18 November 2011

Rebel without a causeway: Cramond Island's wet road

Cramond Island, just five miles or so from central Edinburgh, is a kind of mini-Lindisfarne: a small isle connected to the mainland by a narrow concrete causeway.

Most of the time the causeway is under water (right).

But for a couple of hours at low tide (right), when the waters recede, it's perfectly cyclable.

Go when the surface is just submerged and you can skim over the top like you're cycling on water. (Probably best done when tide is going out.)

That said, there's no particular reason for cycling all the way over to the uninhabited islet. Except that you can, so this week I did.

Cramond, like all tidal islands, thrives on stories of careless travellers who get stuck by the tide.

Recent notable examples include a party of Facebook partyers and a man called Daniel Defoe.

No helicopter rescue needed for me. I cycled back along the waterside path to Leith, then along the Water of Leith Closed For Improvements Path to central Edinburgh, then past the Occupy Edinburgh campsite in St Andrew's Square.

This inspired me to stage my own sit-in: Occupy Wetherspoons, which I did until my train home.

Fans of cycling fords and tidal causeways can find examples at wetroads.co.uk, which lists and rates just about every example in the UK.


  1. then wash the salt water off quick and vigourously apply fresh to avoid corrosion

  2. Sound advice indeed... all that nice salty water makes your drivetrain instantly geriatric.

    I thought I could hear corncrakes as I cycled back east to Leith, but then I realised it was my croaking chain.