Sunday, 15 September 2013

Swanston and Allermuir

For a while I've wanted to see Swanston, a village above Edinburgh in the foothills of the Pentlands. Robert Louis Stevenson came here to recuperate and a picture I'd seen made it look like the village that time forgot, the Brigadoon atmosphere enhanced by its location in a fold in the hills, invisible from any surrounding roads.


On closer aquaintance, Swanston slightly disappointed, more of a tiny hamlet than a village. However it is also one of the many starting points for routes into the Pentlands, and we took the opportunity of a daunder up Allermuir Hill.


The views from here are different to those from the southern and eastern approaches. The surprise view from the top is not the city of Edinburgh, which dominates this northern approach, but towards the rolling ridge of Carnethy and the Kips.

Caerketton screes:

If I had grown up in southern Edinburgh I would have been up here all the time as a teenager. There are plenty interesting folds in the slopes on this side of Allermuir Hill, little cleuchs and wrinkles to investigate, tiny crags, thistles, gorse - the seedpods cracking in ripeness, expelling little green ball-bearing seeds - and heather, still in bloom.


We were on top of Allermuir in no time, caught in a sudden squall and headed straight back down. This must be the quickest route of all to the top of my favourite quick hill, and the most accessible route on foot from Edinburgh.


Chris said...

It is a nice route up that hill.

Robert Craig said...

Yes, I hope to use it again!

blueskyscotland said...

A route I've not been up yet. Looks good.