This walk is part of the trek Lothian-90 Walk.
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.
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 : North entrance gate to Heriot-Watt University (A) at Long Hermiston.
(D) Start by entering the grounds of Heriot-Watt University at the “A listed” North Lodge. Set off through the old gardens of Riccarton House along the combined foot and cycle path.
(1) You cross a road and then, after passing the recycling centre (on your right), turn right through an underpass to go along ‘The Walk’. Ascend the first set of steps (blue railings) to the left, and cross along the board-walk beside the ornamental loch.
Once over, turn back sharp-right to find the half-concealed entrance to a lochside path. At its end, turn left up the cross-path, then open and go through a ‘rustic’ double-door (triangular windows) on your right.
If the door happens to be locked, then take the circuitous alternative route around the outside of the building. Follow left, keeping the building on your right. Go right around to the main entrance. Either enter here, or more straightforwardly carry on around the outside of the building (with eventually extensive playing fields on your left) to rejoin the main route where Cameron Smail Rd. meets the playing fields.
(2) Your exit is almost directly in-front through a similar ‘rustic’ door, on the far side of the corridor. If time permits the ‘bridge link’ corridor, to the right, leads to a cafe and toilets. Having crossed through the building corridor you carry on ahead.
Soon, bear right, near an old ice-house, then (beyond the ice-house) fork left to skirt the sunken garden with its curling lawn and ornamental trees, below to your right. Keep on ahead.
(3) Turn left at the far corner of the Library (where the lawn ends) and follow Cameron Smail Rd. gently uphill (across 'The Freeway') to the playing fields. Here cross at the zebra and proceed along the left-hand side of the line of trees ahead, with the playing fields on your left.
On reaching the far end of the fields go right into trees. A broad path is found. Follow it right. Just before the minor is reached, bear left along a narrow, informal path.
(4) This roughly parallels the road to soon emerge onto it. Turn left along the pavement. At a pronounced left-hand bend cross carefully into the car park of Currie Hill Station.
(5) At the station take the pedestrian bridge and cross the line. Exit the station and immediately make a sharp 180 degree left turn, to follow a ‘commuter path’ over open ground. The path rises diagonally to the left. On reaching a road turn right uphill.
(6) Bear slightly right to continue uphill by following a path (hedge on your right, grass to the left) then straight on along back streets (Palmer Rd, Pentland Pl). Make a short right-left dog-leg at Forth View Cres., to take steps up into a small shopping area, and so reach the main Lanark Rd West.
(7) Once over the pedestrian crossing, turn left along the pavement. Beyond the old Currie library (red sandstone building on your left), and toilet block on your right, bear right down an old snicket.
(8) At its base turn right to head across the bridge over the Water of Leith towards Currie Kirk.
(9) Before arriving at Currie Kirk take the steps up left onto the old railway line. Turn left following the broad riverside path downstream. In a few 100 yards turn right up a signed footpath to Poet’s Glen (B). A long flight of steep, wooden steps leads up to the minor Blinkbonny Rd.
(10) Turn right along the pavement. Just after the entrance of Braeburn Dr. turn left to enter Poet’s Glen. Climb the wooded path upwards all the way to Middle Kinleith.
(11) Turn right along Harlow Rd. This quiet, minor road crosses a small bridge and then carries onwards to an open crossroads with extensive views across W. Lothian and Fyfe.
(12) At the crossroads take the lane on the left. Follow this straight, broad lane all the way to the Pentlands. After a mile, pass through a gate into the Pentlands proper. Soon bear left, at a path junction and gate, to rise in a mile to the low coll of Maiden’s Cleuch (C).
(13) From the Cleuch your path keeps straight on, and down, for a mile to the Glencorse reservoir (D). Turn left along the road. A short while after the end of the reservoir take the marked path on the right to the ‘Old filter Beds’. At the path end, when the minor road is regained, bear right to cross onto a made path, and then wend your way through thin wood to the Rangers Station (toilets). Keep on along the road to pass the Flotterstone Inn.
The Flottersotne Rangers Station has toilets, useful information boards and handy leaflets.
(14) Keep ahead past the Flotterstone Inn. Very soon, before reaching the main A702, turn right over the old bridge. Bear right along the pavement of the busy main road until a small house is reached on the left. Cross with care to take the track beside the house. Keep right at the first 'Y' junction, then go right again at the next 'T' junction. The track leads through to Belwood Rd. A new housing estate is planned here.
(15) Turn left. The minor road bends gently left, then right. If the new estate is still unbuilt, on reaching the 30- mile an hour sign (or before, if feeling adventurous) head right over rough ground, with thin paths, to discover a small streamlet which is followed downstream (left) towards Beeslack. Continue down to a small pedestrian bridge.
(16) Cross over the stream at the bridge. Bear left once across. Keep to the footpaths to reach the underpass for Beeslack High School. Here, at the route end, bus stops are found for the homeward journey. (A)
If the new housing estate has been built then keep straight on, along Belwood Rd. Pass housing on your right (ignore the dead ends of Greenlaw Grove & Shaws Cres.) until Stevenson Rd. is reached. Turn right along Stevenson Rd. and continue through to the pedestrian bridge, over the stream, between Breck Terrace and Inkerman Court, where the main route is rejoined.
D : mi 0 - alt. 269ft - North Lodge - Heriot-Watt University
1 : mi 0.4 - alt. 279ft - Boundary Road East
2 : mi 0.74 - alt. 315ft - Rustic door
3 : mi 0.81 - alt. 315ft - Library
4 : mi 1.19 - alt. 341ft - Curriehill Road
5 : mi 1.71 - alt. 358ft - Currie Hill Station
6 : mi 1.98 - alt. 394ft - Uphill
7 : mi 2.33 - alt. 482ft - Lanark Rd West
8 : mi 2.5 - alt. 472ft - Old snicket
9 : mi 2.54 - alt. 472ft - Currie Kirk
10 : mi 2.87 - alt. 495ft - Blinkbonny Rd
11 : mi 3.44 - alt. 741ft - Harlow Rd
12 : mi 3.72 - alt. 755ft - Harlaw Road - Kirkgate
13 : mi 5.62 - alt. 1112ft - Maiden’s Cleuch
14 : mi 8.06 - alt. 600ft - Flotterstone Inn
15 : mi 8.84 - alt. 686ft - Belwood Rd
16 : mi 9.54 - alt. 594ft - Small pedestrian bridge
A : mi 9.8 - alt. 574ft - Beeslack High School
Start : North entrance gate to Heriot-Watt University at Long Hermiston
End : Beeslack High School, Mauricewood, near Penicuik.
More information at Roy's Edimburg Walks website here.
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(A) The Heriot-Watt Campus is set in 380 acres of beautiful parkland. The University had its origins in 1821 as the Edinburgh School of Arts. Today, with campuses in Scotland and Dubai, it has 17,000 students. The old gardens of Riccarton House are at the heart of the campus. Leaflets and maps of various campus trails (tree, history, art & landscape) are available. http://www.hw.ac.uk/documents/campus-guidebook.pdf
(B) Poet's Glen. This wooded dell with its scenic riverside path remembers the weaver-poet James Thomson, and his early 19th century poetry in the Scottish vernacular. His cottage still stands at Mid Kileith farm, with "Mount Parnassus" inscribed over the entrance door.
(C) Maiden's Cleuch. Scots/northern English cleuch, a steep, often rocky-sided gorge or ravine. Here a low pass.
(D) Glencorse Reservoir was built between 1820 and 1824 to provide water for local mills and drinking water for Edinburgh. Today however the reservoir is not the primary source of Edinburgh's water, but instead provides a top-up supply when the principal supply from the Southern Uplands runs low.
Background notes to all nine "Lothian Transect Route" walks. Lothian is the region of the Scottish Lowlands lying between the Firth of Forth and the Southern Uplands. It encompasses the old, historic counties of West Lothian, Edinburghshire (Midlothian), and East Lothian. The complete ‘Lothian Transect Route' crosses the whole of the Lothians, from its far western edge (Harthill) to its most easterly point (Dunglass), in nine 10-mile long sections. All nine legs have been designed to begin and end at places well served by public transport.
West Lothian sits astride the main routes between Edinburgh and the west. Originally a pleasant, fertile and well-wooded county, West Lothian became industrialised from the 1840s onwards. First ironstone, then coal and shale mining dotted the landscape with bings. Today the remaining bings are treasured as industrial monuments - the pink ones are shale, the grey ones coal. Since WWII the heavy industry has gone and been replaced by electronics and service industries. Thousands of houses came with the development of Livingstone New Town. Such overspill towns were an ambitious post-WWII attempt to meet Scotland’s housing challenge, caused by the shortage in the big cities. Despite all these C19th and C20th developments it is possible to walk across West Lothian along quiet footpaths, through pleasant community woodlands, over reclaimed bings, along riversides and though old country parks.
Midlothian provides more space and solitude. The transect route crosses through the Pentland Hills, ever popular with hill walkers or outdoor enthusiasts, and then onward through more old mining and manufacturing areas into a rich agricultural landscape. Old railway lines nowadays provide handy walking and cycling paths.
East Lothian is one of the most picturesque areas of Scotland. It also had an extremely important agricultural and industrial past. Officially the sunniest and driest area in Scotland, it has a gentle, open aspect and is home to a rich variety of wildlife. It is bounded on the south by the Lammermuir Hills and stretches eastwards to the boundary with Scottish Borders at Dunglass.
Linear from Colinton to Cramond Brig, via Water of Leith, Wilderness Wood, Heriot-Watt, Union Canal, Hermiston Gait Shopping Centre, Edinburgh Park Station, The Gyle Technology Park, Braehead Recycling Dump, Cammo Estate and River Almond. This is leg 4/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
Linear from Cramond Brig to Ocean Terminal, via River Almond, Cramond, Silverknowes, Granton Point, Royston House, Granton Harbour, Primrose Bank, Newhaven, West Breakwater & Western Harbour. This is leg 5/5 of the 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.
Third 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.
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.
Linear via Docks, Swing Bridge, Leith Links, Sewage Works, Portobello, Joppa, Musselburgh and River Esk. Walk around the outskirts of Edinburgh and through its hinterland.The aim of this walk is to follow the coast to Musselburgh, while avoiding busy roads and streets. This is leg 1/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
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.
Known locally as “The Glen”, the beautiful 76 acre Pittencrieff Park was gifted to the people of Dunfermline by Andrew Carnegie. This short walk takes in some of the park’s best bits before allowing you to explore Dunfermline Abbey, burial site of King Robert the Bruce. Keep a look out for the resident peacocks whilst in the park!
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