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My 5 favourite runs in Edinburgh

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Whether it’s New Year’s Resolutions, you were inspired by the stunning feats at the Commonwealth Games last year, or even by your neighbour or friend that gets out running in our beautiful city; every day is a great day for running in Edinburgh.  I have put together a list of my 5 favourites to share with you which I personally love and think they capture the beauty of our stunning city.  All the routes start from the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace which is an ideal part of the city to start a run from.  Go and explore on your own, or if you want some company and learn some interesting facts along the way then join me on a running tour of Edinburgh.

Auld Reekie Highlights

In just 4 miles you can take in the major sights of Edinburgh, from the hotel you can head East and explore the historical terrace and mews of Royal Terrace before shooting up behind the Old Royal High School to Calton Hill and clamber onto the Athenian acropolis and take in a bird’s eye view of the city.  From there it’s an easy downhill onto Princess St past the Balmoral Hotel with its majestic clock tower and through Princes St Gardens before heading uphill to the imposing Edinburgh Castle up on Castle Rock.  Let the legs recover on the downhill of Royal Mile all the way past the new Scottish Parliament to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, exactly 1 mile and 107 yards away.  It’s a short uphill back to the hotel back through the New Calton Burial Ground and check out the body snatchers watch tower as you climb back up past the Robert Burns memorial on Regent Terrace and back onto Royal Terrace.

Calton Hill
Calton Hill

Arthur’s Seat

If you’re a runner and you’re in Edinburgh you have to go all the way to the top, I’m sorry but there are no excuses!  It’s only a short distance, 3 miles from the hotel to the top and back, but sharp!  The views are worth the lung busting effort to the top and you can really have some fun on the way down.  Beware if you are heading up in the dark you will need a head torch as it is not lit.  Find your way down to Holyrood Park next to the Palace, and head up the main walkway aiming slightly left and heading for the back of the Crags, the path branches slightly to the left taking you off the paved walkway and still heading left, as you start to climb some rough steps (St Anthony’s chapel is directly up above you) and the path veers to the right, follow this main path all the way to the very summit.  It is very steep in parts and can be slippery so make sure you have adequate foot wear and take care, especially when there are high winds.  Enjoy the views and why not find another path to take you back down to ground.

Arthur's Seat
Arthur’s Seat

Water of Leith

The Water of Leith walkway stretches from the delightful Leith Docks, winding its way through Edinburgh City to Balerno.  You can run a mile or take it all the way to Balerno and clock up the 12 ¾ miles running the entire length of the path. It passes through some interesting areas such as Colinton Village and Dell, the Union Canal, Saughton Winter gardens, Murrayfield Stadium, the Scottish Gallery of Modern Art, Dean Village, Stockbridge and the Royal Botanic Garden.  You can choose to join the path anywhere along the way and make your run as short or as long as you like.  Want to go long?  Take the path all the way out to Balerno and you are at the foot of the Pentlands, but that’s a whole other blog!

Cobbles, Trails & Beach

This one is a bit longer, 12 miles, but it doesn’t have any serious climbs, just a steady incline on the way back.  From the hotel, head down towards Holyrood Park and follow Queens Road around to the right and drop down onto Duddingston Low Road at the roundabout, heading past Duddingston Loch.  You can follow the main road all the way down to Portobello, or cut through into Duddingston Golf Course to see Duddingston House, a stunning 18th Century mansion, before heading down to Portobello.  Enjoy running along the beach in the sand along Portobello promenade enjoy the sounds of the water lapping on the sandy shores of the Firth of Forth before heading along Seafield road east, when you see ‘Booker’ a warehouse on your left, cross over and head up Brunstane Burn Path.  Keep following the No.1 cycle path signs and this path then turns into Innocent Railway and enjoy a cool & dark unique run through an old railway tunnel before popping back out under the Salisbury Crags to head back up to the starting point.

Duddingston Loch
Duddingston Loch

7 Hills of Edinburgh

This is for the experienced runners among you and not to be taken lightly as its a rather hilly (as the name would suggest) 14 mile circuit, so make sure you have some water and snacks with you before you head out.  This route is actually a race that takes place annually in June every year, but it is also a great way to see some stunning views of Edinburgh and beyond at anytime of the year on your own merit.  The route is quite complicated to list here but clear directions can be found on the race website here.  The route starts and finishes on Calton Hill, heading out to enjoy Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill East, Braid Hill, Blackford Hill and up Arthur’s Seat before finishing back on Calton Hill.

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Celebrate Valentines Day with a Partner Run!

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Celebrate Valentines Day with a difference this year and come and join me in supporting Bethany Christian Trust, by running the 5km Partner Run.

As part of my role within Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace, I have teamed up with our chosen charity, Bethany Christian Trust, to hold a 5km fun run at 10am on Saturday 14th February.  It is £10 to enter, and all proceeds go directly to the charity to benefit homeless and vulnerable people in Edinburgh, so a very worthwhile cause.

So grab your partner, a friend or family and come and join us for a fun morning in one of Edinburgh’s most fantastic locations, Holyrood Park.  Hope to see you there.

Partner run.

#Blogmanay

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You might be wondering what on earth I mean by ‘blogmanay’….some of you may have heard of Hogmanay and put 2 and 2 together, for those of you that haven’t, let me set you straight. Hogmanay is the Scots word for the last day of the year and is synonymous with the celebration of the new year the way only Scots do! So Blogmanay was an initiative that started 2 years ago that connected ‘people’ with Edinburgh tourism in a way that inspired and amazed the world with blogs, tweets and photos having reached around 80 million people around the world at last count. Not only are selected bloggers invited to come along for the week long celebrations but we can all get involved by sharing our festive experiences via Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #blogmanay , the more the merrier. Use the hashtag in your own searches to see what is happening around the city for unique and traditional takes on absolutely everything you can imagine.

Edinburgh Xmas Markets
Edinburgh Xmas Markets

I had the privilege of attending the Blogmanay workshop at Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace on Friday where we heard from renowned blogger Sebastian Canaves from Off The Path and Instagram legend & award winning mobile photographer, Oggsie. I also joined the pair of them on Saturday to spend a couple of hours wandering the festive streets of Edinburgh leading some mobile photography tricks. Here’s a few of mine, but check me out on Instagram (@runningdutchie or @edinruntours) for more shots and search #blogmanay on there for heaps more. It was such an eye opener to spend time really looking at my beautiful city instead of rushing through from a to b like normal and uncovering some great gems of photos, well at least I think so!

Reflections
Reflections

With so much to do over the whole of December right through to Hogmanay get involved yourself with #blogmanay and join me for a running tour to see Edinburgh lit up with all the festive lights.

Ice Skating St Andrews Square
Ice Skating St Andrews Square

For other ideas on what to do while you are in town check out:
15 wonderfully festive things to do http://www.wow247.co.uk/blog/2014/11/11/edinburgh-christmas-guide-festive-things-to-do/?utm_source=news-site-home&utm_medium=carousel&utm_content=festive-edinburgh&utm_campaign=een
And http://www.edinburghshogmanay.org for more details and I might see you in the freezing waters at the annual Loony Dook after all the festivities!

Beautiful day for a colourful wedding
Beautiful day for a colourful wedding

20 great things to do in Edinburgh

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When you are not running with me on a running tour, perhaps you might want to try out a few other great things to do whilst in our beautiful city.

TimeOut have put together their list of the Top 20 for Edinburgh (though they seem to have missed off my running tours…..) of which I can vouch for about 15 of them already, I’m going to head to Bramble Bar myself for my birthday in December and going to stay in the lap of luxury at The Balmoral in January as a treat for my hubby who turns the big 40!

Take a look for yourself and pick some out for your next visit.

Timeout – 20 Great things to do in Edinburgh

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Run In The Dark

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As darkness swept across the globe on Wednesday 12th November at 8pm local time thousands pulled on their running shoes, flashing armbands and various guises of lights and neon colours and headed for the door. Joining over 30 cities worldwide Edinburgh was lit up with 149 runners joining a living light show flowing through the streets and Holyrood Park like lava.

Lit up like lava
Lit up like lava

The Lifestyle Sports Run in The Dark plays a vital role in funding the Mark Pollock Trusts’s mission to find and connect people around the world to fast track a cure for paralysis. Runners paid an entry fee of £15 which goes directly to the trust with the event being supported by volunteers. The super trio of Lucja Leonard (www.edinburghruntours.com), Iona MacArthur and Sue Finn put their hearts, minds and time together to organise the pop up event for Edinburgh utilising the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace as the race headquarters on the night. A special thanks goes out to the volunteers that assisted on the night with registrations and marshalling duties as well as local sponsors of the goody bags including Crowne Plaza Edinburgh -Royal Terrace, Nira Caledonia, Matthew Clark, Vivimoss sportswear and Lululemon.

Holyrood park looking back to the city
Holyrood park looking back to the city

The night wouldn’t have been complete without the support from C. Pendleton/W.Robb from Iconic Photo Tours Edinburgh (http://www.willrobbphotography.com/2012/09/iconic-edinburgh-photo-tours/) who sat in Holyrood Park to capture some stunning photos of the light streams created by the runners with the dramatic Edinburgh city line in the background.
Edinburgh weather played ball ensuring a fun, dry and safe night was had by all. With the event being such a great success along with the high level of interest from the Edinburgh running community all keen to support such a worthy cause, Run In The Dark is sure to become a fixture in the yearly running calendar. For more details visit www.runinthedark.org and sign up to the newsletter so you don’t miss out on next years event.

The amazing trio and a handful of the super marshals.
The amazing trio and a handful of the super marshals.

Run in the Dark

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As a keen runner and lover of my beautiful city of Edinburgh, I couldn’t resist getting involved in The Run in the Dark, taking place world wide on the 12th November in various cities at various times, in the dark (as the name would suggest).  As darkness descends around the world, thousands of runners will be heading out, all raising money for The Mark Pollock Trust and having a load of fun doing so.  There are 5 official locations in the UK, and Edinburgh will be a pop-up version run by yours truly, so join me and loads of other runners for a fun and interesting way to explore the city, at night.

run in the dark

The start and finish line will be located at the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace, 18 Royal Terrace, EH7 5AQ, feel free to leave bags or warm clothing for afters with the reception team. The 5km run will take us down to Holyrood Park and through Hunters Bog underneath Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the pure dark and back up past the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the New Calton Burial Ground back to the Crowne Plaza, while the stoic 10km runners will loop around once more.

For your own safety please bring along a head torch or hand held torch with you as certain parts of the route are not lit.

 After the race has finished all runners are encouraged to reunite at the hotels’ Terrace Bar for the ‘obligatory’ night cap. 

Whether you are completing the 5km run or 10km run, please aim to arrive at least 15 minutes in advance of the start time (8pm) so that we can ensure everyone will receive their flashing armband and have a group photo before we go running! Goody bags will be handed out to all participants after the race.

Edinburgh

 

Edinburgh Ultra Festival

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It will come as no surprise to you that I am involved in organising a great fun filled, adventure packed and informative ultra running day in Edinburgh.  I have hooked up with legendary Andy Mouncey and created a full day of excitement for the running community.

Whether you are already an accomplished ultra runner, or just dipping the toes in, then this day is for you.  We have got hill coaching sessions on Arthur’s Seat, with kit to try out on the session from Out-Run, free workshops during the day, kit from Vivimoss to check out, food galore at our host HQ Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace, Pilates for Runners by Sam from Essential Wellbeing, and evening talks from yours truly, Andy Mouncey and Edinburgh’s own adventurist Dr Andrew Murray.

Check out all the details on our dedicated Facebook page by clicking here where you will find more details about all the sessions, the people coming and a full agenda.  Certain sessions require bookings so don’t leave it too late.

Edin ultra