|From:||Berwick upon Tweed (NT972529)|
|To:||Stirling and Kirkcaldy (NT274914)|
|Meets:||NCN1, NCN 73, NCN74, NCN75|
|Route outline (key)|
NCN Route 76 is a cycle route which will eventually run from Berwick-upon-Tweed to Stirling, via Edinburgh. However, at present it is only the Edinburgh - Stirling section which is fully open, with routes on both sides of the Firth of Forth meaning that the route is titled 'Round the Forth'.
Berwick - Edinburgh
This section of the route is slowly being completed, albeit with substantial sections of on-road cycling at present. From Berwick-upon-Tweed the route heads inland initially, crossing the A1 and climbing up and over the hill to re-cross the A1 as it drops into Eyemouth. It then doubles back inland, following minor roads to bypass Coldingham before meeting the A1107 and following it most of the way to Cockburnspath. After a couple of miles alongside the A1, the route returns to minor roads to reach Dunbar.
The A1087 and A199 are then followed to East Linton, from where the route follows the south side of the River Tyne into Haddington. After passing through the town centre, it finds the old railway line to Longniddry, where a short section on the A198 leads to the shore. The B1348 is then followed west through Prestonpans and around the shore, following the John Muir Way into Musselburgh. Turning inland, the Brunstane and Niddrie Burns are followed into Duddingston Park, and so Edinburgh.
Edinburgh - Stirling (via Grangemouth)
This section of the route splits from NCN1 at Cramond Bridge on the A90 on the western edge of the Capital. It follows the shore around Dalmeny Park before picking up the B924 in South Queensferry, here a link connects back with the NCN1 to cross the Forth Road Bridge, and meet the northern part of NCN76. The coast is again followed, briefly diverting inland around Hopetoun House, before reaching the B903 at Blackness. This leads to the A904 which is followed on and off through Bo'ness.
A minor road, following the Antonine Wall, then leads to the A905 in Grangemouth, but after about a mile, the route cuts through housing estates to rejoin the A904 albeit briefly. After crossing the River Carron on the A905 bridge (confusing this isn't it?!), minor roads once more lead the route north to the A876. Both the Kincardine Bridge and the Clackmannanshire Bridge have spurs connecting back to the northern part of the route, but the southern arm heads off, wiggling needlessly across the M9, M876, and back across the M9 once more before finally rejoining the A905 east of Fallin. This road is then followed on and off again until the edge of Stirling, where a detour through the industrial estate leads to the end at Stirling Station.
Stirling - Kirkcaldy (via Alloa)
The northern arm of NCN76 heads east out of Stirling, across the footbridge to Cambuskenneth and then north to the A907. After a mile on this busy road (with limited pavements), the old parallel alignment is picked up beyond the Manor Powis roundabout. This leads onto the Dumyat junction, from where an off road route passes through Cambus and into Alloa. The signage in Alloa isn't always clear, but a collection of side streets and paths through housing estates eventually leads out of town to the east and through woodland to Clackmannan. Here NCN764 heads north to follow the old railway line to Dunfermline.
NCN76 meanwhile, heads south out of Clackmannan - the town centre is at the top of a surprisingly steep little hill - and out across the level ground of the Forth estuary. After passing links across the Forth on both the Clackmannanshire Bridge and the Kincardine Bridge, the A985 is briefly picked up at Kincardine. Then it's along the side road, which is also part of the Fife Coast Path, past Longannet Power Station to pretty Culross. Valleyfield and Torryburn on the B9037 are slightly less photogenic, before a steep climb up to Crombie on the A985 once more.
The route drops back to the coast through Charlestown, before climbing again into Rosyth, where the town centre is missed and the route passes through the industrial hinterland of the docks - watch out for occasional trains on the sidings, and stop to look at the ruined Rosyth Castle. The junction under the A90, at the Forth Road Bridge is the start of a short run along the B981 through North Queensferry into Inverkeithing. Here the other end of NCN764 is met, and then it's back to the shore and the Coast Path.
Through Dalgety Bay, a brief run on the A921 in Aberdour, and into Burntisland where the A921 is picked up again, but for longer. At Kinghorn the route suddenly turns inland, climbing steeply over a hill, before dropping back to the Coast Path in Kirkcaldy. Somewhere in the town, the route terminates head on with NCN766.