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76. The Gegan

start: Tantallon Castle
distance: 21 miles
OS map: 66, 67

The Gegan route mapThis is a variation of an earlier route which started from Dunbar, but it's sufficiently different to justify its inclusion here. It does involve about three miles along the beach/foreshore and this can be quite hard work. Sand, of course, is not bike-friendly and so the beach section is left until last...

Start from Tantallon Castle and head along the road towards North Berwick. For a little variation, look out for a path going down what is known as The Glen at (563 848). It brings you out by a golf course and gives easy access to the front.

North Berwick is a bustling place with a harbour and beach. Leave the town on the B1347 heading uphill and signed for Haddington. North Berwick Law is up to your left. There are a number of possible variations on a route to the village of East Linton and that's where you're aiming for now.

Take the road out of the village passing Preston Mill and follow the first turning on your left. The road climbs gently for a short while before dropping down to meet a wood on the right. A path leads off to the R for almost a mile through this pleasant woodland. When it meets the A198 go straight across and down Limetree Walk. There's a car park at the end of the road and this is now part of the John Muir Country Park.

At the end of the car park a path leads off to the right and down towards Tyne Sands. Note two tracks off to the L, the second one just before you reach the beach. This last track is the one to take as it leads easily through woodland and out to St Baldred's Cradle on the point. A fine spot and always changing with the tides and the weather.

Take a narrow path heading east and make your way down to the beach. The best time to do this is at mid to low tide when you can ride pretty well all of the beach for a couple of miles or so until rocks make the going a little more difficult. High tide doesn't present any danger but it will mean that you'll probably be pushing for most of the way.

The coast become a little rocky but there are still parts of it that you can cycle. The Bass Rock looms large up ahead. Eventually you'll work your way round to a beach where there are some steps leading up to a small parking area. At the far end of the beach is a tiny bizarre man-made harbour - you won't even know it's there until you almost fall into it. Go and see for yourself and you'll also be rewarded with a good view of Tantallon Castle from here.

Make your way up the track from the parking area to join the main road, from where it's just a short distance back to the start.

jb, galashiels

Download GPS data in GPX format.

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