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Challenge yourself with these three great fitness routes in Edinburgh’s West Princes Street Gardens

18th January 2019

Happy New Year! It’s mid January, and hopefully you’re still doing well with your New Year’s resolutions – and if not, it’s not too late!
If one of your goals for 2019 is to get fit and active, then West Princes Street Gardens is just the place to come – not only is it a gorgeous place to be, with scenic surroundings and world famous views, but with a little imagination it also boasts a great range of options for fitness fans.

Here are three great ways to use the Gardens while you get into shape for 2019.

Keeping it simple
Want to get a bit of exercise without wearing yourself out? Enjoy a calm jog a few times round the Ross Fountain (above), or up and down the flat central path connecting the Fountain to the Ross Bandstand.

Challenge
Simply jog 1 mile, equivalent to 14 times around the Fountain, or 11 times between the Fountain and the Ross Pavilion.

Feel the need for speed
If jogging is a little slow for you,  challenge yourself to get from west to east and back as quickly as possible.

Challenge
Start at the steps at the west end of the Gardens’ upper path and run east until you reach the steps at the other end (above)
Take the curving path down behind the Gardener’s Cottage
Come back westward along the lower path, passing behind the Ross Bandstand, heading towards the Fountain
At the Fountain turn uphill to your right, and then left to arrive back at the foot of the steps again.
We make that 1225 yards (or 1.1km) – try to do it in 4 minutes 12 seconds to average 10mph (16kmph), or make it in2 minutes 48 seconds to average 15mph (24kmph)!

Get the blood pumping!
After a real cardio workout? Make use of some of the Gardens’ hillier parts, including the short steep slopes at the Ross Bandstand, the curving path(above)  behind the Gardener’s Cottage and the steps leading up to the western exit onto Princes Street.

Challenge
Start at the back of the bandstand seating and run up to the upper path and back down on the other side. 10 reps
Run to the Gardener’s Cottage and run up and down the curving path at the back. 10 reps
Sprint east to west along the upper path until you reach the steps at the west end. Run up and down the steps. 10 reps
Too easy? Do it all again!

And if that all sounds much too energetic to you, why not just grab a coffee, find one of the Gardens’ many benches and simply enjoy watching others giving it a go!

Disclaimer – as with all exercise, always be sure to warm up and hydrate properly and don’t push yourself too hard.