Grand Tour of Midlothian

Route Out – Gorebridge to Gore Glen to Rosewell to Polton to Loanhead to Bilston Glen to Roslin. For route map click here.

Route Back – Roslin to Roslin Glen to Mount Lothian to Gladhouse Reservoir to Temple to Gorebridge. For route map click here.

  • Weather – sunny at first but light rain and windier later on.
  • Distance travelled – 29.4 miles
  • Riding time – 2 hours 58 minutes
  • Maximum speed – 27.0 mph
  • Average speed – 9.8 mph

On Saturday morning, Dad and I decided we would go for a grand tour of Midlothian and try to cycle to lots of places we hadn’t been to on our bikes before. We left Gorebridge via Engine Road which is possibly the bumpiest road in the word. This road takes you downhill to the A7 road where we turned right, and after about a hundred yards on the main road, we turned left onto the single track road that took us down into Gore Glen. The ride back up out of the glen is really steep and slow but it soon levels out and after a mile or so we turned right onto another even narrower, bumpy road which quickly led us to National Cycle Route no.1. Here we turned right, heading in the direction of Bonnyrigg but after half a mile we turned left onto the back road to Rosewell. This road was blocked by tree branches but there was just enough room for our bikes to squeeze past. We stopped for a quick drink and Dad spotted a mole that appeared to be lying on its back sunbathing with its mouth wide open…

We left the mole to rest in peace and sped away along the quiet road for a couple of miles until we reached the A6094. Here we turned right and then after a few hundred yards, turned right again into the village of Rosewell. We didn’t stop here but did see some houses with amazingly tall chimneys as we cycled through. Leaving Rosewell behind, we joined the cycle path of Route 196 for about 5 yards before crossing straight over the A6094 again onto the road to Polton. This road was little bit busier but it was nice and wide and had a good surface. When we reached the houses of Polton we took a turning to the left (the signpost said Springfield Mill) and at the top of the housing estate, we got a nice view over to Loanhead on the other side of the glen below us. Here the road becomes narrower and goes steeply downhill for a bit. It has quite a few corners so it’s not possible to go too fast but soon we found Springfield Mill at the bottom of the glen where there looks like there might be some nice walks in the woods. After a quick stop, we began the really steep climb up the other side of the glen to Loanhead. It reminded me of the steep hill at Crichton that we’ve cycled up loads of times before, the only difference being that it seemed even steeper and seemed to to on for much longer. Eventually, we reached the top without stopping even once, and entered Loanhead. We stopped for a well deserved packet of crisps (Dad) and raw carrot (me).

In Loanhead we joined onto the Loanhead Railway Path which is part of Cycle Route no.61. This is a lovely, scenic ride through Bilston Glen on a really good surface. It also has the most wild raspberries I’ve ever seen growing along both sides for the entire 2 miles to Roslin (we stopped to fill our faces of course…). At Roslin we decided to take a slight detour and followed a stream of tourists to Rosslyn Chapel where we stopped for a quick photo before heading back through the village and onto the B7003 road through Roslin Glen. This road goes steeply downhill and at one point there’s an increadibly tight bend where you have to go really slow to avoid crashing. This would be a really nice road to cycle on if it wasn’t so busy with traffic. Soon we turned off onto the quieter road signposted for Rosslynlee which was yet another very steep climb. We did get some good views of the Pentland Hills though. At the top we stopped to say hello to some cows and had a quick oatcake to give us some energy.

After our snack we cycled back down to the exact same spot on the A6094 which we’d come to earlier in the day just before Rosewell. This time we turned in the opposite direction along the main road. Today was the first time we’d cycled on this road and, although we only went on it for a couple of miles, it wasn’t very much fun as it was quite busy with cars overtaking us. We were quite glad to turn off at Rosslynlee Trout Fishery onto the quiet road to Mount Lothian. Here I spied some brilliant raspberries so we stopped to fill up again… At Mount Lothian we almost ended up joining a cycle race but the hundreds of cyclists we saw were speeding past us in the opposite direction. Soon we had the road to ourselves again and as we turned off onto the road to Gladhouse Reservoir, we started to feel the first spots of rain coming down. We stopped to put our jackets on and decided we’d try to get home as quickly as we could before we got completely soaked. The road alongside the reservoir (as well as the 4 or 5 miles from there to Temple) is one of my favourites: it’s a lovely smooth surface, it’s very quiet, has some great views of the mountains and most importantly, there’s tasty wild raspberries growing everywhere! Needless to say, our plan to get home a fast as possible was delayed by several foraging stops…

We sped downhill over the speed bumps in Temple at exactly the 20mph speed limit and then headed back to Gorebridge along the B6372 as fast as we could, arriving home just in time, as the rain really started to pour down. It was an interesting and varied route and despite lots of steep climbs, was a very enjoyable grand tour of Midlothian.

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