Thursday, 21 June 2012

Mid week cycle 20th June.

It's the summer solstice today and its pouring with rain again. Fortunately I managed to get out for a wee adventure yesterday when the weather was perfect. I caught the 0956 train to Edinburgh from Dunbar station.

I haven't been in Edinburgh for years and 10 minutes in the city centre was enough to remind me why. The Waverly Station and Princes street are building sites. 

I quickly headed over by St Leonards, bought a haggis roll, and cycled down towards the park. This wee fellow wasn't keen on moving off the path.

I eventually picked up NCR1 and possibly the first railway tunnel to be built in Britain.

The Innocent Railway was built in 1831 by James Jardine from plans by Robert Stevenson (he of the lighthouse fame). It was a horse drawn, as those new fangled steam engines were still thought too dangerous, and designed for carrying coal from Dalkeith to "Auld Reekie". It soon became popular as a means of public transport and the goods wagons were replaced by passenger carrying ones. At the height of its popularity the railway carried 300,000 passengers per year and never had a fatality which was pretty impressive in those days.

Back out into the daylight and a lovely stretch of path through Hollyrood park. Just minutes from the city centre but a different world. I didn't stop on the Niddrie and Craigmillar stretches of the path, just kept going to Brunstane where I put my feet up and ate my haggis roll. This may be the first time anyone has ever eaten a haggis roll in Brunstane Mill! A great stretch of cycle path and a really enjoyable way to get out of the city and down to the coast.

The next section was along the shore from Fisherrow Harbour.

After following the Esk I cycled along the back of the lagoons to Prestonpans and Port Seton. For some reason I never took any photos but I do remember there were loads of skylarks singing.

At Port Seton I took a photo of the "grinding balls". These steel balls were spun around in the rings at 37mph to crush the coal into dust for the power station. You wouldn't want to get your fingers caught in that!

Prestonpans and Port Seaton have loads of murals. I also noticed I was now following NCR 76 which was good because it eventually passes my front door.

Further along I turned away from the coast at Longniddry and stopped for a baguette at the "Filling Station". They were also quite happy to fill my water bottle. I now had the option of following the Railway path to Haddington where I go to work everyday. Instead I went back onto the roads towards Drem. A bit of  wind had picked up and as usual it was right on the nose. I stopped for a proper water break in the shade at Merryhatton.

What more do you need?

After East Fortune I turned up towards Whitkirk where I caught up with Coastkid and tried to convince him about the ways of the Dark Side (skinny tyres). If you can call 700x35 on hybrid rims skinny.

Bonny cuddy getting buzzed by flies.

There was some welcome shade coming along the Tynninghame stretch of road.

Back to Dunbar and a photo of a lion.

A great cycle. 36 miles in fantastic weather and a cold beer in the pub afterwards.


  1. Well done Ped!, bet that beer was good after a great days ride looking at the pics -:)

    1. Yeah a good pedal and a welcome beer. I think you would really like the first 5m of urban trails.(29er territory) Good to catch up.