Outdoors Magazine

Piers, Water and Hills: An Unplanned Cycling Adventure

By Contemplatingtheclouds @contempclouds

Winter is the season that you tend to huddle up indoors, looking out grimly at the howling gale; but just occasionally you get out to have a little adventure. On Saturday I was a bit bored; I’d already walked the dog, put off all things I probably ought to be doing, the rugby hadn’t started (although missing that would not exactly have been a tragedy) and I was waiting for the wonders of technology to update themselves before I could progress any further on the blogging front (I really, really don’t get computers). As it was a nice enough afternoon – and by that I mean dry and light, those were pretty much its only redeeming features – I decided that it was time I went out on my bike and did a little exercise.

Bike at Granton Harbour, Edinburgh
‘Adventure’ is possibly the wrong word to describe my trip; I didn’t actually go anywhere I hadn’t been before, but it was a case of “I’ll just go a little further this way” and “perhaps I’ll go right here”. But whilst I know my little corner of Edinburgh quite well I’d never actually cycled down to Granton. Urban regeneration – and other such buzzwords – have treated that part of town pretty well over the last decade or so, and on a calm day the whole place becomes rather peaceful.

We tend to think of Newhaven as the area for boats, with its stone harbor and lighthouse, but I always tend to forget that most of the little boats are kept along at Granton Harbour. It’s also substantially bigger than I realised, with its old (much more cobbled together than its neighbour) stone pier reaching out far into the Firth of Forth.

Panoramic Looking down the pier Granton Harbour, Edinburgh

Once I’d sat and pondered my ‘discovery’ for a minute or two (it was a little too cold for sitting on stone for very long) I got back on my bike and went along in the direction of Gypsy Brae and Silverknowes.

Looking out from the promenade between Granton and Silverknowes, Edinburgh

Back in the comfort of the well-known I went along the sweeping promenade, dodging inbetween dog walkers and old grannies loudly moaning about “yooffs” cycling along a walking path (I can only assume she left her glasses at home with her false teeth, as I don’t think I really come under that category any more and neither do the other adults cycling along the front, which coincidentally is also a cycling route).

Crammond Island and up the Forth estuary, Edinburgh

By the time Crammond Island and its submarine-proof causeway came properly in to view I decided it was time I braved the cycle home. Whilst the shoreline might suffer with global sea level rises, the rest of this part of town really won’t; by the time I got to the top of the succession of hills and paused to catch my breath, the sun was well and truly beginning to fade away for the day. I got back in time to watch the majority of the rugby – and wish that I’d left the hill for later and taken the protracted trip back by Crammond and the river Almond.


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