River Almond – Edinburgh Airport

I love linking up traffic free trails together to make longer trail runs possible with the least amount of miles on tarmac as possible.

There’s a great trail that used to be an old railway line that connects Kirkliston and S.Queensferry. The only problem is, it goes to Kirkliston and onto the Newbridge roundabout. It’s like a dead end of trail. From S.Queensferry it links up with the coastal path back to Edinburgh. From Newbridge you can make way to the Canal at Ratho but there’s a lot of road and therefore tarmac.

However, there is a trail that links up the coastal path, Cammo and this old railway line. The rub is, it follows Edinburgh Airports Northern boundary.

I’d been on the path that follows the River Almond from Cramond to Cammo many times, and even attempted the run along the airport runway fence. I got stuck tho at the Gogar Burn. This burn travels underneath the airport runway and on the boundary fence the entry to the burn is through a couple of storm grates protecting the airport. These grates are built around a concrete wall and the boundary fence travels along the top. There is a 10cm ledge next to the fence that is the only dry feet option.

When I first met this obstacle I didn’t have the courage to cross the burn. Partly due to the murky water but also I was afraid of wet feet. This was pre- trail running days.

This time I decided to attempt it and also toward the end of the run coming in from the west. I’d come off the railway line at New Halls farm and entered the yard where there are dog kennels. At the back fo the yard you meet the River, there’s a track that you can follow until it turns into a path. This is well trodden but slightly overgrown. You reach the Airport radars where you follow a short road to the emergency entrance road. Crossing here you enter an overgrown trod that is passable but expect bramble creepers. It is easier if you follow the gap between the fence and the overgrowth. The path isn’t a pretty one but it is trail. You also get the excitement of the aeroplanes taking off and landing if that floats your boat.

You reach the burn just over half way. It’s a steep descent down and muddy. Good grip required.

I’d done my homework and checked river levels, (SEPA) too high and the river would be backed up the burn. Too much rain and the burn would be in full flow.

With the river running murky too the footing to cross would be difficult.

It was said to be toward the low end of Normal levels and hence why I decided to attempt this.

There are rocks in the burn at this point where you can see a distinct path and crossing point. I chose to not use the rocks as they were slippy. The water going up to my mid shin.

It’s not a wide crossing but in spate it could be.

I climbed the opposite bank and followed the fence line to the end of the runway, underneath the railway bridge and following the river I took the muddy path to Cammo.

The circuit to cramond via the shore, railway path and airport river Almond is about 21kms making it a decent length.

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4 responses to “River Almond – Edinburgh Airport

  1. The first time I went that way I was on my MTB, exploring a new ‘route to work’ and sort of had no option but to go forwards … hard work getting down and up with a mountain bike hampering your efforts! Once in the dark over the bridge, clinging to the fence and hoping I didn’t look like a security risk… after that I have stuck to wet feet ha ha! Did you keep an eye out for the air-side ‘cat stane’ on your way along?

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