AS AUTUMN takes its golden hold on the countryside, with trees, bracken and heather all showing wonderful hues which make the coming of the colder months altogether acceptable, a stroll can be a most memorable experience, especially when the sun is shining.
The Pentlands, just on the edge of Edinburgh, are a good place to head for a range of walks, from all-day hill routes to gentle strolls.
The sight of autumn glory and the chance to peek into the centre of this rural idyll on the edge of Scotland’s capital are possible on this great short walk.
History too, plays its part, and serves as a reminder that as pleasant as the surroundings are, they were not always like this. The Glencorse Reservoir covers the ruins of the 13th century St Catherine’s Chapel.
DISTANCE 2¬ miles.
HEIGHT CLIMBED 300ft.
TIME 1∫ to 2 hours.
MAP OS Landranger 66.
PARK Turn off the A702 three miles south of the Edinburgh City Bypass (A720) at the Flotterstone Inn and follow a narrow road beyond the pub to reach a car park next to an information centre.
Leave the car park and follow a path which starts next to the information centre. This goes into trees and follows the line of a lane – to the left, beyond a wall.
After a few hundred yards you emerge at the lane. A few dozen yards down the lane go left, through a metal pedestrian gate and on to a path which follows the edge of a field, to the right. Ignore a path going left and continue to another gate. Once through this the path bends right and enters a lovely, little glen filled with pines.
The main path climbs up to the lane, where you should go left to walk up towards the reservoir. After about half a mile go right, through a wooden gate next to signs for “Castlelaw” and “Glencorse View Walk”.
The path climbs by the side of pines up to a gate, which you go through. Look back at this point to enjoy a wonderful view up to the top of the reservoir, nestled in the heart of the Pentlands. The gradient eases when you turn right after the gate and begin the return. The path becomes more of a track as you stay high above the glen, with a Ministry of Defence firing range to the left.
On reaching a building on the left, go right, down a path signed for Flotterstone. The path drops through gorse bushes, down to the lane.
Go left and follow the lane back to the short path, taken at the start, back to the information centre and the car park.
REFRESH The Flotterstone Inn, near the car park, is a good spot.
WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA The Iron Age Castlelaw Hill Fort (www.historic-scotland.gov.uk) is worth a look. It is less than a mile to the north, up the A702. Not much further up the road there are many attractions in Scotland’s capital.