franca & dave: bike date in Edinburgh

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Today’s bike date comes all the way from Edinburgh, Scotland.  Franca is the author behind Oranges and Apples, a smart style blog that also regularly publishes on matters of feminism, gender issues, and contemporary culture. Franca recently got married and here she takes us along on a beautiful bike date with her new husband, Dave. Thanks for sharing your day with us, Franca and Dave! 

This bike date took place on one of those rare days in the Scottish summer when the sun actually came out properly and everything was bathed in glorious sunshine. And so we decided to cycle out to Jupiter Artland, a temporary sculpture park exhibition a little bit outside Edinburgh.

Our route took us along the Union canal which runs from Edinburgh to Falkirk in the west.


Here Dave is at the start of our journey.

setting off

The initial few kilometres of the canal go though the city and it was busy with people going for a walk along the water or using the cycle path to get around the city. We passed some lovely big houses and random bits of public art along the way.

big houses


wooden statue


Once out of the city, the paths got more gravelly and the ‘traffic’ eased off a lot.


overgrown bits



Once off the canal we were rewarded with gorgeous views over the landscape and promptly got a bit lost, having to resort to tracking our position on our phones:

west lothian

forth railway bridge

checking the route

Eventually we found the entrance to the site and headed through the gates through the woods straight to the museum cafe, where we replenished ourselves with iced coffee.

entrance gate

jupiter artland main building

bullet trailer cafe

ice coffees!

Suitably refreshed we explored some of the large scale artworks on display:

jupiter artland flower sculpture

jupiter artland main building mirrored wall

all the way to jupiter

The main attraction were the large scale landforms my architectural critic and artist Charles Jencks.

jupiter artland landforms

jupiter artland landforms

jupiter artland apple

jupiter artland landforms

jupiter artland stony bits

jupiter artland landforms

It was a great day in the sun! thanks S for letting me share it!

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11 Responses to franca & dave: bike date in Edinburgh

  1. Stacy says:

    Brent and I were in Edinburgh 10 years ago. We got off the train and walked and walked and walked absolutely everywhere. We now dream of a bike date for our anniversary….some day. Would you have a map of your route, Franca? I had no idea all those architectural landmarks were up there! So tranquil.

    • Franca says:

      Hi Stacy, I’m afraid I don’t really have a map of the route. You mainly follow the union canal for ages (any slightly larger city map will show the entrance), and there’s only one difficult bit, which is where to get off the path, and short bit (2 miles, maybe?) between that and the entrance to the artland. We had just looked on google maps for that before we set off, but like I say, we got a bit lost and had to look at the map on our phones.

      I don’t have time just now, but I’ll see if it’s possible to map out the route on google maps.

      Send me an email if you have particular questions! address is franca(dot)likes(dot)apples(at)gmail(dot)com

  2. Karen says:

    Love this post!

  3. anniebikes says:

    I like the idea of an art bike date. I’m gonna try that one on my husband. It sounds romantic.

  4. Jennifer in Scotland says:

    How surreal to see my route to work featured on Simply Bike! Your photos are lovely Franca. I had not heard of Jupiter Artland and will be visiting it when it re-opens in May next year.

  5. Christine says:

    I have ancestors from Edinburgh, Scotland. Really loved the photos. Makes me want to go visit.

  6. ed says:

    Great post, good photos, especially the one of the Forth railway bridge which is an original view of it. Scotland is my favourite place and I go there every year a couple of times, usually to the Highlands.

    Maybe Francesca isn’t Scottish. She mentions kilometres. We still do miles in the UK.

    • Franca says:

      Hi, no, I’m not Scottish, I’m from Luxembourg, though I’ve lived in Edinburgh for more than 12 years. I will always think in all things metric though, because I really can’t be bothered to divide things by anything other than 10! Franca (not Francesca!) x

  7. nuresma says:

    Love this post! Thank you for sharing.

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