Doctors in Scotland prescribing nature to their patients

Posted on Updated on

The health initiative in this article, rolled out in Shetland is right up our street. Since October 5, doctors in Shetland have been authorised to prescribe ‘nature’ to their patients. This means getting out in the fresh air regularly, moving more, getting more vitamin D and generally taking time for yourself.

We know that being outside is of course physically beneficial, just look at us :D. It’s also mentally beneficial as we get away from the stresses of daily life, let our mind have some breathing space and do something different from our daily routine.

It’s also a chance for us all to engage in nature and the landscape around us. Here in Scotland we have so many beautiful areas to visit and sometimes we just need that push to make the time to enjoy them.

Organising run tours in Edinburgh, we are obviously out and about a lot; however we still need to make the time to get out of the city (as wonderful as it is!) and go and immerse ourselves in nature. So as well as planning another great year of run tours and developing our services in 2019 (watch this space…), we are also planning plenty more of our own escapes in the great outdoors.

So do you get your weekly dose of nature and have you any exciting outdoor adventures coming up?


Let it snow! Let is snow!

Posted on Updated on


Arthur’s Seat 

We love snow here at Edinburgh Run Tours! It is not exactly the best weather for running tours, but it does make everything look picture postcard perfect and so every once in a while we don’t mind!


Plus, as avid runners, it just means that we take things down a notch, put on our hiking boots and our Yaktraxs (awesome piece of kit for the ice and snow!) and get out there!


Yesterday we took a hike up Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the views over the snowy city. As you can see it was beautiful up there, even if rather windy! We did not make it right to the top as it was too dangerous and we want to make sure we are around to take you all on your tours! We did have a sneaky jog back down though and hopes no one noticed when one of us ended up sliding most of the way down on their bum!


Today, it is the same out there, but with more wind. So instead of running, we will be staying indoors and doing some strengthening and stretching exercises ready for our weekend tours!


We would love to see you in Edinburgh on one of our tours. We can’t promise snow, but we can always promise spectacular views!


See more. Experience more.


Stay active and get off the beaten track #thisisedinburgh24

Posted on

How much of Edinburgh can you see in 24 hours? With our summer time daylight hours starting early and lasting long, there are no excuses.

Kick start your visit to Edinburgh with a sunrise running tour courtesy of not only will you get to see the stunning sunrise but you will also experience the breath taking run up Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the 360 degree views around Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat is a 251m summit that towers over Edinburgh situated on the edge of the city right next to Palace of Holyroodhouse. Lucja, that’s me, will make sure you are fed & watered at the top to ensure you have the energy to enjoy the rest of the running tour to ensure you don’t miss the major sites of Edinburgh along Royal Mile. Run past the Palace of Holyroodhouse and wave to the Queen (if she’s in!) and head past the new Scottish Parliament before exploring the sights and sounds of Royal Mile all the way up to Edinburgh Castle before nipping back down the hill to Princes Street gardens and across to the best breakfast in town.

Arthur's Seat
Arthur’s Seat

According to Iona MacArthur the hidden gem, The Caffeine Drip at 10 Melville Place is THE go to for coffee & breakfast in Edinburgh, open from 7:30am weekdays and 9am weekends they offer an usual menu with a South African twist and coffee that sees coffee pilgrims trekking in from all over to drink. Get your fill here; you’ve earned it from all that running!

Caffeine Drip
Caffeine Drip

It’s time to change from using your feet to two wheels. Time to head off to Edinburgh Bike Tours where the team there can work out a bespoke tour for you to ensure you get off the beaten track. Head out to Portobello to see Edinburgh’s seaside and then follow the John Muir Way heading out towards North Berwick, the total distance you will cycle will be 26.5 miles, a marathon on a bike. Just over halfway at 14miles you come to Aberlady Bay which is a beautiful local nature reserve and renowned as a bird watching venue, stop and enjoy the views from the footbridge. A few miles further along you come to the small village of Gullane where you can take a detour to admire the long sandy beach, the most spectacular in East Lothian or if you fancy a cheeky brew at Falko Konditormeister, a small German bakery on the corner of the main street in Gullane that does delightful coffee and cakes. Detour into Dirleton to see the 13th century rustic Dirleton Castle, a magnificent fortress residence which is a sight to behold and wander through the impressive ruins. It’s not far now and you will reach North Berwick, a cute seaside town with a beautiful harbour and impressive views of Bass Rock. There are some great little cafes to eat and drink, but keeping it traditional I love to head to North Berwick Fry for some old fashioned Fish n Chips after all that cycling! Get yourself on the train at North Berwick and a 33min trip gets you back into Waverley station.

Gullane Beach
Gullane Beach

Looking for an afternoon snack & drink, go where the local Leither’s (Edinburgh residents living in Leith) and head to Serrano Manchego at 297 Leith Walk and enjoy delicious Spanish tapas and refreshing beers on tap or chilled wines to refresh any weary traveller. Fancy coffee instead then look no further than across the road to Casa Amiga, a quaint little coffee shop bringing the passion of Portugal to Edinburgh. The coffee will put a spring back in your step and the traditional Portuguese custard tarts are so delicious you will need more than just the one!

You may have seen the sunrise, but you shouldn’t miss the sunset! You’ve done a lot of activity today so you might want to consider catching the bus or a taxi to Cramond and take a leisurely walk along Cramond beach for sunset and see the magnificent sight of the triangular pillars along the causeway which are the remains of a submarine boom, designed to prevent submarines and torpedo boats passing inshore of the island at high water and thus bypassing the various defenses spanning the rest of the estuary. They bridge the gap between Cramond and Cramond Island and make for a stunning sunset photo as illustrated by Stewart Hardy @kharashov below. If you strike it lucky with the tides you can walk along the concrete causeway all the way out to Cramond Island along the triangular shaped barriers (check these times as the crossing should only be made 2 hours either side of low tide).

Crammond beach sunset
Cramond beach sunset (photo credit: Stewart Hardy @kharashov )

With a heavy influence from Italian migrants in Edinburgh you can be guaranteed a fantastic meal of Italian at many restaurants throughout the city. For a bit of casual dining that doesn’t break the bank I always head to Taste of Italy; delicious freshly prepared pizzas and pastas with Birra Moretti on tap or a simple choice of red or white wine, nothing too fancy here but good old fashioned food!

After such a hectic day on your feet, it must be time to lay your head. Enjoy a restorative good night’s sleep at the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace, one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets with their own private gardens to ensure peace and tranquillity in a busy city.  Have a wee dram in the bar for a night cap to have you ready for bed.  If you’re not tired yet, then you are a machine, and there is a fun night life in Edinburgh to explore, but I’ll save that for another day!

Crowne Plaza Edinburgh - Royal Terrace
Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace


Celebrate Valentines Day with a Partner Run!

Posted on Updated on

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.

Run In The Dark

Posted on Updated on

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 (, 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 ( 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 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.

Edinburgh Ultra Festival

Posted on

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

Feeling inspired?

Posted on

It is nearly here!  The XX Commonwealth games will start on the 23rd July!

Who’s coming?  What tickets have you managed to get?  There are still opportunities to get tickets, so don’t miss out.

It’s events like these that seem to get us motivated.  The Tour de France is on at the moment and suddenly you see an influx of cyclists out and about, when Wimbledon was on the same happened for tennis, when it’s London Marathon, we all get out and go running.  And there’s nothing wrong with that, anything that gets people motivated to get off the couch and out doing something active is a good thing in my book.

So while you are up in Scotland, as I am sure you will have to visit Edinburgh, then why not make use of that motivation and join me on a running tour.  Edinburgh has it’s own venue for the games as well, the Royal Commonwealth pool is hosting the diving, we could incorporate a run past that into your tour as well.

Look forward to having you join me on a run and hearing about your experiences at The Games!

Eclectic Cake visits Edinburgh (and Glasgow)

Posted on Updated on

After a ‘holiday’ in The States, attempting my first 100 miler, I had a nightmare journey back to Edinburgh with delayed flights. My only concern was that I had a running tour booked for 5pm on Monday 30th June and it was looking shaky that I might not make it back in time…..but I did! Landing in Edinburgh at 1pm on Monday, after being up since Sunday morning early, I made it for my 5pm booking with Jen from Eclectic Cake. It was refreshing to go for a run with another keen soul and it was certainly the best antidote after such a long travel, cured the jet lag!

Jen and the flower clock
Jen and the flower clock

Jen has her own blog and here she has written a great blog about her running tour with me in Edinburgh and with another fellow runner, Graham in Glasgow. Take a read and I hope to see you joining me for a running tour soon.

Combining two loves!

Posted on Updated on

I love running!

I love Edinburgh!

Why not combine both and share my love of running?  That is exactly what I have done, in two ways.  I have thought about doing the first venture or offering running tours for a number of years, and it was something I was really keen to get off the ground after I had done one myself on holidays; Rockin’ Running Tours in Memphis.  What I found great about taking part in a running tour in another city was to quickly take in a lot of the sites in one hit, get a locals perspective on the city including some insider tips for the best ribs as might be the case in Memphis and get my daily run in at the same time.  Win:Win!

Moving to Edinburgh was the perfect opportunity.  Not only do I have a great job managing a great hotel in such a great location, Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace; but all the main sites are all within a few mile radius with various options to extend out.

I have just started offering the tours and already getting some great feedback, so now it is just a matter of letting the word spread and start sharing the love.  Check out my tours at and follow me at @edinruntours on twitter.  Share the idea with all your running friends, I’ll be so happy to show you or them around Edinburgh soon.


Venture number two is another combination of my love of running with a higher aspiration to coach and develop other runners into ultra runners.  I want to develop training plans for runners for marathon, ultra or multi stage distances, whilst providing a sounding board with ongoing advice and encouragement along with tips on nutrition and kit all based on my experiences.  This is perfectly linked with the ultra babe Race to the Stones project (@RTTS100) with The North Face as our goal is to encourage women to step up to the ultra distance.   As a woman, with ultra and multi stage event experience, I feel that I can offer something to the running community out there and give some other women the confidence and encouragement to go out there and give it a go.  There are some fantastic examples of ultra coaches for the men out there such as Rory Coleman and Robbie Britton, to name a couple I have had the pleasure of meeting, but there is a need for more women coaches and advisors.  Seeing as though it is something I love and am truly passionate about, I wanted to give this a shot.  I have already got 2 lovely ladies that I am presently putting together plans for, Marina Ranger (@mranger90) and Rhianon West @rhianonruns, and have got an ultra weekend of running planned this weekend for Marina to set her up for her plan.  I will be sure to get some testimonials up once they have worked their way through their respective plans and achieved their goals.

What is my experience that ‘qualifies’ me to give this advice.  I have not been running for that long, only since 2008, starting off with 10km and half marathon races.   I completed my first marathon in 2011 with the Amsterdam Marathon, and subsequently have run Philadelphia and London marathons in 2012, Nice to Cannes and London Marathons in 2012, Manchester Marathon in 2013 and having completed my first ultra in May 2013, 34 miles in 7hrs (yes, rather slow) and then completed my first multi stage Ultra, Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon in October 2013. 250km (160 miles) fully self sufficient race over 6 stages through the Kalahari desert in South Africa. Not only did I finish it, but I was 14th overall and 2nd lady! It’s amazing what your body will do when pushed. In 2014 I have completed the Pilgrims Ultra (66 miles on North Downs Way split into 2 days of 33) in February 2014, Endurance Life Northumberland Marathon 27miles in March, Marathon Des Sables in April 2014, and am about to complete my first ever 100miles in one hit at the Mohican 100 in June. After a few weeks to recover I will be taking on Race to the Stones in July, Berghaus Trail Chase in August, Clyde Stride 40 mile ultra in September and then heading back to the Kalahari in November to compete in the Kalahari Augrabies Extreme Marathon for the 2nd time.

Want to know more than check out my website  and follow me @runningdutchie on twitter for more about me and what I can do for you.  I hope to see you at a running event soon!

Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Posted on Updated on

Summer is here and the annual Edinburgh Fringe Festival kicks off on the 1st August, all the way through until the 25th August.

Are you going to be visiting Edinburgh this summer?  Get in touch, bring your trainers, and let me show you the sights on foot!

I did a mini tour this morning and we went up to the summit of Arthur’s Seat.  What a gorgeous morning for it too, not a whisper of a breeze and you could see for miles.

Can’t wait to go running with you soon.

On the trail up to Arthur's Seat
On the trail up to Arthur’s Seat
Summit reached!
Summit reached!