Walking in the Pentland Hills
30 walks in Edinburgh's local hills
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Guidebook featuring 30 circular walks on Scotland's Pentland Hills, easily accessible from Edinburgh and home to peaks such as Scald Law and Carnethy Hill. Ranging from 2 to 17 miles, the routes are suitable for all abilities. Written by a local Countryside Ranger, the routes offer interesting and varied walking through diverse landscapes.
- All seasons - a mild climate with little snow
- Edinburgh, Penicuik, West Linton, Lanark
- A basic level of navigational skills is required, but the routes should not cause any wayfinding difficulties. Height mainly 400-550m.
- Must See
- Archaeological remains, historical and folkloric associations, castles, literary connections (Scott and RL Stevenson), views from the tops, wildlife
This guidebook details 30 circular walks in Scotland's Pentland Hills, a range of low summits which extends between Edinburgh and Biggar in South Lanarkshire. Ranging from 3 to 27km (2-17 miles), there is something to suit all abilities from the novice to the experienced hill-walker, with each route showcasing a different aspect of the area's unique character.
Step-by-step route description is accompanied by 1:50,000 OS mapping and a wealth of interesting information on the region's rich natural and cultural heritage: its geology, history, wildlife and connections with literary greats such as Robert Louis Stevenson and Sir Walter Scott. Local place names are explained, local folklore explored and there is a helpful glossary of dialect terms.
The Pentland Hills can be enjoyed in all seasons. Although the highest summit, Scald Law, stands at 579m, stunning vistas belie their modest elevation: this is a region of grass and heather-clad slopes which rise above picturesque valleys hiding streams and reservoirs. Walking in the Pentland Hills is an ideal companion to discovering great walking on Scotland's most accessible hills.
Approaches and accommodation
Choosing a walk
Access rights and responsibilities
Following a route
Geology and landscape
Place names and dialect Words
Previous Pentlands guidebooks
Literary Connections with the Pentland Hills
Protecting and enjoying the hills
Walk 1 A capital view
Walk 2 In Stevenson’s footsteps
Walk 3 Hill, moor and wood
Walk 4 Three reservoirs
Walk 5 A phantom walk
Walk 6 Harlaw Reservoir circuit
Walk 7 Black Hill, Green Cleuch and Red Moss
Walk 8 Carnethy and Turnhouse
Walk 9 Three peaks
Walk 10 Pentland classic
Walk 11 Thieves’ Road
Walk 12 West Linton and Siller Holes
Walk 13 Roman road
Walk 14 Covenanters and cairns
Walk 15 Walking with wolves
Walk 16 Poets and witches
Walk 17 North Esk Valley
Walk 18 The Monks’ Road
Walk 19 The four tops
Walk 20 The Carnethy 5
Walk 21 Carnethy canter
Walk 22 History in the hills
Walk 23 Flotterstone and Fala Knowe
Walk 24 Two cleuchs
Walk 25 Pentland tops
Walk 26 Historical hike
Walk 27 Exploring Caerketton
Walk 28 Find your way
Walk 29 Reservoir round
Walk 30 Robin’s round
Appendix A Route summary table
Appendix B Bibliography
Appendix C Glossary
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Susan Falconer began walking in the Pentlands in her early teens. After graduating with a degree in geography from St Andrews University she began a management career in the Health Service in London. Despite being far from her native country she returned regularly to walk and cycle in Scotland. She trained as a teacher and became Senior Tutor in ecology and geography for the Field Studies Council in Epping Forest. Susan returned to Scotland to take up the post of Countryside Education Officer for the Scottish Agricultural College before becoming a Countryside Ranger with the Pentland Hills Ranger Service in 1995. She enjoys hill walking, cycling and wildlife and contributes articles to the Pentland Beacon and other publications.View Articles and Books by Susan Falconer
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