An evening off finally aligned with a good weather forecast which gave me an opportunity to cycle home via Cairnpapple Hill before I lost the daylight. I got away from school about 3.45 and headed up the Innocent Railway line cycle path
Heading up the innocent railway
A quick jaunt through the Meadows and I was on the canal cycle path. As I passed through Edinburgh itself there were a lot of people around which made for slow progress but as I got further out I was able to get going a bit faster as well as picking up a puncture which I had to stop and fix
Further along I was well out of the city and enjoying the solitude and beautiful surroundings
A beautiful afternoon by the canal
Near Broxden I hopped off the canal path and endured some less pleasant miles – uphill, into the wind and along a main road Luckily it wasn’t too long before I turned off onto smaller roads. The less good thing was that it was even more uphill now
Heading uphill giving good views back to the Pentlands
Beautiful roads through fields made up for the uphill-ness of them….and finally a view of Cairnpapple Hill
Finally a view of Cairnpapple
Some really bizarre yellow sheep…
Weird yellow sheep
Finally I had done the climb and was on the wee plateau – although the true summit of Cairnpapple was the trig point I decided it would be worth making a wee detour up The Knock
Views from the Knock to the Forth Bridge
I met a guy from nearby up here doing a circuit of the three summits – not a bad hill to have as your local! I went back down the same way and spent most of the descent on my backside. Clearly I was not appropriately dressed
A few metres up the road I could get access to the true summit. Although there was a track to the summit the gate was locked and I didn’t fancy lifting the bike over so just dumped it and continued on foot
Ahead to the trig point
As the evening drew in the colours improved and not for the first time this evening I wished I’d bothered bringing a camera rather than relying on my phone
Biggies in the distance
Looking back to the Knock and the Pentlands
Demonstrating my appropriate hillwalking attire
Cairnpapple hill summit
Time to get going – I headed back down to my bike
My route back down to Linlithgow went right past the steps up to the monument so I figured it would be a shame not to pop up.
Sun setting behind the monument
During opening hours it’s possible to climb down into the monument (for a fee) but it was closed
It was an incredible viewpoint
Stuc a' Chroin and Ben Vorlich
Hills on the skyline
It was time to go – I had to get back to the station and get home, and it was going to get dark soon!
Looking back to the monument
Some incredible skies
Back at the bike it was a freewheel all the way down and I was just starting to pick up some speed when I saw a brilliant glowing ball hitting the horizon I hadn’t really thought about sunset but it was definitely worth stopping for
Big red globe
From here it was lights on as it was definitely getting dark!
It just keeps getting better!
But the views were incredible and I could see the start of some wonderful pink skies. It was a steep descent and despite the difficulties of the other side I was glad that I hadn't cycled up this way!
Amazing pink skies through the trees
At Linlithgow I jumped back onto the Canal path for a few metres back to the station
Back in Linlithgow on the canal path again
I made it to Linlithgow station where there was a train to Glasgow in 5 minutes – perfectly timed to enjoy the fabulous sky get better and better while I waited 45km on the bike - totally worth it
Bouncy bouncy light from the station
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Warning Please note that hillwalking when there is snow lying requires an ice-axe, crampons and the knowledge, experience and skill to use them correctly. Summer routes may not be viable or appropriate in winter. See winter information on our skills and safety pages for more information.