Author Topic: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?  (Read 1372 times)

Redlight

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Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« on: 04 August, 2021, 11:11:46 am »
I'm riding LE-JoG next month and was wondering if any Edinburgh experts can recommend me a good route through the city from the south to the old Forth Bridge, please?

I'll be coming from Peebles, so probably approaching the city on the A701 / A703.  I cycle in London so have no concerns about mixing it with traffic but, obviously, if there is a more enjoyable route then I'd prefer to take that, even if it's slightly longer.

Thanks.
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Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #1 on: 04 August, 2021, 12:15:02 pm »
A lot of cyclists use that route as a way out of the city but its a long drag up from the bypass , rewarded by a good drop into Morningside.
It gets very busy either side of the bypass .The junction of the 701 and 702 is particularly bad (angle of approach and general traffic volume) so we usually go through the Bush estate/science park to get onto the 702 and then you have a clear run down to the bypass.
 
Are you committed to Peebles?The Sustrans Coast and Castles route approaches from Innerleithen and follows an old railway track into the centre. Then you can pick it up again  between the Haymarket and Murrayfield stadium .That route goes all the way to the bridge , mostly but not exclusively, on cycle paths IIRC.
We didn't find it too stressful anyway. There are some Edinburgh residents lurking on here so may offer better advice.
 
We are regular visitors as son has just moved from Morningside to Fairmilehead . He used to cycle into the centre pre-covid and he says its no worse than other urban areas except for taxi drivers and tram lines.

https://osmaps.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/55.98415,-3.32456,12


Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #2 on: 04 August, 2021, 02:18:01 pm »
I live in Edinburgh.

If you are coming up the A703 from Peebles, a lot of cyclists turn right at the Leadburn junction and take the A6094 through Auchendinny to avoid Penicuick, which is worth avoiding. (There's a steep climb in Auchendinny, but I still prefer that route.) Once back on the A703 the other side of Auchendinny I just stick to the A703 all the way to Hillend. As madcow says, the A703/A702 junction is unpleasant, but it is unpleasant if you are driving too.
(Last Saturday's ride, as an example of this route https://www.strava.com/activities/5717196341 )

The question is how to get from Fairmilehead, where you cross the bypass, to the cycle path near Haymarket Station. The area outside the station is afflicted by tram tracks and much traffic and you don't need to go there anyway. My problem in trying to think about this is that I live fairly near the start of the cycle track so I'm trying to remember that you don't need all the wriggles that are in the map in my head!
Here's my suggestion: https://goo.gl/maps/LVHWtdxPUjEGyQpZ9

heading for the Forth Bridge, I recommend you use the North Edinburgh Path Network Sustrans route. This uses old railway lines until you get out of Edinburgh at Crammond Brig, then a better-then-it-used-to-be path next to the dual carriageway until you peel off through Dalmeny. The signed route then wriggles less than ideally through some new housing but can be followed to the Bridge. Alternatively stick to the road all the way down into South Queensferry itself - this is nice because you get to cycle under the rail bridge and get the iconic view of the Bridges but has the disadvantage that you loose more height than you need to.

Hope that helps.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #3 on: 04 August, 2021, 06:13:22 pm »
Thank you both. I'm interested in the cycle path from Innerleithen - although I'm staying in Peebles the previous evening, it's not much of a detour to backtrack to Innerleithen and the onward route through the city looks very helpful. I shall be busy with my maps....
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?

Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #4 on: 05 August, 2021, 01:45:07 pm »
I didn't realise that the route north from Innerleithen is part of the Coasts and Castles Sustrans route. There's a lovely old railway line, now tarmaced, between Peebles and Innerleithen, which I would recommend over the road (and I'm a confirmed roadie). If you take that route there's a lovely climb on the road north of Innerleithen over what is known as The Granites, whereas the main road is flatter.

You then join NCN1 towards Edinburgh. If you stick to it all the way into the city then you're taken a big detour to the east (according to this map: https://explore.osmaps.com/en?lat=55.363050&lon=-2.451490&zoom=8.0000) - I think at least some of that is on suboptimal shared use paths but I don't know most of it. What I do know is that the last bit up past Arthur's Seat, on yet another old railway (The Innocent Railway) is currently closed due to rockfall, with no alternative signed.

Here's my usual route back from Innerleithen if you do want to head towards Fairmilehead; https://www.strava.com/activities/3664596222 (ignore the spike near Middleton, I was hunting a Veloviewer tile...)


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Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #5 on: 05 August, 2021, 01:57:40 pm »
I haven't read the thread but this is my route when I did LEJoG and it worked really well.
https://ridewithgps.com/trips/16914184

If you want to see the rest of the route just ask.
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Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #6 on: 16 August, 2021, 08:26:26 pm »
Another Edinburgh resident here:
Have you sorted out your route yet?
I agree with above that NCR1 from Innerleithen towards Edinburgh is much nicer than A703/701 into Edinburgh. If you don’t mind the detour then keep following NCR1 to the east then into Edinburgh. The innocent railway path was still open when I rode it a few weeks ago, despite the closed signs.
If you don't fancy the detour then after you descend from the Granites then head northwest, as per the the posted above by fimm towards Roslin then Fairmilehead. Once there, keep on the A702 into Edinburgh and when you are at the top of Lothian Road with the Castle on your right, turn left and head to Haymarket where you can rejoin NCR1 which will take you all the way to the bridge on traffic-free and quiet roads.
Hope this helps.
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Redlight

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Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #7 on: 03 September, 2021, 12:08:50 pm »
Thanks for all of the advice. Pooling your recommendations, I've now put together a route that is largely on what look to be quiet roads and bits of NCR1 and, all being well in the southern lands, will be pottering through there two weeks today. I decided to stay in Innerleithen rather than Peebles the night before and will be heading for Perth once over the bridge (so, Adam, you will observe that I plan to be travelling at nowhere near your kind of speed  ;))
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #8 on: 18 September, 2021, 08:22:47 pm »
Well, following the NCN1 into the city centre worked very well, even if it probably was a little less direct than the main roads would have been.  I picked it up again just after coming off Princes St (I think) with a lovely path through a park and then some convoluted navigation to get me to the bridge - which was a lot further out of town than I had envisaged.  Overall, it made the whole experience much more pleasant than it would have been had I simply gone for the most direct route, and I also was able to follow NCN1 most of the way to Perth once over the bridge.

Many thanks to everyone for the advice.
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?

Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #9 on: 21 September, 2021, 03:06:45 pm »
Glad it went well, happy to help.

FifeingEejit

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Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #10 on: 21 September, 2021, 11:29:57 pm »
Your in Perth?
My Condolences.

Redlight

  • Enjoying life in the slow lane
Re: Good route through Edinburgh to Forth bridge?
« Reply #11 on: 22 September, 2021, 07:51:27 pm »
Your in Perth?
My Condolences.

‘‘twas only for the night and, after the previous few days, it was a pleasure to have several miles of flat roads to start the day rather than trolling up a bloody great hill straight after breakfast.

I’m on my way south again now, staying tonight in Helmsdale, which is a very strange place indeed   ;)
Why should anybody steal a watch when they can steal a bicycle?