Capital Trail is a 237km loop trail located near Edinburgh that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options.
Choose to ride the whole circuit in one go or in a series of shorter rides or overnighters, as these sections are easily accessible and are well served by both transport and accommodation options, making it a great option for beginner bikepackers in Scotland and experienced riders alike. The route was originally designed to be ridden in two big days with a single overnighter, but here we’ve suggested a four stage trip that can be easily combined.
The Capital Trail passes along the Firth of Forth, over the Lammermuir Hills, following the Southern Upland Way and Borders and Abbey Way, takes in the 7Stanes MTB trails in Glentress and Innerleithen, over the Cross Borders Drove Road and finally the Pentland Hills before returning to the city. These cover everything from wide gravel drovers roads to technical singletrack, hike-a-bike pushes to quiet country lanes.
Although there are no major water crossings on the trail, it will still certainly be best enjoyed in the spring and summer months when the trail is likely to be in better condition - not to mention the weather! Be sure to always have emergency equipment with you, including a survival bag and extra rations, as well as knowing the emergency procedure should the worst happen in a remote area.
The best bike for this route is undoubtedly a mountain bike due to the technical MTB trails at Glentress and some more natural challenges en route.
Access to the Capital Trail is very good, starting and ending in Scotland’s capital city. Brunstane local station in Edinburgh is closest to the start and finish at Portobello, although it’s not much further than the main Edinburgh Waverley station by bike. Edinburgh Gateway station has a tram with connections to the international airport of Edinburgh. You can also use the Borders Bus Service (X62) from Peebles and Innerleithen back to Edinburgh, which can take a couple of bikes each.
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