GPS Cycle and Walking Routes

Pentland Hills Walks

This scenic range of hills located near Edinburgh are a great place for walkers. There's a series of pretty reservoirs, lots of woodland areas and miles of hill climbs to enjoy here.

Use the links to view full route information including elevation profiles, interactive maps and GPS downloads.

Route NameDistanceDescription
Bonaly Country Park5 miles (8 km)This country park is located a few miles to the south of Edinburgh city centre. The park features cycle and walking trails taking you through woodland and open moorland to a series of reservoirs. There are excellent views of the Pentland Hills, Edinburgh, theLothians,Fifeand theFirth of Forthfrom the park.
The park is located near to the Water of Leith where you will find a lovely,waterside cycling and walking path. This leads to the Union Canal which you can follow into the centre of Edinburgh.
Also nearby is the climb to Arthur's Seat. This splendid hike is a real highlight of the area, commanding fine views over city and the coast. View Full Details>>
Cobbinshaw Reservoir3 miles (5 km)This attractive reservoir in the Pentland Hills is a nice place for a stroll. There's footpaths to follow around the southern end of the reservoir with woodland trails in the adjacent Cobbinshaw Forest on the western side of the water. It's a good place for wildlife, with lots of wildfowl to see on the water.
The reservoir is located just to the south of Livingston and West Calder.
If you'd like to continue your reservoir walking then you could head towards Edinburgh and visit Harlaw Reservoir and Threipmuir Reservoir. Here you'll find a visitor centre and circular footpath around the reservoir. A few miles to the east you will find Harperrig Reservoir which has a parking area at the eastern end of the water. View Full Details>>
Dalkeith Country Park3 miles (5 km)This large country park near Edinburgh has a number of excellent walking and cycling paths. The waymarked walking trails run through the ancient oak woodland and along the River Esk which runs through the park. Cyclists can follow the miles of estate roads and then follow a lovely off road path along the River Esk to Musselburgh on the coast.
Look out for an abundance of wildlife including deer, foxes, herons and otters.
To extend your walking in the area you could head into Holyrood Park in the city and climb to Arthur's Seat. This splendid hike is a real highlight of the area, commanding fine views over city and the coast. Also nearby is Bonaly Country Park where there are more good cycling and walking trails to try. View Full Details>>
Flotterstone2 miles (4 km)This circular walk explores the area around the Flotterstone visitor centre in the Pentland Hills. The 2.5 mile route starts from the car park and follows a waymarked trail towards the pretty Glencorse Reservoir. It's a fairly easy walk with a small climb which provides nice views back down to the water.
Starting from the car park you follow the trails west along Glencorse Burn before a short woodland section leads you to the reservoir. You can then follow a path along the water before climbing toward Castlelaw Hill. From here it is a short descent back to the car park and the finish point of the walk.
On the way look out for the Blue plaque dedicated to Nobel prize winner CTR Wilson. The local man won the prize for physics in 1927, after devising a cloud chamber apparatus to reproduce clouds, which proved invaluable in detecting ionising radiation.
To continue your walking in the area, head west to visit Harlaw Reservoir. The site has a nice 2 mile footpath running around the perimeter with views to the adjacent Threipmuir Reservoir. Another good option is to head towards Livingston and visit Cobbinshaw Reservoir where there's more lovely views and lots of wildfowl to look out for on the water.
To the south you will find Gladhouse Reservoir which is also very peaceful and beautiful. View Full Details>>
Gladhouse Reservoir5 miles (8.3 km)Enjoy a circular walk around this pretty reservoir near Penicuik. The route runs for a distance of about 5 miles, following a series of country lanes and footpaths around the water. The large reservoir was built in the 1870s, and is a public water supply reservoir for Edinburgh. With an area of 168 hectares, it is the largest body of fresh water in the Lothians.
Start the walk from the roadside parking at the south western end of the reservoir. From here you can pick up country lanes to take you around the water.
Just to the north is Roseberry reservoir which is another popular fishing spot. View Full Details>>
Harlaw Reservoir2 miles (3 km)This easy walk visits Harlaw Reservoir, near Edinburgh. The site is located near Balerno, about 8 miles south-west of the city centre. It's a lovely, peaceful area with nice views of the surrounding Pentland Hills.
The reservoir has a nice 2 mile footpath running around the perimeter. You can park at the visitor centre car park at the northern end of the water. From here it is a short stroll to the footpath which runs through the waterside woodland. You can extend the walk by heading along the footpath to the adjacent Threipmuir Reservoir.
To continue your exercise, simply head to Balermo and pick up the Water of Leith Walkway. It's a great way to explore the city on a well surfaced cycling and walking trail.
If you'd like to continue your reservoir walking then you could head towards Livingston and visit Cobbinshaw Reservoir where there's some lovely views and wildfowl to look out for. Just to the east you will find the Pentland Hills visitor centre at Flotterstone. From here you can enjoy a walk along the Glencorse Burn to Glencorse Reservoir. View Full Details>>
Pencaitland Railway Walk7 miles (11 km)This shared cycling and walking trail runs along a disused railway line in Dalkieth near Edinburgh. It runs for a distance of just under 7 miles on a flat path which is suitable for most abilities. On the way look out for a variety of flora and fauna especially in the summer months when you can see lots of wildflowers. There's also good information boards to look out for. These tell you about the history of the line which was built in 1867 and used until 1965 when it closed.
Start the walk from the public car park just to the south of Carberry Hill. From here you can pick up the waymarked trail and follow it east towards the villages of Ormiston and Wester Pencaitland. The trail then finishes shortly after near Saltoun Forest. This end of the trail also has a car park if you prefer to start from here. View Full Details>>
Torduff Reservoir1 miles (2.3 km)Enjoy a circular walk around the pretty Torduff Reservoir on this walk in Edinburgh. View Full Details>>
Water of Leith12 miles (20 km)This waterside cycling and walking trail follows the Water of Leith through Edinburgh. The route runs for just over 12 miles from BalernotoLeith along the small river. It's a nice flat path, ideal for cyclists looking for an easy ride, or walkers after an easy waterside stroll. Along the way there's lots of pretty waterfalls and weirs with wildlife such as herons to look out for.
The access point for the start of the walk is at Balerno School on Bridge Road. You then follow the path in a north easterly direction, passing Currie, Juniper Greenand Colinton Dell. Around here you will pass Redhall Mill and the accompanying mill cottages, with woodland and weirs to enjoy. Shortly after you will come to Slateford where you can explore The Water of Leith visitor centre. This is another good access point for the walk as there is a small car park and interesting exhibits about the walk in the centre. From here you pass underthe aquaduct carrying the Union Canal and the viaduct carrying the railway.
You continue through Saughton to Murrayfield where you will pass Murrayfield Stadium, home to Scottish rugby. The walk then heads through the delightful Dean Village. This area is one of the real highlights of the route, with some wonderful Georgian architecture and the Scottish National Galleries of Modern Art.
The next stage takes you under the 19th century Telford Dean Bridge to St Bernard's Well, where there is a Roman temple-style folly and a statue of Hygeia, Goddess of Health. You continue to Stockbridge where you will find the lovely Royal Botanic Gardens. The garden's living collection consists of more than 13,302 plant species,whilst theherbariumcontains in excess of 3 million preserved specimens.
The final section takes you through Bonnington to the finish point at North Leith, near to the docks of the Port of Leath.
If you would like to extend your walking in the area then the walking trail around Harlaw Reservoir in Balernois a good option. Around Slateford the river joins with the Union Canal which has a nice waterside walking and cycling trail. View Full Details>>