DISTANCE: 9 miles.
TIME: 4 to 5 hours.
MAP: OS Landranger 66.
PARK: Take the A702 south from Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) and after about three miles turn right, at the Flotterstone Inn. Follow the narrow road beyond the pub to reach a car park next to an information centre – after about 100 yards.
WALK: Take a path going behind the information centre, running parallel to a single track road. After about 450 yards it comes out on to the road and a little further on you go left, through a small gate – following a sign to Scald Law.
Go left after another 100 yards, through another gate, before going right, up a path between some gorse bushes.
After crossing a couple of hillocks the path bears right and runs next to a fence before reaching a stile. Cross this and then follow the path up a steep slope, via another stile, to a small wood.
Beyond the wood the gradient levels before climbing steeply again and bearing left to reach the top of Turnhouse Hill at 1,660ft.
Ahead of you is the looming peak of Carnethy Hill which you reach by going right at the top of Turnhouse Hill, dropping down to a col and, once over a stile, climbing another steep path. It is not as hard as it looks and you quickly reach the broad summit cairn with its array of stone shelters at 1,880 ft.
The next objective along the ridge is Scald Law, the highest point in the Pentlands. Drop down to another col and cross a path running at right angles – this is the Kirk Road which worshippers used to follow from Balerno to Penicuik to get to church.
Another steep climb is then necessary to reach Scald Law’s summit at 1,900 ft.
On a clear day the views are extensive. A jumble of hills lie ahead of you towards the Borders, beyond East and West Kip. In the other direction the northern Pentlands are laid out. To the east are the Lammermuir Hills and you can also look north west across the Firth of Forth towards the Ochils.
Go past the Trig Point and follow a broad grass path down, in the direction of East Kip, ignoring a path going left to South Black Hill.
On reaching a junction of grass paths at the col before East Kip go sharp right, almost doubling back on yourself to follow a grass track along the lower slopes of Scald Law.
Go through a gap in the fence and follow the track as it bears left towards the bottom end of a small forestry plantation. At the end of the track pass some sheep pens on your left and reach a track on the valley floor.
Go right and pass by The Howe farmhouse. It is then about four miles along a single track road past Loganlea and Glencorse reservoirs before you reach the car park.