Duration: 2.5 hrs aprox. Difficulty:
One of the best ways to experience the Pentland Hills has to be looking down over the rich patchwork of flora & fauna from the peaks. From this hilltop vantage look north beyond the Pentland range to the Forth & the Highland mountains or South to the wide valley & Scottish Borders hills. At the hills' end, descend into the picturesque Flotterstone glen for a well earned pint at the 'local'. *The Flotterstone Inn is still closed & Pentland Hills Cafe Express is opening on the 21st July.
From Eastside farmyard head out past the kennels, past the sheep shed & over the ford heading 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 worthy of 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. Cross this track and straight up the West Kip.
West Kip Summit
Once you get to the top of the track or 'Poles', take the path to the right heading straight up the 'West Kip'. This path is steep in places and it gets slightly rocky towards the top but no is scrambling required.
The path narrows as the West Kip summit is fairly sharp. Look down to the north over the Hare Hill raised blanket bog home to red & black grouse. Look beyond to the Firth of Forth & the Highlands. To the south is the Eastside valley with Moorfoot hills in the distance beyond.
East Kip Summit
Following the path, come down onto the saddle before a short climb onto the East Kipp. From here you get a better view of the Logan Lea Reservoir & Green Cleugh glen. The glen is famed for its rock formations as well as its flora and waterfall but this is perhaps an adventure for another day. See: Heather Moors, Waterfalls & Peregrines.
Head down the East Kip, then follow a steep gravel path that skirts up the side of Scald Law. If some of the party fancy sneaking home at this point, they can follow the grass track down from the 'Nick' (the col between East Kip and Scald Law) back to the cottages!!
The Highest Point | Scald Law Summit
Once you reach the summit of Scald Law you have reached the highest peak in the Pentlands! There is a white post with trig point at the very top. West & East Kip are best viewed from here.
The path descends to the bealach (or 'mountain pass') known as the Old Kirk Road, where the ridge is crossed by a fence. Pass through a gate to begin the ascent to Carnethy Hill.
Carnethy summit is marked by a huge cairn and is a wonderful viewpoint for all directions. Look ahead towards Edinburgh and Allermuir Hill and back to Scald Law with the Kips to its right. Look down to the left at the Flotterstone glen & reservoirs.
Wind down the hill towards Turnhouse through a narrow gap with old wall & gate. Then climb up one last time to ascend the final peak.
When climbing Turnhouse, the final peak, the face to the left steepens giving great views down to the Flotterstone glen. Part way along the top of Turnhouse, the path starts to descend to the right. Continue straight to get a cracking view of the glen below turning around the base of the hill, then return to the path down.
The Final Descent
Follow the path down through the Scots Pines and red hill cattle, through a gate and down the fence line. Climb up over the grassy hillock. Cross the footbridge over the meandering burn before joining a gravel pathway toward the tarmac glen road. Cross the road and follow the footpath to the left of the tarmac. Shortly you will come to the Pentland Rangers' car park.
The finish line
Just a little further to the Flotterstone Inn and Pentland Cafe Express, for a well-earned pint and a hearty lunch or a coffee and large slice of cake. You have most definitely earned it!
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