Carnethy Hill & Scald Law (Pentlands)

The day after our Galloway jaunt, the entire country was having a bath in a thunderous downpour.  We had hoped to get out and visit some more Galloway hills but it wasn’t to be. There was one tiny forecasted window of opportunity however, in the Pentlands.  The Pentlands are another range I had never visited until this weekend, and to be honest, not a range I would have gone out my way to get to, being low-lying, far from home and in the built-up Central Belt.   However it was a shame to waste so much money on petrol to get down this far south only to go home again so we decided to make a day of it, and duly drove up to near Penicuik the night before and camped in the van.

I’d scoped out a popular walk, taking in Carnethy Hill and Scald Law.  I had heard of this hill before, really because of the association with the Carnethy Hillrunning Club who also organise the classic Pentland Skyline and Carnethy 5 hillraces amongst others.  I saw the Pentland Skyline race covered recently also on ‘The Adventure Show’ so was quite keen to visit, as well as Scald Law which I recognised also from hill races.

Carnethy map

The day turned out beautiful, sunny and breezy.  Ally decided he could do some van maintenance while he was near to Halfords and the like, so I was just by myself.  It was a strange walk to do alone because it was crowded with lots of folk, all who were with friends and family.  There were very few people on their own like me and I felt a bit like Billy nae-mates amongst the hordes.

I set off from the Visitor Centre carpark and through the well-trodden path through the woods.

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Signposts directed me left and over a small bridge until I was climbing steeply up the flanks of Turnhouse Hill.  I was thoroughly enjoying it.  Although it was crowded, much like the Lake District it was really nice to listen to the hum of chatter all around me as I walked.

Up towards Turnhouse Hill

Up towards Turnhouse Hill

Looking back

Looking back

Views to Penicuik

Views to Penicuik

When I got to the top of Turnhouse Hill I could see the broad ridge twisting away in front of me.

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It was a really pleasant walk up to the huge summit shelter of Carnethy Hill.

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View from Carnethy Hill

View from Carnethy Hill

From there it was a fairly steep but even downhill to the bealach and then i followed the zig-zagging path up to the summit of Scald Law.  Really bonnie for such central hills, and it was nice to see Penicuik, Edinburgh and the sea beyond from these hills.

Looking to Scald Law from Carnethy Hill

Looking to Scald Law from Carnethy Hill

Scald Law

Scald Law

Scald Law summit

Scald Law summit

Looking back to Carnethy Hill

Looking back to Carnethy Hill 

I retraced my steps back to the bealach and turned down towards Loganlea Reservoir.

Looking towards The Howe

Looking towards The Howe

Here there were many fishermen, cyclists, families and the like all having a pleasant Sunday.  I followed this road back down past both reservoirs towards the Visitor Centre, taking a small signposted detour some trees and via some old filter beds.

Loganlea Reservoir

Loganlea Reservoir

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It was a perfect walk to blow away the cobwebs from the night before, where Ally and I had had a few whiskies.  I was surprised how lovely a walk it was for these hills – they are so familiar to many but totally new to me.  I will definitely find time to revisit this area if I am down this way again.

5 thoughts on “Carnethy Hill & Scald Law (Pentlands)

  1. Those are lovely hills – I liked the Kips best though so couldn’t miss those out – that’s pretty much the route we did though. Was about 10 years ago and I don’t remember any boats on the loch – that would be a nice row 🙂

    I’m probably still famous in the pub there after scoffing a meal and then 3 huge puds in a row – the locals were astounded! 😉
    Carol.

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  2. The Pentlands are some of my favourite hills. Very scenic and varied with the western Pentlands much quieter and free of walkers. Can go a full day and never see a soul on the less popular peaks so they are actually less frequented than most of the munros, even the remote ones, despite being in the Central Belt. It’s a fashion thing :o)

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    • Yes I saw how far it stretched on the map and did wonder about the western hills. If I lived down that way I’d be there all the time. Funny, out of all the folk I know who live / have lived in Edinburgh, the Pentlands has never been mentioned!

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