Central Pentlands Circular

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com ? Feb/2012
This route has been read 1,147 times
Walking

WalkingCentral Pentlands Circular

Midlothian, SCOTLAND

google map Graded moderate ?

Voting 4*
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Distance 10.56 miles (17 km)

Total ascent 706m

Steepest climb 30% (1 in 3)

Time 4 – 5 hours (Walking)

Start/finish Ranger centre car park near Flotterstone Inn, NT232631

Summits included en route:
Hill Scald Law 579 m

Nearest town Penicuik or Edinburgh

Terrain Clear hill paths with some pretty steep gradients. Well-drained grassy ground on the summits, but quite boggy in places on the return leg under Hare Hill. Then a long finish on tarmac.

Seasonal variations The main ridge makes a good ski tour

Weather and hill conditions mwis: Southern Uplands

Public transport Bus from Edinburgh to Flotterstone

Maps OS Explorer 344 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 73 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 66 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 65 (1:50,000)

Classifieds

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Tourist info Newtongrange (0845 22 55 121); Edinburgh (0845 22 55 121); Edinburgh (0845 22 55 121)

Gentle grassy ridge walking, shapely small summits and easy access from Edinburgh - no wonder the Pentlands are popular. But despite their almost suburban location these are still proper hills. The central peaks in the chain are the most striking, and the busiest; but go midweek and you could have them to yourself. The bus service on the nearby A702 makes a linear walk possible, but a longer circular route is covered here.

Close this photo
+Carnethy Hill from above Green Cleugh, 153 kb
Carnethy Hill from above Green Cleugh

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Detailed description

1
NT2331163069 Go up-glen either on the (private) road or the parallel woodland path. At a junction go left onto a track, then immediately left again over a footbridge on the Logan Burn. The path now leads uphill along a little ridge. The slope soon steepens. Climb through a band of trees towards Turnhouse Hill. The most-used path cuts just left of the first summit to reach the main top beyond.

2
NT2126262650 Follow the path along the ridge (you can't miss it), down into a gap and then up quite steeply onto Carnethy Hill, where a giant, collapsed (and possibly ancient?) cairn has been appropriated to build several windbreaks.

3
NT2037161898 The path now descends a broad crest leading into the next pronounced col. Cross a fence and a lateral path here, then follow the part-engineered trail on a steep zigzag ascent onto Scald Law, highest summit in the Pentlands.

4
NT1915961074 Descend roughly WSW, where the wide grassy path soon becomes a narrower and stonier trail. This takes a descending traverse across the hillís northwest flank to the next little dip in the ridge. Nip quickly over East Kip, then make a last short climb onto neighbouring West Kip. This wee hill has a nice narrow summit ridge, making it the most distinctive top in the Pentlands. If only there were ten times more of it. Descend the steep west flank to join a farm track. Turn right onto this to loop around the wide head of the Logan glen. As the track begins to climb the far side of the trough cut right onto a narrower footpath.
5
NT1679561297 This path runs across the heathery flank of Hare Hill. After about 1km of boggy going the trail makes a steep zigzag descent into the floor of Green Cleugh, quite a dramatic little ravine. Pass a waterfall and some broken crags to reach the tarmac road at the isolated house of The Howe.

6
NT1899662057 The road leads all the way home, past Loganlea and Glencorse Reservoirs.

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