Kudos to those of you who have been running outside all year in St Andrews — now that you’ve handled sprinting through typhoon level winds along the Scores and slipping down the muddy Lade Braes through the rain, you’re pretty much unstoppable. But for those of us who haven’t the nerve to weather the elements, preferring the St Andrews University Gym (hey, no shame!) for our workouts instead, perhaps now is the time to step outside and check out some of the amazing running paths available around town.
I mean, you gotta get that bikini bod somehow, right?! (Click on the titles to see the running route maps.)
1. West Sands, 9 km
Approximately a 9 kilometer run, I always feel very Chariots of Fire-inspired while on my jogs here. Plus, sometimes you can see people sand yachting (that’s the thing where the people are driving around in little go-cart sailboats — trust me, you’ll know what I’m talking about when you see them) and it makes for a great Snapchat video (and a great excuse for a running break). It’s definitely one of the most beautiful runs in St Andrews, comes with a lovely sea breeze, and, if you go at a prime time, you may see dogs and/or horses on the beach. Score.
2. Lade Braes, 4 km
If you start at the beginning of the Lade Braes on South Street (look for the alleyway next to Madras), and follow it right towards DRA and run back to where you started via Hepburn Gardens, you’ll have a nice 4 km run and probably get some good people watching in. Added that on a nice day the Lade Braes stream is the most adorable thing you’ve probably ever experienced. It’s also a really, really easily accessible from town, yet you won’t be bumping into people left and right like you would be if you were running on Market (aka don’t ever run on Market. Ever.).
3. Fife Coastal Path, Kingsbarns to St Andrews, 10 km
If you’re itching for an adventure, and an escape from the Bubble, take the bus to Kingsbarns, check out the village, and make the approximately 10 km run back into town via the Fife Coastal Path. Better saved for warmer months when it’s been relatively dry (a rare sight for Scotland, but occasionally we’re #blessed with good weather), this trail tends to get super muddy, so make sure you’re wearing some good trail runners.
4. Leuchars, 21 km
Approximately a half marathon in total there and back, this one is perfect for the half marathoners looking for a run that will mimic road racing. There’s also a footpath along the side designed for runners, and it’s got some pretty sweet views of Fife, too.
5. Jannetta’s to the Fairmont, 12 km
Suggested by Spoon St Andrews’s very own running guru, Isla Duckett (who is obsessed with running half marathons), this approximately 12 km run from Jannetta’s on South Street down the A917 (follow the roundabout right outside of Jannetta’s down towards Albany Park, then continue out towards Kinkell Byre, passing the St Andrews Castle Course out to the Fairmont) for great sea views and a hilly climb (but the way back will be all kinds of wonderful). End the run by treating yourself to some Jannetta’s.
6. Mount Melville, 5 km
Leave town and head towards Grange Road where you can continue to run uphill around Mount Melville or enjoy the downhill descend into St Andrews. This is one of my favorite runs because you’ll be hard pressed to find any cars zooming by (which can’t be said about running on the A917 — that one can be hazardous). I love this run just ’cause it really makes me feel like I’m escaping the Bubble.
7. The Aldi, 5 km
This is one of the simplest runs you can possibly make, and a pretty great one no matter where you live, whether it be in town, in the Kinnessburn, or in the Badlands. Start at any point along the A915 (if you’re confused as to where it is, it’s the road with the Shell Garage) and head towards the Hospital/Morrisons. It’s absolutely wonderful just because you can really stay somewhat in town while running on a path without too much traffic.
8. Beaches N’ Golf, 10 km
If you’ve got some particularly keen runner friends visiting, this is the best run I’d suggest. It covers all the major landmarks (you’ll see plenty of golf courses, all three beaches, the castle, and the cathedral) and you won’t really be dodging tourists left and right. It’s also super good if you’re looking for a challenge, ’cause beach running ain’t easy.
9. North Haugh Haul, 6 km
DRA people who a lot of these runs don’t apply to (yeah, we know how far removed you guys are), never fret. This one is tailored for you guys, so listen up. A lil trip to Balgove is thrown in there too. You’re welcome.
10. Canongate, 5 km
A perfect 5 km run, this is the perfect way to escape the Bubble, and you won’t be bothered by too much traffic while on the run. Plus, we can guarantee you’ll run by some insanely pretty sights (so make sure to Instagram!).
Time to get fit, St Andrews.