)
Edinburgh is a runner's playground (Photo: Shutterstock)

Arthur's Seat loop

Plonked in the heart of the city at the foot of the Royal Mile, Arthur's Seat is arguably Edinburgh's most distinctive landmark. Runners can enjoy the scenery of Holyrood Park by performing a circuit of the volcanic structure.

Queen's Drive which encircles Arthur's Seat is just over 5 kilometres - perfect for middle distance runners. Simply start adjacent to Dynamic Earth and circumnavigate the hill, following the undulations of the route, before returning to your start point.

Water of Leith circuit

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This verdant route takes you along the peaceful and pretty Water of Leith which lazily flows through the city.

Start on Blackhall Path just off Queensferry Road and follow the cycle path until you reach the Water of Leith near Roseburn. Now follow the river until you reach Dean Village, (it may be necessary to make slight detours if sections of the path are closed) before making the steep climb up Dean Path. Now head along Ravelston Dykes and rejoin Blackhall Path before returning to your start point.

Meadows and Bruntsfield Links

The Meadows and Bruntsfield Links are often the choice of heat seekers when the sun decides to bless Auld Reekie with its presence. The flat green spaces are also a great spot to stretch your legs and work on your personal best.

Skirt round the periphery of the two parks for a run just shy of 5k - consider extending the route by performing a single lap of Bruntsfield Links once you've completed your initial circuit.

Blackford Hill

Located to the south of the city, Blackford Hill offers a unique perspective of Edinburgh, with glorious views of Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle and the Pentland Hills all on offer.

Start at the Royal Observatory car park and descend to the Braid Burn. Now head west past Aggasiz Rock, following the peaceful stream until you reach Braid Road, turning right up Hermitage Drive. Now skirt around Blackford Hill and Blackford Pond before making an assault on the summit of the Edinburgh hill - once summited you can enjoy views of Edinburgh before descending to your start point.

Cramond parkrun route

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Every Saturday morning, volunteers and keen runners gather on the shores of Cramond Beach before dashing up and down the Cramond and Silverknowes promenade, as part of the Edinburgh parkrun. The route is scenic and flat - the perfect place to whittle down your personal best.

Though a great running route in itself, it's well worth turning up on a Saturday and running alongside hundreds of fellow Edinburgh joggers.