Scenic Sunday: Family route in Edinburgh

Ride level Beginner cyclist
Distance 4 mi / 6 km
Type of bicycle Any
Traffic free
Circular route
Edinburgh's scenic Holyrood Park

Play Together on Pedals is a project to get young children and their families cycling. Run by Cycling UK, Cycling Scotland and Play Scotland. it teaches preschool children in Edinburgh and Glasgow to cycle through a playful program run in nurseries and community organisations. It's also about getting whole families pedalling, including a monthly family ride in Edinburgh in partnership with Sustrans.

This family ride is from the Meadows in central Edinburgh out to Dr Neil's Garden in nearby Duddingston. 

The route is ideal for families who have learned to pedal and built up a bit of confidence, and are now looking for a longer route. It's a perfect Sunday pedal, as it uses the road through Holyrood Park which is closed to traffic on Sundays 8:30-17:30. There is a also a fun treasure hunt, with lots of things for children to spot during the ride.

The route starts on the beautiful Meadows in central Edinburgh, following National Cycle Network Route 1 (NCN 1). Following a mix of off-road cycle paths and quiet streets, you leave NCN 1 where it goes through the Innocent Tunnel, instead staying on East Parkside.

After about a mile, you reach Holyrood Park and have great views of Arthur's Seat up ahead. Remember, it's best to come on a Sunday when the roads will be closed to traffic!

Take the second exit at the roundabout and follow Duddingston Low Road about a mile around the bottom of the crags, with the lovely Duddingston Loch to your right.

Dismount and walk the bikes up Old Church Lane to the double gates between the loch and the kirk. This is the entrance to Dr Neil's Garden, where your ride finishes. There’s a lovely café, lots of paths to explore and geese and swans to visit on the loch.

When you're ready to head back, just retrace your pedal strokes the two miles back into town.