Making up for neglecting Edinburgh’s surroundings

Since I did not have much time or days off recently to go on trips which are a bit further away from Edinburgh, I finally paid some more attention to the surrounding’s of Edinburgh.

South Queensferry

South Queensferry is my absolute favourite place to go if I want get out but don’t have much time. And I cannot get enough of the view on the 3 bridges. I almost always stop at the harbour when I come back from trips further away.

Recently I explored the area a bit further off the harbour when I walked along the Firth of Forth and actually discovered that there is an actual beach there, too. It was on a Friday afternoon after work. It had rained a lot the days before and was finally dry and the sun was out for a bit. I did not really have a plan what to do when I went down and also could not park at the actual car park as a fun fair was taking place on it. So I parked along the road and started walking the path along the shore. I reached a wee junction and had the choice of going further ahead through the woods or go left towards the water. I thought I might just find a nice place to take pictures across the Forth but actually discovered the beach.

Except of one weird woman behind me – I don’t know why but it was scary that she had followed me all the way – I was the only one out there. Luckily the weird woman went to the right of the beach and I turned left – basically walking back to the harbour along the beach.

It was so calm and peaceful and I just had the most amazing view across the water on the bridges and the sun slowly going down behind them. Definitely a place I will visit more often now when I want to get out spontaneously.

I have been to South Queensferry a lot already. The village itself is super nice and cute and it’s lovely to just stroll around.

Blackness Castle

This was also a very spontaneous trip on a sunny Saturday afternoon. It was already 2pm when I decided to leave the house. Blackness Castle is not too far off from Edinburgh. It is also called “the ship that never sailed” because of its shape and standing right at the shore of the Forth. I also loved the surrounding with all the wheat fields and lonely trees in between. The village itself is not very spectacular and there are only a few houses. But the view from the castle is really nice and a nice change of view on the Forth bridges in the far. I have been walking along the beach around the castle and saw stranded jelly fish and tons of shells. I also observed seagulls hunting fish and actually fishing big fish out of the water!

On my way back I also stopped at Bo’ness for a coffee but did not see much of the village. But I know the steam train is stopping there so will probably go down and one point to see it.

North Berwick

On the same weekend but on the Sunday I went down to North Berwick. It was a day with lots of heavy showers again so I already knew it was only a matter of time until I would get caught up in the rain. When I arrived I walked down from my parking at the station into the centre of the village for lunch. Like honestly the second I entered the café the sky opened its doors and water came splashing down! I’d say I was damn lucky!

After I finished my soup and toastie it luckily had stopped raining and I headed down to the beach. I only went along the beach for a bit as it was about to start raining again… And thunder was growling above me. The dark clouds looked pretty threatening over the dark grey water of the sea.

However I really like North Berwick. It is very nice little village – like a typical coast village with lots of cure little shops, restaurants and cafés. You can also get a bus from Edinburgh down there if you fancy a short trip out of town. I will definitely go down again to get a decent view and pictures of Bass rock which sits approximately 2 kilometres (1.2 mi) offshore, and 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) north-east of North Berwick. It is a steep-sided volcanic rock, 107 metres (351 ft) at its highest point, and is home to a large colony of gannets. You can also do a boat trip out there which I definitely want to do at one point.

Cramond Beach

I would not say it is particular nice there to be honest. At least not when I was there. Yes there is a beach and you can also walk across a crossing to Cramond Island but only when the tide is low. It was pretty busy with people having BBQs etc on the beach and in the grass dunes. I especially loved the sign telling people to watch out for the tide when crossing to Cramond Island. I am not surprised people get caught up by the water. You actually have to plan in some time for it and actually stay on the island until it is safe to go back again, And the tide comes in pretty fast!

I reckon it is pretty nice up there for sunrise and sunset but for me it was just too busy and just not very nice to spend time at.

Newhaven, Edinburgh

Newhaven is basically the neighbour part of town to where I live. It is close to the harbour of Leith and has a very nice walk along the Forth to the Newhaven lighthouse. I only discovered that you can sit next to the lighthouse when I was walking to Leith one Saturday to go to the shopping mal at Ocean terminal.

The lighthouse is really beautiful in my eyes and the view across the Forth is amazing. You can even see the bridges in the far. I spontaneously drove down the other day for sunset and was not disappointed. Especially because the clouds made the sky look unreal. There seems to be a very good fish and chip shop too as it is always super busy there and the empty boxes are flowing over in the bins. I have not tried it yet but I guess it is worth it. There is also a nice restaurant to sit by the harbour. Also on my to do list ;).

More to explore…

There is still a lot more to explore around Edinburgh. I still have not been onto Arthur’s seat. I have not been to the Pentland hills. Rosslyn Chapel is only a 30 minute drive away. I have not been to the Royal Botanic garden properly and so much more.

I call myself very lucky to live here and having the opportunity to do and see so much without driving too far. Of course Germany has beautiful landscapes too and the beaches at the Baltic sea are lovely but depending where you live you would have to drive for hours and hours to get somewhere.

In Scotland you have everything on an area of 77.910 km² (compared to 357.578,171 km² of Germany): Mountains, Lochs, valleys, islands, white beaches, the ocean, forests, ancients sites, castles, wildlife, beautiful little villages and so on. How can you not love this country?

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