Polkemmet Country Park
Hi all. You are spoiled for choice this Wednesday! Ben is offering a fantastic car assisted ride from Ballinluig and for those that prefer to stay local we have a ride to Polkemmet Country Park. The Polkemmet ride is around 54 miles but is 30 miles before lunch so we will have a relaxing picnic in the park knowing that we have an easy ride home and it’s not too far till coffee! The park has picnic tables, toilets and a visitor centre with a vending machine for cold drinks and confectionery but the café is closed. As is it a long morning, you may wish to bring a flask or a snack to keep you going and we will have regular stops to regroup.
We will meet at 9.50am for prompt 10 am departure at Slateford Viaduct on the Slateford road opposite the Water of Leith Visitor Centre. We will take the Water of Leith path up to Balerno where we will take a comfort break at the Mill at St Josephs. Then it’s onto quiet roads to eventually zoom down to a short stretch on the A70 and a right turn onto Leyden road. We will take a track for 1 mile through Selm Muir wood which is very manageable but does have a short section where there are loose stones. At the very bottom of this page you will find an attachment with photos of the worst bits of the tracks so you know what to expect.
Now we will head down on tarmac to a very brief spell on the A71 but then it’s a left turn and a very short spell on a gravel path through Linhouse before we arrive on the Muirieston Road. We will head through Harburn, down to West Calder and onward via Addiewell to Faulhouse. Four miles to go- one final push up towards Harthill and a whizz down to Polkemmet park for a picnic lunch. (30 miles)
After lunch its mostly downhill and only 14 miles till coffee! We will take a direct route through Whitburn to Blackburn where we will take up the NCNR 75 (tarmac) through the Easter Moss and Seafield Law nature reserve and emerge at Livingston. Here we will follow the Peel Path (also tarmac) through Livingston to reach Pumpherston and then it’s right to East Calder and a coffee stop at Veitch’s Garden Centre. (44 miles)
We will head home via Wilkieston , skirting Ratho, Ransfield Road to Gogarbank, then heading back into Edinburgh on the canal which we will take up off the Hermiston House Road. My official lead will end where the canal reaches the Calder Road but those continuing into town will reach the Slatefort Viaduct at 54 miles. This ride can be shortened by returning by train.
Riding in a group requires consideration for others in the group. Our riding guidelines are essential reading prior to coming out on the ride to ensure safety for yourself and the other riders. https://www.cyclinguk.org/group/page/guidelines-safe-riding
Please ride in groups of around 6 with football pitch sized gaps between and at any turns, make sure the person behind sees you or stop till they catch you up. Please take note of my phone number 07974113737 in case you get separated from the group. Please ensure your bike is roadworthy, and that you carry 2 spare inner tubes and basic tools to change. In accordance with good riding practice you should carry emergency contact details both on your person (card in wallet/purse, ICE on mobile) and in your bike bag. An attendance sheet will be completed on the morning.
While experienced group members will always give assistance and advice to other riders ultimately you are responsible for yourself and making your own way home. The ride is primarily for Cycling UK members. Non-members are very welcome but would be expected to join Cycling UK after 3 rides.
See you Wednesday.