Cycling in Edinburgh

Edinburgh is known for being exciting to explore on foot – its twisting wynds and hidden nooks and crannies have long been enticing people from around the world; but what about the lesser-known cycling trails? 

Scotland is home to some of the most stunning natural beauty in the world, and Edinburgh and the surrounding area are certainly no exception. Get ready to hit some of the prettiest cycle trails in Scotland…

The best for seeing the city: The Meadows

In the heart of the old town lies the Meadows. During the summer it’s full of locals and tourists alike indulging in picnics, sports and the odd spot of sunbathing. In the winter it’s equally beautiful, particularly when the snow falls. North Meadow Walk runs from Hope Park Crescent to Tollcross, which eventually leads you back to the New Town. It’s a smooth, level and well-lit path, so it’s great for cycling on even after the sun sets.

The best for stunning scenery: The Water of Leith Walkway

The 12-mile Water of Leith walkway serves as a scenic commute for many who live in Edinburgh, and is also a great cycle trail that takes you from the centre of the city right up to the Balerno suburb. Within minutes, you’ll be shaded under the branches of towering trees and under the allusion of being in the middle of the countryside. Look out for herons on the water!

The best for amazing views: The Forth Road Bridge

The iconic Forth Road Bridge has cycle paths on both sides, so you can truly appreciate the awe-inspiring views over the Firth of Forth. The bridge connects Fife and the North of Scotland to Edinburgh, and is truly an architectural wonder. A must-cycle for any avid cyclist visiting Edinburgh. 

The best for stepping back in time: Silverknowes Esplanade and Cramond Island

For even more amazing views over the Firth of Forth, take to the Silverknowes and Cramond cycle trail. A footpath from the esplanade follows the River Almond from the picturesque Cramond Harbour to Cramond Brig. Cramond is a charming old fishing village, so for a slice of Scottish history, leave yourself plenty of time to explore. 

The best rugged Scottish landscape: The Pentland Hills

With over 60 miles of path to explore, cycling in the Pentland Hills is too good an opportunity to pass up during your stay in the Scottish capital. This is a nature trail at its finest; with rocks, trees and quite possibly challenging weather. Make sure you’re prepared with plenty of food, drink, equipment and most importantly… a camera.

Hiring a bike in Edinburgh

Whether you’re new to biking and don’t have your own set of wheels, or would simply rather avoid the hassle of bringing your bike along with you on your trip, hiring a bike is a great option. Here are our top 3 bike-rental haunts in the ‘Burgh:

• Pedal Forth
Bike Trax
Leith Cycle Co

Remember, these shops are great sources of advice and information too, and you’ll often find that equipment such as helmets and puncture repair kits are included.

Be sure to check upcoming events in the city to get the most of your stay too. The City Cycling Edinburgh forum is a great place to find up to date information.

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