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North Esk Valley

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North Esk Valley
Author: Mattreed, Published: 02 Apr 2013 Walk rating : Rating:star0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UKstar0 iFootpath - walking guides and directions for the UK
Midlothian, Carlops
Walk Type: Hills, valleys and dales
North Esk Valley
Length: 5 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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An excellent 5 mile circuit walk beginning in a secluded glen along the North Esk River and opening out past the North Esk Reservoir and over Patie's Hill. This walk can be particularly muddy especially where it follows the river.

The walk starts in the village of Carlops which is on the A702 about 10 miles south of Edinburgh. There is a small car park opposite the village hall where the walk starts.

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Walk Sections

Start to signpost to 'Buteland by the Bore Stane'
Start to signpost to 'Buteland by the Bore Stane'

Start point: 55.7889 lat, -3.3392 long
End point: 55.7914 lat, -3.339 long

Begin the walk in the village of Carlops in the small car park opposite the village hall. Dominating the car park is a large rocky crag, which along with its partner along the road, is the origin of the name Carlops, from Carlin's leap. The story goes that a carline, or witch, lived nearby and was often seen leaping between the crags on her broomstick. Head right out of the car park across the road and northwards towards Edinburgh, past a hotel until you reach a signpost 'Buteland by the Bore Stane' on the left side of the road. Here take a left following the sign.

Signpost to 'Buteland by the Bore Stane' to River North Esk
Signpost to 'Buteland by the Bore Stane' to River North Esk

Start point: 55.7914 lat, -3.339 long
End point: 55.792 lat, -3.3409 long

The lane goes down to Patie's Mill and Carlops bridge. Go through the kissing gate by a beech hedge to the right of Patie's Mill house and take the path that runs alongside the hedge to another gate. This path can be particularly muddy.

River North Esk to Bridge across river
River North Esk to Bridge across river

Start point: 55.792 lat, -3.3409 long
End point: 55.7948 lat, -3.347 long

Go through the gate and the path leads out to a more open grassy area beside the River North Esk, at the start of the North Esk Valley. The route follows along the burn and is narrow and steep in places. Keep heading upstream, close to the river.

Bridge across river to Right of way sign and North Esk Reservoir
Bridge across river to Right of way sign and North Esk Reservoir

Start point: 55.7948 lat, -3.347 long
End point: 55.8066 lat, -3.3517 long

After a kilometre of so you will see a small metal bridge across the river. Cross over the bridge and follow the signpost over a stile, up through the meadow onto a small road. (An alternative here is to continue along the side of the river you were originally on - this will also bring you up to the reservoir). Once you reach the road, head right onto the road and continue north for about another kilometre until you reach the North Esk Reservoir and the former water-keeper's cottage. Just to the left of the cottage is a right of way sign. Follow this across the path alongside the reservoir.

Right of way sign and North Esk Reservoir to Signpost to Nine Mile Burn
Right of way sign and North Esk Reservoir to Signpost to Nine Mile Burn

Start point: 55.8066 lat, -3.3517 long
End point: 55.8075 lat, -3.3487 long

Once you have crossed the reservoir, after 20 metres, you will see a signpost for Nine Mile Burn which points to a path which heads right up over Patie's Hill.

Signpost to Nine Mile Burn to cattlegrid onto farm track
Signpost to Nine Mile Burn to cattlegrid onto farm track

Start point: 55.8075 lat, -3.3487 long
End point: 55.8059 lat, -3.3402 long

Head right, up over Patie's Hill. Once you descend slightly over the peak, the path bears a little to the left and you will see a farm track. Go across the cattle grid and head down the farm track.

Cattlegrid onto farm track to Spittal Farm

Start point: 55.8059 lat, -3.3402 long
End point: 55.8052 lat, -3.3261 long

Continue on the path as it descends down to Spittal Farm. Go round to the left of the farm and take the track that leads down to an unclassified road, where there is a signpost indicating Carlops.

Spittal Farm to Sign 'Butleland by N Esk Reservoir'

Start point: 55.8052 lat, -3.3261 long
End point: 55.8027 lat, -3.319 long

Walk down the track from Spittal Farm and turn right at a sign indicating Butleland by N Esk Reservoir.

Sign 'Butleland by N Esk Reservoir' to start of unclassified road

Start point: 55.8027 lat, -3.319 long
End point: 55.7949 lat, -3.3342 long

Continue along this road for about a kilometre until you reach the end of the road - continue straight, don't follow the road left down to the A702. Head along a grassy path, and a bench, about 50m above the A702.

Start of unclassified road to Sign: Nine mile burn
Start of unclassified road to Sign: Nine mile burn

Start point: 55.7949 lat, -3.3342 long
End point: 55.7927 lat, -3.337 long

Continue along this path which descends down some steps to the road and a signpost for Nine Mile Burn. Head south along the A702 back into Carlops and back to the start of the walk. You may need to cross over the road several times in the village to keep on the pavement.

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Text and images for this walk are Copyright © 2013 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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