New route as Great Scottish Walk returns

Sofia, 5, Nico, 4, and Maia, 2, prepare for the walk. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Sofia, 5, Nico, 4, and Maia, 2, prepare for the walk. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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It was a fixture of the city’s calendar for more than ten years, raising millions of pounds for charities all over Scotland and beyond.

Now the Great Scottish Walk is set to return to the Capital after an absence of six years – with a brand new route and calls for more participants than ever before to sign up and start fundraising.

The family-friendly event – backed by the Evening News – will kick off at 11am on June 21 at Holyrood Park, with walkers given the choice of taking part in either the 10k or 20k routes.

And this year the walk will also be part of the wider Great Scottish Walk and Run Festival, with the Great Scottish Summer Run boasting both 5k and 10k challenges around Holyrood Park and the more leisurely Golden Mile Walk offering one, two or three mile routes designed for those unable to tackle the longer treks.

In the afternoon, meanwhile, the Great Scottish Toddle will give children under six the chance to join in with the adults and raise money for charity – with goody bags and on-site entertainment promising a fun day out for all.

Terry Crossley, who has organised the event since it launched in 1998, insisted it was “good to have it back”.

He said: “It is just over six years since I organised the last Great Scottish Walk, so we would like to reach out to the thousands of walkers who have taken part in previous walks and ask them to join us.

“The first reason people should take part is the health benefit, and the chance to meet new people. The second reason is to raise money for their chosen charity – 100 per cent of the money they raise, they keep to give to the charity.

“And finally, people should take part for that sense of achievement in completing a challenging event.

“We don’t exclude anybody. Anyone who can put one foot in front of the other can come along. We might have a woman who is in excess of 100 years old doing it this year.

“We have a woman coming in from Australia to do it, and one flying in from Florida. That’s quite unique. We hope to make it a nice family day out for everybody.”

He added: “This year the walk will fall on Father’s Day, so there’s quite a lot of people who will be walking for their dads.”

The 20k route will take competitors through Holyrood Park, past Duddingston and on into Portobello, before looping back around Figgate Park and along the southern foot of Arthur’s Seat.

Pipers and drummers from George Watson’s College will even be on hand to line the starting point to ensure competitors get off to a flying start.

Among those taking part in the Great Scottish Toddle will be mum Cecilia Buell and her three children Sofia, five, Nico, four, and Maia, two.

Cecilia, 42, from Juniper Green, said: “It was my friend round the corner who got me into it – they are heavily into running. I’ve never enrolled the kids into anything like this before, but they’ll have a good time.”

Over the ten years that Terry organised the event, the walk raised a staggering £8 million for worthy causes – with a record £1.5m stumped up in 2009, the charity event’s last year of running.

Frank O’Donnell, editor of the Evening News, said: “It is great to see the Great Scottish Walk back in Edinburgh and I’m delighted that the Evening News is able to play its part by offering its support.

“This promises to be a wonderful family-friendly occasion. The combination of walking, running and toddling means that everyone can take part whatever their age or ability.”

To book your place on any of the day’s events, visit