My Dream European Running Destinations

Sun-kissed evening walks in the hunt for Ready Salted Lays. Ice-cold, overpriced Fanta Lemon coursing through my veins.  Even the dreaded thigh chaffing us girls with big thighs are far too familiar with.  Wow, do I miss the sticky pleasure (of a holiday)! A bikini!  All of it!  While it currently seems extremely slim that I (we) in the UK will be jetting towards the sunshine anytime soon, there really isn’t any harm in manifesting/wistfully wishing my (our) life away…Is there?  

Due to taking up running in Lockdown 1.0, I actually haven’t ever had a run anywhere other than in Manchester.  Here, it is grey, usually cold, and features canals, basins, and rivers to chase  That’s right, no crystal clear beach.  Boo-hoo, indeed.  Our flecks of green space are acceptable, but with the larger parks being cast out in the suburbs, it often takes a lot of planning to get to one.  I must say that the only real perk of Manchester is that it is unbelievably flat.  This fact is one which I thank my lucky stars for, every day.  In short, I am truly craving a change of scenery away from the grey.  Bring me the sunshine!

Ella misses her holidays and wants to run somewhere other than Manchester?  Let’s then dive into a pot pick of dream European countries to run around.  


Athens – Greece

A Greek Mythology adventure awaits in Athens.  The National Gardens, Panathenaic Stadium, The Temple Of Zeus, Socrates Prison, the Acropolis and so much more all within a 10K run according to  Imagine wiping the sweat out of your eyes as you haul yourself around the Panathenaic Stadium, finishing off with a slice of that famed Mediterranean diet.  Honestly, I would love nothing more than to run around the sites of Athens – the number one spot on my to-go list.



Madrid, Spain

Not necessarily the first Spanish city that comes to mind where running is involved, but Madrid has made this list as I am irrevocably and intolerably in love with it.  So much so, that I have basked in its glory on more than one occasion and wrote love letters to it here and here.  While I have visited different pockets of Madrid various times, I am yet to run around the city in its burning heat.  Imagine, rambling down one of the many side-streets by Antón Martín metro station and stumbling on something exciting.  I would adore heading back to Madrid as soon as possible!  Please world, make it happen!



Split, Croatia 

Croatia has been on my hit-up list for 5+ years.  The main reasons being: Game of Thrones and Music Festivals and now running.  Turns out that Split, however – the countries capital – is the hub of Croatian sport.  Beaches, parks, and race-tracks galore; Split has the views, space, and the weather to boot.  I want to wake up and hit the beach for my morning jog before heading to a Croatian bakery for something sweet.  God, a girl can dream!



Vienna, Austria

I haven’t been to Austria before but from a quick, spontaneous (often/all-the-time) google search, the city really looks like it means business.  A city that wouldn’t look out of place on a dairy product’s label, Vienna is a picturesque paradise I am dying to run around the streets of.  City parks, a long, winding 21K river path, and a relatively flat terrain definitely tick all of my boxes.  I am thinking a Mid-May holiday – when temperatures are often reaching 20 degrees?  Yes, that would be totally fine with me.  

So, four cities and a cornucopia of dreams – all we need now is the green light for travel outside of the UK.  Let’s just say I am not expecting to go further than Google Images anytime soon.  

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