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Cycling around Edinburgh

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Dangling its toes in the Firth of Forth and occupying an absolutely beautiful patch of Lothian, cycling in Edinburgh never fails to impress. Scotland’s capital is a wonderfully bike-friendly city and riding gives you the perfect opportunity to discover everything that’s magical about this ancient area. From pedaling around Arthur’s Seat and Edinburgh Castle to heading up into the majestic Pentland Hills or speeding along the shoreline, exploring on two-wheels is endless fun.

You’ll find more than enough cycle routes in Edinburgh, with disused railway lines, cycle paths and designated trails criss-crossing the whole region. Fancy a flat bike ride? Head north to Leith and idle along the shore of the Firth for as long as you like in either direction. In the mood for climbs and glorious views? Strenuous cycle trails will lead you out of the capital and up into the Pentland Hills. 

Wherever you go, Edinburgh will reward. 


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Exploring Edinburgh’s stunning surroundings

Scotland’s capital grew out of numerous strongholds and has developed over thousands of years into the thriving city it is today. Two-wheeled adventures give you the opportunity to really get to know the area, as cycle routes throughout Edinburgh take you to a variety of landscapes. 

The Water of Leith is a river which flows from the Pentland Hills and runs all the way to the Firth of Forth, immediately to the north of the city. This river provides you with a perfect natural route to follow and you’ll see the sea, the city and the summits of Pentland. 

Perhaps cycling around Edinburgh truly comes into its own up in the Pentland Hills. Lying a little to the south, climbs here reward you with unrivalled panoramas of the capital and the Firth. While the ascents are tough on the legs, you’ll be on traffic-free trails, allowing easy resting points. 

Cutting across the low-lying landscape, the Union Canal is a fantastic flat route, or explore lanes between fields and meander your way around the city outskirts. With castles, woodlands and old quarries, there’s something intriguing around every corner. 

Historic sites for sandwich stops

Bike rides in Edinburgh and its pretty surroundings always include historic sites. If you’re not in the immediate vicinity of a castle, you might be on a Roman Road, pedaling past an old mill or pausing for water on the site of a hill fort. 

The fascinating history of the area gives you brilliant objectives on rides and provides impressive lunch spots. Within the city itself, two-wheel your way through ancient history from Arthur’s Seat to Edinburgh Castle and the cathedral. 

Craigmillar Castle to the south east and Lauriston Castle in the north west are both beautiful objectives for rides through Edinburgh’s past. Rosslyn Chapel featured in the Da Vinci Code film and can be found on the banks of the River North Esk. You’ll find woodlands, designated cycle paths and plenty more historic sites in this area, just east of the Pentland Hills and within easy reach of Edinburgh.

Edinburgh's best cycling routes on the map

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