Exploring Edinburgh on the run with Ginger

Posted by William 14/03/2019 0 Comment(s)

Exploring Edinburgh on the run with Ginger

by Ali Wyllie of Run the Sights 

Hi, I’m Ali, a running enthusiast from Edinburgh, I founded Run the Sights several years ago.  I simply love guiding runners around Edinburgh’s hidden treasures on a running tour.  I am really chuffed to have an on-going collaboration with Active Root, whereby all runners, who join us on a Run the Sights running tour in Edinburgh, receive a sachet of Active Root.  

Ali and Ginger discussing the merits of Active Root.

The world is becoming faster paced whilst at the same time, placing a greater focus on health and well-being.  It is no wonder that running tours are now available in most major cities throughout the world.    Whether you are travelling for business or pleasure, exploring a new city on a running tour is most definitely the most fulfilling way to keep fit, see the sights and learn about them along the way.  I was recently joined by Ginger, the Active Root mascot, for a 5 mile running tour.   If you love to run and you find yourself in Edinburgh for a few days, do check out this route for some inspiration and by all means please come and join us on a running tour.  

Starting our running tour with the incredible gothic building, the Scott Monument in sight. 

So, we started off on Waverley Bridge, in Edinburgh city centre, with wonderful views of the Scott Monument.  We then made our way up to Edinburgh Castle.  


Looking towards Edinburgh Castle from The Vennel. 

From here, we dropped down the Royal Mile.  Passing some incredible statues and architecture along the way and learning about the history of the Edinburgh Award  – Edinburgh’s answer to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. 


Ever hopeful Ginger has his heart set on winning the Edinburgh Award for this year.

We continued down the Royal Mile, by passing the infamous World’s End pub on our right, made famous by the gruesome tale of the World’s End Murders.  Then onto nicer tales with the picturesque Canongate Kirk and the wonderfully enigmatic statue of the poet; Robert Fergusson, capturing a brisk walking motion, situated outside.  


Discussing all things literature based, with Robert Fergusson. 

Almost a mile of decent from Edinburgh Castle, situates the Holyrood Palace with the Scottish Parliament directly opposite.  The contrast between the 16th century palace and the 21st century parliament is stark, and a pretty impressive sight to take in.  

Contemplating the cost of the Scottish Parliament; it was meant to coast £40 million and actually cost £414 million!

We flirted with the outskirts of Holyrood Park and circumnavigated the wall of Holyrood Palace leading us round the back of the building, to take in the view of the incredible Holyrood Abbey, where we discussed the legend of King David I and the great white stag.  With views looking up towards Arthur’s Seat, it’s easy to understand that Edinburgh is 49% green space.

Ignore the usual tourist viewing point and run around to the back of Holyrood Palace to take in incredible views of Holyrood Abbey.

From here, we skipped up towards Calton Hill, by passing a random wooden carved badger along the way.  This is exactly why I love exploring on the run.  You end up seeing so much more than you would if you took in a walking tour or a bus tour!  

Ginger was getting tired at this point and insisted on being carried!  Foxes these days!

At the top of Calton Hill, we paused for a breather and took in the exceptional views towards the bridges to our left and then towards Berwick Law on our right.  Calton Hill hosts some incredible architecture such as the National Monument of Scotland, designed by Edinburgh’s most celebrated architect; William Henry Playfair.  I simply love seeing visitors to the city interacting with the National Monument of Scotland, climbing up on to it, and really experiencing it.  

It’s no wonder Edinburgh is nicknamed the ‘Athens of the North’ with architecture such as the National Monument of Scotland.  

We drop back down to the busy city streets and by pass the Playhouse Theatre before dropping in on Martha and Gilbert, collectively known as the Dreaming Spires, situated outside the Omni Centre.  Made entirely from scrap metal and designed by Scottish sculpture Helen Denerley.  These life size giraffes are wonderfully fun and always make me smile.  

Have you ever seen 2 giraffes and a fox in the same photo?    

We then skipped along the grid patterned streets of the city centre.  Taking in Queen Street, George Street, Rose Street and Princes Street before escaping away from the busy streets up King Stables Road, behind Lothian Road and paying a quick visit to Edinburgh’s less well known dog;  Bum.  Bum was a vagabond dog in San Diego.  When Edinburgh and San Diego became twinned cities in 1978, similarities were drawn between Bum and Edinburgh’s own special dog; Greyfriars Bobby, and so an exchange of statues took place.  You can find Bum at the east end of Princes Street Gardens.  


Ginger chilling out with Bum the dog. So it seems dogs and foxes can be friends! 

Of course we could not miss out Bobby, we popped up to see him and pass on Bum’s regards, before passing along George IV Bridge, paying our respects to Lord Hume situated outside the High Court and dropping back down to Waverley Bridge.  

Please please please – don’t touch Bobby’s nose! 

Edinburgh is such an incredible runner friendly city, with a huge variety of routes, clubs, races, shops and businesses all  tailored specifically to the enthusiastic runner.   Come and explore with us on the run and enjoy an Active Root afterwards.  Run it and experience it!  

Ginger feeling pooped mentally and physically after running around Edinburgh!

If you want to find out more about Ali and Run The Sights visit: