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Allermuir Hill and Swanston village

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Allermuir Hill and Swanston village
Author: Mattreed, Published: 01 Aug 2012 Walk rating : Rating:star1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar1 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Midlothian, Pentlands, Edinburgh
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
Allermuir Hill and Swanston village
Length: 4 miles,  Difficulty: boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK boot iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
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A 4 mile 2-2.5 hour circular walk into the Pentlands National Park with outstanding views over the Pentlands and the City of Edinburgh. The walk takes you up Caerketton and Allermuir Hills and through the hamlet of Swanston with it's charming thatched and whitewashed cottages.

You will be rewarded with excellent views across Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat, Lothian coast, Bass Rock, the Lammermuir Hills, the rest of the Pentlands and across the Firth of Forth to Fife.

The route includes a fairly long climb to the tops of Caerketton and Allermuir Hills and some of the paths will be muddy after wet weather. There are no stiles and just a few gates.

Head onto the A702 from the Edinburgh bypass just south of Edinburgh. Start at the Steading pub car park or the Hillend Ski Centre car park which are about a quarter of a mile south on the right hand side. Approximate post code EH10 7DU.

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Walk Sections

Start to Fork
Start to Fork

Start point: 55.8906 lat, -3.2012 long
End point: 55.8869 lat, -3.2059 long

Head up the steep path to the left from the car park following signs labelled 'Capital View' walk. You will reach a fork marked with a wooden stake. You can take either path here however the right hand fork avoids a trip over a small hill by bearing around the right of it.

Fork to Ski slope
Fork to Ski slope

Start point: 55.8869 lat, -3.2059 long
End point: 55.8845 lat, -3.2076 long

From the wooden stake aim for the bottom of the hill in front of you, keeping the ski slope on your right.

Ski slope to Gate
Ski slope to Gate

Start point: 55.8845 lat, -3.2076 long
End point: 55.884 lat, -3.2081 long

Continue upwards keeping the ski slope to your right until you reach a gate at the bottom of the hill with a fenced field in front of you.

Gate to Rocky cairn
Gate to Rocky cairn

Start point: 55.8836 lat, -3.2087 long
End point: 55.8821 lat, -3.2138 long

Go through the gate and head straight up to meet a wire fence. Turn right along it to reach a small cairn.

Rocky cairn to top of Caekertton hill
Rocky cairn to top of Caekertton hill

Start point: 55.8821 lat, -3.2138 long
End point: 55.883 lat, -3.2214 long

Continue on a short distance to the next rocky cairn which is the summit of Caekertton Hill. Stop to take in the extensive views across Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat, Lothian coast, Bass Rock, the Lammermuir Hills, the rest of the Pentlands and across the Firth of Forth to Fife.

Top of Caekertton hill to Allermuir hill summit
Top of Caekertton hill  to Allermuir hill summit

Start point: 55.883 lat, -3.2214 long
End point: 55.8826 lat, -3.237 long

Come down off Caekertton summit and head onwards keeping the wire fence on your left over a series of summits heading for the summit of Allermuir hill.

Allermuir hill summit to signpost to Swanston
Allermuir hill summit to signpost to Swanston

Start point: 55.8826 lat, -3.237 long
End point: 55.8868 lat, -3.2226 long

The summit of Allermuir hill at 493m/1618 feet offers further superb views. Retrace you steps slightly back down the path you have just come up down to the first dip and here bear left downhill across heather and rough grass keeping the rocky edge of Caekertton hill to you right. Aim for the two visible holes of Lothianburn golf course and a signpost offering 3 choices of path.

Signpost to Swanston to Kissing gate
Signpost to Swanston  to Kissing gate

Start point: 55.8868 lat, -3.2226 long
End point: 55.8893 lat, -3.2194 long

At the signpost take the straighter of the 2 left options pointing to Swanston along a path through trees and gorse until you reach a kissing gate.

Kissing gate to Swanson village
Kissing gate to Swanson village

Start point: 55.8893 lat, -3.2194 long
End point: 55.8918 lat, -3.2164 long

At the kissing gate keep right. You may well pass some Highland cows which graze the slopes of the hills at some point along this walk - keep any dogs on a lead and walk quietly past.

Swanson village to Lothianburn golf club
Swanson village to Lothianburn golf club

Start point: 55.8918 lat, -3.2164 long
End point: 55.8929 lat, -3.2028 long

The path continues down to Swanston village, a beautiful hamlet with whitewashed thatched cottages once habited by Robert Louis Stevenson. You can bypass the village along a path heading to the right however it is well worth walking through. Take the right hand path past some more cottages and head through another kissing gate. The path then leads between Swanston and Lothianburn golf courses for about 15 minutes until you reach the clubhouse of Lothianburn golf course.

Lothianburn golf club to End
Lothianburn golf club to End

Start point: 55.8929 lat, -3.2028 long
End point: 55.8909 lat, -3.2012 long

Pass the clubhouse and head onto the main road and right along the pavement back to the car park and a possible well earned drink in the pub.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2012 by the author Mattreed and may not be reproduced without permission.


The information in this guide has been provided in good faith and is intended only as a guide, not a statement of fact. You are advised to check the accuracy of the information provided and should not use this guide for navigational directions nor should you rely on the accuracy of the weather forecast. You are advised to take appropriate clothing, footwear, equipment and navigational materials with you according to the current and possible weather and nature of the terrain. Always follow the country code and follow any additional warnings or instructions that may be available. Some walks may be very strenuous and you are advised to seek medical advice if you have any doubts as to your capability to complete the walk.

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