Blue Monday: Edinburgh's top 5 lunchtime walks to beat the January blues
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It’s no secret that walking can greatly improve your physical and mental health – and to mark Blue Monday (January 16th), the saddest day of the year, TRIP has rated and analysed the best Edinburgh lunchtime walks to help cheer you up.
The CBD brand did this by scraping alltrails.com for every UK city, adding parameters of <5km, >1500 km elevation, easy difficulty, and light to moderate trail traffic.
Wellness expert and TRIP co-founder, Olivia Ferdi, says: “Movement always helps whenever I’m feeling low – be it stretching, taking walking meetings or cardio, it works every time to clear my mind.
“Try taking breaks to go on a walk, shifting your environment will give your mind a reset and reinvigorate your perspective.”
As it’s still dark in the mornings, TRIP compiled a list of the best lunchtime walks to squeeze in during the middle of your work day to help overcome Blue Monday and other challenging days of the year.
Below are the top five rated walks to get the ‘blue’ out of Monday.
Hermitage of Braid Circular
This 2.9-km circular goes from Braid Hills up towards Blackford Hill, so you’ll have to factor in some degree of elevation gain. Still it’s considered an easy route and takes an average of 41 minutes to complete. This trail is popular for hiking, walking and running, but you can still enjoy some solitude in the least busy times of the day. On a rainy day the woodland paths can be muddy so do not forget your wellies and if you bring a dog remember that they need to be on lead.
The Innocent Railway
This 3.7-km out-and-back trail takes a little under 1 hour to complete and it is suitable for most abilities. Keep in mind that this trail is shared between walkers and cyclists and tends to be crowded on sunny weekends. This easy trail is perfect for a change of scenery during your lunchtime and dogs are welcome too!
Edinburgh Architecture Walking Tour
This route is most popular amongst city centre residents as it starts in the new town and ends at Holyrood Palace, passing by all Edinburgh’s UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. The whole 4.7-km route takes an average of 1 hour and and 14 minutes to complete, but usuals to the route say you can easily cut it shorter if you do not have enough time. It is considered an easy route as the whole route is paved but you will still challenge yourself as overall there is a 92 metres elevation gain.
Braid Hills: The Ride
This 5-km walk circle around Braid Hills, which takes just under an hour twenty to complete. This is a popular trail for walking, running, hiking and mountain biking as it offers a nice mix of woodlands and open terrain to explore. The relatively flat route makes it suitable for all ages and fitness levels. People reviewing this trail warn to “watch out for horse riders” as this trail is also popular amongst horse riders.
Easter Craiglockhart Hill and Pond Circular
Wander through this short 2.3-km circular route around Easter Craiglockhart Hill, which takes around 41 minutes to complete. This route rises dramatically through steepy wooded slopes and cliff facades. This trail is great for hiking and walking immersed by greenery. While you will have to go through a steep path, from the top you will be able to view Edinburgh’s landscape on a sunny day. This walk is also said to have been a favourite of war poets Wilfred Owen (1893-1918) and Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967) during their First World War stay at the nearby Craiglockhart War Hospital.