Day 273: North Queensferry to Portobello

Distance: 19.67 miles

Ascent: 1430 feet

Weather: Sunny Spells with Rain at End

Accommodation: Flat In Portobello (Courtesy of Jamie/Siobhan who Are Visiting)


I was up early and packed my stuff up in the caravan. As I was leaving early it appeared no one was up in the house so I had to leave without saying thank you. The sun slowly rising over the Firth of Forth was stunning and I soon reached North Queensferry. I passed under the Forth Rail Bridge and soon climbed up onto the Forth Road Bridge.

Being a structural engineer who specialised in bridges before my mental health issues there are few places with more variety and splendour than here. The Forth Rail Bridge is a stunning piece of engineering both in terms of its design and aesthetics. The newly built cable stayed Queensferry Crossing is also beautiful in its aesthetic simplicity though engineering complexity. The old suspension Forth Road Bridge gets a little bit lost and is now pretty much the most overkill pedestrian and cycle bridge in the world now that general traffic (apart from buses and taxis) is not allowed to use it.

I crossed on the Forth Road Bridge and after finding the way down on the other side I made it to North Queensferry. Here I met Jez who I know through fives, and he would be joining me for the rest of the day. We had a couple of nice miles along the coast to the River Almond. Here we had what could have been an annoying inland diversion to cross the river. But even though it would be about a mile and a half heading up the river and then back down again the route up was on farm tracks and the route back down followed the lovely river with the autumn colours making for a beautiful backdrop. We stopped at a lovely café the Cramond Falls Café for a cup of tea before carrying on.

Once we rejoined the coast the route slowly became more urban and after passing Granton Harbour it wasn’t long till we hit the Port of Leith. This is an area that has had a lot of regeneration and also houses the Royal Yacht Britannia which was the boat that carried the royal family around the commonwealth from the 50’s to the 90’s. Jez works in a brewery and recommended a pub in the Port of Leith for lunch, he very kindly treated me to lunch and we tried one of his Pilot beers which was lovely.

We were both quite lethargic after our leisurely lunch but fortunately we had less than an hour to get to Portobello. The weather had been good up till this point but it began to rain lightly. We reached Portobello where I would be meeting Jamie and Siobhan whom had come up from London. After we all had a drink in a café I said good bye and thank you to Jez, before Jamie, Siobhan and I headed back to the flat they had kindly booked.

Jamie and Siobhan headed into central Edinburgh for a ghost tour and I stayed in the flat to get on with some admin and chill.

Today was a really nice day, good weather, meeting friends, lots of food and a nice spot for a proper rest day.

charles compton