Heather Moors, Waterfalls & Peregrines
Duration: 3 hours aprox. Difficulty:
Experience the Scottish Highlands in miniature. Walk from the sheltered Eastside glen out onto wild heather moorland following the ancient drovers' road. Turn back into a steep-sided glen with rugged, rocky outcrops. There a picturesque waterfall and a river winds down to a wider valley with lochs, a scattering of quaint cottages and local pub at road end. *The Flotterstone Inn is still closed & the Pentland Hills Cafe Express is reopening on the 21st July.
From Eastside farmyard head out past the kennels, past the sheep shed & over the ford. Head up the track on the right-of-way towards Balerno.
Don't forget to stop and look behind you as you progress up the hill. The views down the valley behind are well worth a snap or two.
From the Woodshed turn right at the old stone wall, head up the hill over the gate then diagonally up across the field to the gate out onto the open hill. Follow the hill track up then take the first right past an old right of way sign to Nine Mile Burn. Keep on past the sign round the side of the (Cap Law) hill and over a couple of styles into and out of woodland. At the end of this grass hill path you get to the main track leading up from Eastside. Turning right follow the main track, signposted to 'Balerno'.
Once you get to the top of the track or 'Poles' follow the track straight on. It's signed towards 'Balerno'. The track follows a fence-line out onto the moorland, home to the red & black grouse, snipe, & curlew.
A patient afternoon can be spent on the moor quietly observing these birds although they can often be heard (if not seen) as you pass through.
Turn of the road | Red Bridge | Red Gate
The road turns to the right, heads down to the red bridge, then up to the red gate. Cross the stile & leave Eastside for the time being. Follow the newly surfaced track down the hill as you make your way towards Bavelaw Castle.
As you head down the track, keeping the stone wall to your right, pass through a gate and towards woodland. The second gate lies on the woodland boundary. Once through this gate, turn right along a farm track signposted Balerno.
At the next junction an arrow-straight, tree-lined avenue follows the hill down toward Balerno. Follow the signs to Glencorse & Penicuik straight on and right at the corner toward Bavelaw Castle. Follow the castle wall past the entrance and through a gate onto the old pasture beyond. Head along the grassy track until it turns into a well worn footpath. Looking back offers glimpses of Bavelaw Castle in the trees.
Returning to Eastside | The Green Cleugh
The footpath heads through the rolling fields, gradually narrowing as the heather hills push the path into a narrow steep sided glen. This glen skirts the base of the Black hill and the Hare Hill.
Peregrines and Waterfalls
The Green Cleugh, with rugged rocky outcrops and picturesque waterfall, is home to the peregrines often seen hunting overhead. The waterfall on the Red Burn falls from the raised bog to the valley bottom. it is famed for its diverse and unusual flora as well as being a perfect picnicking spot. Following the meandering burn as the glen widens again into a wide grassy path towards Howe Cottage and Loganlea reservoir.
Just before you reach the Howe on the right of the glen, look for the vertical rock strata. Much of the Pentlands has a rich and interesting geology. More can be found here or from the British Geological Survey.
Flotterstone Glen / The finish
There is then a choice to be made:
For a sneaky route home cut up by the side of the sheep pens just opposite the vertical rock strata, following the quad track right up to the 'Nick' in the hills just above Eastside. Cross the main Pentland Peak path and continuing down to the farm. Woodshed guests can then cross the fields back to Westside.
Leaving the farm once again, pass the Howe cottage following the tarmac road winding down the glen by the river. Pass the reservoirs lined with Scots pines, country cottages and bobbing fishing boats. Easy walking, slightly downhill and country-pub-bound - the Flotterstone Inn is a welcome sight!
When the time comes to head home, hike back, bag a lift or phone our local taxi company. Rab's cabs will would be more than happy to drive you home.
t: 01968 678212 / m: 07541 256473