parkrun tourism: Holyrood

parkrun #315 location#85

Reason for visit: en route to St Andrews Scottish Country Dance summer school

I’m sure other parkrun tourists do the same when booking accommodation – have the parkrun events page open on one browser, with a map searching for BnBs on another, trying to find a close match. When I’d booked my Edinburgh Air BnB a few months back, I’d thought it was close to Portobello. But when I arrived it was going to be a bit of a journey to get there, and anyway, the new kid on the block had started just 3 weeks previously in Holyrood. And it was a simpler option.

Must get me one of these! You can decide whether I mean the tartan skort or the big dog.

Access:

The course takes place in Holyrood park, which is very close (walking distance) to the city centre and the foot of Royal Mile. A number of buses have stops nearby, all set out on the event’s course page. Buses take contactless payments, and I found the range and frequency of routes to be very user friendly.

Course:

The course is just one lap, starting and finishing near the same point close to St Margaret’s Loch. It is all on tarmac roads. The first 2 km is a steady uphill climb, before it levels off round the far side of the hill, and then a glorious 2 km downhill. You could be quite canny about your racing line here if chasing a PB – stick close the the inner side of the circuit, but take the shorter straight line when the path curves.

The views are nothing short of spectacular, and there was even a swirl of the bagpipes to be heard carried on the morning breeze.

Watch out for other users, particularly cyclists.

Crowd:

As a newcomer, situated in a capital city, this is going to be a big attraction for tourists. The inaugural attracted over 500, and there were 400 and something when I visited at their event number 4.

Despite this I saw no other cow cowls, and even though I was wearing a WMN top, I got no “Dolly or Bev?” “Arbitrary!” exchanges.

Good range of ages and run times, and plenty of dogs.

Gear:

Zippy run belt held my phone, keys, and emergency fiver.

I wore my grey “is it fancy dress” WMN top, and grey skirty capri pants. Cow cowl, headband and sunglasses. Saucony trainers – road shoes are fine for here, tarmac surface all the way.

Time:

I’m nursing a problem heel at the minute, and walked the uphill section, but was quite impressed with my time of 43-06, which was faster than I’d done Crystal Palace in a few weeks ago.

After:

I had a lovely cappuccino and croissant in the Holyrood Cafe, which has lovely clean loos, and a fresh water station. There is also a cafe in the Holyrood government building nearby.

Strangely Appropriate Song on Shuffle:

I was running without music, listening to the birdsong, and that bagpipe air drifting across from the town.

And the rest:

It was great to be back at Summer School after the Covid-pause, though my heel wasn’t improved by all that hopping and the long walks between venues.

All my parkruns:

Link NI (and other) parkruns: summary list