Routes

Before you go!

  • Carry a paper OS map and compass and know how to use them (Land ranger maps can be bought from Dunbar High St. Knox’s and Tippecanoe stock them)  Especially if heading out into the Lammermuirs, I’ve almost been caught out in the Lammermuirs due to a mechanical issue. A mist was setting in and the light was fading. Thankfully I managed to fix the bike and get off the hills during last light, it could have got nasty. The Lammermuirs are remote and exposed.
  • Check the weather.
  • Make sure your bike is in good working order.
  • Puncture repair kit/spare tubes and tools are essential.
  • Make sure you are layered up with enough clothing; you can always remove a layer. Dry air temperature drops about 1 degree C per 100m of altitude, you may feel warm at the top of an ascent after a lung bursting climb but if you have to fix a puncture you will quickly cool down. You also cool down on descents with air wicking moisture away from exposed skin.
  • Carry a First Aid kit.
  • Carry a bothy shelter, not only can they keep you warm when in need but they are even good for fixing punctures (or having lunch) out of the rain.
  • Tell somebody where you are going and how long you think you will be, even if it’s just a short ride. Ideally leave a route map with that person.
  • Carry enough food and water.
  • Register your phone with the emergency services by sending ‘register’ to 999 if you have no phone signal you can raise help by text. Message should include: emergency service required, nature of incident, accurate location.

The Routes:

You can now click on the images below the descriptions to download a .GPX file. The .GPX file can simply be loaded from your desktop to http://www.osola.org.uk/rides/gpsuploader.htm to view the routes.

Think of these routes as a basis or an introduction to what is out there, something to build on or add to.  All the routes start out from the Dunbar Town House on the High Street and I have stopped the loop where it meets back on itself, so some rides may be a bit longer than what is stated on the route overlay.  More will be added in due course.

Doon Hill, Pinkerton and Brunt loop

A good loop for an hour’s ride, mostly on farm/dual track. Nothing too technical here. The last climb is steep but short (ish) and you are rewarded with a great view looking east over Dunbar and further. The descent from Brunt hill is then long, loose and fast.

View from Brunt hill looking east

Start of the descent from Brunt hill back to the start.

OS overlay of route (click image to be taken to .GPX download)

Wood Hall Dean via Pitcox loop

A good 15 mile loop starting from Dunbar’s High Street. Head north towards the end of the High Street and go left down towards Belhaven bay and join the John Muir Way there. This route consists of good varied terrain, dual track and single track. A bit of road work to link Pitcox to Wood Hall Dean and a long fast descent to finish it off before hitting the road back to Dunbar via Spott roundabout.

Looking back over How Burn to the Lammermuirs

Looking back over How Burn over to the Lammermuirs

Wood Hall Dean

Woodhall Dean

Wood Hall Dean

Wood Hall Dean has some great single track but please be aware that there are steps that involve carrying your bike and they can also catch you out when riding through, there are also steep drops off the trail at points. If in doubt just walk it as it is a nice place to wander through, you often see deer here. It is also a public nature reserve so please be wary and considerate of other users.

OS overlay of route (click image to be taken to .GPX download)

Lammermuir Hills, Herring Road loop

A good climb from sea level up into the heather moorland of the Lammermuirs. This route goes up to Crystal Rig wind farm via the turbine access tracks and then cuts onto the Herring Road. This ride can be done in 2-3 hours. A good mixture of terrain here and some cracking views. The Herring Road does not look like much of a ‘road’ but it is the old road that was used for transportation of herring from Dunbar to market in Lauder by pack horse; it can be boggy in places but is generally ridable. The descent at Redscar burn is a good one with a couple of technical sections to watch out for. The ride back from the hills can just be done by road via Spott or you could extend the route off road by going to Woodhall Dean by going through Halls farm to the Sneep and climb up beside How Burn.

Great views over the Lothians and North Sea from the Lammermuirs always make the climbs ‘worth it’

View before the descent off the Lammermuirs: it’s a bit rutted and rocky in places.

OS overlay of route (click image to be taken to .GPX file)

Lammermuir Hills, Deuchrie, Pressmennan loop

A proper bit of Old School XC riding here, essentially the same route as above but extended past the substation at Crystal Rig continuing on down into the dip past Friar Dykes and up the other side past the ruined cottage at Belton Dod and follow the path in front of you, straight, going over and past the signs for the Herring Road turning onto a grassy trail on the left just before a turbine on the right (it’s difficult to be more descriptive than this due to lack of markers on the landscape, be careful here as it is easy to ride past) onto Lamb Hill (there is no woodland here as suggested on the OS map). The trail runs beside a fence, once you are on it it’s quite easy to follow and generally ridable even in the wet but does roll better in the dry. This trail gets easier to ride as it goes over Dunbar common and on to give a great view over East Lothian and right over to Fife on a clear day. A descent then follows via Deuchrie Edge. The first bit is grassy, flowing down to the right and then gets a bit steeper, loose and rocky at Sandy Knowe. Then head up a small hill to Deuchrie farm. From here you can just ride the road back to Dunbar via Stenton (it’s quite fast) or you can extend the route (as shown on the map) by going through Pressmennan woods and follow the Bennets Burn (can be really muddy here after heavy rain) and onto Woodhall Dean and Brunt Hill.

OS overlay of route (click image for .GPX download)

Click on image for route

7 thoughts on “Routes

  1. Ray, great routes, I recognise the 2 we have done together. I can think of 2 others, one incorporating Pressmennan woods, and another the lammermuirs and Deuchrie. Lets go out again soon to explore then put them up here.

    • Hi Heather,

      I have mapped out a Deuchrie and Pressmennan route, just not done the description at time of posting this, will be up soon. I’m up for more exploring for sure.

    • Many thanks Paul, I’ve been a bit quiet over the winter, I would like to get posting a bit more though. I see that some of the links no longer work for route overlays.. I will see if I can get this fixed. Hope you had a good ride, I might see you out on the hills sometime 🙂

  2. Hi, great looking routes. i am new to the area. Do you have any fresh inks for the gps files please?
    Thanks
    Peter

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