Whether you’re trying to get fit or are a regular competitive runner, Aberdeen’s beautiful landscape offers a wonderful variety of green spaces to admire during your workout instead of pounding the treadmill. Take a look at our selection of great spots to explore whilst running, jogging or even enjoying a leisurely stroll.
We’re going to be a little biased with this one, as Forbes Place sits within it, but the Stoneywood Estate really does make for a picturesque running route. With two grade B listed buildings, including Stoneywood House, the Estate’s paths weave around the historic landscaped grounds, and those impressive buildings will certainly help take your mind off your aching calves!
You might even catch a glimpse of the wild deer that live within the Estate grounds, and in the winter months the main pathways are very well lit, so you can still enjoy your post-work run or walk.
Kirkhill Forest and Tyrebagger Hill
For a more rural trek, head up the A96 to Kirkhill Forest, west of Aberdeen Airport. There are a range of different trail paths which are pretty well marked and quiet, climbing to the top of Tyrebagger Hill.
Take a moment to appreciate the great views of the surrounding areas; there’s even a small viewing tower. Running up the whole hill will require some stamina from the serious athletes among you, but whilst in the forest, perhaps take a small detour to admire the grand fir trees that call Tyrebagger home, towering high above.
Hazlehead Park is a great space for runners of all abilities. Every Saturday morning they host a ‘Park Run’, a volunteer led 5K which has destinations across the UK. Pull on your trainers and kick your weekend off to a great start.
If you fancy venturing a bit further into the woodland, there are plenty of off road tracks to run on within Hazlehead Park. The Friends of Hazlehead charity are currently working on improving 4 colour coded running routes to make the paths up to Olympic standard.
Winding through the county and out to the North Sea is the River Don, which makes for a beautiful run. Footpaths accompany different sections of the River, so you’re best mapping a route before you head out.
For a roughly 3-mile course, join the woodland trail at Persley Bridge and with the river to your left, head for the coast. You’ll run past Seaton Park where you’ll find walled gardens and formal flower beds if you fancy a change of scene, or continue on towards Donmouth Nature Reserve and the shore. Ramp up your work-out by running back as well.
One of the biggest public parks in Aberdeen, Duthie Park is a superb 44-acre space designed for year round visitors. The Park’s wonderful floral displays and fountains have earned it a Green Flag award for the third year running. And it’s sheer size makes it an ideal place to change up your route; you could try a few laps around the boating lake or head to the historic band stand where you can jog round the lawns.
If you don’t fancy running, Duthie Park makes a great afternoon out with friends or family. There’s lots of children’s play areas and the David Welch Winter Gardens, one of the largest indoor gardens in Europe, is worth a visit in itself.
Formartine and Buchan Way
Starting out at Dyce railway station, the Formartine and Buchan Way follows the disused railway line through the heart of Aberdeenshire as far as Fraserburgh or Peterhead depending on the route. The old railway line passes through lots of small towns along the way so you can cater your journey to whatever distance suits you; heading to Udny station is just over 8 miles.
The line travels through the Aberdeenshire countryside and after leaving Dyce, is quickly populated with wildlife. The Way is popular with cyclists and dog walkers and there’s no chance of getting lost as the railway lines will guide your course.
These running destinations explore some of the greenery of Aberdeenshire. Pop on your trainers or walking boots, soak up the scenery and improve your fitness in the process.