Thursday, 7 February 2013

Portobello - Bitesized

Bitesized trip. Bitesized bike. Brompton to the beach. Starting at the sewage works. Cycling the sea wall. Oystercatchers in tuxedos. Redshanks in orange clown feet. Turnstone turning stones. Curlew calling. Barnacles covering driftwood. Looking inside for geese. Empty. It’s winter. Barnacle geese are being geese. In summer they become barnacles. So ancient people believed.


Along the promenade. Tyres crunching frozen puddles. Cycling with a seal. Me on the Brompton. Seal in the water. Keeping pace with me. Busy prom. People taking sea air. Eating sea food. Fish and chips. Day-trippers never seeing the night-time beach. I do. The red fox. Jumping on the sea wall. Looking at me. Vanishing. 


Over the Esk. Goldeneyes ducking and diving. Widgeon grabbing forty winks. Swans going with the flow. To the sea. Seaweed covering shopping trolleys. Shop til you drop. So modern people believe.


On to the lagoons. Not blue. Ash grey. Power station pumping. Teal stealing the limelight. Winter light. Short-eared owl not waiting for night. Nor I. Into bitter west wind. Into Portobello. Drinking campervan coffee. Eating chocolate brownie ... bitesized.

Fact File
Map: OS Landranger 66
Route: Coming from Leith direction, join the beach bike route on the new bike path from Leith Links - left up the ramp just after the allotments. From Edinburgh city centre take the Innocent Railway Path that starts at St Leonards then before the Asda store follow bike signs to the left for Portobello. Cycle along the prom to Joppa then continue east on the main road (it's wide here). As you enter Musselburgh turn left down to Fisherrow Harbour and continue along the waterfront, over the Esk and round the ash lagoons on the John Muir Way.
Tip: First Saturday of the month is Portobello Market - great stop for cake, other goodies and fab coffee from a converted camper. Otherwise The Tide coffee shop/gallery is on the prom at the bottom of Kings Road - good coffee and they can supply bike locks!


  1. Great pics and words. It's heartening to be reminded just how much 'nature' there is within and close to our big cities (other than sparrows and pigeons)

    I saw a badger walking down the street last week, coming back from the pub. It was me coming back from the pub, not the badger, as far as I am aware). At least he wasn't in the same pub as me, though he was walking a bit funny. Last month, an owl woke me up 3 nights in a row and on sunday I startled a white hare whilst out walking over the moors, 2 miles from my house.

    Mankind hasn't completely trashed the planet yet!

  2. Tony, I love hunting out the green corners around the city. I don't think mankind will ever trash the planet. I read these words somewhere by somebody ... "the earth watched mankind arrive, and it will watch him leave".
    Have a good week! Pauline