Walk: Braid Hills - surveying the seven summits

[Arthur's Seat from the Braid Hills]

The Braid Hills are a belt of high ground rising out of the southern suburbs of Edinburgh. This is the southernmost of the city's "Seven Hills", and there's a superb panorama of the other 6 (Arthur's Seat, Castle Rock, Calton Hill, Corstorphine Hill, Craiglockhart Hill and Blackford Hill) from the summit. The latter of these is also included in the varied, 7 km route featured here, which feels surprisingly rural despite its location amidst residential streets. You won't be alone - the number of dogs taking their owners for a walk along the Hermitage of Braid puts paid to that - but it's a great way to escape the crowds of the Royal Mile.

[Hermitage of Braid]

Name: Braid & Blackford Hills ★★★☆☆
Length: 7 km / 4 miles
Ascent: 320 metres
Main summits: Blackford Hill (164 metres);  Buckstone Snab / Braid Hills (208 metres)
Points of interest: Braidburn Valley; Hermitage of Braid (doocot, ice house & visitor centre); Blackford Pond
Start / finish: Street parking on Riselaw Crescent, Edinburgh, G.R.: NT 244696 ///nest.songs.dirt

Route: Start - Braidburn Valley (south to north) - Hermitage of Braid (doocot, ice house & visitor centre) - Blackford Pond - Blackford Hill - path junction at G.R.: NT 261702 ///gear.foods.diary - Buckstone Snab / Braid Hills - start
Terrain: Varied tarmac, dirt, grassy and muddy paths, short pavement sections. Some steep sections, especially on ascent of Blackford Hill.
Wildlife today: Small birds, grey squirrels, lots of dogs. At the pond: mute swans, gulls, mallards, teal, moorhens.
Weather today: Mostly sunny with temperature in single figures. Ice on some of Blackford Pond from recent cold weather.

[Approach to Blackford Hill]

Route credit: Scotland off the beaten track

[Braidburn Valley]

[Braidburn Valley]

[Hermitage of Braid]

[Hermitage of Braid]

[Doocot, Hermitage of Braid]

[Hermitage House visitor centre]

[Inside the visitor centre]

[Grey squirrel, Hermitage of Braid]

[Midmar Paddock]

[Midmar Paddock]

[Blackford Pond]

[Blackford Pond]

[Edinburgh & Arthur's Seat from Blackford Hill summit]

[Descent from Blackford Hill]

[Descent from Blackford Hill]

[Braid Burn at the foot of Howe Dean]

[Howe Dean]

[Braid Hills]

[View from Buckstone Snab]

[Summit masts]

[The "sleeping lion": Arthur's Seat from Buckstone Snab]

[Zoom of Edinburgh Castle]

[The Forth Bridges from Buckstone Snab]

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