Caerketton Hill & Allermuir Hill
best access is from car park at Mid Lothian Ski Centre at
Landranger Map 66 (Edinburgh, Penicuik & North Berwick)
- GR 243 667
between 45 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes
||3 miles (5km)
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Grade: Easy/ Medium. Not
the longest of walks, but it does provide a steep ascent in
the early stages, with the rest being relatively straight forward.
Best time to visit: All year round, although do pay
attention to The Pentland Cycle of Wildlife and Farming notices,
particularly during lambing season (April to May) and Grouse
shooting season (Mid August until Mid September).
The Pentland Hills near Edinburgh are often overlooked by people,
especially those who are out to "hit the big ones"
and bag a few munros. But these hills are a secret that has
been well kept by those "in the know" and are definitely
worth a visit.
It never used to cross my mind to consider walking in the Pentlands,
I guess mainly because the hills are well below the 3000 foot
threshold of the munros. Yet with these hills just 15 minutes
from Edinburgh's city centre, the Pentlands offer a fantastic
series of walks & mountain bike routes of varying lengths
and difficulty. In addition, they also provide spectacular views
across a large area of Scotland - you can see the Bass Rock in
the east, Ben Lomond some 75 miles to the west, Fife to the north
and the Lammermuir Hills to the southeast.
- Leaving the car park, the path starts to the left (east)
of the buildings and heads up the grassy slopes to the left
(east) of the ski lifts. Beware of mountain bikers who can
hurtle down the hill quicker than you can say boo!
- Continue up the path until you reach another path and a
fence running across the hill from the top of the lifts. Follow
the path to the left (east), as it runs parallel to the fence
contouring the hillside. You will get to a stile (GR 244 667)
- Cross the stile and follow the zig-zag path up the hillside,
which veers onto the northwest shoulder of Caerketton Hill
- As the hillside begins to level off, the path becomes more
defined and will take you up to a cairn - but don't be fooled
by the cairn as it is just the east top of Caerketton Hill
and the proper top lies 700 yards to the west (GR 242 661).
- Follow the path to its summit and enjoy the views!! (GR
- From the summit, continue westwards along the path descending
down to the col. Care should be taken descending as the quality
of the path varies substantially, with loose rocks and patches
of peaty mud providing plenty chances to take a tumble.
- At the col, the path intersects with another path crossing
the hill in a north/south direction. Continue west along the
same path. Climb the well-trodden path to the trig point and
viewpoint on top of Allermuir Hill. (GR 227 662)
- To return home, head northwest off the summit, descending
the grassy slopes and picking up the path you met before that
was crossing the hill in a north/south direction.
- After a few hundred yards the path splits. Take the right
hand path to descend across a grassy slope below the summit
of Caerketton Hill. This path merges into a well beaten farm
track that runs along the back of the golf course.
- Follow the path as it skirts the back of the golf course,
cross the stile and make your way down to the Mid Lothian
Ski Centre buildings. (GR 243 667)
Alternative Route: With the benefit of two cars, walkers
can take in Capelaw Hill and descend to Bonaly Reservoir and
then to Bonaly Country Park Car Park
East & West Lomond in Fife From Caerkatton Hill