Travellers' Tales: A Scottish coast to coast

Portobello beach, Edinburgh
Leslie Stuart rode from Solway Firth to the Firth of Forth

Back before the pandemic, in September 2019, six of us senior citizens who cycle regularly on a Wednesday decided to do a three-day coast to coast. We took transport down to Annan and had lunch at the pier before setting off. Our final destination was South Queensferry, near Edinburgh, but the day’s target was Moffat. It was a pleasant route on country lanes and minor roads.

Day two took us into the heart of the Scottish Borders. There didn’t appear to be any cafés en route to Innerleithen, apart from at Peebles – by which time we’d almost be at our accommodation. So we stocked up on sandwiches from Moffat’s Co-op. We were straight into a big climb over the top of Devil’s Beef Tub. Fortunately it wasn’t too steep, and there was a good drop down the other side.

On day three, we left Innerleithen and cycled along a valley for several miles before climbing the Moorfoot Hills. The view towards Edinburgh and the Firth of Forth was unfortunately shrouded by the rain. We carried on, first to Dalkeith then onto Musselburgh, where the sun came out. By the time we reached Portobello it was warm enough to have lunch on the promenade. The last leg of our trip took us to Leith and then to our finish at the Forth Rail Bridge, where our transport was waiting to take us back to Glasgow.

Next up we’re planning to cycle the Whitehaven-to-Sunderland C2C.