The Other Edinburgh

So if you think that Edinburgh is the A720 and Hermiston Gait and all that, you’ve missed it. The alternative Edinburgh is set out on the excellent cyclists’ map provided by Spokes – the Lothian Cycle Campaign. Their website quotes President John F Kennedy as saying ‘Nothing compares to the simple pleasure of a bike ride’. Which takes us back to the simple pleasures of President George W Bush’s ‘waving or drowning’ moment at Gleneagles during the G8 Summit when he wiped out a local policeman.

Anyway – to go back to Spokes. Have you tried the Water of Leith Cycle route?

It runs from Balerno to Leith. And the fascinating thing is that it runs through the centre of Edinburgh – just below Charlotte Square – and you would never know. And then there is National Cycle Route No 76 which comes in along the canal – and suddenly you are in Haymarket.

And the remarkable thing is that, when we were there on Thursday afternoon, those cycle routes were alive with people.


  1. Just back from the Union Canal from central Edinburgh to just beyond Ratho. We did meet a couple who were cycling to Falkirk, but it’s quite a narrow towpath to accommodate both walkers and cyclists who each seem to resent – mildly – the other! And that’s not counting the runners/joggers. It was a bust day.

  2. I grew up in Oregon in a town with great cycling paths. That is one of the things I miss in Texas – so often the weather is too cold or too stormy or too humid or too hot to bother with the bicycle that decorates the living room of my flat.

  3. Haven’t cycled the Water of Leith but have walked it twice – both times in the ‘downhill’ direction – and plan to walk a bit of the Union Canal next week. I use 2 legs while you use 2 wheels – but the same enjoyment and exercise!

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