john muir way
How much of Edinburgh can you see in 24 hours? With our summer time daylight hours starting early and lasting long, there are no excuses.
Kick start your visit to Edinburgh with a sunrise running tour courtesy of www.edinburghruntours.com not only will you get to see the stunning sunrise but you will also experience the breath taking run up Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the 360 degree views around Edinburgh. Arthur’s Seat is a 251m summit that towers over Edinburgh situated on the edge of the city right next to Palace of Holyroodhouse. Lucja, that’s me, will make sure you are fed & watered at the top to ensure you have the energy to enjoy the rest of the running tour to ensure you don’t miss the major sites of Edinburgh along Royal Mile. Run past the Palace of Holyroodhouse and wave to the Queen (if she’s in!) and head past the new Scottish Parliament before exploring the sights and sounds of Royal Mile all the way up to Edinburgh Castle before nipping back down the hill to Princes Street gardens and across to the best breakfast in town.
According to Iona MacArthur the hidden gem, The Caffeine Drip at 10 Melville Place is THE go to for coffee & breakfast in Edinburgh, open from 7:30am weekdays and 9am weekends they offer an usual menu with a South African twist and coffee that sees coffee pilgrims trekking in from all over to drink. Get your fill here; you’ve earned it from all that running!
It’s time to change from using your feet to two wheels. Time to head off to Edinburgh Bike Tours where the team there can work out a bespoke tour for you to ensure you get off the beaten track. Head out to Portobello to see Edinburgh’s seaside and then follow the John Muir Way heading out towards North Berwick, the total distance you will cycle will be 26.5 miles, a marathon on a bike. Just over halfway at 14miles you come to Aberlady Bay which is a beautiful local nature reserve and renowned as a bird watching venue, stop and enjoy the views from the footbridge. A few miles further along you come to the small village of Gullane where you can take a detour to admire the long sandy beach, the most spectacular in East Lothian or if you fancy a cheeky brew at Falko Konditormeister, a small German bakery on the corner of the main street in Gullane that does delightful coffee and cakes. Detour into Dirleton to see the 13th century rustic Dirleton Castle, a magnificent fortress residence which is a sight to behold and wander through the impressive ruins. It’s not far now and you will reach North Berwick, a cute seaside town with a beautiful harbour and impressive views of Bass Rock. There are some great little cafes to eat and drink, but keeping it traditional I love to head to North Berwick Fry for some old fashioned Fish n Chips after all that cycling! Get yourself on the train at North Berwick and a 33min trip gets you back into Waverley station.
Looking for an afternoon snack & drink, go where the local Leither’s (Edinburgh residents living in Leith) and head to Serrano Manchego at 297 Leith Walk and enjoy delicious Spanish tapas and refreshing beers on tap or chilled wines to refresh any weary traveller. Fancy coffee instead then look no further than across the road to Casa Amiga, a quaint little coffee shop bringing the passion of Portugal to Edinburgh. The coffee will put a spring back in your step and the traditional Portuguese custard tarts are so delicious you will need more than just the one!
You may have seen the sunrise, but you shouldn’t miss the sunset! You’ve done a lot of activity today so you might want to consider catching the bus or a taxi to Cramond and take a leisurely walk along Cramond beach for sunset and see the magnificent sight of the triangular pillars along the causeway which are the remains of a submarine boom, designed to prevent submarines and torpedo boats passing inshore of the island at high water and thus bypassing the various defenses spanning the rest of the estuary. They bridge the gap between Cramond and Cramond Island and make for a stunning sunset photo as illustrated by Stewart Hardy @kharashov below. If you strike it lucky with the tides you can walk along the concrete causeway all the way out to Cramond Island along the triangular shaped barriers (check these times as the crossing should only be made 2 hours either side of low tide).
With a heavy influence from Italian migrants in Edinburgh you can be guaranteed a fantastic meal of Italian at many restaurants throughout the city. For a bit of casual dining that doesn’t break the bank I always head to Taste of Italy; delicious freshly prepared pizzas and pastas with Birra Moretti on tap or a simple choice of red or white wine, nothing too fancy here but good old fashioned food!
After such a hectic day on your feet, it must be time to lay your head. Enjoy a restorative good night’s sleep at the Crowne Plaza Edinburgh – Royal Terrace, one of Edinburgh’s best kept secrets with their own private gardens to ensure peace and tranquillity in a busy city. Have a wee dram in the bar for a night cap to have you ready for bed. If you’re not tired yet, then you are a machine, and there is a fun night life in Edinburgh to explore, but I’ll save that for another day!