12km Captivating Run in Edinburgh
This run in Edinburgh route takes you through some captivating nature patches in any season. You can easily start and end this route at either point and catch a bus to where you need to be.
Our first stop on your run in Edinburgh is the Hermitage of Braid.
The Hermitage of Braid is nestled between Braid Hill and Blackford Hill, one of the Seven Hills of Edinburgh. The Braid Estate was once owned by the de Brad family, one of whom was a sheriff in the 12th century. A castle once stood here until the 18th century, when it was bought by a lawyer who commissioned the Hermitage House, built in 1785, which is now a category A listed building. The land was gifted to the city as a public park in 1937.
Walk along the Hermitage of Braid road along the Braid Burn stream so that it runs on your right. At the end of the road, turn left onto Braid Road. After 140 metres, walk up the stairs on your left onto Braid Hills Avenue. In 260 metres, you will reach Braid Hills Road and turn right. Turn left into Braid Hills Approach, then immediately right into Braid Mount.
Continue following Braid Mount for about 400 metres, then turn left onto Braid Road and left again onto the Braid Hills Trail. You will see the Buckstone Snab on your right and the Seven Hills Viewpoint ahead to your left.
The Buckstone Snab is placed at the boundary between the parishes of Liberton and St. Cuthberts. A snab is a short, steep slope or blunt point. The buck or stag is the symbol of Holyrood Abbey, and traditionally, it would be the point where the king released his buckhounds while hunting the buck or stag also released here.
The Seven Hills of Edinburgh are Arthur’s Seat, Castle Rock, Calton Hill, Castorphine Hill, Braid Hills, Blackford Hill, and Craiglockhart Hill. Seven Hills Viewpoint thus gives you a great view of all of them. You should feel at the top of the world here. Take all the photos you need as evidence.
Continue following the Braid Hills Trail until it splits into a paved road. Turn right onto the paved road, then left when you reach a bend to get to Seven Acre Park. Alternatively, you can turn left (when you first reach the paved road) to continue following the Braid Hills Trail, then turn right onto Liberton Road if you wish to skip Seven Acre Park.
Seven Acre Park has a little bit of everything, including an orchard, wildflower areas, and woodland. You can walk through the wood sculpture trail, which offers lovely views of Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle. North of the park are remnants of gun placements from the WWII anti-aircraft battery.
Leaving the park, turn onto Stanedykehead, then turn left onto Alnwickhill Road.
Turn left onto Liberton Brae for about 420 metres, turn sharp right onto Kirk Brae, then left onto Double Hedges Road, and pass the Liberton football fields on your left.
Turn right onto Gilmerton Road, then immediately left onto Glenallan Drive to reach Inch Park on your left.
The next stop on this run in Edinburgh is Inch Park. Inch is an old name for an island or low-lying land near a river or burn. Inch Park is still true to this, with Braid Burn running along the park’s northern edge. Inch House nearby is a category A-listed tower house built around 1617 and now serves as a community centre.
Continue in the direction you came along Glenallan Drive, following its three curves onto Dinmont Drive. After 110 metres, turn left onto Walter Scott Avenue, then right onto Old Dalkeith Road.
Turn left at Ravenswood Avenue. You will see a sign for Craigmiller Castle Park. After about 200 metres, turn sharp right and follow the curves until you see Craigmiller Castle on your right. You can enter the castle from the pathway in the car park.
Craigmiller Castle was once Mary Queen of Scots “safe haven” in 1566. The castle’s owner, Sir Simon Preston, a faithful follower of Mary and part of her Privy Council, would become her jailer a year later. If you want to visit the castle, book tickets here.
From the castle’s car park, turn left to stay on the pathway closest to the main road. Turn slightly left onto the unpaved pathway after 200 metres and turn right to cross onto the main road of Craigmiller Castle Gardens.
In 300 metres, turn left onto Peffermil Road, then right onto King’s Haugh. Where the road curves to the right, continue slightly left onto the pathway towards the main road.
Turn left onto Duddingston Road West, then left onto Old Church Lane. Run into the car park towards the back right and follow the paved path for about 140 metres to the gate of Dr Neil’s Garden.
Our last stop on this run in Edinburgh is Dr Neil’s Garden. Dr. Neil’s Garden was founded out of a love for travel and plants by Drs. Nancy and Andrew Neil. The garden was established in 1963 when the doctors started cultivating the church grounds at Duddingston. Interestingly, physicians enjoyed involving their patients in garden work due to the numerous health benefits and exercise it provides. The garden has been featured in numerous publications, including articles and television shows.
To ensure the garden’s survival, Dr Neil’s Garden Trust was established in 1997 and is now a registered charity. Sadly, both Nancy and Andrew passed away in 2005; however, they have left an incredible legacy for all to enjoy. You can donate or volunteer in the garden here.
Duddingston Loch is one of the last two remaining lochs, a lake or body of freshwater, in the city. Bronze Age artefacts, including swords and spears, were excavated at the bottom of the loch in 1778. These are all kept in the National Gallery of Scotland’s Early People Gallery if you want to view them. Additionally, one of Scotland’s best-known paintings by Henry Raeburn, The Skating Minister, is set on Duddingston Loch. You can find out more and view the painting here.
If you enjoyed this route, see our 9km Peaceful Figgate Park and Beach Run.