Cramond Island: A Piece of Wilderness on Edinburgh's Doorstep

Scottish landscape

Cramond Island, surrounded by the Firth of Forth and barely 11 kilometers (7 miles) from Edinburgh's historical center, is a picturesque tidal piece of land that is only accessible at low tide. The island is only 480 meters (0.3 miles) long and 8 hectares (19 acres) in size, so you can fully explore this wonderful place in just a few hours.

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A stroll along the one-kilometer (0.6-mile) causeway to Cramond Island at low tide is a pleasant way to spend a sunny afternoon. The island, which is almost on the doorstep of Edinburgh, exudes wildness. In addition, from its highest point, nearly 21 meters (70 feet) above sea level, you can see three Forth Bridges, Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh Castle, and the northern islands of Inchcolm and Inchmickery.

Cramond Island pleasantly surprised me. I spent two weeks in Edinburgh. One sunny day while walking along the Firth of Forth, I spotted the island. It was fascinating to visit this half-wild, water-surrounded site. Furthermore, I saw the tide for the first time and had a lot of fun running out from the causeway when it started.

Cramond Island in Photos

Scottish landscape
The island's flora

Cramond Island, Scotland
Stones on the island

Cramond Island
Cramond Island's WW2 fortifications

Scotland landscape
Arthur's Seat and Edinburgh's buildings, seen from the island

Cramond Island, Scotland
The tide is rising

The Island's Brief History

The island has WWII ruins, including housings for Coast Artillery Search Lights, gun emplacements, shelters, and two engine rooms that once housed all of the equipment needed to power the island's military installations

Crossing the causeway is an exciting experience. Lined with pylons built during WWII to prevent boats and submarines from passing through at high tide, it is longer than the island. A long series of identical in places broken massive concrete teeth creates an impressive architectural style.

Cramond Island was a popular summertime vacation spot in the 19th century. Before the war, shepherds periodically used it as a place to graze sheep. Since the end of the 20th century, the island has been a popular site for punk events.

How to Get There

The 41 bus runs between Edinburgh's city center and Cramond village, making it easy to get to Cramond Island. The ride lasts about 40 minutes. The causeway that leads to the island is a short walk from the bus stop.

Crossing Times

Before crossing the causeway, check the crossing times. There is also a tide table to the right of the causeway leading to the island. Don't forget to have enough time for yourself to explore the island and return via the causeway before the tide closes over it, as water can come in quickly. Every year, a few people become stranded there and require boat rescue.

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Have you ever visited the island? What is your impression, if any? Feel free to leave a comment below.

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