Walking Britain graphic

Midlothian Walk
Scald Law and Pentland Hills Ridge from near Penicuik

Outline Route Map Walk Grading

County/Area - Midlothian

Author - Lou Johnson

Length - 7.1 miles / 11.5 km

Ascent - 2400 feet / 727 metres

Grade - moderate

Start - OS grid reference NT210608
Lat 55.833937 // Long -3.262847
Postcode EH26 9LG (approx. location only)

Walk Route Description

Photo from the walk - Scald Law and Pentland Hills Ridge from near Penicuik 
Click thumbnails for larger images.

The Pentland Hills lie close to Edinburgh and offer some wonderful walking. This route explores the main ridge stretching from West Kip over Scald Law to Turnhouse Hill in the east including six tops. As might be expected the route includes plenty of ascent and to fully appreciate the walk need to be completed in fine weather as the views are magnificent. It is worth noting at this point that the hills are criss-crossed by many paths so careful navigation is required.

The start is the lay-by (grid ref. NT210608) on the A702 about 5 miles southwest from the Lothianburn Junction on the A720 Edinburgh ring road. After parking walk south west along the A702 and turn right through a gate signed 'Kirk Road' and continue over open fields. Cross the Grain Burn and continue ahead to reach a path junction ignoring the signed footpath heading right. Stay on the Kirk Road, climbing steeply in places, to reach the col between Scald Law and Carnethy Hill (grid ref. NT195615).

Turn left through a gate and start the steep path to the summit of Scald Law, enjoying improving views as you gain height. At 579 metres Scald Law is the highest point on the Pentland Hills with a 360-degree panorama including the Firth of Forth and Fife. After enjoying the view continue west to reach the summit of East Kip and after a further descent and ascent the top of West Kip.

Retrace your steps along the ridge over East Kip and Scald Law to reach Kirk Road, where you first joined the ridge path. More ascent on a steep eroded path leads to the summit of Carnethy Hill (573 metres) where a different perspective of the view now includes the Forth bridges and the Southern Highlands. A steep descent now follows to a col where a steep path leads up to a cairn on the summit of Turnhouse Hill (506 metres). A further 400 metres east lies the final top (465 metres).

With most of the ascent now completed return along the ridge over the highest point of Turnhouse Hill and descend to the col before Carnethy Hill (grid ref. NT207622). Go through a gate and turn left onto a path. After a few metres bear right where the path splits. This narrow path skirts the base of Carnethy Hill with a steep drop on your left. The path turns south-west across open moorland. Rising to cross a stile, the waymarked route descends steadily eventually dropping down to join the Kirk Road. Bear right and return to the start.

Go to full list of Midlothian Walks

Maps   Ordnance Survey Logo   Anquet Maps Logo

It is recommended you take a map. The preferred scale is 1:25k.

Printer Friendly Page

For an easy to print version of this walk description and outline map Click Here

OS Map showing start

Ordnance Survey Map showing starting point of walk - Click Here

Recommended Reading

Cicerone Books

Cicerone PressCicerone Press offer a range of books and eBooks offering guides to all the popular walking areas and long-distance trails in Britain and overseas. Their illustrated guides feature walks, information and maps to help you make the most of the outdoors.
Explore Cicerone's Catalogue

Recommended Cottage Holidays

Sykes Cottages

Over 7,000 personally inspected holiday cottages. In fact, we think we've got the finest selection in some of the UK and Ireland's most beautiful places.

Social Media

Follow Walking Britain for the latest news.

the people's poncho 2.0

Lightweight, stylish and lightweight alternative to traditional waterproofs ideal for walkers. More info.

Mountain Weather

Stay safe on the mountains. Use the Met Office specialist reports or their iOS or Android Apps (here & here) which offer detailed forecasts for most mountain areas in the United Kingdom.

New to Walking?

Click for a simple guide of how to start walking. Includes a guide on how to select your walks.