The dark mornings are behind us now and with that comes even less excuse to get outside and go running. If you were stuck for ideas, then look no further, as three Haries club runners give their favourite routes that you may have yet to discover.
EMILY RIDDEL- THE UNION CANAL
“I really enjoy running as a way to see more of Edinburgh; this is one of the first jogs I did with the Haries, and led to me discovering that Edinburgh has a canal! This is a regular route for the jogging group, starting at DVC (Dick Vet Corner) in the Meadows. Jogging down the canal and back again to DVC makes it around 6km. Enter the canal at Fountainbridge and keep jogging for a couple of kilometres until you run past a park (Harrison Park) on your right. Shortly after you will see a bridge (‘Gray’s Loan’). At this point, leave the canal, cross the bridge and turn left, running straight along Polwarth Terrace (which then turns into Granville Terrace, and then Gilmore Place). Carry on the same road crossing over Leven Street and you will find you are back at the Meadows! It can easily be extended to make a longer route too by carrying along the canal with various other exit points at later stages. This is one of my favourite routes because it’s quite peaceful, and you don’t have to do too much people- dodging or waiting for traffic lights! Also, for a bonus it’s a very flat route!”
SARAH HENDERSON – THE HERMITAGE OF BRAID
“If you choose to run past the King’s Buildings and turn right, you will find a seemingly disused road path at the foot of Braids Hills. Continuing on this path, you will be able to discover a woody trail, pristine natural rivers and an almost ethereal silence. Situated just behind Blackford Hill and still in the depths of the city, nowhere else do I find such silence and natural beauty. Whilst it may not have the panoramic views that the hills can boast of, there is the option (if you feel like a challenge!) of taking a trail path up towards either Braids Hills or Blackford Hill. Although a dog-walking hotspot, the trail provides a true escape from monotonous road routes and their traffic, and is one of the few places I feel I can truly find quiet within the city.
The route can also be incorporated fairly easily into your daily schedule. By making a loop from Causewayside down to King’s Buildings, then along the Hermitage, and then back through Morningside and the meadows, it totals around 6 miles. Such a route incorporates numerous sights and challenges: a decent run to the trail path, a nice run along the trail, and then a slow but sure hill up Morningside, finished with a gentle mile alongside the green of the Meadows. Whilst this distance may be a long way for some people, the rewards are truly worth it, and as a route I have only fairly recently discovered, it has become my go to place when I need to run with scenery but none of the brutal hill climbs, that are so typical in Edinburgh!”
LEDA OLIA – THE INNOCENT RAILWAY
“When it comes to running in Edinburgh, I like to keep it simple. I’ve done countless routes with the Haries and on my own, but there’s always one that I keep coming back to – the innocent railway. Hidden on a road that skims the base of Arthur’s Seat, you’ll mostly find cyclists and even a few cows if you’re lucky! Starting from Pollock Halls, make your way toward Arthur’s Seat and turn right on the pathway. Once you see a downhill on your right, speed down and round the hill until you reach a long bike path. Turn right to continue onto the railway and run as far as you please before looping back around. It goes on for quite a while, so it’s easy to adjust to whatever your mileage may be. I love this route because it’s easy to navigate and because there’s always this sense of it being hidden away.”
[Image: Flickr @ AperturePriorities]