Take a train to Drem, only 25 minutes from Edinburgh, and you will be spoilt for choice for cycling destinations. It has to be one of the best placed train stations for the number of interesting things that are easily cycled to. Top of the list is Concorde at the Museum of Flight , but there is also a motor museum and the birthplace of Scotland's national flag.
Drem station is located within the farming landscapes of East Lothian. If you come here as a foot passenger you will find it more challenging to travel to the places I mention here. There are bus services, but a bicycle makes it easier and because the distances are short and there are few hills you don't need to be super fit to enjoy this.
I think that Drem is the prettiest of all the stations along this line. It has a stone cottage that is now a private home. You can buy free range eggs here and during one visit the owners were trying to sell a mangle.
National Museum of Flight
On leaving the station turn right and follow the B1377. The museum is well sign-posted. The road is flat, fairly quiet and it is 3.8 miles to the museum. This is farming country so you will see fields of enticing produce:
You will also see some of the typical East Lothian rows of cottages:
At the Museum of Flight you can board Concorde and visit the passenger cabin and view the cockpit.
"I'm still impressed to think of all those people having their roast beef and champagne behind you while you're cruising at a speed slightly faster than a rifle bullet." Brian Tubshaw, Concorde test pilot.
Concorde could travel from London to New York in 3.5 hours. It took 4 hours longer to travel on a normal airliner. There was and still is no faster way to travel by plane. The Concorde experience was exclusive to the rich and famous and a ticket was beyond the average person, so being able to see the inside of this aircraft is quite a special experience.
Whereas most of us could only dream of flying in this aircraft once in a lifetime, some people could afford to use it as standard transportation. Rod Stewart once flew over his stylist to America to sort out a haircut that went wrong and one wealthy New York socialite paid £2,500 to fly over a favourite box of Mayfair chocolates so that she could have them at a party.
Concorde's last flight was in 2003, but the aircraft still looks like something from the future. It is incredible that something that could fly this fast will never take off again and that there is nothing to replace it, but there were several factors that led to its retirement- a Concorde had crashed in 2000, there was a general slump in the aviation industry and maintenance costs were huge.
The museum tells the story of this remarkable aircraft with displays and memorabilia, but there is a lot more to the Museum of Flight than Concorde. The site is huge and there are several hangers full of aircraft.
You could easily spend a day at the museum, so there might not be time to cycle to the other attractions near Drem station. Why not return to Drem station again and do one of the other cycle trips that begin at the station?
Part two of this blog will cover the cycle from Drem station to Myreton Motor Museum.
National Museum of Flight is located in East Fortune. It has an entry charge and a café.
My name is Colin Baird and I want to see all of Scotland by bicycle.