Rugged Routes #2

Apologies for my MIA status over the last week, I was busy turning a year older and having a wonderful time exploring the mountain trails of Gran Canaria. Back to business today though and another look back at one of the routes I explored over the Christmas holidays as part of the Rugged Routes series (part one here).

Rugged Routes Part Two: Musselburgh to Penicuik (ran on Sunday 20th December 2015).

I ran this with Carnethy Running Club who organise “The Eskapade” every year before Christmas, a social jaunt along the Esk River from Musselburgh to Carlops, but we decided to call it a day after bacon rolls at The Royal Hotel in Penicuik. Many thanks to Digby Maass of Carnethy who very kindly snapped some shots on the day and let me share the photographs here.


Get to the start
From Edinburgh, Musselburgh is a 30 minute drive or bus journey and there are plenty of places to park in the town. We started at Goose Green Crescent, just beside the racecourse, where you can see the River Esk that you’ll be following on your journey.
15 miles, with the option to continue to Carlops for additional 10 miles.

Riverside, as the name suggests, following small paths through forest and fields. Depending on the season and weather, parts of the route can be very wet and muddy so trail shoes would be best. Due to a new part of re-opened railway, the route now also includes a small river crossing so be prepared for your feet to get and stay wet, as well as a few wall and fence clambers.

On route
Not many amenities on the way so pack a bag with what you will need. You’ll pass through Dalkeith and Roslin Country Parks, Lasswade and spot Roslyn Chapel and Roslin Castle on route.

At the finish
A few pubs to choose from in Penicuik, we chose The Royal Hotel, and then you can hop on a bus back into the city. If you’ve driven to Musselburgh for the start, the problem then lies in getting back their to pick up the car, but again there are frequent buses from Edinburgh to Musselburgh. If you make it all the way to Carlops there are also buses from the village back into Edinburgh.

Start early enough and you’ll be in Penicuik in time for lunch, or run the route in reverse to finish in Musselburgh. As it’s a riverside route it’s more or less pancake-flat, with the occasional undulating forest path and hop over fence/wall. A most enjoyable run and next year we might aim to finish the route, heading out from Penicuik to finish in Carlops. Always more to explore. As always, run free.

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