Biking Adventure: 11 Traffic Free cycling routes | Edinburgh

Biking Adventure: 11 Traffic Free cycling routes | Edinburgh

Silverknowes Esplanade

In this post, we highlight some of the best traffic-free cycling routes Edinburgh has to offer, including cycle paths and mountain bike trails not far from the city!

If you're looking for a fun and healthy way to explore the city, cycling is the way to go. Edinburgh is a cyclist's paradise, with plenty of bike lanes and scenic routes to choose from. There are also plenty of places to stop and enjoy the view of the historic city, so you can easily spend an entire day out on your bike without ever getting bored.

And if you're worried about getting lost, don't be - there are plenty of maps and apps that can help you plan your route. So what are you waiting for? Grab your bike and explore Edinburgh today!

Make The Most Of Your Cycling Experience In Edinburgh By Following These Routes!

Cycling Routes
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    The table above lists all the best cycling routes around Edinburgh. Click on each name to be taken straight to the part of the blog post for that route.

    See the capital city of Scotland on two wheels for a unique experience you won't forget! Have a look below at the cycle routes listed on the interactive map and click on the buttons below the map for each route, for further information before you travel. Bike hire options are shown in purple.

    Water of Leith Path

    The Water of Leith Path is a great route for cyclists looking to ride their bikes from one side of the city to the other. The path runs 12 miles long with an easy gradient, making it perfect if you're not into high-intensity workouts but still want some fresh air and scenery! You can find wildlife and waterfalls on this route so bring your camera with you! The area of Leith in the city has plenty of cafes and restaurants to ensure you're well refreshed once you arrive.

    Hawthornevale Path

    Cycle through the Edinburgh landscape on this 5-km one-way route that takes around half an hour to complete. This is one way you can enjoy some solitude during quieter times for your mind and body to rest up after all that adventuring around town!

    Blackhall and Roseburn Path

    The 8-km out-and-back trail in the city is one of the most popular Edinburgh cycle routes, mainly because it forms part
    of National Cycle Network Route 1 which links the capital with northern Scotland. Generally considered an easy road biking or running path, this beautiful country route offers something for everyone!

    Silverknowes Esplanade

    Take a scenic ride with your family along the banks of the beautiful Silverknowes Esplanade towards Cramond. This traffic-free path has it all with great views across to the Forth Bridges and the Kingdom of Fife and a gradient that won't hurt the legs too much! The 9-km route is one of the best on the north side of the city!

    edinburgh bike trails

    The Innocent Railway Path

    The journey along the entire length of this cycle route is sure to leave you feeling excited about what lies ahead. Starting near Newington, the historic trail travels under Holyrood Park on the way to Brunstane in the east of the city. Forming part of the National Cycle Route 1, the trail is one of the most used by cyclists and runners in the area and at one point travels through the 517-metre-long Innocent Railway Tunnel.

    traffic free cycle routes edinburgh

    Hollyrood Park

    The views of Edinburgh's skyline from Holyrood Park are stunning, and there is a well-surfaced bike path that runs alongside part of the main Queen’s Drive to enjoy the views whilst you ride. Sundays tend to be more popular than other days for cyclists because many roads within this park close down to traffic. The park can be quite busy but with well-surfaced paths, you can enjoy a ride here without any hassle.

    Union Canal Towpath

    A great route in the southwest of Edinburgh is a cycle/footpath that runs alongside the Union Canal. It's level, straight, and free from traffic; but you'll have to share this quiet refuge with anglers (and their dogs), walkers, and families out for an enjoyable stroll! The journey begins at Lochrin Basin where it travels all over town before ending up near Ratho, continuing westerly towards the city of Glasgow!

    MTB: Glentress

    Glentress is one of the most spectacular mountain biking venues in all of Great Britain. It offers trails for beginners and experts alike with magnificent views overlooking Tweed Valley below. There's 73km (45 miles) worth of waymarked terrain which can cater to any ability level and is one of the most popular spots for mountain biking in the area.

    MTB: Innerleithen

    Innerleithen is a haven for mountain bikers of all levels. The four downhill trails are nothing to scoff at, but cross-country riding opportunities also exist in abundance here with a challenging red-graded XC track that will challenge even the most seasoned practitioners!

    MTB: Pentland Hills

    The 33km long route is situated in the beautiful Pentland Hills Park – a gorgeous area of natural beauty not far out from the city. With easy access to Edinburgh, this biking road offers great views and enjoyable single tracks while providing a good slice of adventure with its challenging terrain! There's lots more here too so don't forget about exploring what else lies in this scenic park landscape.

    MTB: Blairadam Forest

    The exhilarating nature of Blairadam Forest means that each visit is a new adventure. Rugged yet beautiful paths await you in this ancient place! Whether you are looking for an adventure on the mountain bike or just want some quiet time in nature, there is something here that will suit your needs!


    In this blog post, we have shared some of the best traffic-free cycle routes in Edinburgh. To find out more about things to do in this area, click on the links below:


    Edinburgh Blogs


    Free Things to do in Edinburgh


    Forest Walks near Edinburgh


    Local Delicacies and Souvenirs from Edinburgh

    Please note...

    All outdoor activities including cycling involve a degree of risk. The routes are recommended due to the well known features of each route but this may change over time and further research is required before undertaking any activity. The weather can also impact the surface and general conditions of each route so please keep yourself updated with the weather forecast before setting off to enjoy your cycle!

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    Crown Copyright, courtesy Forestry and Land Scotland (16/08/22) licensed under the Open Government License.