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By Peter Thomson, Rollerski Edinburgh

Roller skiing may not be a mainstream sport in the Central Belt of Scotland (yet), but the region is peppered with cycle paths and quiet streets that are perfect for exploring on wheels. The Rollerski Edinburgh facebook group aims to be a place for people in Edinburgh (and beyond) to share routes, tips and any other roller ski related chat. Engagement through this group led 7 wheeled skiers and 1 cyclist to gather at the causeway to Cramond on a warm Sunday morning in mid July.

The Seven

It was particularly great to have 2 skiers up from Tyneside, taking a break from their well earned holidays to roll with us. We also had a relative newbie to the sport, a junior development athlete and some Huntly ex-pats. Not to mention our fantastic cyclist outrider making sure we didn’t lose anyone on the way. In terms of skills and fitness, everyone was an intermediate level or above. The changes in terrain, paving surface and the dis-/mounting of curbs can make urban tours challenging for beginners and novices, but not impossible!

 

The Plan

We had 3 primary objectives: Cramond, Coastlines and Coffee. We would start our ski from Cramond (objective 1 check), hug the coastline along the Cramond Foreshore then continue on coastal paths past Granton (objective 2 check). From here cycle paths would take us inland through Victoria Park to the excellent Milk cafe for a coffee stop (objective 3 check!). At this stage we would have 2 options, either take the bus back to Cramond, or continue our tour of Edinburgh to create a loop. We of course opted for the latter, which incorporated stunning views of the Edinburgh skyline from Inverleith park, and a long climb up Craigleith Hill Avenue.

Highlights

  1. Skiing as a group along the Cramond foreshore in the sun was awesome! We definitely turned a few heads. Even getting a mention in this video of musicians performing at the Boardwalk Beach club (https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=834264210845839&ref=watch_permalink watch from 2.06).
  2. However,my favourite section has to be the cycle path past Granton, with its superb tarmac and refreshing coastal air.
  3. Of course, coffee was also a highlight, with the added bonus of meeting Dhugal the golden retriever.
  4. As we made our way back after coffee, we were dazzled with views of the Edinburgh cityscape and Fettes College.
  5. Another top contender for “best bit of the day” was the descent through Silverknowes golf course. There’s something special about cruising along the home stretch with Cramond Island in the distance.

Should I Try Edinburgh as an Urban Ski Destination?

Absolutely yes! Despite its reputation for hills and cobbles, Edinburgh has some great cycle paths (check out the Inner tube map here https://www.innertubemap.com/). The Cramond foreshore is an obvious place to start considering it is fairly flat. But even our full 20 km adventure would be accessible to the intermediate XC skier on wheels. You’ll find loads more examples of Edinburgh roller skiing logged on the Rollerski Edinburgh Facebook group. So come say hi and plan your next roller ski adventure in Edinburgh!