Saturday 29 August 2015

Edinburgh Portobello Beach Running Route

Click here for route map
Length 3.6 km (2.2 miles), terrain: flat

Edinburgh running routes:
Edinburgh City route
Portobello Beach route

Arthur's Seat route
For more running routes, see Route List.  

Here's a route that puts you into an unexpected surroundings for an Edinburgh run: right along a sand beach, with tourists and seagulls vying for space on the sand, and ships entering the Firth of Forth off past Inchkeith Island. Portobello is a bit like a Scottish Ft. Lauderdale: there is a beach promenade with small parks, a public swimming pool, a little amusement park and a stretch of row-houses. The stretch of sand is just a mile long, though, adjoined by rocky coastline to the north and south.
The promenade in Portobello
The best time to run is in the mornings, when the morning light strikes the promenade from the east, and the neighborhood is slowly stirring to life.

This run is a bit short, but it can (and should) be extended with a bit of zig-zagging along the quiet side-streets, with their pleasant homes and churchyards. Or you can keep running southwards towards Musselburgh. The trail there is along a street, but still not bad.
In a park along the promenade
You can easily get to Portobello from the city center by taking the 45 or 26 buses. You can get out at Bridge Street, just as the road enters Portobello.

So now you're there: let's run! Turn left onto Bridge Street, towards the east and the water and start running. You'll go by a small parking lot, and after that you'll see a small square that abuts the beach promenade.
Heading south, into the sun on the promenade
When you get to the promenade, just turn right and follow your nose along the beach. You'll soon pass the amusement park, and then the indoor baths. You'll pass walkers, bikers and people out with their dogs.
Passing the boat club
When I ran this route this week, a sheer endless stream of parents were accompanying their little kids along the promenade to a nearby kindergarten.
Bellfield Street, just off the promenade
At little side-streets like Bellfield Street, Brunstane Road or John Street, you might want to turn right and run towards the Portobello High Street and then run back on the next block, just to add a bit more distance, if you'd like. I really like the homey little houses along the streets, and they make a nice contrast to the wide horizons of the beach.
The way back along the sand
When you reach the end of the sand beach in the south, just turn around and head back to the start. You can either follow the promenade again, or (if it's not high tide) run back on the packed sand near the water's edge, for a closer view of the waves, birds, shells and coastline.
Cruise ship coming into the Firth of Forth
Alternatively, you could continue southwards along the waterfront road (Called Seaview Terrace here), with the rocky shore to your left and the street with its row-houses on the right.

Another idea to lengthen the run is to continue it at the north end when you get back to Bridge Street. The promenade continues into Seafield, past some industrial-looking buildings and car dealers. Just keep looking out to sea, and it looks much nicer!

1 comment:

  1. Running can be therapeutic, especially after a tiring day at the self storage. We have organized a running group in the office to allow staff to de-stress and at the same time, bond over some healthy activity. Of course, it is sometimes followed by a beer but we try not to!