It’s that time of year again, when everyone is looking to get fit and burn off the Christmas excesses. So why not dig out your bike and get out and about in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas.
The Capital has so many places to visit on your bike, with miles of cycle paths linking all parts of the city, as well as skate parks and increasingly popular pump tracks.
By UK standards, Edinburgh is a very cycle-friendly city. It has many off-road bike paths, on-road cycle lanes, forward stop lines at traffic lights, and other bike priority measures. And the Capital has lowered the speed limit on most of its roads.
We take a look at some of the best local spots to go on your bike to feel the fresh January air in your face, get fit and enjoy some stunning views while out on two wheels.
1. Colinton Dell
Colinton Dell is a good spot to get out and about on your bike with the kids. The cycle path through the Dell from part of the Water of Leith pathway and includes the bright and colourful 140m long Colinton Tunnel, which was built in the 1800s as part of the Balerno branch railway line from Slateford to Balerno until it was closed in 1967. Photo by Neil Hanna.
Photo: Neil Hanna
2. Portobello Beach
Why not go for a cycle along Portobello Beach, either along the promenade or on the sand, feeling the sea air in your face as you take in the tranquil views of the Firth of Forth and Fife. Photo by Neil Hanna.
Photo: Neil Hanna
3. Gorebridge pump track
Midlothian's first pump track for BMX bikers, scooter riders and skateboarders, was opened at Auld Gala Park in Gorebridge in 2021. The pump track – which is a wavy loop of concrete- was designed to challenge users while remaining accessible for people of all abilities.
4. The Union Canal
Edinburgh's leafy western suburbs are quickly reached on the eight mile stretch of the Union Canal from Edinburgh Quay in Fountainbridge to Ratho. This is a peaceful route with lovely countryside views, although be aware that some sections of the waterway path are wider than others and you will have to dismount at certain bridges along the way. While the end point at the Bridge Inn is perfect for a coffee stop or bar meal before you head back into the Capital.
Photo: Tony Marsh/Sustrans