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Monday, 16 April 2012

April's ride to Lauriston Castle & Cammo

This month 23 people turned out, on a bright (although chilly) day - although there was some brief snow and rain later but I didn't feel the need for waterproofs - luckily, as I had been optimistic and left them at home!

We started off by a complicated route through the West End, trying to avoid the tram works (it looks as though Edinburgh has decided to ditch trams in favour of a new canal, on Shandwick Place) and then onto the A8 briefly (which was quiet, but had a short stretch that had glass strewn liberally over the full width of the carriageway, so most people carried their bikes over this bit) before getting onto the Roseburn Path in Roseburn and heading north west. We detoured into Lauriston Castle estate and had a pleasant trip through the rose garden (no roses at the moment), onto the estate boundary walk and then a few minutes in the Japanese garden before heading back out.

From there we went to Davidson's Mains, and then through the woods parallel to Queensferry Road - there is a large (estate, not Council) sign saying "No Cycling" but Mike our rights-of-way expert assures us that it has no legal weight as long as we are not damaging or intruding - which we weren't. The woods are an excellent alternative to the busy A90. At Barnton we became pedestrians for a few minutes to get across the junction from North to South, and then into the Cammo estate for a brief pause to admire the remains of the old house. 

Heading back out the way we had come, and crossing Barnton junction again from West to East, we then turned off the Maybury road into the Bughtlin estate where again, there is a great alternative to the main road, on a quiet footpath that climbs gently up to Craigmount High School. We descended to the A8, crossed as pedestrians again, and then past the David Lloyd gym and into Corstorphine (I've been asked to point out that we were pedestrians yet again as we passed Tesco - The good thing about a bicycle is that you can dismount and take a different route to busy traffic, if you're not confident about a junction or the road conditions. Especially with a large group, there are times when 20+ cyclists would struggle to be safe in that sort of traffic, so prudence is advised). Most (apart for some picnicers) had lunch at the Corstorphine Inn, where we had reserved a table. The food came quickly and efficiently (we all ordered at the bar - easier than getting everything on a tab and working out who owes what) and it was civilised despite the football match playing on the TV screens!

View 14/04/2012 10:29 AM 20-milers Cammo in a larger map

After lunch we headed West again, this time going through the Gyle shopping centre, Edinburgh Park, under the railway line and over the tram line, into Hermiston Gait shopping centre and finally we headed back into town along the canal.

Total distance ended up about 22 miles.

Next month: Ken is leading the normal 20 mile-ish ride to Dalkeith (I think) on Saturday 12th, and Logan is leading an extra ride to Blackness Castle on Saturday 5th (start time 10am, meeting on the Roseburn path near Blackhall).