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56. Ratho

start: Cramond
distance: 18 miles
OS map: 65

Ratho route mapA route using a mixture of minor roads, cycle tracks and a canal towpath. Start from the car park at Cramond - nip out to the island if the tide is right - but be aware that the path following the Almond up the Glen can be quite busy at times with some steps to negotiate.

Where the River Almond flows into the Forth at Cramond, there's a small, and (I think) free, ferry service operated by the guy living in the Cobble Cottage who, if he sees you waiting, will row across and pick you up. However, while the Dalmeny estate is happy to allow walkers on their land, cyclists just don't seem to be welcome... head off up the path following the E bank of the river. This is a good trail but you'll need to carry the bike up, and down, sets of steep steps. The path comes out onto a road behind the Cramond Brig pub. Our route goes straight on and follows a path signed for 'Cammo' past a children's play area on the L. Follow it up to the main road by the 'new' road bridge.

Turn L, cross the main road and take the first road on the R, Cammo Road, and go down here to a T junction. Just in front of the iron gates opposite, and almost hidden from view, a path starts on the L and goes over a stream keeping parallel with the road. It comes out in a small car park and you need to follow the road up to a roundabout.

Stay on the path, signed as a cycle route, to the Maybury roundabout and join the A8 heading W. Still following the cycle track, go past the Gogar roundabout to cross the A8 via a footbridge and head back towards Edinburgh on the other side of the road. Take the first road on the R, signed for Gogar Station. As you cross the rail line, turn R heading into open country.

Note: as at August 2004 it seems that the footbridge over the A8 is being relocated so details are awaited as to the provision for cyclists - if anyone has further details, I'll be happy to update the description. jb

When you reach the canal, take the towpath and follow it for a mile or so to Ratho - refreshments available at the Bridge Inn. Going N now to cross the motorway and uphill to gain views across into Fife. Drop downhill but look for a cycle route on the R just before the railway. This is the 'old' road and meets the A8 just by another footbridge; but not as easy to cycle over as the first one.

You're heading for the Newbridge roundabout on the cycle track. To escape the chaos and noise, look for where the track leaves just by a footbridge over the M9 to follow the course of an old railway to Kirkliston and Dalmeny; within minutes you're in open country. In two miles or so you cross over two roads. Just over the second bridge leave the cycle route and cut down to the road just W of Carlowrie Farm.

After 2 miles cross the main A90 and take the 'old' road down to the Cramond Brig. Follow the outbound route back down the Glen to Cramond.

jb, galashiels

Download GPS data in GPX format.

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