When the sun is shining in Edinburgh, what should you do? Make your way to Cramond Island- a tidal island that lies in the Firth of Forth.
What is a tidal island, you may be thinking? It’s an island that can be accessed by foot when the tide is low, usually by a man-made causeway. At high tide (when the water flows back to the shore) the island is inaccessible. You can check the safe crossing times on the Queensferry Lifeboat website.
It is possible for visitors to become stranded on the island if they don’t make their way back when the tide rolls in, so make sure you check the tide times before you visit.
I visited Cramond Island on a warm, spring day with friends. We went for a relaxed walk around the island, exploring the remains of old military buildings from World War II.
Cramond Island is fairly small; at high tide the island measures 19 acres; the walk down the causeway is half a kilometer. It features inviting, large grassy patches perfect for having a picnic. Make sure you bring your camera to capture some great snaps, and bring a towel to sit on as the ground is often damp.
How to get to Cramond Island from Edinburgh
Getting to Cramond Island is very easy and affordable. Take bus 29 from Edinburgh’s city centre (the Stockbridge Bridge stop). It will take you around 40 minutes by bus to arrive. From the bus stop there is a short walk to get to the causeway that will lead you to the island.
Read: The Local’s Guide to Edinburgh
What should I wear?
Weather can always be unpredictable in Edinburgh, with rain and wind making regular appearances on the island. I love my waterproof shell from The North Face– in winter I layer it over my down jacket but in summer I can wear it over my normal clothing without overheating.
Jeans and a plaid shirt layered over a singlet is a good outfit to wear. It can get quite boggy and wet on the island, so make sure you wear waterproof shoes or sandals you can easily remove if you want to feel the sand between your toes!
What Can I See On Cramond Island?
The island in uninhabited, but during the 1800s the island was used to graze sheep. There are many old ruins dotted throughout the island, including Duck House, a small building which was once used as a holiday home which could accommodate four people.
Many of the ruins were once military defences built during World War I and World War II. The pylons that form a line down the causeway were also built around this time to ensure boats could not access the south side of the island.
The island offers views of Granton and Leith to the east; North Queensferry and the Forth Rail bridge to the west; and other islands located in the Firth of Forth to the north.