Walk: A Maw, a Law & East Cairn Hill

Scottish Borders | Pentland Hills | Half day walk | ★★

[East Cairn Hill]

Fancy a solitary stroll close to the capital? The western Pentlands are much less frequented than the more shapely, eastern side of the range, but still offer good views into the Scottish Borders and West Lothian. This circuit traces the grassy ridges on the east side of the Lyne Water at Baddinsgill, linking a succession of broad, grassy or heathery summits. The last in line - East Cairn Hill - is slightly rockier, with views of Harperrig Reservoir revealed at the last minute from an enormous cairn on its lower west top. Return by the Thieves Road - an old livestock route connecting West Linton to Livingstone via a lonely bealach.

[Baddinsgill Reservoir from the ascent of Mount Maw]

📌 Walk: A Maw, a Law & East Cairn Hill ★★
Start / finish near minor road end (space to park, don't block gates) at Baddinsgill Farm, 2 mi northwest of West Linton, G.R.: NT 126548 ///bravo.chestnuts.cooked

▶ 14 km / 9 mi | ▲ 490 m | ⌚ Half a day | Tough
Features: △ Mount Maw (535 m); △ East Cairn Hill (567 m, sub-2000'); Baddinsgill Reservoir
Terrain: Outward ridge route mostly on faint, grassy paths and tracks, some boggy areas at cols. Thieves Road return route on clearer paths and tracks.

Route & map

Start - leave road 200 m to south - Faw Mount - Mount Maw - Grain Heads - The Mount (west side) - Wether Law (southwest side) - East Cairn Hill (all three summits) - join Cross Borders Drove Road / Thieves Road at Cauldstane Slap - Baddingsgill Reservoir - start

Route credit: Walkhighlands
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On our visit

Wildlife: Pheasant and grouse calls, sheep, Highland and dairy cows, horses, a few birds of prey.
Weather: Very hazy sunshine, gusty southerly wind, temperature in single figures. Small, old snowdrifts on East Cairn Hill, some partly frozen ground.

Chronological photo guide

[Lyne Water near the start]

[Lyne Water]

[Mount Maw]

[View south from the ascent of Mount Maw]

[Eastern Pentlands from Mount Maw]

[Baddinsgill Reservoir from Mount Maw]

[Looking ahead to The Mount (right), Wether Law (centre) & East Cairn Hill (left)]


[East Cairn Hill from Henshaw Mouth]

[Weathered fencepost]

[Looking back from the ascent of East Cairn Hill]

[East Cairn Hill east top]

[East Cairn Hill: west top (left) & true summit (centre) from the east top]

[Harperrig Reservoir from the west top]

[Old cairn on East Cairn Hill west top]

[Descent from East Cairn Hill, with West Cairn Hill beyond]

[Thieves Road at Cauldstane Slap]

[Thieves Road at Cauldstane Slap]

[Baddinsgill Reservoir from the descent]

[Baddinsgill Reservoir]

[Track at Baddinsgill]

[Final roadside stretch]


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