Caerketton Hill & Allermuir Hill

Pentlands, Edinburgh

Start Point: The best access is from car park at Mid Lothian Ski Centre at Hillend.
Grid Reference: OS Landranger Map 66 (Edinburgh, Penicuik & North Berwick) - GR 243 667
Time: Allow between 45 minutes to 1 hour 45 minutes
Distance: 3 miles (5km)
Height Climbed: 330 metres
View Location: click for online scalable map
Buy OS Map: Buy Map at MapsWorldWide
Caerketton Hill from Allermuir Hill
 

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).

 
 
 

Introduction

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.
 
 

Route

  • 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)
   
East Top of Caerketton looking SE
  • 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 237 662)
  • 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

E & W Lomond in Fife
East & West Lomond in Fife From Caerkatton Hill

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