A guide to visiting Cramond Island from Edinburgh
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Cramond Island, Escape The Edinburgh Crowds!

Cramond Island is one of many small uninhabited islands that can be found along the Scottish coastline close to Edinburgh. Read on to find out how to visit and what to do whilst there!

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If you’re in Edinburgh and feel like escaping the city life for fresh sea air and country walks, then Cramond Island is the place to go. Just a short bus ride from the city centre will take you to the small village of Cramond. Here, you will find this tiny Island reached at low tide along a ¾ mile causeway.

Best Time To Visit Cramond Island

If you decide to visit the Island, you must plan for the tides, as you don’t want to end up stranded. Generally, walking across in the morning around 8-9 am is safest, but these times can change, so it’s best to check tidal times the day before. Tidal times can be found here and on a notice board next to the causeway on the mainland side. It’s crucial to take notice of these times as the tide does come in very quickly, and many tourists have been stranded for hours.

How To Get To Cramond Island

I wasn’t planning to visit Cramond Island whilst in Edinburgh, but I felt like I needed a break from wandering the busy Edinburgh streets. I didn’t check the times beforehand and hoped I’d be lucky enough to arrive on time. I bought the £4 day ticket and hopped on the number 41 bus from the city centre and headed off into the unknown.

I wasn’t sure where to get off the bus, so I downloaded the Transport for Edinburgh app, which came in handy. Once on the bus, I could track my position along the route, which made finding my stop very easy! I recommend downloading this app if travelling to Edinburgh! The journey itself took around 30 minutes. Once off the bus, I walked down towards the coast, where I was met with some stunning views of the Scottish coastline and Cramond harbour.

Exploring Cramond Island And The Surrounding Area

Luckily, I arrived just in time. I got there around 9 am and had only 1 hour left to safely make it across and back, so I headed straight over. The causeway is a lovely 10-minute walk, and you can watch all types of birds digging for food along the way; if you’re lucky, you might even come across some crabs. Once on the Island, the views are stunning; you can see right across the Forth River towards the famous Forth railway bridge and the new road bridge alongside.

The island is approximately 19 acres and rises to 68 meters above sea level, making it easy to explore for a few hours. Unfortunately, I only had around 30 minutes on the island, but it was enough to enjoy the beautiful views and explore a little.

The Dalmeny Estate now owns the island, but it was originally used to graze sheep; you can find remains of an old farmstead and an old jetty dating back to the 1800s on the north side of the island.

It is also thought to have once been the site of a Roman fort, but there is no evidence to back this up. However, in 1977, a significant Roman sculpture was discovered in the riverbed. The sculpture, a carved sandstone lioness, is considered a Roman funerary monument, although how it found its way here is a mystery. Some believe it fell off a boat, whilst others believe it was purposely dumped in the river.

The island also played its part during both World Wars. During World War 1, it was taken over by the war department and used to defend the Forth and then again in World War 2. Many military structures were built during this time, including several gun emplacements. Even the design of the causeway with its imposing concrete teeth was constructed to prevent German U-boats and other similar craft from passing through the harbour at high tide.

Once back safely on the mainland, I had plenty of time to spare, so I decided to take a walk down one of the walking trails in the area. There are a few different walks, but I chose the River Almond Walkway, which took me around two miles from the Cramond foreshore to the historic Cramond Brig.

The River Almond once powered five mills, originally grain but later converted to ironworking. As you walk along the trail, you will come across the ruins of Fair-a-Far Mill; this mill was once the heart of Cramond’s Industrial Revolution. Ships came from as far as Russia and Sweden and brought iron to Cockle Mill just downstream, where it was made into strips. 

These strips were then taken to Fair-a-Far Mill, where huge furnaces melted them down to make tools, chains and cart axles. Eventually, the iron industry in Cramond closed down, and the mill became a paint factory. However, a flood in 1935 damaged the building beyond the repair of which the remains remain.

As the trail continues, you will be met with some stunning scenery and a lovely, cosy cafe where you can have lunch or a quick coffee. However, after this point, some parts of the trail require you to go up and down a series of stairs, so if this is an issue, then it’s best to end the trail at the cafe.

If you finish the trail, you will reach the lovely Cramond Brig, which leads you back onto the main road where you can either catch the bus back into Edinburgh city centre or go further afield and check out South Queensferry and the famous Forth railway bridge.

Final Thoughts

Overall, Cramond Island is a beautiful destination for anyone wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of modern life and return to nature. Even though the island isn’t directly close to Edinburgh, it is relatively easy to access via car or public transport. So what are you waiting for? Grab your coat and hat, and head over to Cramond Island for an unforgettable experience in Scotland!

Thanks so much for stopping by; I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and make it to the end! I have lots of exciting new content in the next few weeks, so make sure you pop back to catch up! 

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Happy travels!

A guide to visiting Cramond Island from Edinburgh
A guide to visiting Cramond Island from Edinburgh

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