After a table-groaning afternoon tea at Edinburgh’s Bonham Hotel on Saturday, blowing the cobwebs away and burning off a few calories were definitely the order of the next day – so instead of a lazy Sunday morning, my friends and I headed out to walk from Queensferry to Newhaven.
After snow, sleet and yet more rain during our afternoon tea excursion, blue skies, vivid winter sunshine and icy paths greeted us as we were dropped off underneath the Forth Bridge, ready for our ten mile or so trek back to Edinburgh.
The imposing Barnbougle Castle
Faye, Lesley, Sally and I followed the other walkers, families and dog owners onto the well-signposted path, which ran alongside the Forth before moving up into the shelter of the woodlands that cling to this stretch of coastline. The path then took us by quaint cottages on the water’s edge, the imposing Barnbougle Castle (originally the family seat of the Earls of Roseberry), majestic Dalmeny House (the Roseberry’s ‘new’ residence) and several deserted beaches just crying out for a dog to dash across the pristine sand.
With the village of Cramond in view, we took the gamble that there was still a ferry to take walkers across the River Almond. There’s not!
The only hill of the day
So we had to backtrack to the route we’d been following and climb the only hill of the day up to the Cramond Brig, just off the main road, and then down the other side of the River Almond to the very quaint village of Cramond, via two wooden staircases which provide the only way of traversing the sheer cliff face in the middle of the path along the riverbank.
Stopping at Cramond for a quick lunch, we abandoned tentative plans to walk out to Cramond Island due to the high tide covering the causeway in several feet of water. So our next stop would be Newhaven.
Happy dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds
We were now on a Tarmac walkway and, after the relative solitude of the first half of our walk, we were suddenly surrounded by hordes of fellow walkers, who were joined by happy dogs of all shapes, sizes and breeds, all dashing about saying hello to each other.
The walkway petered out before we reached Granton and the stretch between garages and industrial units was definitely lacking in scenic appeal – but this didn’t last long and we were soon on the final stretch.
We were almost there
As we strode out in front of a row of Granton’s original fisherman’s cottage, we could see Platinum Point glinting inthe sunlight and, once past The Starbank Bar (of course we didn’t stop off – much as we were tempted!), we were almost there.
After about four hours of walking, we came to the end of our lovely 12-mile Sunday stroll at Newhaven Harbour, footsore and slightly tired but any cobwebs were well and truly blown away.