As I boarded the train from Kings Cross, London on Friday evening, a journey I’ve done many a time since I moved, I realised I hadn’t been back home (without it being for Christmas or birthday celebrations) in quite a while. Edinburgh is my favourite city, don’t argue. It has everything and I couldn’t be happier to call it my home.
Here’s what you can squeeze in to a February weekend (weather dependent) –
On Saturday morning we got up, ate porridge and set off for Harlaw at the foot of the Pentland Hills. My plan was to climb West and East Kip hills, which I’m embarrassed to say I hadn’t done before, so we made a route to take in these, and then some…
We followed the route of the 7 Reservoirs race, but dipped in and out of the forest around Harlaw reservoir for shelter from the wind, and instead of turning left at the top of the first big climb, we took a right. From here we headed over the muddy tracks to the bottom of the Kips, which as we looked up were covered in a thick cloud. It didn’t look promising that we’d get any kind of view from the top but we made our way up, hoods up, hands-on-knees climbing. We reached the summit of West Kip, took a very quicky selfie before the wind blew us off! and rushed down, climbed East Kip, then finally made it down and out of the wind at Glencorse Reservoir.
From here we ran almost the length of the reservoir before turning up left towards Bonaly, but following the rocky track straight ahead back to Harlaw. 18km in the bag with a few good ascents and I was pleased I was able to try my new Inov-8 roclite shoes ahead of our trip to La Palma.
For lunch we met my family in Stockbridge – they were headed to watch the rugby in the afternoon – so we grabbed some soup and sandwiches in lovely Henri’s, a French deli and perfect lunch spot. The white bean, leek and rosemary soup was a hit and I think Nige’s posh bacon brioche went down very well!
Back home we showered off the mud and spent the evening reading guidebooks and maps and planning out routes for our upcoming trip to La Palma.
On Sunday we headed into the city by bus to Lululemon on George Street, they offer free weekly classes and this morning Pilates Plus Physio were on hand to take us through a pilates class using the Evo ball. The store packs out their basement space with 60 mats and it was a bit of a tight squeeze but a great class, working on posture, strength and stretches. After the class we ran down the hill of Dundas Street to meet my sister for coffee and treats, and as the newly opened Bearded Baker was full we settled on Bluebird Cafe for flat whites, scones, pancakes and cheesecakes over catch ups.
We’ve never run the journey back from the city out to Nige’s new place so with full bellies we planned a route, taking in Calton Hill, Arthur’s Seat, Blackford Hill and the Braids of course. A little reverse Edinburgh 7 hills race if you will. Thinking this might add up to 10km or so as Nige climbed Arthur I weaved my way around the tourists up the Crags instead, when we reached Mortonhall Estate, close to home, we looked at our watches to find that it was more like 15km. Good to know!
My train back to London was late afternoon from Waverley, so I didn’t have long to pack my bag and head into the city again. Sundays are always a love-hate relationship with long distance – a great weekend spent together but sad goodbyes until the next time we see each other. Next stop…La Palma though! and I am most excited about that!