Category Archives: Central Belt

Crammond Island, Edinburgh

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Total distance –  8.6 Kilometres

Ascent –  50 metres

Walking conditions – Well-defined footpaths, tracks and a single track roads. No difficulties.

Time required – 2.5 to 4 hours

Nearest town – Edinburgh

Barnton and Crammond are two of Edinburgh’s leafiest suburbs. So it should come as no surprise that the scenery is marvellous. This is particularly the case along the River Almond and out into the Firth of Forth. Fortunately for us outdoor types there are no high walls nor electric gates to keep the peasants out, so we can wander freely in this land of captains of industry, well-known authors and other privileged types.

There are a number of places you can park near to the River Almond with varying distances to Crammond Island. We chose to park beside a play-park just off Brae Park because the kids wanted to play, there was good parking and it allowed for a good stroll along the banks of the River Almond. Either way, make your way to the River Almond (East bank) and head north along the well-defined footpath. Continue along past Crammond Boat Club and soon after that, you’ll arrive at Crammond Beach. You’ll see the Firth of Forth together with the causeway leading to Crammond Island, and in the summer months, an ice cream van as well.

The flat concrete causeway to Crammond Island is about 1.1 Kilometres long and you’ll be across it within 15 minutes. But before you continue please note that the causeway will be completely submerged at certain times of the day so make sure you know when the tide will be going in or out. There are notices at the causeway providing information on this. If all is well, walk straight across and onto Crammond Island. There are military fortifications immediately to your front dating back to World War 2. It’s also well worth taking the path to the other side of Crammond Island where there are more fortifications. This is a lovely short walk along a dirt footpath through undulating grassy terrain with brilliant views of the Firth of Forth.  Please note that there tends to be a lot of broken glass at these fortifications. This is largely due to hedonistic teenagers partying overnight, so best to keep a hold of the children here.

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Falls of Clyde, South Lanarkshire

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Total distance – 4.8 kilometres

Ascent – 270 metres

Walking conditions – Footpaths and tracks. Can be muddy in many places especially after prolonged rainfall. Please be aware that there are some very steep drops which are close to the path in places. It can be very dangerous for children to veer off the path.

Time required – Around 2 to 3 hours

Nearest Town – Lanark

New Lanark World Heritage Site is the location of a large cotton mill once owned by Robert Owen. He was an early 19th Century celebrated philanthropist (his exploitation of poor people wasn’t as extreme as his peers) who has been credited with many social reforms including being the founder of infant childcare in Scotland. New Lanark Mill is a fantastic centre and apart from all the interesting and spectacular historical stuff, there’s loads to do with children. Attractions include a playpark, café, an old fashioned sweet shop, roof garden and the Annie McLeod Experience. Unsurprisingly, there are also a number of fantastic walks. In fact , there are no less than 5 official walks form this site alone. On any of these walks the one thing that needs to be stressed is that there will be places where the footpaths are perilously close to high vertical drops into the Clyde. So please keep young children beside you at all times.

From the heritage centre walk in a southerly direction along the footpath which skirts along the edge of the Clyde. After about 800 metres you’ll pass the hydro-electric station and a few hundred metres later you’ll see the falls at the Cora Linn. Continue your walk along the Clyde which in places is very close to sheer cliffs and soon you’ll pass the peregrine watch-site. After another few hundred metres you’ll then reach the falls at the Bonnington Linn where you can cross the Clyde if you so wish. Return via the same route.

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