Wednesday 3 June 2015
Musselburgh to North Queensferry
55 miles cycling (25 miles of coast covered)
I have to admit I wasn’t overly excited about walking around the Edinburgh City coastline so when Ali suggested cycling instead I jumped at the chance. What a great idea. I would cover the same coastal route and could fit more in on a bike.
I set off through Dalkeith Country Park to the coast at Musselburgh. The first section was mostly on promenades through Joppa and Portobello; which seemed like quite an upmarket seaside town with some upmarket cafes.
After that it’s around the corner, negotiating the Port of Leith. There is a sewage works and some industrial buildings to get around first and the walk/bike signs sent me down a dead end into Leith industrial estate so I was glad not to be walking. I popped around the back of the Ocean Terminal shopping centre to get a glimpse of the Royal Yacht Britannia that is permanently moored here and you can pay to visit.
The route along the North coast of Edinburgh was quite dull until I reached Silverknowles and zipped along the promenade towards Crammond Island.
The tide was coming in and, despite all the sand in the photo, I didn’t have time to cross to the island and back. From here I had to take a 1.5 mile detour inland in order to cross the River Almond. I followed a footpath and had to carry the bike up and down a few steps. Not too hard though.
It was easy cycling through the park land surrounding Dalmeny House.
As I cycled out of Dalmeny Park suddenly it was there, right in front of me, the Forth rail bridge. What a magnificent sight.
I stopped in South Queensferry to admire the view. This little town maintains a cobbled street and some quaint, old shops and taverns, and it is the disembarkation point for people arriving on huge liners to visit Edinburgh. Fortunately none were docked in the Forth today and it was rather quiet.
The cycle over the bridge was great as the views were amazing. I can’t believe I didn’t know a 2nd road bridge is being built; a sign I’m from the South I suppose.
Once off the bridge I cycled up the Ferry Hills overlooking a large quarry and then down a very steep hill into North Queensferry. I admired the old pier and the light tower that enabled the boats that provided the Queensferry passage in the 1800s, before the rail bridge was built in 1890.
It was time to head back across the bridge and I was lucky that the number 1 cycle route goes from the Forth Road Bridge, through Edinburgh city centre, all the way to Dalkeith. (Actually it goes from Dover to Shetland.) Brilliant. I followed it all the way back and only got lost once when the signs disappeared as I exited Meadow Park near the university. What a bonus; all the city sights as well as the coast path. What a great day. I was tired and had a sore backside by the end though!