Friday 4th March I loaded my tourer up with some food a flask and extra clothes and headed down to the station to catch the train to Dunbar birthplace of John Muir.
After a stop outside his birthplace I headed out on the JMW. Traditionally cycled West to East to take advantage of the prevailing wind I had decided to begin in the East as that is where John Muirs story began. The JMW is a purpose built C2C route suitable for walkers and cyclists the path occasionally splits and the walkers and cyclists take a different path. Surprisingly the walking and cycling routes are the same distance despite the splits along the way.
It was a grey windy day and the sea was choppy it all added up to an atmospheric ride out of Dunbar. The route makes use of NCN 76 and further on towards Edinburgh NCN 1 it also utilises roads when it needs to. After Dunbar which is left on the A199 Whitekirk is the next village then onto North Berwick. Berwick Law (613ft 187m) dominates the skyline and the route takes you around the bottom of the Law although you can make a slight detour and climb up the hill and examine the stone watchtower at the top of this ancient volcano.
After North Berwick Dirleton with it’s castle and Gullane with it’s golf courses follow in quick succession. Next village is Aberlady and your first glance of the Forth bridges Aberlady bay at 20 miles is a nice place to stop for food and a comfort break.
Although on a busy road now you are following the coast along to Cockenzie and Port Seton you pass in front of the now abandoned Cockenzie powerstation and back onto a cycle path. You are now nearing Edinburgh and Arthurs seat is visible in the distance. Still hugging the coast you carry on through Prestonpans the site of the famous battle and home to a not so famous microbrewery. At the edge of Musselburgh the path leaves the shore and heads up Brunstane Burn and into the first suburb of Scotland’s capital city.
Edinburgh is blessed with miles of cycle paths, mainly old railways, and this path leads you onto the Innocent Railway which was used to transport goods and people between Edinburgh and Dalkeith. The innocent railway via the Innocent tunnel leads you towards Holyrood park and the Scottish Parliament building.
So endeth my ride for the day!
The verdict a great route with views and terrain to keep it interesting and enough cafes, castles and Kirks to satisfy anyone!