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Pentlands and a return to Tinto

Pentlands and a return to Tinto

Postby weaselmaster » Sun Oct 22, 2017 8:59 pm

Grahams included on this walk: Tinto

Donalds included on this walk: Tinto

Sub 2000' hills included on this walk: Allermuir Hill, Black Hill (Pentlands), Dungavel Hill, Scald Law

Date walked: 22/10/2017

Time taken: 10.5 hours

Distance: 35.1 km

Ascent: 2277m

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I had a family commitment this weekend - my sister-in-law's 60th birthday celebrations in Edinburgh on Saturday, to include a session in an "escape room", a gin-distillery tour and evening meal. So that called for a bit of imagination to get some hills in either side of the Saturday. Edinburgh-ish hills it would be then. Looking at my Marilyn map there was a nice looking circuit of 3 in the Pentlands that looked suitable for Friday - then we could do the remaining Marilyn in the Pentlands - East Cairn Hill, or make a trip to Tinto (keeping my Donald Round in mind). Drove through after work on Thursday to Mortonhall Campsite, which was a little wet then got the bus down for a fine Thai at Passorn in Tollcross.

pentland3.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

Friday's walk was to take in Scald Law, Black Hill and Allermuir Hill (or the "ski slope" hill as I remembered it from when I lived in Edinburgh). I'd originally routed this from Balerno, but in the end pinched Euan McIntosh's route from Flotterstone - made more sense from Mortonhall. We parked at the parking place just past the Flotterstone Inn - which was very busy for a Friday morning. i didn't have a map for this circuit, just my GPS, so hadn't really absorbed what was involved. It turned out to be a really fine walk - surprised me as I'd lived in the southwest of Edinburgh for a decade and never ventured into these hills. We followed the roadway til the gate for House o' Muir then joined a very muddy cattle track over the stream and onto the shoulder of Turnhouse Hill. Weather was surprisingly pleasant - the bright shiny thing was out in the sky for a welcome change.Blue skies over the Glencorse and Loganlee Reservoirs. Up ahead the bulk of Carnethy Hill rose green and dun.

ImageP1170841 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170842 by Al, on Flickr

Glencorse reservoir
ImageP1170844 by Al, on Flickr

Carnethy Hill
ImageP1170845 by Al, on Flickr

The route has a series of undulations - as you can see from the GPS picture at the end - a fair amount of ascent for a group of wee hills. But it was a day to enjoy these things - an easy to follow path helped. The hills were busy with folk coming the opposite way. We rose to the top of Scald Law - the first Marilyn and saw our route heading northwest over the elegant tops of East & West Kip. We paused on the summit of the latter for a bit to eat. Not halfway yet!

Scald Law
ImageP1170847 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170848 by Al, on Flickr

The Kips
ImageP1170849 by Al, on Flickr

Looking back
ImageP1170850 by Al, on Flickr

We dropped down to follow the "red road" over some boggy ground and up to Hare Hill - although the summit was populated by sheep rather than hares. Then another big drop into Green Cleugh and a steep climb onto the heathery slopes of Black Hill. From that summit we could see the line of hills we'd walked over. On the northern side the three Forth bridges were visible through the haze. We joined an ATV track that dropped down to Den's Cleugh Lost the track a little then rose to Bell's Hill before joining a cleared path up Harbour then Capelaw Hill. Up ahead was our final target, Allermuir Hill, over to our left the sun was shining on Leith whilst Arthur's Seat crouched darkly to the side. A fine place to see Edinburgh from.

Muddy "red road", Hare Hill and Black Hill ahead
ImageP1170851 by Al, on Flickr

Hare (sheep) Hill
ImageP1170853 by Al, on Flickr

Towards Green Cleugh
ImageP1170854 by Al, on Flickr

Black Hill looking to the Kips
ImageP1170857 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170858 by Al, on Flickr

On to Allermuir
ImageP1170861 by Al, on Flickr

Sunshine on Leith
ImageP1170863 by Al, on Flickr

There were a few folk at the top of Allermuir - we reached the trig point and headed back down the way we'd come, then joining the gravel track that winds back to the car park. Castlelaw Hill seemed out of bounds due to the firing range although no flags were flying, so we passed along the road, stopping at the souterrain at Castlelaw for a wee peek. Then across the firing range (fortunately unmanned) and onto a track that led back to the car at Flotterstone. A really enjoyable day out, so close to the city centre.

ImageP1170865 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170869 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170870 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170872 by Al, on Flickr

Back at the campsite we headed off for tea at the Edinburgh's newest vegan eatery, Harmonium down in Leith - well worth a visit, with a fine vibe and top notch food.

Saturday - we made a late start, got the bus into town and wandered around the museum in Chambers St before getting lunch at the Baked Potato shop in Coburn St. Allison set off to North Berwick to climb North Berwick Law whilst I headed to Summerhill for the afternoon's excitement.

Successful completion of escape room :lol:
ImageP1170874 by Al, on Flickr

Sunday- not such a fine day - windier and showery but some blue skies and sunny intervals. I'd decided we'd head to Tinto and include the adjacent marilyn, Dungavel Hill. Last time we'd climbed Tinto from Thankerton, which I guess is the most popular route - this time we'd ascend from Wiston - a shorter if steeper outing. We parked in the primary school grounds beside the entrance to Wiston Lodge and set off through the estate. Through some woods first, then across a couple of very muddy fields. Tinto was straight ahead, with a cap of cloud at around 600m. There's a languid zigzag track that weaves in and out of loose scree and quickly gains the summit. Unfortunately the weather wasn't kind to us - the wind blustered and the rain drizzled on and off. We sought shelter just below the cairn for lunch, whilst some other folk arrived from the eastern route.

tintoplus.gpx Open full screen  NB: Walkhighlands is not responsible for the accuracy of gpx files in users posts

ImageP1170876 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170878 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170879 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170880 by Al, on Flickr

Our route then passed along the fence line heading west for around a kilometre before taking the fenceline south. A fine red fox leapt in and out of the heather. To the south Dungavel Hill rose out of the clag - our route would take us down to the road, then up to the western end of Dungavel, traversing the hill and returning to Wiston. Walking up by Newton of Wiston farm - a large black bull eyeing us haughtily - glad we didn't have to cross that field! Reaching the end of the tree line we started up the hillside - easy going. The trig point had met with an accident of some sort and lay recumbent. We walked down the eastern side, following the fence line - the top of Tinto was still under clag as we returned to the road and back up to the car.

Route down to Dungavel
ImageP1170881 by Al, on Flickr

strange vegetation
ImageP1170883 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170886 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170887 by Al, on Flickr

Deposed trig
ImageP1170890 by Al, on Flickr

ImageP1170891 by Al, on Flickr
User avatar
Hill Bagger
Posts: 1913
Munros:217   Corbetts:44
Grahams:76   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:367   Hewitts:31
Wainwrights:15   Islands:28
Joined: Aug 22, 2012
Location: Greenock

Re: Pentlands and a return to Tinto

Postby PeteR » Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:16 pm

For a group of mere sub 2000s that Pentlands route sure does have a lot of "up" and "down" to it. I enjoyed the area, although found the other walkers I met on the day a bit dour faced.........certainly not as friendly as your usual walkers.
User avatar
Munro compleatist
Posts: 2060
Munros:282   Corbetts:158
Grahams:89   Donalds:89
Sub 2000:177   Hewitts:3
Joined: Jan 27, 2010
Location: North Ayrshire

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