We’ve rounded some of the best running spots across Scotland – for both beginners and experienced athletes – to ensure that your weekly jog continues long after lockdown in part 2 of our running guide

The Helix Path, Falkirk

This custom-made circular path is easy to follow and easy to run, even for those who are new to the sport. Depending on how far you want to go, this route takes in woodlands, waterfalls and the family-friendly Helix Park, alongside the spectacular Kelpies. These huge stainless-steel horses are one of the most impressive landmarks in central Scotland, and provide a great focal point for the finish line of your run. They look great in the daytime but are arguably even more impressive at night, when they are illuminated from within in bright purple colours.

Loch Rannoch, Perthshire

Offering great scenery – sandy beaches, pine trees and mountain views – but very little traffic, Loch Rannoch is the perfect place to lose yourself in a run. It is reasonably flat and tends to be quiet, apart from the odd pine marten and red squirrel that you might come across in the section that passes through the Wood of Rannoch. There is also a Crannog near the far west of the loch, which was used as a base for outlawed members of the MacGregor clan during the 18th century. It offers an excellent spot to stop, take some pictures and reward yourself for a run well done.

Gleniffer Braes, Paisley

Known locally as ‘the Braes’, this country park feels a world away from the urbanised centre of Paisley, despite being located just south of the town. It boasts its own herd of Highland cows, as well as woodland, marshland and a large reservoir: so you’ll be spoiled for choice for somewhere to run. A daytime jog might see you encounter skylarks, kestrels and sparrowhawks, while a visit at dusk offers the chance to spot tawny owls out hunting for voles. Certain spots also offer extensive views of Paisley, Renfrew and beyond, as well as the occasional plane taking off from Glasgow Airport.

Culbin Forest, Moray

As we head into winter, Scottish weather is likely to make running a lot less pleasant than it was during the early months of lockdown in the spring. The thick canopies of Culbin Forest should, therefore, provide a bit of cover during the worst of the cold and wet weather. It also offers a variety of terrain: forest tracks, sand dunes and the expanse of Findhorn Bay beyond.

Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow

Reasonably small and almost always busy, Kelvingrove might not be an obvious choice for a run. But with its steep hills and varied terrain, this west end park offers surprisingly good options for runners. Those looking to take it easy can use the park as a springboard to follow the path of the River Kelvin, as it leads out towards the Botanic Gardens, which offers the chance to see some scenic woodland without having to tackle any particularly tricky terrain. But if you want to push yourself that bit more, you can run from the river back into the park and then attempt the short, very steep hills that lead up towards Park Circus. There is even a set of two dozen concrete steps that some fitness buffs use to perform exercises up and down – but tackle these only if you dare.

St Abbs to Eyemouth, Scottish Borders

Running along a coastal path inevitably brings with it a fair bit of headwind. But if you can put up with a sea breeze, then this route will offer a lovely variation on your usual jogging circuit, with the benefit of being much quieter than most urban parks. Well-signposted so you won’t get lost, the path down to Eyemouth takes in stretches of harbour, clifftop and beaches as it weaves its way along the east coast. The fishing village of St Abbs – which was used for filming part of Marvel Avengers: Endgame – provides a picturesque starting point for the route. You then take the coastal path along Coldingham Bay and up over the cliffs, where you might be lucky enough to spot some roe deer. When you reach Eyemouth there are buses to take you back where you came, or, if you feel fit enough, you can run the 6km distance back to St Abbs.

Sutherland’s Grove, Barcaldine, Argyll

A run around the secluded forest of Sutherland’s Grove is the perfect way to escape from the stress of modern life. It boasts oak, pine and fir trees (some as tall as 175 feet), as well as fast-flowing rivers and a dramatic gorge carved out by the Abhainn Teithil burn. Some of the paths are quite steep, so it provides a great place to run if you are really trying to push yourself or improve your fitness: just be sure to watch your footing as the weather gets more wintry and brings with it some potentially slippery conditions. If you do visit on a particularly cold day, you might be lucky enough to see icicles hanging from the trees near the gorge – creating an ideal opportunity for a photo to share on Strava.

Achmelvich Beach and Alltan'abradhan, Sutherland

The beautiful Sutherland beach of Achmelvich appears both Aegean and Nordic at once: with turquoise water and pristine sand that is juxtaposed by jagged rocks and rugged hills. To get there, try running along the coastal route via Alltan’abradhan. Start in the Achmelvich Beach car park and follow the footpath over the grassy coastal hills, stopping at the old grain mill on your way. Continue on to the glorious beach and make sure to take as much time as you need to soak up the pretty special views. If you want to extend your run further – and discover the smallest castle in Europe – then head off the beach and up the rock to the tiny ‘hermits’ castle which was built by a young architect in the 1960s.

Cramond, Edinburgh

Literary fans will recognise Cramond as the home of Mr Lowther in Muriel Spark's novel The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. But as well as being a favourite haunt of Miss Brodie, the village is popular with runners due to its scenic – yet mainly flat – landscape. You have plenty of options of routes to take, with a gentle jog along the banks of the River Almond one of the routes favoured by locals. But arguably the best bit of Cramond is its seafront, which offers views of the top of the Forth Road and Rail Bridges, striking anti-boat barriers, and famously the Cramond Fish, an eight-tonne sculptural carving made by sculptor Ronald Rae. There’s a regular parkrun event that follows the promenade down towards Silverknowes and back again, usually running on Saturday mornings and open to people of all abilities. Parkrun is currently suspended due to coronavirus but the event is due to start again in England at the end of October, so hopes are high for a Scotland restart soon.

Loch Leven, Perth and Kinross

If you aren’t already familiar with trail running, it involves running on hiking trails, paths or tracks, often compromising some steep inclines along the way. But luckily, Loch Leven offers a gentle introduction to trail runners for beginners, with very few hills to tackle. It is relatively sheltered, so can be run even in the wintertime, and at only 20km it isn’t too far to go. You can start from the Loch Leven National Nature Reserve and go either left or right around the loch: with plenty of great scenery and wildlife to be spotted on your way round. Watch out for pink-footed geese, ducks, swans, butterflies and even dragonflies, which can all be seen at this time of year.