Drem station is one of the best places to arrive with a bicycle because of the sheer variety of destinations within short cycling distances. It is an ideal day trip from Edinburgh as the train takes only 25 minutes to get to Drem. This blog features the Hopetoun Monument, a 4km cycle from Drem. The monument has stunning panoramas of countryside and sea, once you make it to the top of the 132 steps.
The Hopetoun Monument cuts a distinctive shape, rising from a hillside thick with trees. It looks industrial, functional, like a smokestack The countryside is mainly flat in this area, so the monument really stands out and will pique your curiosity. I didn't know anything about it until I came here and deciced to cycle towards it to find out what it is.
There is a small car park where the path up to the monument begins. You can leave your bike in the car park whilst you head up the path. There is an impressive mixture of trees, including beech, oak, ash, sycamore and Scots pine.
It is quite a steep climb up the Byres hill, but only takes around 10 minutes to reach the door of the monument.
A plaque on the tower states that the monument was built in 1824 in memory of the 4th Earl of Hopetoun.
The chances are that it will be windy up here and even windier at the top of the tower. As I made my way up the stairs I could hear the wind billowing and it buffeted me each time I passed the narrow windows that run up the tower.
Some of the window recesses were filled with tiny little twigs, once a nest for birds.
This short video records the last few steps to the top of the monument and the incredible view from the top:
From the top you can see the expanse of East Lothian's fertile lands. You can see out to the Firth of Forth, the Pentland Hills and The Lammermuir Hills.
To reach the Hopetoun Monument turn left out of Drem station onto the B1377. Then take the first left- this road will take you past Chesters Hill Fort, which is also worth visiting. When this road emerges at a junction take a right on the B1343.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.