5 tips for cycling in Edinburgh
Cycling may not exactly be the first activity that springs to mind when thinking of things to do in Edinburgh. Its grand castle, fabulous museums and famous Royal Mile are what most people think of when they think of Scotland's fantastic capital city.
But did you know that there are nearly 50 miles of cycling paths in Edinburgh? Cycling is an awesome way to experience a city. You can really feel the fresh air on your face as you notice sights, sounds and small details that you might otherwise miss when stuck inside a tourist bus. You can also cover a lot more ground than you can when travelling on foot. To help you on your way, we have put together a list of five top tips for exploring Edinburgh on two wheels. So, let’s begin!
1. Plan ahead
No matter where you are travelling to, there are always lots of things to arrange before you depart. That includes packing your suitcase, booking accommodation and maybe figuring out an itinerary. It is always a good idea to plan ahead and arrange as many aspects of your trip as you can before you set off, freeing up as much time as possible to simply get out there and enjoy everything that Edinburgh has to offer.
If you are going to be flying to Edinburgh, it is important to plan your journey to and from the airport. Parkhero can help you with this. Whether it’s Heathrow, Belfast or Gatwick parking that you need, you can compare and book offers on parking at all major airports in the UK and Ireland through their website. In case you want to bring your own bike for your cycling adventure in Edinburgh, they can also help you to find a parking service where you can have your bike transferred from your car to the airport terminal building. Remember; we can give your bike a full set up safety check to make sure it survived the flight.
2. Don’t scrimp on bike hire
It goes without saying that finding a good quality bike is the crucial starting point to your cycling trip. If you don’t already have your own bike with you, there are plenty of places where you can hire a bike in Edinburgh. There are some super cheap ones out there, but it is always worth paying a little more if it means you can get a better quality bike. The last thing you want is to have to cut your cycling trip short because of a wobbly tyre, wonky handlebars or broken gears! Our hire bikes are maintained to the highest standards and start at just £25. Each hire bike comes with a helmet, lock, spare inner tube and a cycle map of the city.
3. Dive into the city…
Cycling in a busy city like Edinburgh – not to mention with its hills and old cobbled roads – might seem a bit overwhelming at first. But don’t be put off, as Edinburgh has some seriously special urban cycle routes. For example, the north of Edinburgh is home to a vast network of cycle lanes that run along the city’s old railway networks. They can take you from the waterfront area of Granton, down into historical Haymarket and even into the city centre. Enjoy seeing the sights and sounds of the city from a new perspective!
4. … but also take a detour from the crowds
With a population of almost half a million (making it the second biggest city in Scotland), Edinburgh can certainly get busy, especially during peak seasons such as the Fringe Festival. It is always nice to take a moment away from the crowds and cycling allows you to do just that. There are some wonderful cycling routes in Edinburgh where you can enjoy some peace and quiet and experience some beautiful countryside views. Why not try the Forth and Clyde Canal path? It consists of 35 miles of pathway stretching between Edinburgh and Bowling. With a mostly flat route and no traffic to contend with, it is a great experience for cyclists of all levels.
5. Keep safe!
Cycling in Edinburgh promises to be a fun adventure that you won’t forget in a hurry. Whatever happens, it is important to keep safe. Make sure you are aware of the rules of the road before heading out on your bike. There are lots of small but essential rules to follow, such as always wearing a safety helmet, remembering to turn on the front and back lights on your bike when cycling in darkness hours, and not cycling with more than two people side by side.
Bear these tips in mind and you are guaranteed to have a great time cycling in Edinburgh. Our final tips for you: take care, enjoy the sights and sounds, and have fun!