Route out – Gorebridge to Edgehead to Fordel Mains to Mussleburgh to Port Seaton to Longniddry. For route map click here.
Route back – Longniddry to Bogg Holdings to Pencaitland to Ormiston to Cousland to Gorebridge. For route map click here.
- Weather – bright at first but mainly cloudy, quite warm and fairly windy later on.
- Distance travelled – 39.81 miles
- Riding Time – 4 hours 14 minutes
- Maximum speed – 32.1 mph
- Average speed – 9.3 mph
This morning I decided I would like to cycle to Mussleburgh and back but in the end, we decided to go as far as Longniddry and turned it into circular route through East Lothian.
Our usual route from the house took us slowly uphill for the first mile until we reached the B6372 road which takes you passed Vogrie Country Park. We zoomed along the nice smooth road surface for a few miles and then turned left into the village of Edgehead. At a farm at the edge of Edgehead we spotted an old Lothian Buses double decker bus parked in the farmyard. I have no idea what the bus was doing there but since I love buses, we stopped for a photo. Shortly after the village we turned off on to the bumpy road to Fordel Mains Farm. About halfway along this road we stopped to enjoy the view of Edinburgh Castle and Arthur’s Seat. After Fordel Mains we sped all the way downhill passed Carberry Tower to Mussleburgh at almost 30 mph.
In Mussleburgh, we arrived at Luca’s Ice Cream shop just at the exact moment that it opened so we popped in for a chocolate ice cream cone. This gave us an energy boost so instead of turning round and heading home, we decided to go and investigate Cycle Route no.76 and the John Muir Way. We took a combination of these routes (which sometimes follow the same path) to travel mostly off-road right along the coast all the way to Longniddry. The path is mostly quite good and wasn’t too busy with dog walkers and you get good views over to Edinburgh and Fife. On the way, we went through Prestonpans, went right around Cockenzie Power Station (which is now closed), stopped at Port Seaton harbour for a snack and passed by Longniddy Bents beach. The last mile or so into Longniddry was on a main road. It was quite busy so I wouldn’t recommend this section for inexperienced cyclists.
In Longniddry we stopped at the train station just in time to see the train to Edinburgh Waverley pulling into the station. I love trains and this was the first time I’d seen an electric train in my life, so this was my favourite part of the day.
The next section was really quite slow and uphill most of the way to Pencaitland on the B6363. At one point we passed through a silly place called Boggs Holdings and it was here that Dad spotted a funny sign that said: “Slow down for duck sake!” I wasn’t sure what was so funny about it but dad said that when I’m older I will understand what it means… Just before Pencaitland, we were overtaken by an ancient old van. Coincidentally, this was Luca’s ice cream van and it was on its way to the park in Pencaitland where there was a children’s football competition taking place. We stopped there for lunch of oatcakes and cheese and then managed to get a sneaky photo of the ice cream van (without having to buy any more ice cream).
At Pencaitland we joined Cycle Route no.196 which takes you along the old railway line. The path has recently been resurfaced with gravel and this has made it much harder to cycle on. Annoyingly, this made our average speed go down. We cycled passed Ormiston Community Garden where they grow lots of fruit and vegetables on the old railway platform. We then stayed on the path right to the end where it reaches the A6124 and then turned left and then left again to climb the steep hill into Cousland. We didn’t really stop there but carried on uphill again until we reached Fordel Mains once more. After that we avoided Edgehead and instead took another uphill diversion to the highest point on the route at d’Arcy. We didn’t do this because we love cycling uphill. It was because, from there, there is the steepest downhill section in the world. Dad managed to go over 37 mph and I broke my record speed as well at 32.1 mph. We’ve been down here a few times before but this was the first time we didn’t get caught in a torrential downpour of rain or hailstones so it was the first time we were able to go as fast as possible.
The next few miles follows a farm track which has a good surface but is full of potholes so you have to be a bit careful. This track is part of the Tyne-Esk Trail and it took us most of the way back home, rejoining the B6372 for the last mile to Gorebridge.