In my opinion, there is something about running through a graveyard that just feels a bit disrespectful to me. You never know if mourners are gathering or services are being held, so when several Scottish runners told me I had to run through the Glasgow Necropolis I was a bit wary. Today, while out for my daily run I happened to stumble upon the graveyard entrance and I figured I might as well give it a go and do as the locals do.
The Necropolis is less of a cemetery and more of a 37 acre tourist attraction -- the 3,500 tombstones and graves within the cemetery all date back to the Victorian century and over 50,000 people are buried within the limits. The cemetery was designed in 1831 to accommodate a new push within Britain that sought "burial for profit" in order to relieve the churches of their unmanageable duties. it was determined to be "full" in 1851, which explains why so many local runners suggested it without worry of disturbing any mourners of services (and yes, I felt silly after figuring this out). Since then, the beautiful views and monuments within the Necropolis have made it a popular tourist destination.
The cemetery was designed by a James Steven Curl and the name, the Necropolis, literally translates to "a city of the dead." It was the perfect location for a spooky October/Halloween run!
The park pathways circle about a large hill just east of the Glasgow Cathedral and provides some spectacular views of the cathedral itself as well as the Glasgow cityscape. The circular pathways create a loop that alternates between uphill and downhill slopes, providing runners with an excellent burn but also offering opportunity to catch your breath and rest your leg muscles. Be aware, however, that not all of the trails within the Necropolis are paved (most are gravel or dirt) so be prepared to do some puddle jumping.
Looping the largest circular trail at the base of the cemetery hill was just over a mile run, however I was able to run over 3 miles just by exploring all of the different hidden pathways and bridges on the hill itself.
I'm not gonna lie, it was a bit spooky running through this expansive cemetery by myself on a rainy day. I can admit to getting spooked by the rustling of leaves every once and awhile. At the same time, it made me particularly aware of my surroundings and the views from the highest points of the hill were certainly worthwhile, even on a muggy day.
Work hard and radiate positive vibes,