Take the train from Waverley station to Dalmeny (3 stops, 25 minutes, £4.60 return – off peak). Drop down the ramp, cross the road at the mini roundabout and find the path next to the bus stop that takes you alongside the railway line until you reach the world famous Forth Rail Bridge (check out my article).
Now, turn right under the bridge and walk along the shore path past the pier and gatehouse into the Dalmeny Estate. Enjoy the forest walk until you take a left onto the beach after about half a mile. You’ll see several paths through the trees (muddy ones).
Et Voila! Suddenly you are on the most stunning series of bays, beaches, dunes, pontoons, hidden pill boxes (from WWII), a castle, a stately home, an oil terminal but most of all…wilderness. On a sunny day you could be in the Bahamas. And you will hardly meet a soul.
Yet this is Edinburgh. A capital city with a mountain (well, volcano), rivers, parks, and, yes, beaches. This is by far the best one though.
You can walk, when the tide is out (check times), as far as Cramond Village (although the River Almond blocks access) past Barnboogle Castle, Dalmeny House and Golf Course – a total of about 5 miles out and the same back. But you can cut off at Dalmeny House and head back to the train station through the historic wooded grounds. Maybe 6 miles.
Honestly, whichever route you take, it’s incredible. Best to wear waterproof footwear.