South Queensferry to Leith

2.5 Forth Bridges

2.5 Forth Bridges

Crikey!  A weekend with great weather?  Well, we just had to make use of this, so with some clever planning Jazz and I could continue our march eastwards on the John Muir Trail from South Queensferry to Leith.  It’s roughly 9 months since we were here and it’ll give us a chance to see how the new bridge is coming on.  I’m no civil engineer but I think they need to fill in the gaps before it’ll be ready.

Jazz at Hound Point

Jazz at Hound Point

Edinburgh from Hound Point

Edinburgh from Hound Point

The only problem with it being a nice day was that everyone else had the same idea and South Queensferry was mobbed and parking tricky.  Things quietened down a bit as we got into the woodlands of Dalmeny Estate beside the Forth.  With Jazz around it seemed appropriate to have a lunch stop at Hound Point.  The view from here over to Edinburgh and Fife was wonderful:  I was surprised at just how big the beach was next to a blue sea.  Surely winter must be over soon!

Dalmeny House

Dalmeny House

After the track passes Dalmeny House it leaves the woodland and heads for the River Almond.  Despite a sign pointing towards Cramond Ferry there isn’t one and so the JMT has to turn sharply inland for too long until it reaches the first crossing at Cramond Brig and a overcrowded pub eatery.  Here we part company with the JWT as I wanted to walk around Cramond for old-times sake.  Unfortunately this next section was hooching as everyone, their dog, and kids learning to cycle were all infesting the area around Cramond all the way to Granton.

Flight-path

Flight-path

Weir, River Almond

Weir, River Almond

And in 1982

And in 1982

The River Almond Walkway now follows the river with all its old weirs, fish ladders and mills.  This is very pretty and if you are a plane-spotter it was be ideal since you are immediately under the flight-path for Edinburgh and so get close views of the underside of the arriving jets.  This does spoil the tranquillity but does drown out the sound of all the people.  I took some photos at the main weir and have included one I took last time I was here in 1982 1 – notice that the old wheelbarrow has been removed.

Fish sculpture

Fish sculpture

Granton lighthouse

Granton lighthouse

After getting Jazz passed the queue for the ice-cream van we joined the throng on Silverknowes Esplanade.  This wide strip of concrete follows the shore all the way to Granton and gave great views over the Forth.  One thing that struck me was just how cosmopolitan Edinburgh has become as I listened to passing voices: English was a rare find.

Leith Harbour and Inchkeith

Leith Harbour and Inchkeith

Royal Yacht Britannia

Royal Yacht Britannia

Unfortunately the pedestrian footpath gives out near Granton and we are forced to follow the coast road through a mixture of industrial estates, an interesting old lighthouse and lots of new housing developments.  There is certainly a lot of money pouring into this part of Edinburgh.  In my day (late 18th century) this wasn’t a place respectable people like me went: now I probably couldn’t afford a bedsit flat with no sea view here.  In the late afternoon sun the new flats at Leith were glowing and looked like a nice place to live.  Some more walking beside a busy road brought us to the port of Leith.  I had arranged to meet the Missus here since I knew the Royal Yacht Britannia was here and sign-posted from everywhere inside the orbit of Mars and so easy to find.   Unfortunately Brenda’s Boat has been hidden away behind fences and a concrete eyesore called Ocean Terminal – avoid.

So the end was a disappointment but I’d have no hesitation in recommending a circular walk through Dalmeny Estate though. Just avoid a sunny weekend.

Previous section of JMT: Linlithgow to South Queensferry
Next section of JMT: Leith to Mussleburgh

Notes:

  1. I’ve no idea who the fisherman was.
Distance:19km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again:
Duration:4½ hours