With its beautiful scenery and fantastic system of off-road bike routes and cycle paths, Edinburgh is certainly a great city to explore by bike and if you’re a keen cyclist it is more than worth visiting for a long weekend or even longer.
The city is possibly one of the most bike-friendly cities in the UK, with a large number of residents and visitors using a bike as their preferred method of getting around. Edinburgh has a large number of short bike paths, shared-use pavements and off road-tracks, giving cyclists the chance to travel around the city safely and away from the heavy traffic.
For the most off-road bike paths, head to the north of the city. The paths are generally well kept and well lit, with manageable gradients. The paths all link together, to form a good comprehensive network of bike paths for cyclists to use and ensure you can get back safely from wherever you choose to travel to.
Cycle along converted railway lines and you will be taken from near the centre of the city to the Port of Leith, Granton, or along to the seaside at the pretty village of Cramond. You can cycle from near the Scottish Parliament, passing through a tunnel over 500m long, down to the seaside resort of Portobello too.
If you’d rather leave your bike at home when visiting Edinburgh, you can easily rent one. From mountain bikes to folding bikes, you can hire a bike for as long as you need, along with a helmet, repair kit and pump. Tagalongs, trailers and bikes for children are also available to hire so you can get the whole family involved in your biking holiday.
A great way to see parts of Edinburgh that are often missed on other tours, is by taking part in an organised cycle tour of the city. They can provide you with a bike, helmet and a guide, you just need to put in the energy and enthusiasm.
If you want to give your bike legs a break, there are a number of bike stands around the city, including at train stations and park and ride sites, where you can securely lock up your bike. This is an ideal and safe way of enjoying a quick coffee stop or lunch before getting back to your bike.
Just like Rome, Edinburgh was built on seven hills. Castle Rock, Calton Hill and Arthur’s Seat sit right in the heart of Edinburgh, with the others just a short distance away from the city centre. There might be a steep climb up to the castle, but the gradients are manageable and the views are simply spectacular.