Saturday, 12 November 2011

Allermuir Hill

Following on from my previous post about taking advantage of sunshine! One of my favourite walks in the area I now live is up Allermuir Hill. It is short enough to be done in almost any 4hr-free block of time, morning, afternoon or evening, yet just high and windy enough to feel like a proper hillwalk. This is where I come when I don't have time to go further afield. It was where I came to practice night navigation prior to last year's Island Peaks Race.

View south from Allermuir Hill:

It can be reached by Edinburgh city bus to the ski-centre, or for the connoisseur, by foot from Edinburgh, up the Water of Leith to Colinton then via the Pentlands foothills in the Bonaly Country Park. I live in Midlothian, so my most common starting point is Glencorse.

Heading up Allermuir Hill:

Looking across Midlothian:

I read years ago - in the Angry Corrie I think - about hardcore Edinburgh hillgoers being dismayed at the Pentlands being turned into a 'Regional Park' back in the 1980s. This resulted in carparks, signposts, and paths being put over the hills, turning them from wild tramping ground to somewhere the middle-aged could drive to in their Volvos and exercise their dogs. There is probably an element of truth in this, as improving access means more people on the hill. Not sure I mind too much about that myself. Plus there are still quiet areas where the curlew is king in the southern part of the massif. Coming up here, as I said in my book, should be part of every young Edinburgher's education.

Allermuir's dome with wide path:

The view from the top is extensive and, usually pretty windy. Behind, the rest of the Pentlands. East, the Lothians go all the way to Berwick Law and Bass Rock: Edinburgh is laid out below, Fife beyond, the Ochils beyond that, the Highlands beyond again. An abrupt pimple to the west is Loudon Hill.

East Lothian tele:

Arthur's Seat from Allermuir Hill:

Back down, invigorated and satified, we collected leaves to take photos for my wife's new business, before heading home and a lunch outside in the garden.


Chris said...

Nice photos.

I am up there most Sunday mornings

blueskyscotland said...

The Pentlands are a cracking range of hills.Great for photos over the city.As you say Robert the western end is remote and wild.Alex and myself have still got a couple of outlying summits to do there.Its also a bigger range than most casual visitors think. A good set of hills to have on your doorstep.

Robert Craig said...

I will look out for you Chris next time I am up on a Sunday morning. Do you walk up from Edinburgh or park somewhere?

Bob, are your hills to do Black Mount and Mendick Hill? I still have the pleasure of visiting these ahead of me.

Chris said...

Hi Robert

I usually park at Hillend and go up parallel to the ski slope to Caerketton and then along the ridge via Windy Gap to Allermuir, then back to the Gap and drop down to the path from Swanston and along to the car.

I don't always get as far as Allermuir but always along the tops.

If I don't get to the bigger hills on a Saturday I always try to get up there on a Sunday morning, usually about 8am.

Typical Pentland trips for me:

Chris said...

Robert you prompted me to get all the way to Allermuir this morning - fantastic sunrise.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Robert
Had to look up my own posts as I,m not keeping a list apart from that.I,ve done them both in the last few years.Mendick Hill was a real cracker.Nice shape and walk in,very lush I remember.Alex,s the one that ticks everything he,s done and can remember them all instantly.