A lot of people use running for a stress relief or to lose weight but do you ever just go out for a fun run?! Here’s 5 routes in or around Edinburgh that are good fun & challenging to do. Whether it’s due to the rewarding views you get, winding through backstreets & up narrow stair cases or fighting the elements on the beach in Gullane. Edinburgh has so much to offer and it can be a real positive to your training if you mix it up with trying new locations. Give these a go!
1000 Steps City Centre Fun Run
This is a great fun run if you like a challenge and a leg burner! Starting in the grass market head up all of the Castle Wynd stairs until you’re on Castle Hill. Turn right and then first left following the hill down to The Mound. You want to cross the road and go down Market Street.
Take a right up Cockburn Street and first right. You’ll find yourself on Roxburghs Close in front of another fantastic flight of stairs. Climb to the top then turn left down High Street, left down Anchor Close. We’re now back on Cockburn Street. Turn Left and then right down Craigs Close.
You’ll turn right onto Market Street and follow the road until you get to the Scotsman Steps on your right, They will take you to North Bridge. Turn right and then turn left onto Canongate. Take a left down New Street, cross the road at the bottom and then you’ll see more steps named Jacobs Ladder.
You want to work your way to the top of there. Take a left onto the A1 and turn right up towards Calton Hill. At the top enjoy your views then start making you way down the other side past the north viewpoint.
At the bottom take a left down a wee lane and you’ll find yourself at the back of the Omni Centre. Turn left and then climb the big flight of stairs on the right hand side. Take a left at the top.
Take the first left and go up the stairs next to the offices. You’ll find yourself near Calton Hill again. Head in the opposite direction down Princes Street then up North Bridge.
Go down the Scotsman Steps and back down Market Street. Take the first left up Fleshmarket Close, turn right down Cockburn and take the 3rd left up Warriston close.
You have completed the 1000 step challenge! Head back to the Grassmarket and give yourself a pat on the back!
If you enjoy running with a group who don’t take it to seriously feel free to get in touch with Rebel PT. We mostly run outdoor bootcamps but also tend to try and find fun, alternative running routes to mix up training.
We run our bootcamps in The Meadows, Leith Links & Holyrood. Your first session is free. Sign up to a free trial here.
Meadows to Blackford hill 5k
From The Meadows head up Marchmont Road which then becomes Kilgraston Road.
Turn right at Oswald Road and follow it until you get to Cluny Gardens.Cross the road and enter Blackford Hill.
Turn left and then right and follow the zig zag paths up the hill. There are plenty of paths to take which will eventually lead to the top of Blackford hill sitting at 164m. Enjoy the views here. I have found them even more spectacular at night time.
Go over the top and follow the path down the other side taking a right turn near the bottom. This should lead you past the Midmar allotments and, later on, past the pond until you reach the spot you entered the park. From here all you have to do is retrace your steps back to The Meadows.
Meadows to Arthurs Seat 8k
From the tennis courts at the Meadows cross the road and go up Bernards Terrace. Turn right at St Leonards St / Dalkeith Road.
Turn down Holyrood Park Road and take a left down E Parkside. This looks quite residential but shortly after you are turning right and right again and you’re going to go under Holyrood Park RD along the Innocent Railway.
Follow the path until you get to Duddingston Road West where you take a left. Keep going and then take a left at Old Church Lane. Just before you reach the car park turn right and you’ll be faced with a big flight of stairs.
Power up to the top and you’ll see Arthurs Seat straight ahead. It’s your choice whether to head over Arthurs Seat or around. If you’re going over take the path straight ahgead. That leads you over Crow Hill and then Arthurs Seat and you’ll come down the other side onto Queens Road.
Or you can take a left turn and follow Queens Drive for a nice cruisy downhill. Take a left at the first roundabout and a right at the second roundabout. You’ll find yourself back on Holyrood Park Road where you can just retrace your steps back to The Meadows.
Edinburgh Long Run
Leith – Portobello – Fisherrow – Duddingston – Holyrood – Leith
Start on Leith Walk & turn right onto Duke Street. Keep following the road along Leith Links until you get to the end of the park. Turn left into it & then right onto the Restalrig Railway Path.
You’re not on the path for long as you want to follow signs to Portobello. Jump onto Seafield Road and then onto the promenade and follow it all the way to Fissherrow Sands. Follow the path around the park and then join New St. Start to head back the way you came.
This time you want to take a left off the Edinburgh Road onto Bruntstane Burn walkway. After about 1km it becomes the innocent cycle path.
Keep following it all the way to Duddingston and you’ll come out at a really long tunnel, turn left and then left again and you’ll find yourself on Queens Drive.
Turn left just after Holyrood Palace and follow the path, cross the road and climb the stairs. Keep going straight on to Easter Road. Take a left at Lorne Street and follow the road until you find yourself back on Leith Walk.
Aberlady & Gullane
What makes this a fun run is the up and down of the dunes and all the different elements from the beach to the footpath. Park in the car park just passed Aberlady on the A198. You’ll see a path to join. Follow the path closest to the Coast. Eventually you’ll find yourself on the beach. Gullane Golf Course will be on your right hand side and the coast on your left.
Keep follow the winding, undulating path. You’ll come across a second golf course on your right, Muirfield. At a fork next to the golf course take a left towards the sea. Follow it for about a kilometre then take a right turn to make it a loop.
The golf course will now be on your left. You’ll come to the fork where you’d originally turned left. Retrace your steps. When you’re passing Gullane this time you want to go into the town. Follow Sandy Loan Road and take a left onto Main Street then the first right down Saltcoats Road.
Veer right onto a footpath and keep going until you reach a main road. Carry on in the same direction until you get to a T junction. Turn right onto Avenue road and then left back onto the A198. You’ll find the car park on your right hand side.