Walk: Allermuir Hill - prow of the Pentlands

City of Edinburgh / Midlothian | Pentland Hills | Half day walk | ★★★★

[Red grouse on the summit of Caerketton Hill, with Edinburgh City Bypass in the background]

The spine of the rolling Pentland Hills comes abruptly to an end with Allermuir Hill and Caerketton Craigs, with only the Edinburgh City Bypass separating the moorland of Muilieputchie from Oxgangs cul-de-sacs. This half day walk therefore offers big contrasts: the curious dichotomy of a spacious, underpopulated southern vista accompanied by the rumble of road traffic 300 metres below - no doubt a strange world for the resident red grouse! The beginning of the route climbs around the chairlift and ski runs of Midlothian Snowsports Centre, eventually leading to easy ridge walking across the tops. The descent has a further surprise in store however: the exquisitely pretty, conservation hamlet of Swanston, where 18th century thatched cottages enjoy a rural idyll barely half a mile from the city limits.

[Looking into the heart of the Pentlands from Allermuir Hill summit]

Location & info

📌 Walk: Allermuir Hill - prow of the Pentlands ★★★★
Start / finish by A702 at Midlothian Snowsports Centre turnoff, Lothianburn, G.R.: NT 250670 ///shiny.paths.units
🚌 Bus stops on A702 | 🚗 Car park

▶ 6 km / 4 mi | ▲ 390 m | ⌚ Half a day
Features: △ Allermuir Hill (493 m, sub-2000'); Swanston
Moderate | Clear hill paths, steep in places particularly at the start. A little mud, track and pavement section at end.

Route: Car park - Hillend Hill fort - Caerketton Hill - Allermuir Hill - Muilieputchie - Swanston - start

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On our visit

Wildlife: Several red grouse higher up. Exmoor ponies, chickens, grasshoppers.
Weather: Sunny, temperature in low teens, breezy on the tops.

Chronological photo guide

[Start of the ascent]

[Midlothian Snowsports Centre]

[Caerketton Hill]

[Caerketton Hill]

[Edinburgh from Caerketton Hill]

[Edinburgh from Caerketton Hill]

[Red grouse on Caerketton Hill]

[On the summit cairn]

[With Edinburgh City Bypass in the background]

[Caerketton Hill]

[View west from Caerketton Hill]

[Looking back from Caerketton Craigs]

[View ahead to Allermuir Hill]

[Heart of the Pentlands seen from the summit of Allermuir Hill]

[Western Edinburgh and the Forth Bridges from the summit]

[Descent towards Swanston]

[Caerketton Craigs from below]


[Swanston Brasserie]

[Return along the track to Lothianburn]


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