Focus Follow Up: Cramond Island

In our January issue the “Focus On” spotlight is on Edinburgh, with 8 pages dedicated to exploring the alternative attractions of Scotland’s capital

We concentrated to attractions in the city centre, or at least not far away. If you want a break from such city sights, however, and want to try something new – why don’t you visit Cramond Island?

Situated about one mile out in the Forth, Cramond Island is connected to the mainland by a causeway over the Drum Sands which, at low tide, gives easy access.

Best to check tide times before going out, as the speed at which it rises could catch unsuspecting visitors out. You don’t what to be marooned Robinson Crusoe-style for a number of hours!

The small isle is only one-third of a mile long and was fortified during World War Two. You can still see the concrete pylons, built as anti-submarine defences, running alongside the causeway.

Cramond Island is uninhabited, though there is ample evidence of habitation in earlier times. The island is believed to have been used by the Romans, who built a fort at the nearby Cramond Island .

By the 1800s Cramond Island was being used to graze sheep, and the 1853 Ordnance Survey map shows a farmstead towards the northern shore. Look closely for traces of it under a heavy growth of ivy.

It’s well worth a visit, and Lothian buses supply regular service to the village of Cramond and back to the city centre. Remember to watch those tides and avoid getting your feet wet!

But if you don’t want to risk a soaking, the village is worth a visit alone with a marina, a 17th-century kirk, beach and shore land walks and an inn for that well-earned refreshment.

For more “Capital Delights” in and around Edinburgh, pick up a copy of the January issue, where Garry Fraser visits the Dungeons, HMY Britannia, Camera Obscura and the sights of Summerhall.

January issue available from Thursday, December 17 – or for an advanced copy, click here!