River Almond: Cramond to Grotto Bridge
The course of the river runs through the Midland Valley Sill and Carboniferous sedimentary rocks (330 million years old) before entering the Firth of Forth beside Cramond Island. The Sill formed when hot magma worked its way between rock layers and cooled slowly underground. The resulting igneous rock layers extended far and wide; locally they can be rediscovered at Snab Point, but regionally can be seen as far away as Stirling and the Lomond Hills in Fife. The dramatic contrast between hard igneous ‘microgabbro’ rock and the sedimentary rocks give a variety of river sections. Grotto Bridge sits within the igneous rock and has a variety of waterfalls and rapids. The softer sedimentary layers are best viewed at Fair-a-far Iron Mill where a weir breaks the flow and ‘cross-beds’ can be seen in the opposing cliff face. These are signatures that the sandstone was deposited in an ancient river, far earlier than when the Almond began to flow. From Grotto Bridge, the walk takes you out to the shoreline where you can access Cramond Island at low tide via a causeway. Alternatively, head West to Queensferry where a long walk will take you past other sites of interest such as Hunter’s Crag, Snab Point, Dalmeny House and many more as you turn the headland giving you a full view of the Queensferry crossings.