Rugged Run – The Seven Hills Of Edinburgh? (Iain)

I’ve previously written about the annual Seven Hills Race in Edinburgh. Find out more here. It is a great race and I recommend it…as long as you like hills.

I decided to run the route to celebrate the first day of the end of a travel ban in Scotland. Coronovirus restrictions (in the previous six months) meant I hadn’t been able to travel further than my own county.

I decided to avoid the countryside hills where I thought everyone else would go. Instead, I treated myself to a trip to Edinburgh. My friend Fiona Outdoors ( had never done the route. She decided to join me. She was relying on me for directions.

I thought the route was 14 miles and seven hills. We ended up doing 18 miles and 8 hills! Next time she won’t rely on me for directions.

You might ask, how is it possible to run eight hills in a seven hill race? Well, it was because one of the hills is actually two summits. The race only goes over one summit. We went over both. I’d argue that it is quite clearly two hills not one but I’m not a geologist. I presume there is a proper explanation for why it’s not two hills so I googled it and got:

“The two summits of Craiglockhart Hill form a prominent landmark which has resulted from the fact that the igneous rock is more resistant to erosion than the surrounding sedimentary rock. The recent ice sheet in particular has helped to mould the present landscape. The igneous rock consists of lava flows and ash layers giving the appearance of bedding which dips towards the west. A short walk to the summit rewards you with breathtaking views of Edinburgh while the southern slopes offer recreation in the form of golf. The local nature reserve is frequently used by the community and has also achieved status as a Biological Site of Special Scientific Interest. The valley between East and West Craiglockhart is probably a glacial meltwater channel.”

I’m not sure that answers the question but it was the best I could find.

Check out the map below to see the route we took. There is a link to the Strava route page.

The video does not do justice to how warm the day was or how steep some the hills are.




Rating: 4 out of 5.

A great way to see Edinburgh but there are some long slogs on pavement. Castle hill via Cortstophine hill to Craiglokhart is particularly urban.


Rating: 1 out of 5.

We took the train. Parking or drving in Edinburgh can be a nightmare.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Lots of cafes, shops, toilets on route.

Nearest cafe

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Thre are many cafe’s on the route.

Run Surface

50% concrete. 50% trail

Dog Friendly

It could be done but mostly on a lead.


841M of elevation.

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