This walk is part of the trek Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
Linear from Bilston to Colinton, via Pentland Grove, Cow Lane, Boghall, Hillend and Swanston. This is leg 3/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start : Bilston VW Garage along A701. Postcode : EH25 9RT. Grid Ref : NT 264 648
(D) From Bilston VW Garage take the street at the left-hand side of the VW Garage into Bilston. Turn left along Myrtle Crescent. Follow this wiggling right and then left along Park Avenue to emerge onto Seafield Road.
(1) Turn left, and immediately cross to the abandoned lane on your right. Follow it to the left (South-West) to emerge on the busy Seafield Moor Road (A703). Turn right (North-North-West) and head towards the Pentlands. Stay on the footpath on the right-hand side of the road, facing the traffic, for some 250 m.
(2) Cross left into a roadway at the Seafield Mill sign where a footpath (Cow Lane) goes off straight away to the right. This quiet path winds its tranquil way to emerge at Boghall on the A702.
(3) Cross to the far footpath, turning left to come upon the entrance to Boghall on your right. A path leads directly uphill at first, but then turns left, right and left again to traverse out by farm buildings. Here rather than turning up the track, a nice variant is to cross over the track and instead head past a pond to a small bridge.
Go over, up steps and up the right bank of the Boghall Burn Ravine in pleasant woods – an ideal, sheltered coffee-spot. Soon drop down more steps to re-cross the burn, climbing up to rejoin the track.
(4) Turn left. Our medium-term target, in this Pentlands section of the Leg, is the Green Craig Water Cistern above Dreghorn. There are numerous possible routes to it. Our route only climbs a modest amount, and is moderately direct, but primarily has been chosen for its expansive views across the whole of Edinburgh.
At a cottage we go right into a field. Turn immediately left uphill. Pass through to a higher field. Aim uphill towards the radiomasts.
(5) Pass between the masts. On reaching a stile no more height needs to be gained. Cross the stile and begin a long traverse towards Hillend. Follow along on the top side of the wood.
(6) Once over the subsequent stile turn sharp left, on a narrow footpath, steeply up-hill to pass to the left of an old Iron-Age settlement. Having crested the rise, cross left over the next stile. At this point do not start to climb Caerketton Hill, instead traverse right alongside the fence at the top of the Hillend ski-area. Continue the traverse above the ‘T’-wood. The path drops, passing a signpost.
(7) Here do not climb up the slope, nor shortly after this, cut down towards Swanston, but instead continue traversing on the same general direction as before (Westward) along the northern edge of the Pentlands. A rough path takes you (North-Eastward) alongside the bottom edge of an old wall.
The path gently rises and falls, as it becomes a wider track. Try to spot our lunch place - five lonely trees on a small escarpment well ahead. After a few 100 m the main track veers right downhill. Here we go slightly left to ascend a gentle gully (due East) to come out at our lunch- spot trees.
The magnificently broad view across the whole of Edinburgh from this little-frequented shelf is well worth the climb. After lunch it is important to head due North for 50m on a narrow sheep-path through gorse in order to climb a stile over a barbed-wire fence.
Once safely over turn left alongside the fence. Where the fence swings up to the left we carry on along our traverse, beneath Allermuir Hill, across a couple of streamlets to find a sheep-trod which slopes gently down, and around the convex hill-slope, to come out at the Howden Burn by the Green Craig Water Cistern.
(8) Cross to the cistern and take the broad track that heads North into the woods. Pass through gates and down through the woods. On emerging at a large field bear diagonally left (North-West), on a dog walkers’ path, to reach the electricity pylons and the Braid Burn.
(9) Leave the field and proceed beside the burn beneath the by-pass. Continue slightly East of North alongside the burn and down an old polo-field edge to reach the road at the entrance to Dreghorn Woods.
(10) Turn left over a bridge into Dreghorn Loan which is followed to bring you out at the Colinton traffic lights.
D : mi 0 - alt. 535ft - Bilston VW Garage
1 : mi 0.42 - alt. 545ft - Seafield Road
2 : mi 0.76 - alt. 574ft - Seafield Mill sign
3 : mi 1.49 - alt. 653ft - Boghall
4 : mi 1.81 - alt. 755ft - Cottage
5 : mi 1.96 - alt. 912ft - Masts
6 : mi 2.41 - alt. 938ft - Old Iron-Age settlement
7 : mi 3.15 - alt. 974ft - ‘T’-wood
8 : mi 4.29 - alt. 751ft - Cistern
9 : mi 4.73 - alt. 558ft - By-pass
10 : mi 5.23 - alt. 482ft - Bridge - Dreghorn Loan
A : mi 5.67 - alt. 377ft - Colinton traffic lights
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
Edinburgh has a particularly long and illustrious history; so it is not surprising that many features of historical or architectural interest are encountered along the circumnavigation route.
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Fifth Leg of a 90-mile walk across the whole of the Lothians, using quiet footpaths, country parks, disused railway lines, river banks, tracks and the occasional minor road.
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Sixth Leg of a 90-mile walk across the whole of the Lothians, using quiet footpaths, country parks, disused railway lines, river banks, tracks and the occasional minor road.
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Fourth Leg of a 90-mile walk across the whole of the Lothians, using quiet footpaths, country parks, disused railway lines, river banks, tracks and the occasional minor road.
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Circular route (in five sections) around the outskirts of Edinburgh. Walk around the outskirts of Edinburgh and through its hinterland. The full circuit has been designed as a quiet, almost traffic-free, scenic route along quiet footpaths and lanes through outer Edinburgh and its ever-varied suburban, post-industrial and Greenbelt/rural hinterland.
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