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.
Total distance – 7.2 kilometres
Ascent – 40 metres
Walking conditions – Roads, footpaths (or sandy beach). No difficulties. Buggy compatible.
Time required – Around 2 to 3 hours
Nearest Town – South Queensferry
The South in South Queensferry may be optional, but a visit to this charming town on the shore of the Firth of Forth is obligatory. Try to visit before the new bridge has been constructed as the building works are amazing to look at. That’s right, there will soon be three bridges over the Forth, in close proximity. After all we’re in the land of plenty with trams and Holyrood and investment galore. The walks aren’t half bad either. The walk from South Queensferry to Hounds Point is just one such walk.
Find a parking space in the cobbled Queensferry High Street and follow this road going eastwards. After just over 1 Km you’ll be at the foot of the Forth Rail Bridge with Hawe’s Inn (featured in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped) on your right. Another few hundred metres takes you to the start of the Dalmeny Estate. There’s no vehicles beyond this point so you’ll start to feel as if you’re now on a proper walk on a footpath. The path continues to skirt along the shoreline and before long you’ll be on the magnificent sandy beach of Hounds Point; a place that is well worth the walk in itself. Return via the same route.
Total distance – 3 kilometres
Ascent – 80 metres
Walking conditions – Entirely roads and pavements. Some stairways could prove awkward for buggies.
Time required – Approximately 1.5 hour’s walking time plus however long you wish spend at the numerous attractions
A trip to Edinburgh is always a good day out. We’ve had particularly good times in the city centre during the Edinburgh Festival and also the Christmas Market. On our most recent visit we did a 3 Km loop incorporating the fantastic viewpoints of Calton Hill and Edinburgh Castle with a number of attractions in between.
This particular route starts at the top of Calton Hill. Parking near here can be quite difficult so we tend to have these excursions on a Sunday when there’s less traffic and less parking restrictions. Calton Hill can be easily accessed from all directions and is an easy 40 metre ascent. The only issue might be that if you’re using a buggy you may have to carry it up flights of stairs. When you get on top you’ve got a 360 degree un-interrupted panoramic view and it’s magnificent. You can also marvel at Edinburgh’s finest architecture including the National Monument and the City Observatory. Exit Calton Hill and turn right on to Calton Road, then a left at New Street over the railway line. You then take a right at Canogate onto the Royal Mile which leads up to Edinburgh Castle. On returning from the castle go left which takes you down to the Mound and the home of the Scottish National Gallery. Finally make your way back via the Princes Street Gardens.
If you’re visiting in December my wife recommends you get a coffee and Bailey’s at the Christmas Market to warm your cockles.