Cramond Village

Cramond Island

Cramond Island is one of many small uninhabited islands that can be found along the Scottish coastline close to Edinburgh. If you are in Edinburgh and feel like escaping the city life for some fresh sea air and country walks then this is the place to go. Just a short bus ride from the city center will take you to the small village of Cramond. It’s here that you will find Cramond Island reached at low tide along a ¾ mile causeway.

Cramond Island Causeway
Cramond Island Causeway

If you decide to visit the Island then you must plan for the tides as you don’t want to end up stranded. Generally its safest to walk across in the morning around 8-9 am but these times can change so its best to check tidal times the day before. Tidal times can be found here and also on a notice board next to the causeway on the mainland side. It is really important to take notice to these times as the tide does come in very quickly and many tourists have been left for stranded for hours.

Cramond island tidal times
Notice board near the causeway giving the safest times to walk across to the island.

I wasn’t really planning to visit Cramond Island whilst in Edinburgh but felt like I needed a break from wandering the busy Edinburgh streets. I didn’t check the times beforehand and just hoped I’d be lucky enough to get there in time. I bought the £4 day ticket and hopped on the number 41 bus from the city center and headed off into the unknown. I wasn’t really sure where to get off the bus, so I downloaded the Transport for Edinburgh app which came in very handy. Once on the bus I could track my position along the route and made finding my stop very easy! I definitely recommend downloading this app if travelling to Edinburgh! The journey itself took around 30 mins. Once off the bus I walked down towards the coast where I was met with some stunning views of the Scottish coastline and Cramond harbour.

Cramond Village
Beautiful Cramond harbour

Luckily I arrived just in time. I got there around 9 am and had only 1 hour left to be able to make it across and back again safely, so I headed straight over. The causeway itself is a lovely short 10 min walk and you can watch all types of birds digging for food along the way, if ya lucky you might even come across some crabs. Once on the Island the views are stunning, you can see right across the Forth river towards the famous Forth railway bridge and the new road bridge alongside.

The island is approximately 19 acres and rises to 68 meters above sea level making it an easy island to explore for a few hours. Unfortunately I only had around 30 minutes on the island but it was enough to take in the beautiful views and explore a little.

Forth Railway bridge from Cramond Island
The view of Forth railway bridge from Cramond Island

The island itself is now owned by the Dalmeny Estate but it was originally used to graze sheep, you can find remains of an old farmstead and an old jetty dating back to the 1800’s on the north side of the island. It is also thought to have once been the site of a Roman fort but there is no evidence to back this up. However in 1977 a very important Roman sculpture was discovered in the riverbed. The sculpture, a carved sandstone lioness is thought to be a Roman funerary monument, although how it found its way here is a mystery. Some believe it fell off a boat whilst others believe it was purposely dumped in the river.

The island also played its part during both World Wars. During World War 1 it was taken over by the war department and used to defend the Forth and then again in World War 2. During this time many military structures where built including several gun emplacements. Even the design of the causeway with its imposing concrete teeth were built to prevent German U-boats and other similar craft from passing through the harbor at high tide.

Cramond IslandC
View back towards the mainland from one of the bunkers on Cramond Island

Once back safely on the mainland I had plenty of time to spare so I decided to take a walk down one of the walking trails in the area. There are a few different walks to choose from but I choose the River Almond Walkway which took me around two miles from the Cramond foreshore to the historic Cramond Brig.

The River Almond once powered five mills, originally grain but later converted to iron working. As you walk along the trail you will come across the ruins of Fair-a-Far Mill, this mill was once the heart of Cramond’s industrial revolution. Ships came from as far as Russia and Sweden and brought iron to Cockle Mill just down stream where it was made into strips. These strips were then taken to Fair-a-Far Mill where they were melted down by huge furnaces to make tools, chains and cart axles. Eventually the the iron industry in Cramond closed down and the mill became a paint factory. However a flood in 1935 damaged the building beyond repair of which the remains still remain.

Fair-a-Far Mill
The Remains of Fair-a-Far Mill
River Almond
River Almond
River Almond
Beautiful scenery along the trail

As the trail continues you will be met with some stunning scenery as well as a lovely cozy cafe to have a bit of lunch or a quick coffee. However after this point some parts of the trail do require you to go up and down a series of stairs, so if this is an issue then its best to end the trail at the cafe.

River Almond walkway
The stairs going up along the walkway
River Almond walkway
The stairs going down along the walkway

If you manage to finish the trail you will reach the lovely Cramond Brig, this leads you back onto the main road where you can then either catch the bus back into Edinburgh city center or go further afield and check out South Queensferry and the famous Forth railway bridge.

Cramond Brig
Cramond Brig
River Almond
Beautiful scenery at the end of the trail

Cramond Island is a fascinating and peaceful place, it makes an ideal trip to escape the hoards of tourists in Edinburgh. Its easy to get to and great for those on a budget! Have you been to Edinburgh, have you heard of Cramond Island? If so let me know in the comments below.

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Happy Travels,

Louise X

Are you looking for something different to do in Edinburgh? If so check out this day trip to the beautiful Cramond Island #edinburgh #daytrip #citybreak #backpacking #travel #scotland

Are you looking for something different to do in Edinburgh? If so check out this day trip to the beautiful Cramond Island #edinburgh #daytrip #citybreak #backpacking #travel #scotland

Are you looking for something different to do in Edinburgh? If so check out this day trip to the beautiful Cramond Island #edinburgh #daytrip #citybreak #backpacking #travel #scotland

Are you looking for something different to do in Edinburgh? If so check out this day trip to the beautiful Cramond Island #edinburgh #daytrip #citybreak #backpacking #travel #scotland

33 COMMENTS

  1. Cramond Island sounds a wonderful day trip from Edinburgh such a stunning place and feels so remotely away from the city, the walking trails from the mainland seems a perfect place for a hiking fanatic like me

  2. I’ve never been to this little island but, as I often need escapes from the busy city life, I’ll make sure to add this island in planning my next trip to Edinburgh. It’s also good to know that the Transport for Edinburgh app is a useful resource for getting around the city and there.

    • Yes the transport app is a great little resource for traveling around Edinburgh, I would of been lost without it!

  3. What a great way to escape the crowds of Edinburgh. The views from the island are stunning. I know I’d enjoy the riverwalk, too. Thanks for sharing some of the history. Interesting read!

  4. This little getaway from the city is something exactly like what my husband and I love to do and it also reminds me of Bar Island in Bar Harbor, Maine! You can only visit at low tide, it isn’t as big as Cramond however the same idea! This sounds peaceful and like a little outdoor adventure away from the city! I did not know this existed and we will make it to Scotland someday so I will be saving your post for future reference! Thanks for the info!!

    • Hope you get to visit Scotland it’s such a beautiful country, so many outdoor adventures to be had,you’ll love it! Bar Island sounds lovely, hopefully I’ll make it there one day too.

  5. What a lovely nature escape! It seems like a relatively easy place to get to. Since the tides change. usually hitting low and high tide twice a day, could you have staying on the island until low tide again?

    • Hi yes possibly but you would have to wait around 10 hours I believe which although it a lovely island there isn’t a lot to do there. Time would be best spent exploring the nearby trails and village.

  6. I’ve never heard of this place before but it definitely looks like a great day trip! Scotland has definitely been on my travel bucket list so I might pay Cramond island a visit when I end up going someday, so thanks for sharing! 🙂

  7. I’ve been dreaming about visiting Scotland forever now and this is making me want to go even more! Never knew this place existed. Bookmarking for sure!

  8. Sounds like a wonderful trip. I have heard Edinburgh is a must see destination. So many people say it’s on their list. I’m not much of a traveler these days, but I would love to visit the locations of my family heritage in England, Wales and Scotland someday.

  9. Wow this sounds and looks beautiful! And I’m amazed this is so close to Edinburgh and yet I never knew about it! Going to send the link to this post to my sister as she’s at uni in Edinburgh and always looking for things to do at the weekend.

    • Thanks so much, yeah most people who visit Edinburgh have never heard of it! Least it keeps the crowds away for those that do.

  10. Goodness you had such lovely weather!

    I’ve been to Edinburgh quite a few times, but never to Cramond Island or the area around it. It looks so peaceful…and yay that you managed to get a hike into your day too. 😀

    • Yes I was really lucky with the weather, it was the end of September and it was like a summers day! If you ever go back then I defo recommend taking a trip out there!

      • I’m sure I’ll go back at some point! I never made it to Arthurs Seat either…and that high point has been calling to me. 😉

          • I once set my alarm to go up there before breakfast (I was working in Edinburgh, but our meeting didn’t start until 9am) But the rain was sooo hard, that I figured I should save it for a better day. So , yeah, I neeeed to go back! <3

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