I’ve been getting back into running recently, and to keep things a little more interesting I’ve abandoned my usual local routes, in favour of exploring different areas of the city.
For my first adventure, I parked up on Springfield Road and headed for Johnston Gardens. I’ve driven along Springfield Road hundreds of times and seen the signposts for the Gardens, and I’d heard them mentioned as a favourite location for wedding photos, but had never taken the time to actually visit.
I’m glad I finally did, because they’re lovely. I think I went slightly after the prime time to visit, because the flowers were getting a little past it, but it’s a beautiful place and very peaceful. It’s a small area, nestled in a hollow and only accessible by foot, which all gives a very ‘Secret Garden’ feel. It had rained heavily about ten minutes before, but the gardens were still quite busy – along with me, there were a couple of families, a dog walker and a few pairs of teenagers – and the fresh raindrops just made the flowers all the prettier.
After a nice wander around all the little paths in Johnston Gardens, I headed back in the direction of Hazlehead Park and started following a route marked out by wooden signposts. It was mostly a good, clear route, although there were a couple of places where I came out on a side street and wasn’t entirely sure which way to turn, so I was glad I had my phone to double-check and get me back on the path. I did also feel a little bit isolated at this point and paid more attention to my surroundings just to make sure I didn’t get a fright if someone ran up behind me. Overall though, it was a pleasant run by a woodland stream, with birds singing – and on flat soil, which is always a bonus!
Once I arrived out the other side of this path, I cut across the playing fields in the direction of Hazlehead Park. I only remembered when it was too late that I find this part of running an absolute slog – I know running on grass is supposed to be better for you physically than running on pavement, but I definitely need something a bit more interesting to keep me motivated mentally! Next time I’ll carry on around the road, which joins up with the main pathway through the park.
Hazlehead was its usual gorgeous self, and I stopped to take some photos before heading back to my car through the nearby residential area. This was when the imaginary house hunting started – that wide, open street is a luxury in itself and how cute is the house with the Hobbiton-style door?