Category Archives: Lothian

South Queensferry to Leith

2.5 Forth Bridges

2.5 Forth Bridges

Crikey!  A weekend with great weather?  Well, we just had to make use of this, so with some clever planning Jazz and I could continue our march eastwards on the John Muir Trail from South Queensferry to Leith.  It’s roughly 9 months since we were here and it’ll give us a chance to see how the new bridge is coming on.  I’m no civil engineer but I think they need to fill in the gaps before it’ll be ready. Continue reading

Water of Leith Walkway

Water of Leith walkway signIf you are looking for a pleasant, easy wander through one of the most beautiful cities then this has got to be near the top of your list. I had tried this about 30 years ago but the path just gave up somewhere near Saughton. And in those days nice people like me didn’t really want to go to Leith. But now Leith has been gentrified and the path goes all the way to the sea. Seems like time for a revisit. Continue reading

Wolf Craigs

East Cairn Hill

East Cairn Hill (spot Edinburgh?)

This entry will probably be the shortest yet as there isn’t much going for it.  The weather was pretty grim as we did a short circuit of some Pentland hills to the north of West Linton so the gorgeous scenery shots you’ve come to expect aren’t here – just grey hills, although there is one of Jazz having a dip to break the monotony. Continue reading

Two Cleughs in the Pentlands

Castlelaw Hill from Glencorse Reservoir

Castlelaw Hill from Glencorse Reservoir

This walk was a standard one when I was a lad (yes, more nostalgia) and so to give it a slight new spin we were going to start at Balerno on the “other” side of the Pentland Hills.  Back in the 19th century 1 when I used to do this I had the place to myself: no longer.  Today the hills were heaving and it also looked like everyone got a mountain bike for Christmas.  I’m sure the Regional Park authorities spin this as a good thing: I’m not in their camp, but this is a website for misanthropes after all. Continue reading


  1. After reading an earlier draft of this nonsense, my Mother wishes it to be known that my birth was a temporal anomaly as she herself is a child of the mid-20th century and so obviously couldn’t have a son who went walking in the 19th.  It looks like I need to check out a high-security nursing home…

Roslin Glen

Path beside river, Roslin Glen, 2This is going to be a nostalgia trip so bear with me: this is a walk I used to do a lot as a kid but I worked out that the last time was 34 years ago.  It’s a circuit along the South River Esk starting from Roslin (or to use its much nicer old name, Rosslyn).  A lot has happened in Roslin in the intervening years:  Dolly the Sheep and the “Da Vinci Code“, for two.  I was keen to see what else has changed. Continue reading

Allermuir and Caerketton Hills

Allermuir from Caerketton

Allermuir from Caerketton

With a few hours to spare on a trip to Edinburgh, Jazz came up with the idea of climbing the two hills at the end of the Pentland Hills range that she needed for her scrap-book: Allermuir and Caerketton. Since we park just off the bypass, it makes for a convenient stop. I last walked here 35 years ago and it turns out I was either much fitter then or I’ve been suppressing the memory of the steepness.

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Moorfoots in the Rain

Fisherman on Portmore Loch

I was brought up in the Esk Valley with the Pentland Hills on one side and the Moorfoot Hills on the other.  Probably because they are just round lumps the Moorfoots were somewhere I never walked.  Time to rectify that, and even bag three Donalds into the bargain with a nice circular walk from Portmore Loch.  It all started well, but then the rain set in and gave us a very soggy afternoon. Continue reading

Cauldstane Slap

How cool is that name?  This was a walk back in time: the last time I’d done it was with my Father the day before my Higher Geography exam. That was 33 years ago, and I’m now 6 years older than Bertie-boy was then.  That messed with my head for a bit but on a positive side, I was using the same OS map and was feeling pretty smug that I’d got my £1.40 worth out of the Ordnance Survey.  Luckily the Pentlands haven’t changed that much: a few extra wind farms in the distance being the obvious change. Continue reading

Pentland Hills

Pentland ridge from Green Law

This was a nostalgia trip: the Pentlands used to be a favourite stomping ground when I was young. Now where did that quarter of a century go? These hills aren’t particularly high (the highest, Scauld Law doesn’t even get to 2000 feet). But they look great and are very easy to access. Today we did a mostly linear walk from Carlops to the Flotterstone Inn: a total of 18km and 9 tops. Continue reading