THE best way to explore your surroundings is on the run.
Not only does this allow you to cover more ground and see more, but it helps you keep fit. Edinburgh is a runner’s haven and despite the odd hill, it’s perfect for a beginner.
At Run the Sights guided running tours, we know every inch of Edinburgh’s well trodden paths; here are five of our favourite running routes for you to enjoy.
1 - History Blast
If you want to exercise the mind, stay in the city centre. Edinburgh is steeped in history and with an undulating terrain it offers fabulous opportunities to see the city’s famous sights from different perspectives.
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Head up to Calton Hill where you will be struck by the magnificent National Monument of Scotland and spoilt with views over the Forth of Firth and over the whole stretch of Princes Street.
Drop down and head west through the new town then up Lothian Road before entering the Grassmarket and climbing up Granny’s Greens Steps to Edinburgh Castle. Be sure to find the Witches’ Well tucked away on the right hand side as you enter the castle esplanade.
2 - Pentlands Escape
Unwind and go on an adventure in the Pentlands. They are situated to the south of Edinburgh and are a haven for outdoor enthusiasts.
By starting and finishing at the Flotterstone Inn you have refreshments readily available to account for all the spent calories.
Climb up the road past Glencorse Reservoir and follow signs to Harlaw. Following a tough climb the trail provides a stunning fun downhill section with fabulous views, eventually taking you past the visitor centre.
Run past the two reservoirs and come out at Threipmuir car park, turn left and return to Flotterstone via Loganlea Reservoir.
Now have a well-earned drink at the Flotterstone Inn!
3 - Cramond
The desire for sea breeze and mesmerising waves may well entice you out to Cramond; the historic village to the north of Edinburgh, easily accessible from the city centre.
This is the route of the popular Cramond Parkrun and with the open view and soft sandy beach it is easy to understand it’s magnetism.
Catch the tide at the right time and hop over to Cramond Island for a little exploration.
Once you’ve satisfied your thirst for adventure settle down for an alfresco coffee and enjoy the spectacular views over the Firth of Forth.
4 - Holyrood Park and Arthurs Seat
The volcanic structures of Holyrood Park make this an intimidating spot for a run, however the inner-city beauty spot boasts fabulous running routes for the dedicated road runner or the die-hard trail runner.
With so many differing running trails available within the park, you will not tire from exploring on the run.
Take in the breath-taking panoramic views from Salisbury Crags or test the lungs with a run to the top of Arthur’s Seat, standing at 251 metres, and accessed via a well laid path passing the beautiful ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel.
5 - The Water of Leith
If it’s a tranquil run you are seeking look no further than The Water of Leith, which is Edinburgh’s main river, stretching from the Pentlands down through Leith and out to the Firth of Forth.
Historically the water was harnessed to power over 70 mills. The route is well marked and a great option for a Sunday out and back run.
We recommend starting and finishing in Stockbridge, and enjoying the spoils of the local market (if it’s a Sunday) or choose from one of the many fabulous bars once finished.
A few highlights along the way include St Bernard’s Well and the picturesque Dean Village.
Read more about Run the Sights at runthesights.co.uk