River Almond & Cramond Island, Edinburgh

Cramond Island lies only a short way off the shore of the Firth of Forth but a clamber along the causeway can make a short walk seem like a mini adventure

Cramond Island lies only a short way off the shore of the Firth of Forth but a clamber along the causeway can make a short walk seem like a mini adventure. Do be aware, however, that each year many have to be rescued when they become stranded by an incoming tide. Before setting off you should check tide times on a sign next to the causeway or go to: www.queensferrylifeboat.co.uk/#!safecrossing-times/c1mo8

Some may wish to steer clear of the island, especially if they have young children, but a lovely walk can still be had, up the River Almond.

To start, head down to the foreshore from the car park to walk along a wide esplanade with Cramond Island, and the causeway leading to it, on your right. Unless you are crossing to the island follow the esplanade to the left at the mouth of the River Almond and pass moorings for boats as well as the historic Cramond Inn. A ferry used to cross the River Almond at this point but it hasn’t run for a number of years.

However, you can head upstream and take a path that begins after Cramond Boat Club, following the River Almond Walkway. There is evidence of an industrial past, including a large weir. In the 18th and 19th centuries the flowing water at the edge of the Firth of Forth meant it was an important place for iron production with furnaces and forges in operation.

After a few hundred yards go right at the Cramond Falls Café – a converted 17th Century Grain Mill – to stay close to the water. The path then runs along a minor road, to the end of a small car park, from where you continue towards a ruined building with a weir beyond it.

Distance: 2½ miles (add 2 miles if going to Cramond Island as well)

Time: 1 to 1½ hours (allow an extra hour to get to and from the island, longer if exploring it or having a picnic)

OS Landranger: 65 or 66

Start/finish point: There is a free car park near the foreshore in Cramond. Turn off Whitehouse Road, following a sign for “Cramond Village and Kirk”, down Cramond Glebe Road, and turn right near the bottom of the hill.

Ascend a wide flight of steps, and continue upstream until you reach a long, steep set of steps which lead to a path running high above the river. More steps lead down to the riverbank which you follow to reach a minor road. At the end of the road go right and right again to reach Cramond Old Brig. This dates back to around 1500 and in later use carried the A90 over the River Almond. It was replaced by the modern Cramond New Bridge in 1964. The Miller & Carter Steakhouse (it used to be The Brig pub) is on the other side of the bridge if you need some refreshment before heading back to Cramond the same way. TC
Published: December 2017