Edinburgh to South Queensferry Walk

Edinburgh to South Queensferry is a 7 mile walk along the cycle paths of North Edinburgh. The route will take you through Barnton, over the River Almond via the Cramond Brig, through Dalmeny Estate and along the foreshore to South Queensferry.

Edinburgh to South Queensferry Start of the Walk:

The walk starts from the Holiday Inn in Blackhall. If you are living in central Edinburgh take the 43 or X55 from Princes Street to the stop just outside the Holiday Inn on Queensferry Road. Directly across the road from the bus stop there is a Sainsburys or Marks & Spencer Simply Food where you can buy sandwiches and drinks to take with you on the walk.

Edinburgh to South Queensferry start of the walk
Proceed down the steps to the path below

When you get of the bus, walk up the road, turn left and you will find steps leading down to the cycle path below. This was the site of Craigleith Station, you can still see the platforms. At the bottom of the steps turn left and under the bridge. Proceed along the path until you come to another path going off to the left. Follow the signs for South Queensferry.

Follow the sign for South Queensferry

The path will take you up towards the suburbs of Davidsons Mains and on toward Barnton. Barnton is a quiet upmarket neighbourhood with some attractive properties and lovely gardens. Keep following the signs for South Queensferry until you come to the bridge over the River Almond and the Cramond Brig Inn.

Horses in the Paddock at Cramond Brig
Edinburgh to South Queensferry Cramond Brig
Old Cramond Brig over the River Almond
River Almond at Cramond Brig
River almond from Cramond Brig

Dalmeny Estate

Just past the car park at the Cramond Brig you will see a stone built cottage on the right and a gate with a track leading into Dalmeny Estate. Just through the gate you will find an information board about what to look out for on this section of the path. Proceed down the path. You will find a cottage on the right and the path winds to the left and right becoming a narrow tarmac road. Please be mindful of estate vehicles using the road and always stand to the side to let them past.

Continue along the road with the Firth of Forth in front of you, taking the second turning on the left and up the steep incline. As you climb it is well worth just turning round to look back. You will be treated to a superb view right down the Firth of Forth with the island of Inchkeith in front of you and Berwick Law in the distance. You can also spot Arthurs Seat above Barnton.

Looking back towards Barnton and Arthurs Seat
The Firth of Forth and Inchkeith Island

Edinburgh to South Queensferry – Dalmeny House

Proceed along the path until you come to Dalmeny House. This attractive building is the home of the Earl and Countess of Rosebery and whose land you are walking through. Some of you may recognise the building from the Netflix movie “A Castle for Christmas” which starred Brooke Shields.

Edinburgh to South Queensferry Dalmeny House
Dalmeny House which was featured in the movie “A Castle for Christmas”

If you haven’t seen the movie the storyline goes like this. Hard up Scottish aristocrat with very dodgy Donald Trump hair doo needs to sell his castle and tenancies as he has no money. Along comes wealthy American author who falls in love with hard up Scottish aristocrat marries him and they all live happily ever after. Its the sort of Mills and Boon style story that you either love or it leaves you gagging!

The gothic style house you see was completed in 1817 and as well as being a family home is open to the public during the summer months. You may want to visit and view the collection of antique furniture, artworks and curious objects on display.

The house is also a venue for corporate events, has its own golf course which is open to the public and its own helicopter landing area.

For more details about the house, family, and the estate click this link

Edinburgh to South Queensferry – Barnbougle Castle

This was the original home of the Earls of Rosebery. The castle was originally built in the 13th Century by the estates previous owners the Mowbray family. The estate was acquired by Sir Archibald Primrose in 1662 and his son created the Earl of Rosebery in 1703. The castle is now used for weddings and special events and the grounds are private. However I was able to take the shot below by walking along the beach. If you would like a glimpse of the inside of the castle then click this link. It is pretty impressive.

Edinburgh to South Queensferry Barnbougle Castle
Barnbougle Castle

Onwards to South Queensferry

The walk continues through a wooded area along the banks of the Firth of Forth. It is well worth taking a slight detour towards Hound Point. You might spot the odd tanker loading up with oil which has been refined at Grangemouth further up river. You can also take in a superb view of the bridges to your left or Inchcolm and Inchkeith Islands to your right.

Oil Tanker loading up at Hound Point
View of the bridges from Hound Point

Continue along the path toward the Forth Railway Bridge an excellent example of Victorian engineering.

Forth Railway Bridge

The bridge is considered a symbol of Scotland and a World Heritage Site. Designed by Sir John Fowler and Sir Benjamin Baker it is a cantilever bridge. Completed in 1889 it took seven years to build and claimed the lives of 73 men. When it was opened by the Duke of Rothesay and then King Edward V11 in March 1890. At the time it was the longest single cantilever bridge in the world.

Edinburgh to South Queensferry Forth Rail Bridge
Forth Rail Bridge

A memorial has been erected with all the names of the men who were killed in the bridges construction and stands on the seafront.

The Hawes Pier

Directly below the railway bridge is the Hawes Pier which was the old ferry terminal. Today you can embark on a cruise to Inchcolm Island. Click this link and read our blog.

The Hawes Inn

Directly opposite the Hawes Pier is the Hawes Inn. The inn dates back to the 17th Century and is noted for its connections to the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Kidnapped.

If you decided against taking a packed lunch there are plenty of places along the front offering lunch or snacks. I stopped at the bikers cafe for a bacon and sausage roll washed down with a cup of coffee. I appreciate this may not be everyone’s first choice. At a total cost of £4.00 I thought it was pretty reasonable.

Time to meander along the front, have a seat or rest those legs. Watch some ships sail upriver toward the port at Grangemouth.

The last part of the walk will take you to the old part of South Queensferry with its attractive old buildings.

Edinburgh to South Queensferry Queensferry High Street
South Queensferry High Street

Rosebery Hall

As you enter the narrow cobbled High Street with its small shops the Tolbooth and its clock tower dominate the street. Known today as Rosebery Hall the Tolbooth was where taxes and customs were collected. It also served as a courthouse and prison and a meeting place for the burgh council.

Edinburgh to South Queensferry Rosebery Hall
Rosebery Hall

The present clock was erected in 1887 to mark the jubilee of Queen Victoria. The cost of the clock was £227, raised by voluntary subscriptions.

The town house to the east became Rosebery Hall. This was gifted to the town by the the 7th Earl of Rosebery in memory of his wife.

On the wall of the clocktower adjoining the outside stair is the war memorial. Look out for the colourful plaque on the roadside which dates from 1817. This commemorates the supply of water and a bleaching green for the town’s inhabitants gifted by the 4th Earl of Rosebery.

Plaque commemorating the supply of water for a bleaching green

Edinburgh to South Queensferry – End of the Walk

Just past Rosebery Hall the road takes a sharp right turn. Proceed up toward the bus stop where you can catch a 43 Lothian Country Bus back to Edinburgh.

This marks a fitting end to our walk through the suburbs of Barnton, The Dalmeny Estate and along the Firth of Forth to South Queensferry. I do hope you will enjoy this walk as much as I did.

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Blog updated March 2024

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