Your City Guide to Edinburgh
Tough Mudder 5K isn’t only awesome because of the fun obstacles and party vibes, it’s also right next to one of the most incredible city’s in the world. To make sure you can pack in as much action to your day as possible we’ve asked local Influencers that specialise in knowing where the top spots to eat, drink and hang out are. Because the fun doesn’t have to stop once you’ve got your headband.
Beyond Your Doorstep
We are Jori and Malika, a couple from Australia, living in countryside England; and exploring the world one doorstep at a time. We are the creators of Beyond Your Doorstep, a travel blog through which we share stories, photography, and tips from our adventures around the world. Whilst we don’t live in Edinburgh, it is our favourite city in the United Kingdom and we visit whenever we get the chance. Edinburgh is such a romantic city, and we fell in love with its enchanting scenery, stunning gothic architecture, and super friendly locals.
5 Things to do Before Your Run
Edinburgh Castle – Castlehill, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG
Travel time: 20 min bus
Would you love to marvel at the Scottish crown jewels? At Edinburgh Castle you can! The castle is packed with refurbished historical rooms, and has beautiful medieval architecture. If you’re not running Tough Mudder at 1pm you can catch the firing of the One o’clock Gun too. Take a walk along the castle walls, and soak up the amazing views of the city. It’s pretty spectacular.
The Royal Mile – Edinburgh, EH1 2PB
Travel time: 15 min bus
The Royal Mile stretches from Edinburgh Castle to The Palace of Holyrood House. It’s the heart and soul of Edinburgh Old Town, and its charm will take your breath away. You’ll find the street lined with many shops selling Scottish wool apparel, as well as fudge and whisky stores. It’s peppered with historical locations such as St Giles Kirk, each with its own story. Keep your eye out for locals spitting on the cobblestone heart mosaic near St Giles. It’s a tradition that brings good luck.
Southern Cross Cafe – 63A Cockburn Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1BS
Travel time: 15 min bus
Stop in at the Southern Cross Café and fuel up for your race. It’s down Cockburn Street, just off The Royal Mile. The café has the best coffee around, and they do a mean big breakfast. Their veggie breakfast is amazing too! It has a great all-round atmosphere and the staff are super friendly. After you’re done, continue down The Royal Mile to Holyrood House.
Palace of Holyrood House – Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX
Travel time: 15 min walk
The Palace of Holyrood House marks the bottom of The Royal Mile. It’s the perfect location to explore before your run, with Tough Mudder 5k right next door in Holyrood Park! Holyrood House is the Queen’s official Royal Residence when she visits Edinburgh, and it has been the home to many monarchs before her. You can see the old Chambers of Mary Queen of Scots, and some parts of the Palace that Queen Elizabeth II still uses to this day. It’s not often you get the chance to walk through rooms that the current Royal Family use.
Arthur’s Seat – Holyrood Park, Edinburgh, EH8 8AL
Travel time: 25 min walk
How about getting your blood pumping with a warm up walk (or run!) up Arthur’s Seat. It’s the highest point in Holyrood Park, and it has amazing panoramic views in all directions. It’s the best place in all of Edinburgh to view the waters of the Firth of Forth. At 251m high, it’s a bit of a climb, but definitely worth a visit.
5 Things to do After Your Run
Elephant House Cafe – 21 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EN
Travel time: 13 min bus
Get your wands out and head to Victoria Street, the inspiration for Diagon Alley, and then enjoy a delicious coffee at the nearby Elephant House cafe. You can sit in the very same room where J.K. Rowling used to sit and write the Harry Potter novels. Take in the magical view of Edinburgh Castle and Grey Friar’s Kirkyard, which were the backdrop to the development of Hogwarts and the world of witchcraft and wizardry. It’s said that J.K. Rowling got the inspiration for some of her characters from tombstones in Grey Friar’s Kirkyard. There’s even a grave for Tom Riddle, aka Lord Voldermort! You could visit it after your coffee.
Grassmarket Square and The White Hart Inn – 34 Grassmarket, Edinburgh, EH1 2JU
Travel time: 18 min bus
Visit Grassmarket Square and soak up the history over a drink in what is said to be Edinburgh’s oldest pub, The White Hart Inn. The square was formerly a marketplace for horse and cattle, and is famous for the public executions that used to be held there. Nowadays, it’s a bustling hub of boutique stores, great restaurants, and historical pubs. The White Hart Inn dates back to the 1500s and has welcomed the likes of poets Robert Burns and William Worsdworth through it’s doors. What a great place to sit, relax, and journey back in time.
The Scott Monument and Princes Street Gardens – Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2EJ
Travel time: 15 min walk
Combine a visit to the Scott Monument with a walk through the historical Princes Street Gardens and enjoy a spot of shopping in Edinburgh New Town. The Scott Monument, a tribute to the literary figure Walter Scott, sits at the top of the gardens. You can go inside the monument and visit the Museum Room to gain a deeper insight into Walter Scott’s life and work. However, the highlight is the stunning view of the gardens and Edinburgh Castle.
Sunset at Calton Hill – Calton Hill, Edinburgh, EH1 3BJ
Travel time: 25 min bus
If you can muster the strength after your run, make your way up Calton Hill in time for sunset. The sun casts its golden glow down on Edinburgh Old Town, providing the most romantic lighting to sit and view the beautiful city. Calton Hill boasts the National Monument of Scotland, the Nelson Monument, and the Dugald Steward Monument. All of which provide stunning centrepieces to the breathtaking city views. Find a place to sit on the hill to the right of Dugald Stewart Monument; it’s the best spot to watch the sunset by far.
Whiski Bar – 119 High Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SG
Travel time: 10 min bus
Round off your day by wetting your palette with a wee dram of whisky at Edinburgh’s award winning Whiski Bar. Chow down on Scotland’s National dish Haggis, or get the vegetarian version. Both meals are delicious, and worth a try! Whiski Bar has a great selection of local beers, ales, and ciders; and a vast array of Scottish whiskies. Oban, a whisky from the Highlands of Scotland, comes highly recommended as a Beyond Your Doorstep favourite. Slàinte mhath! (Cheers!)