Aberdeenshire & Angus
Following the success of their first collaboration event earlier this year with Haddo House, North Hop has again teamed up with the National Trust for Scotland, to put on a range of events across Aberdeenshire & Angus this summer. These family friendly events will be taking place during July, August & September, in the hope the sun will make an appearance – although there will be a combination of indoor and outdoor spaces to keep each even running smoothly regardless. Each event has a different theme, with each showcasing an amazing variety of local produce, street food, bars and market traders.
NTS North East Catering & Hospitality Manager David Edgar said “I’m very excited to be working alongside North Hop over the course of this summer and bringing a series of events to the North East. It’s a great opportunity for the public to enjoy the fantastic castles, mansions, gardens and estates we have here, all whilst having the opportunity to experience some great food and drink from around the region.”
David continued “For us it’s been amazing to see the love that is out there for the venues from both members of the public and our amazing suppliers. We are also absolutely delighted to have partnered with Premier Coaches, who will be making the Aberdeenshire venues accessible from Aberdeen, Inverurie, Old Meldrum and Ellon without the need for a car!”
Michelle Russell, North Hop Director said "“Some folk thought we were completely mad setting up these events for this year with only a few months of build up and planning time, but the energy and effort from all involved has really shown it is possible! The unique themes and different vendor and entertainment line ups for these events has really helped them to stand out, and being able to reach out to both North Hop and National Trust for Scotland’s audience has been great too.”
North Hop x House of Dun - Exploring Angus
First up is the North Hop x House of Dun - Exploring Angus event. Taking place on Saturday 27 July 2019 10am to 5pm and Sunday 28 July 2019 10am to 5pm at the historic House of Dun, which gives stunning views out onto the Montrose Basin. Market goers will be able to enjoy amazing local produce and enjoy refreshments from brands such as 71 Brewing & Arbikie all whilst local musicians perform.
This event is both child and dog friendly.
North Hop x Castle Fraser - USA Roots
Next up at the historic setting of Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire is North Hop x Castle Fraser - American Roots. Taking place on Saturday 31st August & Sunday 1st September, 10am to 5pm, the event looks to bring together some awesome American elements with our Scottish roots. Festival goers can expect loads burgers, doughnuts, themed bars and local market traders, all in a family friendly environment.
This event is both child and dog friendly.
North Hop x Haddo House - Doggy Day Out
And finally, taking place on Saturday 28th & Sunday 29th September from 10am to 5pm is North Hop x Haddo House - Doggy Day Out. Returning to the scene of their first collaboration event, North Hop has again teamed up with Haddo House to bring together an event filled with fun for dogs. Your four legged friends will be able to enjoy the doggy bar, treats, pampering products and more. Of course, there will be plenty for the humans to enjoy too with bars, market traders and more tasty street food.
This event is human friendly.
Tickets are available from http://northhop.com/events
Adults £4 + BF advance, £5 at the door, kids under 12 go free, VIP tickets available, small discount for NTS members at the door.
50% of all ticket sales go to National Trust for Scotland to support the great work they do across their properties.
Premier Coaches will be running shuttle buses from/to Aberdeen, Inverurie, Old Meldrum and Ellon for all Aberdeenshire events for only £5 return.
The Basin Rambler (Angus Transport Group) will be running shuttle buses from/to Montrose Train Station for the Angus event.
Follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @NorthHop and share your pictures using the hashtags:
What I Can't Run Without
Ever since starting running, around three years ago now, I have gone through a whole bunch of different gear as I try to find what works right for me. When I first started out, I was wearing trainers that weren't meant for running, baggy assed shorts in which I would carry my phone in the pocket, all whilst going through about four pairs of headphones because they kept breaking. Yeah...it wasn't ideal
Since then, I've slowly built up my running kit - and whilst I still don't quite have all the gear I need, I have definitely picked up a few essential pieces along the way. In this post, I'll run through a few of those items, and why I think they are so great. You never know, you might find something you never knew you needed!
First up is the bit of kit on this list that I've had the longest, and probably the one that I find most useful - a FlipBelt.
Previous to owning a FlipBelt, I used to carry everything in the pockets of my shorts, or whatever jacket I may have been wearing - which would include my phone, keys, energy/nutritional products and occasionally, cards/money. This just didn't really work in the long term, so I started looking for something more suitable. I'd never really been a fan of the running armbands, and had always fancied more of a belt option - and that's when I found the FlipBelt.
The FlipBelt is a lightweight, high quality, one piece lycra belt that can store almost anything you need during a run. It has multiple pockets with plenty room for your phone, keys, cards, energy gels and anything else you might need - it is also extremely compact in width, which leaves minimum room for bounce during your run. It does a good job of protecting your items from the rain too, and it's also machine washable so you can chuck it in the wash to freshen it up when needed.
I would 100% recommend a FlipBelt to any runner. I haven't looked back since buying mine, and if the day comes where it breaks, or gets lost - it will be instantly replaced.
Jaybird tarah pro Wireless Earbuds
Next up are headphones. Now, whilst not every runner likes to run without music - I can't do without it. I can't stand the sound of my own breathing when running, plus the extra bit of motivation the right song can give is priceless and that's why I decided to invest in a good, high quality pair - the Jaybird Tarah Pro wireless earbuds.
Before owning the Jaybird Tara Pro earbuds, I went through countless pairs of wired buds that would all eventually break - sometimes even mid-run, which was ANNOYING! I eventually changed to a cheaper pair of wireless buds, and whilst these were great for a while, they weren't perfect; the wire would get sticky, uncomfortable and bounce around, the battery life eventually gave up and they would soon only last an hour or so - which was less than ideal during marathon training. I decided that I needed to up my game, and after lots of research, settled on the Jaybird Tara Pro's. Honestly, I read so many articles and watched so many YouTube reviews to make sure I'd made the right choice.
And I'm happy to say that I have 100% made the right choice. I love these earbuds. They have such a high quality, premium build, the weighted braided cable doesn't get sticky or bounce around and not to mention the 14-hour battery life, which is just incredible in itself. You can even wear them in two orientations- over, or under the ear (over ear is my preferred when running). I just can't imagine running without them now. They aren't just my running headphones either, they are my everyday headphones that I wear in the office too, and the epic battery life means I can wear them all day, then head out for a run after work without worrying about needing to charge them up, or them dying on me during then run.
Garmin Forerunner 235
Ever since I first started getting serious about running, I always felt that there was something missing, something that would help take my training to the next level. That turned out to be a watch.
I used to just run with my phone in my Flipbelt, using the Strava app to track my runs - which was fine, I mean it worked ok, and it gave me some base level stats to work with. But it didn't give me everything I needed; it couldn't track my heart rate, the GPS could be spotty and it was reliant on my phone's battery - which wasn't always ideal during longer runs. So I did some research, and decided I was going to go for the Garmin Forerunner 235 - I know it's an older model, and there are far more advanced versions out there now, but I knew it would give me what I needed, and not to mention the difference in price! It just so happened that Black Friday was just around that corner, and it coincided with the start of my marathon training plan.
I managed to pick up the Garmin at a very decent price, and I couldn't be happier with it - sure I know a time will come that I'll need to upgrade to a newer model, but for now the Forerunner 235 is one of the most trusted parts of my running gear. It's so simple to use, and it links up with Strava seamlessly. There is the occasional blip, with servers being down etc - but that happens all the time (glares at you, Instagram). It may be part of my running kit, but I also wear it every day...it is a watch after all!
Rockay Blaze Compression Sleeves
Compression is something you have to take seriously. I always knew it was a big deal, but I never really learned how big a deal until quite recently. Over the course of my running career I've quite often suffered with occasional issues with my shins, and calves - which is not ideal. Some basic research taught me that one potential solution could be calf compression sleeves, so I went out an bought a pair. My first pair were nothing fancy, a basic pair that cost around £10, and whilst they never completely solved all the issues (they never would though), they definitely helped.
Over the course of the last year, I've had a fair few calf issues that has hindered my training, and even races (all whilst wearing my sleeves), so I decided to do a little more research. One thing I never really took into consideration with compression was recovery - wearing the compression sleeves after running to help my muscles recover. So I decided to buy a more premium product, and after yet more research I ended up buying the Rockay Blaze Calf Compression Sleeves. These are night and day ahead of what I was wearing before - It's hard to explain fully, but they just fit perfectly, and whilst not every run is pain free, these have helped massively, and I guess a large part of that is down to wearing them for recovery. I now wear these for a couple of hours after almost every run - I'll get home, stretch, jump in the shower and then put them back on and just wear them around the house. I really can feel the difference, and I never run without them, 3 miles, or ten miles, it doesn't matter.
I would 100% recommend these to anyone that experiences any level of discomfort whilst running - I am fairly certain that they will help in some way or another. They fit great, they look great, and that aren't overly pricey either, for a premium product. I can't see me running without them any time soon!
Finally, I have the product that solved probably my biggest problem I encountered whilst running...CHAFING! Previously whilst out on longer runs - around five miles or more, I would almost always encounter some level of chafing, and it would drive me mad! It would occasionally make runs so uncomfortable I couldn't handle it. Thankfully, I quickly found a solution - Runderwear.
I've had my first pair of Runderwear for around five months now, and there's no way I would ever contemplate running without them any time soon. They fit absolutely perfectly, they are made of a great cooling material and they are an absolute dream to run in! There really isn't much left to say about them, other than that if you go off and buy one thing from this list, then make it Runderwear - I guarantee that you will not regret it.
So there you have it, the running kit that I absolutely cannot run without. Is there anything that's absolutely essential to your running kit that you think I should be using? Let me know in the comments.
There's a couple of special mentions I left off the list, because they aren't essential - my Goodr running sunglasses, because everyone needs to look cool whilst running right? And my race number magnets, because it's about time we all stopped making holes in our good running shirts!
I also didn't add my running shoes to the list, because I don't think I've found the perfect pair yet. I'm currently running with the On Cloudflow, but I think they are near the end of their lift and I'm looking to upgrade with the NYC Marathon on the horizon. I'm currently weighing up between sticking with On, or trying out a new brand like Nike or Hoka. Any suggestions?
All Aberdeen Aberdeenshire Beer BrewDog Cyprus Everything Else Festival Half Marathon Marathon Marathon Training Marvel Mexico Movies Music Netflix New York North Hop Paris Podcast Pop Culture PS4 Race Report Review Running Star Wars The Menzingers Travel True Crime TV Video Games