Visiting Scotland was a dream come true. The very top of the top of the bucket list for me. After reading all the blogs and travel sites on the ancient city of Edinburgh, and poring over every amazing photograph, I could hardly wait to arrive and experience it for myself. Truly, it was just as amazing as I imagined. The castle towering over the city was stunning. Photographs do not do it justice! The old town, with its medieval streets and closes, enchanted me. The city has history seeping from its pores. If you haven’t experienced it you simply must!
Edinburgh is magical at any time of day but it does get quite busy. If you visit in the summer, be prepared to weave your way through throngs of people on the royal mile by midday. It’s not terrible and just part of summer travel. Sharing an amazing place with hundreds and thousands of other people can be different than having it all to your self. Want to know how I saw some of the iconic Edinburgh sites in peace and solitude? Of course you do! Read on!
Get up early!
You heard that right, rise and shine. Daylight in Scotland in the summer comes very early, and lasts long into the evening. When I visited in June it was bright at 4:30 AM. Why stay in bed when there are such beautiful places to see? And to make it even better, you are going to have them all to yourself! Don’t miss out on an amazing experience, get out there and make some memories! And later you can make your friends and family jealous by telling them all the cool places you went…while they were sleeping!
Put on your running shoes!
Admit it. You love to run in the morning. Maybe its hard to get out the door, but once you get going its the best part of the day, am I right? The temperature in Scotland is so wonderful for running. Mornings are crisp and cool. You will need to dress in layers that you can remove when you warm up. In June I was comfortable in leggings, a tank and hoodie. I also brought a running belt so I had somewhere to store my keys, a little cash, my water bottle, and of course my camera! That’s it, your ready to explore!
Follow along for some great places to visit on an early morning run in Edinburgh!
1. Head to Calton Hill
Sitting high above Edinburgh, you will find fabulous views of the city and the Firth of Forth from Calton Hill. When I visited on my first early morning run in Edinburgh, I truly did not see another person the entire time I was there. It was so peaceful. It’s a bit of a climb up the hill, so the benches were a welcome place to rest from the exertion and appreciate the views and solitude. I enjoyed watching the sun come up and light up the monuments. It was a special time for me, and I was grateful to be in Scotland at last. More information on Calton Hill can be found here: https://ewh.org.uk/world-heritage-sites/calton-hill/
2. Run to Princes Street Gardens
This is a definite must on your morning run itinerary! Beautiful Princes Street Gardens! I could happily have stayed here all morning. I stopped to rest on a park bench, marveling at the castle towering above me! It was so quiet and peaceful, I could have been the only tourist in the city. The solitude really casts quite a spell. Later I wandered through with my family, eager to show them the castle views. There were naturally other tourists milling around enjoying the scenery. Still so lovely, but not quite the same as having it all to myself. More information on Princes Street Gardens can be found here: https://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/directory_record/940791/princes_street_gardens
3. Check out popular streets without the traffic!
Imagine running down the royal mile and having it all to yourself! Or exploring the often photographed Circus Lane in New Town, with no one around to get in the way of your photo’s.
I really enjoyed exploring this city early in the morning. It was so fun to watch the city wake up everyday. Starting the day with a great run in a new and amazing city was a memory I will always cherish. It was really a special experience, and endeared this city to me forever. There are so many other running routes I would like to explore on my next trip! I would love to hear suggestions from others who have explored Edinburgh. Please leave a comment!
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Stay tuned for more posts on my amazing adventure in Scotland!
Keep Roaming! – Tina