I spotted on social media a few weeks ago the 52 Hike Challenge, it’s one of these challenges that you sign up for, get a list of potential hikes and a medal at the end for completion.
The downside is that it’s based in America and therefore the hikes are not relevant and no option for a medal. However, despite the geographical differences I decided that this was a decent challenge for 2021 and despite the ongoing travel restrictions I am hopeful I can find (and complete) 52 hikes / walks to undertake in Scotland.
I have been spending a lot more time outside recently, due to the current lockdown in Scotland it’s really the only way we can meet up with people! I am not sure how this is going to pan out initially as we do have stay at home orders and can only travel near our homes, but it gives me the chance to explore my area and hopefully later in the year I will be able to go further afield!
So, walk 1, it’s a bit of a repeat actually, well part of the route is. Back in 2015 I posted a walk from South Queensferry to Cramond Brig through the Dalmeny Estate, which is a simple there and back on the same path walk. However, this walk is a loop which starts and finishes at the Cramond Brig car park, with the loop being along the shore walk rather than going all the way to South Queensferry.
Start Point: Cramond Brig Car Park, Edinburgh
Distance: 5.5 miles
Time: 2.5 hrs (in icy, snowy conditions and with a very inquisitive pup!)
Difficulty: Easy, mostly flat with small inclines. Paths can be a little muddy so appropriate footwear is required.
Being January in Scotland, whilst it was a crisp cold day, it was also icy and a bit snowy in parts, so slow going to avoid falling! I would advise to get to the Cramond Brig car park early, during these lockdown times particularly it’s very popular.
The walk starts from the car park and you head up to a path that looks like you might be going into someone’s house, don’t worry. You aren’t! The first section is straightforward so just follow the road and enjoy the scenery where the road goes through an s-bend and rises slightly.
Ignore the first road junction and keeping going straight, but at the second junction near the clearing, bear left rather than straight on down the hill toward the water (you’ll come up this road on the return).
Carry on straight and at the next junction, take the right road which arcs slightly downhill. Keep going straight along the road and eventually you’ll emerge from the woods alongside the golf course with the majestic Dalmeny House up ahead. Follow signs that direct you to the shore walk, the path follows the road down to the front of the house.
As the path heads round to the front of the house, there is a faint path across the grass towards the shoreline, cutting over the course. When you hit the shoreline, turn right to start the return route and walk along with the beach to your left. You will cross over a little bridge and then a random set of garages, where there is a sign pointing in the direction of the shore walk.
The path goes along the edge of shoreline on a gradual uphill where it becomes more of a forest walk, opening up at points to view the shoreline. As you head towards the old Cramond Ferry you pass Eagle Rock down on the beach. As the path finishes, it bears right and there’s a small junction.
There is the option to go left and up the hill to the old Cramond Ferry crossing and historically you could loop back to Cramond Brig along this path. It doesn’t appear that this is possible any more as we found a locked gate with a ‘private’ sign on it blocking out way.
As a result, save yourself the hassle and instead go straight on at the junction to head up the hill.
At the top of the hill you’ll meet the road which you walked out along, so it’s just a case of following it back to the car park.
When we were out, it was like an ice rink so we took a little detour and walked back through the field parallel to the road which was muddy, but far less treacherous!
And after a long, straight walk, you are back at the car park. This is a nice loop, easy, lovely views and I am sure on a less icy day would definitely be easier and quicker! So Walk 1 complete of my challenge! Lets see how the rest of them go!