The Edinburgh to Helensburgh coast to coast ride

August 2000
100 km

I did not have a camera back then, I am afraid. So no pictures. But click on the button below to open up Google Maps.
Enter "Edinburgh" in the search field & Google Earth for xtra pictures


A coast to coast ride on the British Isles is something of a holy grail..... well, sort of. I was living in Helensburgh at that time and this route seemed interesting. I was wrong. It was actually a pretty boring ride...... until I reached Campsie Fells. The rest is best forgotten, but here I go.

Although the weather forecast was pretty bad that day, I took the train early in that Sunday morning from Helensburgh to Glasgow. I changed over to the train to Edinburgh in Glasgow. The whole journey from Helensburgh to Edinburgh took me more than two hours and it was a bit stressful. I disembarked at Edinburgh Waverley Station in the sunshine and I immediate got lost when looking for the road to Queensferry. I eventually found it, but it was pretty busy even on a Sunday. After some depressing boring kilometers, I finally reached Queensferry and the Forth Railway Bridge. This world famous landmark is very impressive from below. I stood under it for a while while I was admiring it. It is a stunning beautiful man made thing. But I had to crack on in the direction of Falkirk. The climb out of Queensferry was pretty interesting with some good views towards both the beautiful railway bridge and the ugly road bridge spanning the Forth. The road past Bo'Ness and Grangemouth towards Falkirk was dead boring with some small hills and a lot of traffic. I stopped at a pub just before Falkirk and had a healthy dinner. The sunshine had now turned to light rain when I arrived at Falkirk.
I passed through this town on my way to Denny and the start of the climb up to Carron Bridge and the Campsie Fells. The climb up the valley to Carron Bridge in the rain was strangely enough the highlight of the tour. I was glad I chose to do Campsie Fells too on this tour. The road was pretty flat from Carron Bridge up to the top of the mountain at Strathcarron Reservoir at the top of Carron Valley. The road along this lake was pretty good in the rain. The descent down to Fintry was very hairy in the monsoon rain and I took it easy down here. I soon reached the small village of Fintry. It was pretty late in the day and I had to carry on before the nightfall. I took the road out the valley to Killearn and then the vertical dropping road down to the valley floor and a small bridge. The road climbed up to Croftamie and then fell down again to the crossroad between Drymen and Balloch. In this rain, I continued over to Balloch and up and over the hill. I was drenched, but determined to get on with the last hill over to Helensburgh. I reached the top of the hill and a pretty hairy descent took me down to my flat in Helensburgh just before nightfall after a wet day on the bike.


This tour is divided into two parts: The first boring bit before Denny and the more interesting Campsie Fells. In this respect, it is a prettty good ride. But it is not a ride I will do again, I believe. But it is probably the most interesting coast-to-coast ride in the Glasgow/Edinburgh area. And that says a lot about this coast-to-coast idea.
I am a bit ambient to this tour because there are around twenty other rides in this area I would rather do than to repeat this ride again.