An amble in the foothills

Starting at the Red Moss Nature Reserve, near Balerno, this is a walk in the Pentland Hills Regional Park. It will cross the Threipmuir Reservoir and pass through wooded country emerging at the foot of the main Pentland hills.  The hilltops will be clearly visible but do not despair!  An easy walk across the moor, with wonderful views of hills and water, will gradually descend to The Howe, a small cottage at the end of Loganlea Reservoir.  The reservoir is used for fishing.  We turn for home up an impressive  gully, Green Claugh and contour the hill, returning via Threipmuir Reservoir to the start point.

 Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NT 166 639 which is the car park near Red Moss (of Balerno) Nature Reserve.

Getting there: 46 miles/65 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 towards Edinburgh.  Exit the M8 at Junction 3 onto the A899 (Livingston) and continue south.  At Lizzie Brice’s Roundabout take 2nd exit onto A71 (Edinburgh) and at the next roundabout go left (A71).  Turn right onto the B7031 (Kirknewton/Balerno);  continue through Kirknewton and at the junction with the A70 turn left and continue for about 1 mile.  Then turn right (turning is not signed), shortly after stone buildings on the left, onto Glenbrook Road towards Balerno.  Turn right (opposite a large stone wall) into Johnsburn Road and continue (now Cockburn Crescent).  At the junction at the end of the road turn right onto Mansfield Road. Continue south on this narrowing road and look out for a small sign (Pentland Hills Regional Park Threipmuir) and turn left.  A No Entry sign is visible but bear left into the car park.

Balerno, Scotland, United Kingdom

The Walk:  An Amble in the Foothills – 7.5 miles (12km) (with options to extend or shorten the walk)
It is recommended that a Harvey Superscale map is used as some of the paths are not shown on the OS map.

The walk starts from the car park and crosses over the Threipmuir Reservoir  at Redford Bridge and continues south on the road towards Bavelaw Castle. As the road turns left to the castle turn right and after a short distance turn left following a line of trees. Pass the sheepfold and continue on Red Road passing Hare Hill on the left.  Follow Red Road until a junction of paths close to West Kip and turn left. After a short distance there is a choice of [1] taking the left fork to contour the hill to the north towards Lover’s Loup and then swinging left (north) through Green Cleugh; [2] take the right fork over West Kip (an ascent of about 150m) and continue to East Kip and turn left at a junction of paths and descend to Lover’s Loup. Alternatively, at this junction there is also the option [3] to continue on the path over Scald Law and descend to the Old Kirk Road turning left at the junction of paths towards The Howe, passing The Pinnacle on the right, and continuing into Green Cleugh.

Pass through Green Cleugh and at the junction of paths, at the north end, take the right fork and, after an initial short ascent, the path contours around Black Hill towards Black Springs and the eastern end of Threipmuir Reservoir.  (Alternatively, for a shorter walk, there is the option [4], to take the left fork towards Bavelaw Castle and then to retrace the outbound route back to the car park.  Note, however, that this path is through boggy terrain which, although shorter, may be more challenging.)  At Black Springs turn left and follow the path over and around Threipmuir Reservoir. Take the left path near Harlaw Reservoir and cross the bridge where the Threipmuir and Harelaw Reservoirs meet and turn left.  Follow the path back to the car park.

Option [2] does not add significantly to the overall distance of the main route.
Option [3] adds about 1.5km to the walk.
Both options [2] and [3] are more challenging because of the ascents and descents.
Option [4] will shorten the main route by about 2km.

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