Doctors in Scotland prescribing nature to their patients

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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!

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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.


What I love about running in Scotland

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When someone says ‘Scotland’ what’s the first thing you think of? It might be whisky, haggis, castles, kilts, bagpipes or even deep-fried Mars bars, but does running cross your mind at all? Possibly not, but it should.

Famous for stunning landscapes and dramatic scenery full of endless scenic trails and paths that can take you around; up, through or across the entire country there is possibly no better country for running than Scotland. Fair enough the weather is normally dreich, but as the saying goes……


I’m a Dutch-born, Australian raised runner living in Edinburgh and I love my city and all the beautiful areas that surround it. If you have any questions or a particular area of the UK you want to know more about then connect with me on twitter & instagram @runningdutchie and @edinruntours and I’ll be sure to get some real on the ground information to you.

This is me!
This is me!

I’ve fallen in love with Edinburgh so much that I now offer running tours throughout Edinburgh and beyond to the visitors that come and explore through Edinburgh Run Tours. I find when I visit a new city the best way to really come to grips with a city is to go running with a local.

Edinburgh itself is such a beautiful and compact city that a 4 mile running tour can take you through some of the main sights of the city and uncover some hidden gems. There’s not much chance of a flat run as the city, just like Rome, is built on 7 hills. Three of these, Castle Rock, Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat are right in the heart of the city all within a few hundred metres of each other and the four other hills, Corstorphine Hill, Wester Craiglockhard, Blackford Hill and Braid Hill are all within running distance hence the annual 7 hills of Edinburgh race; not for the faint hearted but if you fancy a challenge at the end of June then this one is for you or join me on a more leisurely pace tour version.

Arthur's Seat in the background
Arthur’s Seat in the background

Though if you prefer the flat terrain Edinburgh does that too, with the North Sea making for quaint seaside villages stretching all the way along the picturesque John Muir Trail to North Berwick, part of this route is also used for the Edinburgh Marathon (and half) which is held every year at the end of May and known for its high PB potential as the route starts in the city and heads downhill to the beach before flattening out, just watch out for the wind that can sometimes catch you out and slow you down. This is one of my favourite winter training runs, it’s 26 miles from my front door to the train station in North Berwick so I can run along the path and normally heading east I get a tail wind and as soon as I reach my destination I jump on the train and back in Edinburgh in 35 minutes. You can choose to stay on the footpath or take the beach route and enjoy running up and down the dunes, over saltwater rock pools and past the light house to make it even more challenging.

Gullane Beach run
Gullane Beach run

I spend most of my week running in and around Edinburgh so on the weekends I like to get out and explore. I am privileged to have the beautiful Pentland Hills Regional Park which is only 6 miles south west from the city centre and is made up of a range of hills around 20 miles in length with 100km of way marked routes criss-crossing their way through the hills. Easy access by either bus or car (or you can run out there if you are keen) and you are away. One of my favourite little routes is to head up Scald Law and Carnethy Hill for a relatively short but challenging route with stunning views on a clear day which passes back past a reservoir, perhaps made all the more enjoyable by the fact that you park outside the Flotterstone Inn, so post run refreshment isn’t far away.

Check out my cool video on YouTube filmed in the Pentlands in January 2016 after some recent snowfall.

Going a little bit further afield to the west of Edinburgh and within an hours’ drive you are at the start of the iconic West Highland Way, which many visitors come to walk the 96 miles over a period of a few days to a week staying in huts & hostels along the way, but this route is also fabulous for running. Whether you are going to run the entire distance in the annual West Highland Way Race or just go for a leisurely run along parts of it you will be spoilt in every which way. Abundant in wildlife such as grouse, hairy cows and deer to name just a few with castles and whisky distilleries along the way and stunning vistas as you climb over undulating terrain taking in high points at Conic Hill (361m) and Devils Staircase (550m); you are exposed to a taste of the real Scotland.

Watch the YouTube video below to get a small taste of Conic Hill, filmed in January 2016.

With so many great running routes in Edinburgh and in Scotland, why not give me a shout next time you are visiting and organise your ideal running tour with me.


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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!


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
And 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

Feeling inspired?

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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!