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SPS student voices and experiences
Running around Edinburgh: Priyanka’s favourite routes!

Running around Edinburgh: Priyanka’s favourite routes!

If running’s your thing, Priyanka’s got you covered! Here’s her guide to running in Edinburgh.

Spring has finally sprung, and Strava is flourishing like never before! Everyone seems to be lacing up their trainers to take on the new running trend. I have been running for around 5 years now and have competed in several long-distance events, including the Inverness half marathon last month and the Edinburgh full marathon last summer. In this article, I’m going to share my top 5 running routes in and around the city and discuss their appeal in terms of distance, terrain and scenery – featuring route-map screenshots from my very own Strava! So, whether you’re a veteran runner or still finding your feet, read on for some location inspiration for your next run!

1 – Arthur’s Seat Loop (distance approx. 5km)

The picturesque Arthur's Seat with Edinburgh's skyline in the background
You might’ve seen Arthur’s Seat in the hit Netflix series ‘One Day’

An all-time classic. If you haven’t run a loop around Arthur’s Seat, you must not have been in Edinburgh long, as this is a must-run route! With beautiful panoramic views of the city and beyond, this route never disappoints. Despite the peaceful scenery, the hills at both ends provide a bit of a kick, making this more challenging that the average easy run. Extra kudos given if you can run it clockwise-round (up the long, gradual hill) without stopping! 

2 – Hermitage of Braid (distance approx. 10km)

Another hilly route with scenery that makes the effort worth it! There are several paths winding through the green park of Braids, my favourite being the one along the wee river. The tranquil feel here reminds me a lot of running at home in the countryside and feels a world away from the busy city life. One word of caution would be that this route can get a bit mushy, so be prepared for some muddy shoes if it’s been raining!

3 – Beach n’ Back (distance approx. 15km)

Portobello Beach with a stunning sunset
Bet you didn’t know there’s a beach only a bus ride away from the Edinburgh City Centre!

This path was quite a recent discovery for me! It starts along the Innocent Railway road (which passes through Holyrood Park) and then continues onto a cycle path leading all the way out to Musselburgh. Here there’s a great stretch of coast for flat, long runs, and makes up part of both the Edinburgh full and half-marathon routes. It is also lovely for a run on a warm day, when you can have a quick cool-down dip at Portobello beach!

4 – Union Canal (distance approx. 20km)

The perfect path for a long tempo run, with no hills or traffic lights! There are different ways to switch up this run, as it can be made to connect up with both the Water of Leith and Hermitage of Braid paths. It’s also a great option for a cycle route, as it stretches out for 50km, all the way out to the Falkirk Wheel!

5 – Cramond & Water of Leith (distance approx. 25km)

This run was a blend of different routes, firstly heading out to the coast via the cycle paths in the North of the city. Though it can become quite windy along the beach here, Cramond recently became course for a world-record breaking parkrun time! The route heads back into the city along part of the Water of Leith – a path passing by many iconic parts of the city like Murrayfield Stadium, Dean Village and Leith Docks.

Hope you’ve found these suggestions useful and I look forward to hopefully seeing you guys out trying some of these runs! 😊

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