A Northern Circuit. 13 miles approx.
Today’s ride was our second attempt at a route originally planned for last November. That
event was washed out by torrential rain, but fortunately there was no such problem this
time. In fact, it was a sunny wind-free day, with the Meadows thermometer showing eleven degrees. Not bad for late February.
Five of us set out for a tour of north Edinburgh parks and bike paths. We started by whizzing down the main road through Holyrood Park: a nice downhill run on a car-free road. We left the park by Sunnybank Place, then headed along Marionville Road and into Lochend Park.
We stopped by the loch, which was teeming with ducks, geese and other wildfowl. The loch
was once the main source of fresh water for the Leith area, and the hexagonal pumping
house is still in place. We also saw the 16th Century doocot which was used to supply
pigeons and their eggs to Lochend Castle. When the plague came to the area in 1564, the
doocot served as a kiln for burning the victims’ clothing and bedding.
On leaving the park, we joined the Restalrig Path as it curves through Seafield towards Leith Links. We continued across Constitution Street and into the old part of Leith. In Burgess Street we paused to look at Lamb’s House. This early 17th-Century merchant’s house has been restored to its former glory by architects Kristin Hannesdottir and Nick Groves-Raines, who now occupy the premises. Ms Hannesdottir is also the Icelandic consul, which explains why that country’s flag was flying in front of the building.
The ride continued along the Water of Leith Path. At Stedfastgate we turned into Victoria
Park, then on to Five Ways and the Goldenacre Path. All the paths around here were
teeming with cyclists, children and dog-walkers, all enjoying the unusual February weather.
Our route then took into Inverleith Park, our last park of the day. Then came a bit of hard
work (actually not all that hard) as we ascended Carrington Road and Craigleith Hill Avenue to join the Roseburn Path at Craigleith. We then headed south to the Russell Road zigzags, then on to Murieston Crescent, the Telfer Subway, the Leamington Lift Bridge and the short climb up Leamington Terrace to Brunstsfield. The final leg saw us crossing Bruntsfield Links to reach Middle Meadow Walk a little after 12.30. The total distance was 13 miles – just about right for a pleasant Sunday morning’s ride.
Next month we put the clocks forward, and EasyCycle will revert to its summer programme of slightly longer rides including a pub or café stop for lunch. See you then.
Lead:Mike Trace: Photos: Text:Mike