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near Cramond, Scotland (United Kingdom)
The trip starts at a free parking lot in Cramond, close to the coast. The river Almond flows into the Forth here, and Cramond Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway which is only accessible at low-tide. After having had a look at the scenery, you start off along the coast on Silverknowes Esplanade, a car-free track directly on the sea bringing you to Granton. Along normal roads you cycle via Newhaven to the Ocean Terminal in the Port of Leith. Here I had a peak at the Royal Yacht Britannia and the port by cycling around the Terminal on the north side. After the sneak peek you continue to the Water of Leith in the city center with a short stretch of cobblestones. Via a cycling path along Leith Links Park you cycle back to the coastal road, and soon continue on the promenade along Portobello Beach. The next town on the coast is Musselburgh, where you cross the river Esk. The road out of Musselburgh brings you to a coastal cycling path close to Prestonpans. You keep following the coastal road through Prestonpans, Port Seton, along Seton Sands to Gosford Bay. The road goes through the peculiar Harestanes Wood to Aberlady and along Aberlady Bay. Through Luffness Golf Course you cycle on to Gullane. Shortly after you take the turn-off for Dirleton with its kirk and castle. The next town is North Berwick from where the boat excursions start to the peculiar volcanic Bass Rock with the world’s largest colony of Northern gannets. The rock is white with guano and nesting birds. Just outside town is another peculiar volcanic hill, North Berwick Law, which you pass by on your way towards Tantallon Castle. The road already offers great views of Bass Rock. I did visit Tantallon Castle. You can park your bike outside, and as it is mostly grass, you can walk from the entrance on your race bike shoes to the castle. On the inner close you have great views again of Bass Rock and the coast. You can also climb the castle (bike shoes off…) for better views. It is definitely worth the break in your bike trip. After having visited the castle you continue on the A198 and make a short detour via the private road to Seacliff. Via the A198 you ride to Tyninghame. From this village it is a short stretch to a ford in the river Tyne which you cross on your bike, but rather take the footbridge next to it. From here you largely follow cycling route 76 past East Linton to Haddington along the Tyne valley. In Haddington, you switch to cycling route 196 with exception of the short stretch of gravel cycling path outside Haddington. This route takes you past East and West Saltoun to the start of the Pencaitland Railway Track. This is a mixed walking/cycling trail on gravel, which is less suited for a road bike, but ok for a trekking bike. I therefore took a detour past Glenkichie Distillery and largely minor roads to Cousland (nice views towards Arthur’s Seat/Edinburgh) where you meet up with route 196 again. You shortly follow this route and then continue on route 1, which takes you along largely dedicated cycling paths to the center of Edinburgh. The last stretch before Holyrood Park is on the Innocent Railway. You then take a round-trip on Queen’s Drive around Holyrood Park taking you past the Salisbury Crags and Holyrood House and up the one-way road to Dunsapie Loch. After completing this tour you cycle on to the Meadows and then Johnston Terrace below Edinburgh Castle. You cycle up to the Royal Mile and directly descend the Mound to Princess Street. Via George Street you cycle to Haymarket, where you join cycling route 1 and shortly after Roseburn Path starts. You follow this cycling path on a former railway line to Blackhall Path and then on to Cramond. In Cramond you cycle down to the River Almond before returning to the starting point.