Forth Bridges Loop
Starting and finishing at Haymarket Station in Edinburgh, this 48-mile loop can be done as a long day ride but is ideally split in two with an overnight stop in Linlithgow or Bo’ness.
A great way to explore Edinburgh, West Lothian and Falkirk areas, while staying almost completely offroad, the route follows the Union Canal out of the city towards Linlithgow. There’s plenty of industrial heritage to discover along the canal.
On arrival in Linlithgow, take some time to wander around the palace and loch before continuing up the Fishers’ Brae climb and into the woods of Kinneil Estate. From Bo’ness you will hug the coast, following the John Muir Way, to Blackness with its impressive castle. It’s then on through Hopetoun Estate to the dramatic Forth Bridges at South Queensferry. After sampling the cafes and ice cream shops, continue around the coast towards Cramond before turning inland back to Edinburgh.
The majority of this route is off road, following cycle paths, canal towpath and a mixture of paved and unpaved surfaces. This makes it ideal for a gravel, mountain or hybrid bike. Gradients are generally gentle or flat with just a couple of fairly steep climbs in Edinburgh and north of Linlithgow.
BY RAIL: The route starts and finishes at Haymarket Station in Edinburgh.
BY BUS: Edinburgh is well served by bus services – see Lothian Buses for more details.
BY CAR: Starting from the city centre will let you leave the car at home!
There are many more attractions, shops and galleries to visit on this route than those listed here, so there’s a real advantage to splitting this trip over two days.
You’ll find a selection of accommodation and places to eat out in Linlithgow and Bo’ness, in addition to the myriad options in Edinburgh.
Points of interest
Historic Home of the Dukes of Hamilton, the house dates back to the 15th and 16th centuries. It's open on selected days throughout the year and guides from The Friends of Kinneil take people through the House and tell its fascinating story. Check with Kinneil Museum for information on the next open days.View Business Page
Three impressive bridges spanning three centuries cross the Firth of Forth at South Queensferry, including the original rail Forth Bridge, a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.Visit Website
This imposing 15th century castle has hosted garrisons, prisoners and more recently many a film crew. Climb the towers for fantastic views of the Forth. Please note parking in the castle car park and external grounds is limited to paying customers only.
Open 10am-4pm daily
The Hippodrome is Scotland's oldest purpose-built cinema. Screening everything from blockbusters, to foreign cinema, indie gems, and classics, it also hosts the annual Hippodrome Festival of Silent Cinema in March each year.View Business Page