Carnethy Hill & Turnhouse Hill

Pentland Hills, Edinburgh

Start Point: Flotterstone Information Centre
Grid Reference: OS Landranger 66 (Edinburgh inc Penicuik & N Berwick) - GR 233 632.
Time: 2 ½ - 3 ½ hours
Distance: 13 ½ km (8 miles)
Height Climbed: 470 metres
View Location: click for scalable map
Buy OS Map: Buy Map at MapsWorldWide

Grade: Medium to Difficult. The first half of the walk is very easy, along roads and tracks, but it is a steep ascent to Carnethy Hill.

Glencorse Reservoir
Best time to visit: All year round, although please 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)


I have considered running in the Carnethy Hill Race several times now, but was never quite sure what these hills would be like to run....or that's what I told myself....maybe I was just finding an excuse! So one cold winters day I decided to climb these hills to see whether I was up to the challenge of the race.

The hills form part of the southern edge of the Pentlands, providing views south across Penicuik to the Lammermuir and Moorfoot Hills, and can be climbed either individually, together or in conjuction other hills such as Scald Law, West Kip and East Kip. Either way these hills provide an excellent afternoon walk whether it is the middle of winter or one of our "summer" days (if there is a difference....).


  • Start at Flotterstone Information Centre . Turn left off the A702 at Flotterstone, passing Flotterstone Inn and continuing 200 yards to the public car park next to the Rangers/Information Centre
  • After parking the car in the car park, walk up the road for 1 ½ km until just beyond Glen Cottage when the first view of Glencorse Reservoir is obtained.
  • Follow the road around the reservoir for another 1 ½ km, passing a house on the right. From the end of the reservoir, continue along the road parallel to Logan Burn and after approx 1km the road begins to climb towards Loganlea Reservoir
  • The road now begins to turn into a track and at the head of the reservoir, take the path that skirts behind the house, which sits next to Logan Burn (GR 190 621)
  • This is where the proper walking begins, as the path begins to climb steadily up the hillside towards the col between Carnethy Hill and Scald Law (GR 195 615)
Carnethy Hill From Scald Law Turnhouse Hill
Carnethy Hill from Scald Law
Turnhouse Hill
  • Upon reaching the col, walkers should follow the path that veers east and heads up the broad ridge towards the summit of Carnethy Hill (GR 204 619). Some walkers may wish to climb the summit of Scald Law, which involves ascending the path to the west of the col and retracing your steps upon reaching the summit.
  • From the summit of Carnethy Hill, continue east on the ridge path towards Turnhouse Hill (GR 213 627).
  • From the summit of Turnhouse Hill, the descent is relatively straight forward, but also slightly demanding on the knees. Aim for the patch of forest on the brow of the hillside, and then follow the path to the burn (GR 228 631)
  • After crossing the burn a signpost points walkers in the direction of the surfaced road, which should be followed for approximately ½ km to the car park (GR 233 632).

Alternative route: These hills can be climbed by including Scald Law, West Kip and East Kip in the walk. Walkers can either start from the car park near Threipmuir Reservoir (GR 167 639) or Nine Mile Burn on the A702 (GR 177 577).

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