My #ThisisEdinburgh24: Edinburgh Run Tours
04 August 2015
Last month we launched our #ThisisEdinburgh24 campaign, where we asked you how you would spend 24 hours in Edinburgh. As part of the campaign, we've been out and about asking people who live and work in Edinburgh to write about their perfect day in the city.
In the first in our blog series, we caught up with Lucja Leonard from Edinburgh Run Tours to find out about her #ThisisEdinburgh24. Read on to discover her favourite routes, stunning vantage points of the city and the perfect places to refuel after a long run...
It may be early but it's time to get your running shoes on! Go on a running tour (such as Edinburgh Run Tours) and watch the sunrise from one of the best vantage points in the city. You'll earn your breakfast by running up Arthur’s Seat - a 251m summit nestled in Holyrood Park - to enjoy the 360 degree view of Edinburgh.
As your guide, I would make sure you have the energy to enjoy the rest of the running tour by supplying some tasty coffee/tea & pastries for a sunrise snack. We would then run on past the Palace of Holyroodhouse and wave to the Queen (if she’s in - and awake!) and head past the new Scottish Parliament onto yet another hill, the Royal Mile, all the way up to Edinburgh Castle before enjoying the downhill to Princes Street Gardens and onto the next stop, breakfast!
Trust local coffee connoisseur, Iona MacArthur, to discover The Caffeine Drip at 10 Melville Place. Enjoy coffee and breakfast here from 7:30am weekdays and 9am weekends and take advantage of their South African influenced menu and drinks that see coffee lovers trekking in from all the city over to get their caffeine fix. Get your fill here - you’ve earned it from all that running!
On yer bike! Get yourself down to Edinburgh Bike Tours, who can work out a bespoke tour for you. Head to our very own Portobello beach and get onto the John Muir Way out to North Berwick. You’ll be cycling the marathon distance on a bike, but this is part of the Edinburgh marathon route after all!
[Image by Magnus Hagdorn]
By the time you’ve cycled 14 miles to Aberlady Bay you'll certainly enjoy stopping for a minute to enjoy the views from the footbridge of the renowned bird watching spot and local nature reserve. Not long to go until you reach your first snack stop en-route at the small village of Gullane where you must take a detour to Gullance Bents to admire the long sandy beach, and you won’t be able to resist a cheeky brew at Falko Konditormeister a small German bakery on the corner of the main street, with a black forest gateaux to die for! For those who would prefer to stay closer to home, you'll be pleased to hear there's one in Edinburgh too!
Once you get to Dirleton take a wander through the impressive ruins of the 13th century rustic Dirleton Castle, a stunningly well mantained fortress residence which is a sight to behold. You can almost smell the salt in the air and no doubt building a bit of a hunger, so get yourself back on the bike to North Berwick, a cute seaside town and your lunch destination. It's a pretty little harbour, with impressive views of Bass Rock and the wee mound of The Law.
What else to have for lunch at the seaside but some old fashioned Fish n Chips from North Berwick Fry, a popular local choice! With regular trains from North Berwick to Edinburgh and a quick journey of 33 mins, it is just enough time to get your breath back before you reach Edinburgh Waverley station.
Go where the local Leithers go and head to Serrano Manchego at 297 Leith Walk to enjoy delicious Spanish tapas, refreshing beers on tap and 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 here is something special and the traditional Portuguese custard tarts are a must - it's impossible to eat just the one!
There are some great options from here on foot to enjoy a few more cold drinks, you’ve earned it. Just a short walk away you could find yourself down at the Leith Docks enjoying some whisky or local ales at Teuchters Landing while enjoying beautiful views of the canal.
[image by Stewart Hardy (@kharashov)]
It's time to catch the sunset! Provided your legs are still functioning, I would suggest jumping in a taxi or on the bus down to Cramond and then taking a leisurely walk along Cramond Beach to watch the sun go down and see the magnificent sight of the triangular pillars along the causeway. These 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 you can see in the picture above! If you strike it lucky with the tides, you can walk along the concrete causeway all the way out to Cramond Island, however be sure to check your timing, as the crossing should only be made 2 hours either side of low tide.
Your stomach is no doubt growling for some dinner now, so for some 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! It’s open until late, so you won’t miss out.
If you’re not tired yet (you absolute machine!), there is a fun night life in Edinburgh to explore, but I’ll save that for another day...