Harlaw Circular: The Kips and Scald Law (Pentland Hills)

This is a long, circular walk in the northern Pentlands, beginning and ending in Balerno. A good level of fitness is necessary. Good boots are absolutely essential, and with the weather set fair this week bring sunscreen, plenty of water and sandwich or snack to keep you going.

Length 18km (11.5 miles)

Ascent 496m

Duration around 5-6 hours including break

Map OS Explorer 344

The walk

Starting in Balerno, we soon skirt the western sides of first Harlaw, then Threipmuir Reservoir, before heading south for the hills along the Red Road. Reaching the foot of West Kip (551m), we will climb this hill and its neighbour, East Kip (534m), before heading on to the highest top in the Pentlands, Scald Law (579m). We'll stop here for a well deserved sandwich break.

Descending from Scald Law, we turn left onto the kirk road and drop steeply to The Howe. From there we'll turn left and continue up the Green Cleugh until the path forks.  From here we follow the path around the side of Black Hill and through Black Springs back to the Rangers station at Harlaw, from here we'll retrace our steps back to Balerno.

Important information

Walkers are responsible for their own safety, and no member or organizer from the group can be held responsible in case of any mishap.

By signing up for this walk you are understood to have agreed to these terms.

Getting there

Catch Lothian Bus 44 which runs every 10 mins. Check the online timetable for stopping points and times. A single ticket is £1.50, a Dayticket £3.50 - no change given!

After going through Currie, the bus turns left at traffic lights, off the main road, to enter Balerno. It passes Balerno High School on the left, then the bus turns left again into Bavelaw Road, and the correct stop is just after a Co-op shop on the left. (If in doubt, ask the driver to drop you near the Co-op in Balerno.)

If travelling by car, you can park at the Harlaw car park and we will meet you at the rangers' centre around 11:30AM.  It's also possible to park opposite the meet up point in Balerno if you wish to do the full walk.

Facilities & Dogs

There is one public toilet (queues are likely) at the Harlaw Rangers' Centre, which we shall pass at the beginning and end.  Those who don't leave the group at Harlaw are invited to join me for a drink afterwards in the Grey Horse pub in Balerno.

Dogs are welcome on this walk, but must be under control at all times and on a short lead when sheep are around.


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  • Colin

    Love this walk, especially with the great company. Fantastic weather too. A grand day out. Thanks to Allan for organising, Linda for supplying yummy cake and Mel for the lift back to town..

    1 · July 13, 2013

  • Amy

    Excellent walk yesterday - strenuous but definitely worth it. I'm now sporting a very attractive T-shirt 'tan' though. Thanks for the delicious cake Linda. My app told me I'd used 1,355 calories but it didn't see me eat any cake! Lovely to meet everyone.

    2 · July 13, 2013

  • Linda

    Great walk thanks for organising it Allan. Lovely to see everyone. :-)

    July 12, 2013

  • Heather

    Great walk, super sunshine, lovely views and some blinking good cake!
    Many thanks for all the organising and baking efforts.

    1 · July 12, 2013

  • Maureen L.

    Great walk today. Weather fantastic as were views and company. Thanks for cake Linda

    1 · July 12, 2013

  • Allan

    Beautiful scenery, gorgeous weather, lovely company, and a well deserved and very decent pint or two from Fyne ales to finish. Happy days!

    July 12, 2013

  • Maureen L.

    Am still on bus. At juniper green

    July 12, 2013

  • Allan

    Just left princess st so I might be 10 mins late.

    July 12, 2013

    • Heather

      Think we might be in the same bus, so see you there! Heather, Linda, Colin

      1 · July 12, 2013

  • Heather

    Very high pollen count - so bring your anti histys. (And factor 50!!)

    July 12, 2013

  • Toni O' T.

    Sorry, I'm feeling ill, thought it would have gone by now having taken yesterday off work. Have a good day.

    July 12, 2013

  • Mairi C.

    Sorry - wont make this walk now as I have a migraine.

    July 12, 2013

  • murray

    Hi Allan, I'll be taking my car so I'll meet you at the Harlaw Centre!

    July 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Noooooooooooo...could we start later ??? uff... i wanted come with you ! sounds beautiful !

    July 11, 2013

  • Amy

    This sounds a bit of a challenge! But I'll give it a go and will bring plenty water.

    July 11, 2013

  • Pauline B.

    Thanks Alan, I'll think about thus a bit longer!

    July 8, 2013

  • Pauline B.

    Hi Alan, can you tell me if the climbs are very steep? Just trying to judge if this walk is manageable or me or not. Thanks.

    July 7, 2013

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