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Big Yin Bicycle Tour (Medium/Hard - Edinburgh - Full Day)

Leith Shore - Big Yin Bike Tour
Leith Shore - Big Yin Bike Tour
Leith Shore - Big Yin Bike Tour
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This must be one of the most diverse bike tours around. By combining the highlights of our ever popular ‘Sky to Sea’, ‘Bridges’ and ‘Union Canal’ tours, and adding new routes and must see sites, we’ve created the ultimate cycling adventure. From the tranquillity of the countryside and a variety of waterways, to mysterious castles and ruins, imposing palaces and stately homes, to the urban bustle of the city; this tour has it all and will provide a day out you are certain to remember.

The Big Yin

“Glorious day's cycling outside Edinburgh” Niall - London

Big Yin Guided Tour Prices:

Hybrid Bike - £65 per person

Road Bike* - £70 per person

Standard ebike* - £75 per person

Premium ebike with Bosch motor* - £80 per person

Big Yin tour prices include guide, bike rental and return transport to Edinburgh accommodation. All prices are inclusive of VAT - please see full Terms and Conditions
* Please Note: (Standard ebike unsuitable for cycling up Arthurs Seat. Some minor changes to route may be necessary to avoid rougher which is terrain unsuitable for road and ebikes)

Tour Details:

When to go:

Tours run throughout the year

Terrain:

Mixed - road sections and shared walking/cycle paths. Several short climbs with one longer ascent up an access road of Arthurs Seat.

Distance:

41 miles (66 kilometers)

Time:

Including pick up and drop off approximately 7 to 8 hours (full day).

Suitability:

For leisure cyclists with a good level of fitness.

Highlights:

Arthurs Seat, Holyrood Palace, Scottish Parliament, Firth of Forth, Cramond, South Queensferry, Dalmeny Estate, Forth Rail & Road Bridges, Union Canal, Portobello Beach, Leith, Royal Yacht Britannia.

Itinerary:

08:30 - Pick up from accommodation in Edinburgh, drive to tour start of tour, safety briefing and bike set up.

09:15 to 12:00 - Cycle first half of Big Yin Tour

12:00 to 13:00 - Refreshment stop in South Queensferry.

13:00 to 16:00 - Cycle second half of Big Yin Tour..

16:30 - Return to accommodation.

Route Description:

Starting on the promenade of Portobello beach to the East of Edinburgh, was one of Scotland’s most popular holiday destinations, our Big Yin bike tour begins by following the shoreline of the Firth of Forth in a Westerly direction towards Leith. The Port of Leith, once Scotland’s busiest port, and very significant in its role in shipbuilding, fishing and as a military defence for the City of Edinburgh, is now a vibrant neighbourhood, popular for its bars and restaurants, and is also home to the Queens favourite ship, ‘The Royal Yacht Britannia’.

We leave the port cycling along a subterranean network of disused railway lines, which once served many of the mills and factories around Edinburgh. Our next notable stop is the quaint harbour village of Cramond, which boasts one of the British Isles 12 tidal islands, an island which can be accessed without use of a boat or swimming at low tide. Archaeological digging has proved that Cramond has been inhabited for several thousands of years, with Iron Age burial casks being found on island, as well as remains of a Roman fortress in the village.

Continuing west, we leave the urban bustle of the city and begin to experience some Scottish countryside, as we cycle several miles along a quiet road through farmland, otherwise known as the Dalmeny Estate. The Roseberry family have owned this land and several other large neighbouring estates for over 300 years, and currently live in a 19th century revival Tudor style mansion situated on the estate grounds. As we exit the West gate of the estate, the path opens out to a full view of one of Scotland’s most iconic structures, the Forth Rail Bridge and its neighbouring 2 road bridges, the Forth Road Bridge and the newly built Queensferry Crossing.

As we pass under the Southern end of the Forth Bridge we find ourselves on the historic High Street of South Queensferry. The town was named after Queen Margaret who reigned 900 years ago. She would take pilgrimage in a boat across estuary to the Monasteries of the Kingdom of Fife. Since then, and up until the early 1970’s, after the building of the first road bridge, a ferry has transported passengers across the Firth of Forth between North and South Queensferry. Leaving the town, we join the service road for the Forth Road Bridge, and cycle to the midpoint of the bridge for amazing 360 degree views of the estuary and surrounding hills.

Heading east, back towards Edinburgh, using a section of the UK’s longest continuous cycle route, National Cycle Network 1 is a 1695 mile (3162 km) long signed route between the Shetland Islands off the far North coast of Scotland, and Dover in the South of England. NCN1 takes us through the rolling countryside to the familiar suburbs of Edinburgh. Here we rejoin our disused railway network, and head south towards another of Edinburgh’s ancient transport links, the Union Canal.

The Union Canal runs from Falkirk to Edinburgh. It was mainly used to carry coal to the capital. It was opened in 1822, but the construction of the railways from the 1840’s led to the canals slow commercial decline. The canal eventually closed to commercial traffic in 1933, and officially closed in 1965. Due to a revival in the public interest of Britain’s canals generally, the Union Canal was reopened in 2001 and is now used for leisure activities. We cycle the final 2 miles back in to the city centre along the canals towpath.

Arriving in the city centre, we cycle south of the Old Town through the tree lined avenues of the Meadows, a large park frequented by Edinburgh’s student community. The Meadows was once a Loch supplying the city with relatively clean water. The Borough Loch was drained around 300 years ago to provide green space for a growing city. We now negotiate our way along city centre cycle paths towards Holyrood Park and the looming extinct volcano of Arthurs Seat that dominates Edinburgh’s skyline.

Before tackling our last and most demanding part of our tour, we cycle through Holyrood Park, passing the controversial outlandish architecture of the Scottish Parliament buildings, and its majestic 16th century neighbour, Holyrood Palace, the official Royal residence of the Queen when she is in town. Then, as our grand finale, we cycle up a 1 in 10 service road for around a mile, till we almost reach the top of Arthurs Seat. Here we can take a well earned breather as we soak up stunning views across the city and beyond. From here the final 4 miles of the route is mainly downhill, as we return to Portobello along the Innocent Railway path.

Enquiries and Booking:

Booking is easy - Please phone 0044(0)7973940924 or submit an enquiry form, stating the tour you’re interested in, how many people (with your individuals heights if possible), date of your tour, and type of bike you require. We will respond to your enquiry within 24 hours.

All tours run daily, 7 days a week, throughout the year. Places are subject to availability. We accept most major credit and debit cards.

Card payments for our bike tours and hire can be made securely here...