A Day Out in the Pentlands Hills, Edinburgh

If you want a break from the city and get into nature, the Pentland Hills is the perfect place for walking, hiking (trekking) and relaxing! They offer stunning views of Edinburgh and across to South Queensferry.

The Pentland Hills Regional Park is just over an hour from Edinburgh city centre.

It’s really surprising just how many paths you can hike through in this small range of hills, ranging from smaller walks for picnicking, to larger hikes for people looking to challenge themselves.

Harlaw Woodland Walk – 3.5km

Flat easy route suitable for all

Route Map

This short woodland path does a full circle around Harlaw Reservoir and the outer edge of Threipmour Reservoir.

This is one of the most popular trips, with good paths along the outer edges of the reservoirs, great for both walking or cycling. There is a very short boggy area just as you come up to Threipmour, so you should wear sensible shoes.!

Travelling to the Start

For this route, your best option would be to take the number 44 bus to Balerno. from there it’s a short walk to your start point which is the Harlaw visitor centre car park. Map below…

Capital View Walk – 4km

Walk with great views of the city skyline

Route Map

As the name suggests, this walk offers great spots to look offer Edinburgh’s iconic skyline. This route has some parts that are uphill, but nothing that is too hard.

Perhaps take a camera along with you as there are some great spots that allow for panoramic views back across all of the city.

If you are lucky you might even spot a few Highlands Cows. The most likely places to see these would be near Swanston Farm, which this route passes.

A Highland Cow in the Pentland Hills

Travelling to the Start

The best bus to take would be the number 4 bus, its stops near the Snowsports Centre, Hillend, you can see the start point below on the map.

West Kip, East Kip and Scald Law – 12.4 km

Route with the highest point in the Pentlands.

Route Map

This is one of the longer walks on our list, but don’t let that scare you as it’s mostly walking along maintained and grassy paths. Along both the East and West Kip, you may find it slightly tougher due to the increase in steepness, but nothing too difficult.

You will visit the highest point in the Pentlands called Scald Law, the top of this hill is 579m high and provides views to Livingston and South Queensferry.

Travelling to the Start

Again for this route, your best option would be to take the number 44 bus to Balerno, although it’s a quite long walk of about 3km to the start point at Threipmuir Reservoir Car Park. See the map below:

East Cairn Hill and Mount Maw circuit – 13.75km

Longer route for those looking for a bit of a challenge.

Route Map

This is more of a remote walk, you will find that the first half is easy-going on grassy paths, it does get a bit rougher the closer you get to East Cairn Hill. It gets easier nearer the end of the route again.

This route goes along some of the Western sides of the Pentland Hills ridges, which opens up into views across the Borders, Edinburgh Castle to Thieves’ Road – which is an old route used for moving cows through the hills.

Travelling to the Start

To get to the start point for this walk, your best way would be to get the 101 bus to West Linton and walk roughly 4km to the start at Baddinsgill Farm. You can see the start point on the map.

Related Posts