Carlops - Spittal Farm - North Esk Reservoir - Carlops

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From the car park or bus stop in Carlops, the walk goes north towards Edinburgh. Just after leaving the village, it takes a narrow path up the bank to the left towards Ninemileburn. The path runs high on the bank above the main road, with good views across the North Esk River as it runs through Amazon Dean. The path ends at the entrance track to Pattie's Hill Farm, where the route continues north-east, slowly diverging from the main road. On turning left onto a minor road, the route follows that of an old Roman road for about half a mile to reach the entrance to Spittal Farm.

This farm track runs north for about a mile into the Pentland Hills, going round the back of the farm before veering north-west and climbing steadily to reach the high point of the walk on a col at 440m. Soon after reaching the col, a view opens up over the hills to the west, across the valley of the infant North Esk. The route then forks left off the track and follows a narrow, waymarked path that slants downhill through heather and bracken. The North Esk Reservoir comes into view as the path goes over a low spur of Spittal Hill to the right. The path finally winds steeply down to the edge of the reservoir and then crosses its grassy dam wall.

On the other side of the reservoir, by North Esk Cottage, the route runs to the left and then turns right onto a hard-core farm track, which is part of the old drove road from Carlops north across the hill towards the Forth Valley. The route follows this farm track as it first climbs slowly up the side of Fairliehope Hill and then drops down into the valley of Fairliehope Burn near its confluence with the North Esk.

From here, the track carries on to Carlops, but a more interesting, albeit less clearly demarcated route, is to follow the path signposted for Patie's Hill. This path soon crosses the infant North Esk by a narrow, unguarded, metal bridge. From here, alternative routes are available at different heights above the steep left bank of the river, the choice of which mostly depends on the recent weather. These paths meet and lead out to the main road at Carlops and so onto the start point in the village.

Scotland - South Scotland - Scottish Borders - Pentland Hills


Birds, Great Views, Hills or Fells, Industrial Archaeology, Lake/Loch, Pub, Public Transport, Restaurant, River

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