A day trip to Pentland Hills from Edinburgh

When in Edinburgh, you may notice some hills in the background. Those hills are called Pentland Hills and are an ideal place to unwind from the bustle and noisiness of the city. Like my previous blog post, this one was also organised for the Photographic Society of The University of Edinburgh.

During our trip, we followed this walking route.

Getting there from Edinburgh

You can reach Pentlands by bus from Edinburgh. To follow the above route you need to take bus 101 or bus 102 and get off at Nine Mile Burn (about an hour later). There is a bus every hour (Monday to Saturday; less frequent on Sundays) and you can take it from various locations around Edinburgh.

Pentland Hills cover a large area, so if you want to follow a different walking route, then you may prefer to get off at a different stop. For example, you can get off at Silverburn (bus 101), Easter Howgate (bus 101) or Snowsports Centre (bus 4, X15 or101).

Hint: Make sure to let the bus driver know when you want to get off so that they stop. The same is true for the return leg: you need to signal the driver to stop, otherwise, they will keep going. Lastly, as the drivers don’t stop on every stop the bus may arrive earlier than planned, so ensure that you leave plenty of time to return to the bus stop and wait for the bus. Don’t forget that they are not that frequent.

Things to do

Pentland Hills are great for outdoor activities, such as walking, cycling and running. The area website talks about horse riding, fishing and camping as well. You can also visit the Midlothian Snowsports Centre for practising your winter sports skills (but don’t expect real snow).

Day Trip to Pentland Hills – Photo Diary

Pentland Hills
Here we are! We just arrived at Pentland Hills! Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
Initially, we are a group of about 20 people trying to find our way in the Hills. Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
The day was partly sunny as you can see but it was very windy. Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
We had some amazing views over Edinburgh! We could even see the Forth Bridges in the distance. Sony lLCE-5100
Pentland Hills
We stopped here to have our lunch break and enjoy the views. Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
More views over the hills. Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
This was the highest peak that we found on our walk (a bit less than 500m). Many people in our group wanted to ascent the hill, so we did! Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
The ascend to the Hills was kind of steep (and the descend even steeper) but we made it to the top! Sony ILCE-5100
The views from the top were breathtaking (quite literally as it was so windy)! Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
Getting one last shot before making our way back to the opposite side of the hills than the one we used to ascend. Sony ILCE-5100
I remember falling a few times while getting down the hill, but nevertheless we made it safely to the bottom to realise we can’t find our location on the map (the signal was very weak) and that there were no signs to show us the path! Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
After walking for a while, we tried to re-orient ourselves and started walking towards the side of the road, walking on muddy paths next to sheep. Before, finding a pair of hikers to ask for directions we were rewarded with this view. Sony ILCE-5100
Pentland Hills
In the end, we found our way back to the road and the bus stop and we reunited we another part of our group that we had lost at some point. We didn’t manage to follow the above route in full, but it was an interesting trip. Sony ILCE-5100

P.S. Make sure that you have an offline map on your phone (or a hard copy one) because the phone signal is not great there. Also, make sure that you always follow the signs of the route because it is very easy to lose track of the path.

Elina Michaelidou

Elina is a computer science graduate and a traveller enthusiastic. Read everything about her travel experiences here.

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