A walk to Cramond Island…

Another beautiful day dawned (not that I was up to see it!) and as promised a lovely sunny day we enjoyed, a little coastal breeze was blowing which was indeed quite welcome. Now the tides are right so we set off to walk down to the beach and across the causeway to Cramond Island.

Cramond Beach was busy with people enjoying the weather, though with so much beach and the grassy banks beyond it was by no means packed.

We checked the timetable showing we are good to cross until 4.33 – plenty of time and set off across the initially narrow pathway.

The pathway widened as we joined the section beyond the breakwater and is serenaded across the water by the remains of the WWII anti-boat pylons.

Quite a dramatic sight both when fully exposed as now and when partially submerged by the tide.

There is no vehicular access to the island but a myriad of footpaths, some more overgrown than others criss cross this small island (only about a third of a mile long) and we soon found what we were looking for a quiet little part sandy beach at the far end of the island.

Here Poppydog was free to play with plenty of stones to keep her occupied. After a time we wandered around the rest of the island, taking in the derelict WWII buildings, all now suitably covered in graffiti – why?

Enjoyed the spectacular view back across Cramond Beach with the Edinburgh skyline in the distance to the left.

A further rocky beach beyond the glorious pink wild flowers.

And another busier part sandy cove just before we arrived back at the Causeway.

As the tide is only just beginning to come back in we decided to make our way back across the beach and enjoy the warmth of the shallows.

A fabulous mini Island adventure and glorious 6 mile walk.

Two thoughts of the day:

Can this weather hold? We have avoided all the thunderstorms so far.

There are probably more European vans on this site at the moment than British, which is a first and probably the draw of Edinburgh, I wonder how much that will change?

A walk around Edinburgh…

After some pretty torrential rain during the wee hours the day dawned mostly grey and warm, ideal for a wander around the city. We caught the mini bus shuttle from the site to the city centre and soon had the magnificent castle in view.

We wandered up for a closer look and to hear the 1 O’ Clock canon, though no dogs are allowed beyond the drawbridge I can’t say that Poppydog was holding me back, not at £19.50 a pop!

From here we wandered down the crowded and colourful Royal Mile.

Poppydog was not very impressed by the street actors finding them quite spooky!

Past St Giles Cathedral.

A Christmas shop!

And some fabulous mix of beautiful old buildings.

Until we arrived at the beautiful (albeit glimpses through the railings) Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Opposite the ultra modern Scottish Parliament.

From here to give Poppydog a bit of a break from all the crowds and a green space for a runaround we walked the short distance to Holyrood Park – wow can you believe this is in the middle of the city?

We shall return another day to walk through this park and view the sights from above the city. For today we followed the road that circles the park, giving Poppydog the chance for a quick cooling swim in St Margaret’s Loch (at the opposite end to the swans) and for me to enjoy the view of the ruins of St Anthony’s Chapel.

We continued our journey past the ultra modern and the graceful past.

Everywhere is clean and colourful with much evidence of ongoing preparation for the August Festivals.

Eventually our walk took us down Princes Street.

A final look at the castle bringing our 9 mile walk to an appropriate end – wow a fantastic day out.

Two thoughts of the day:

Yes it is busy and noisy but clean and friendly – we like.

Poppydog was an absolute star – not her favourite kind of walk but she was extremely well behaved and thoroughly enjoyed a fair bit of fuss and attention from passersby.

A lovely sunny afternoon on Portobello Beach….

After a warm and clear night there were a few clouds around this morning but not for long as a beautiful warm and sunny day was our delight. We drove along the coast road around the city to Portobello, originally a town in its own rite but now the ‘seaside’ suburb of Edinburgh, finding parking (roadside) at the far end of the beach. A fabulous 2 mile sandy beach, with a buzzing promenade scattered with cafes and bars and backed by attractive terraces of houses.

On this unusually warm and sunny day (during the Scottish school holidays) the central part of the beach was packed with families and groups enjoying themselves.

Too busy for poor Poppydog who was beside herself with all the children running around, especially those playing ball, so we dodged our way along the busy promenade to the Leith end of the beach and as we neared the end, were rewarded with an empty beach to play in.

After a paddle and play, we made our way back along the beach for a while, until it got too busy (Poppydog back on the lead again) – how beautiful is this?

More and more people are still arriving but I think it is time for us to move on.

We popped along the road for a couple of miles to Musselburgh and had a brief walk along the promenade to look at Musselburgh Beach, which was also very busy.

Pretty little Fisherrow Harbour…

And finally stopping for a play on the quieter and stonier Fisherrow Sands.

A rather busy but nonetheless enjoyable 5.5 mile walk.

Two thoughts of the day:

Better close up the hatches tonight just in case the forecast thunderstorms strike in the early hours!

Now so far the Scots seem to handle free parking and dogs on all beaches – so England and Wales….

South Queensferry what a little gem….

After a night of sporadic rain and some pretty strong gusts of wind, the rain appeared to have moved on but leaving a brisk but warm wind behind. Wanting to get a closer look at the Forth Bridge, we ventured down to South Queensferry parking the car on the outskirts and heading first for a walk along the coastal path towards Peatdraught Bay, where we left off yesterday. Our first stop was Whitehouse Bay which was initially a stony beach but then towards the far end of the bay (eastwards) we came across a lovely sandy stretch of beach.

Perfect for a bit of Poppydog play time! Yes I can hear you!!!

After a bit we carried along the shore still with a lovely sandy strip at the top.

The beach then opened up to reveal the lovely Peatdraught Bay – which unlike yesterday we had all to ourselves…

As we wandered back along the beach and through the woodland passing the stony Port Neuk beach

The enormity of the Forth Bridge became clear – an engineering feat completed in 1890 – hey but I hear they are still painting it??

The beach in South Queensferry was a bit unappealing but can be forgiven because of the beauties just around the corner.

We wandered into this delightful cobbled village with its pretty painted cottages

A Clock tower and plenty of little shops and eateries line the pretty Main Street.

With little glimpses out to the Firth of the Forth and it’s amazing bridges – the first Forth Bridge (Rail).

The less impressive Forth Road Bridge (opened in 1964) and beyond that the Queensferry Crossing Bridge that carries the M90 over and opened in 2017.

A delightful afternoon, which incidentally became quite sunny, a delightful 5 mile walk and a rather attractive mosaic ‘Queensferry Nessie’ on our way back to the car.

Two thoughts of the day:

Looking at these three bridges gives more evidence that really since the Victorian days we are not building things of beauty and certainly not things that will age gracefully – in my humble opinion of course!

Mind you ‘Nessie’ is quite cute.

From Cramond Bridge to Hound Point….

A grey but dry day for us and still surprisingly warm. Today we parked up just over Cramond Bridge and set off following the John Muir way to find the sea. After a mile or so we left the John Muir Way and followed a track down to the sea, which brought us out across the river from Cramond and opposite Cramond Island, unfortunately though Drum Sands has turned out to be Drum Muds!

Though luckily for us there are a string of mostly sandy beaches above the muddy tide mark the first being Snab Point Bay.

Completely deserted which is what I had hoped (having carefully selected this stretch of shoreline as hopefully being too far off the beaten track for Sunday afternoon strollers!) so Poppydog enjoyed her freedom and was soon suitably lagged in mud!

But hey ho a happy Hound makes for a happy walk and I’m sure we will find somewhere clean for her to have a dunk. Next bay along was the lovely long sandy strip of Long Green Bay, backed by Dalmeny Park and it’s golf course.

At the end of Long Green we had to join the path for a short while

as we passed in front of Dalmeny House and behind the more hidden Barnbougle Castle, both still the private residences of the 7th Earl of Rosebery.

We then rejoined the beach at The Warrens (actually I am making the names of all the beaches up according to what is nearby!).

At the far end of this beach is Hound Point and our first proper look at the Forth Bridge – what a spectacular sight?

Around the corner is Peatdraught Bay a pretty sandy bay without the mud!

Back on the lead for a now cleanish but sandy Poppydog as we complete this 8 mile circuit on the John Muir Way through the Dalmeny Estate – very nice too!

Two thoughts of the day:

Our days here are punctuated by the sight and sound of aircraft leaving and arriving at Edinburgh Airport – just how do they fly?

I think we might just pop up for a closer look at these fabulous bridges whilst we are here.