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Peebles to West Linton Back to South of Scotland Way index Kirknewton to Winchburgh

Brief route description

The route from West Linton to Kirknewton makes use of an old drove road across the Pentlands known as Cauldstane Slap. There are two variations available, a straightforward road walk out of West Linton as far as Baddinsgill Farm on the approach to the Pentlands, or a slightly trickier off-road walk via Stonypath, Tocher Knowe (there are two such localities) and Baddinsgill House.

To find the road alternative from the main road junction where you finished yesterday's walk you will need to walk along the A702 towards Biggar for 200 metres and then turn right. The lane you follow leads generally northwestwards as far as Baddinsgill Farm, after which the route continues as a landrover track. The more rewarding alternative starts directly opposite the junction with the B7059; to be specific, the western spur of this junction as it forms a triangle. A close study of the map will reveal that this route, too, has two alternatives; you can either stride off up the minor lane bound for Stonypath, Fairslacks and West Mains, or you can seek out the much more pleasant (but potentially muddy) path through the wood). This path joins a lane just short of the first Tocherknowe before converging with the direct route once more. From this junction walk ahead for about 600 metres then turn hard left onto a lesser route heading for Stonypath and the second Tocher Knowe. Initially this lane heads southwest before turning sharply right. The 1:25000 map shows a field path cutting off a corner here but I've no memory of it and it may well not be viable.

Once past Tocher Knowe the lane becomes a rough track crossing the shoulder of Faw Mount, which is up to your right. The track meanders pleasantly then curves around to the right to aim northwards towards Baddinsgill House. A hundred metres short of the house, however, turn left onto another track heading west. This brings you out past Baddinsgill Farm to reach the end of the tarmac road up from West Linton.

The track contimues northwards from Baddinsgill farm past several more cottages, climbing steadily. Baddinsgill reservoir appears to your right but is left behind fairly rapidly. Once you pass through a small copse of woodland the track divides; ignore the left fork and carry straight on. The track becomes rougher from here and the scenery also deteriorates; as you leave the environs of the reservoir you meet a sizeable area of inimproved heather moorland and, unless the westher is cheerful, you will probably find it a bit on the bleak side. You cross the dip of Ravendean Burn after which the track degenerates into a path. The bulk of East Cairn Hill lays directly ahead while the higher West Cairn Hill rises to your left. You approach the col, which lays directly between the two hills.

Welcome to West Lothian. The view ahead encompasses the Firth of Forth, the Ochil Hills and, if you're lucky and the weather is good, a first glimpse of the Scottish Highlands across the Stirlingshire plains to the northwest. West Lothian itself, however, is a landscape of motorways, power lines and small industrial towns and is not overly inspiring. Your immediate surroundings consist of more bleak moorland of heather and rough grass. Your next objective is Harperrig Reservoir and the path down to it has something of a reputation for being rough and muddy. The outlet stream from the reservoir is the Water of Leith, a watercourse that reaches significant standards of beauty as it wends its way through Edinburgh but contrives to look unappealing up here. Leaving Harperrig house to your left, cross the Water of Leith at the locality of Gala Ford. Don't worry, there's a footbridge.

From Gala Ford your path runs pretty straight for the best part of a mile to reach the main A70 at Little Vantage. You'll probably be glad to reach the road as much of the path is boggy.

The rest of the day's journey is on tarmac. Turn right onto the A70 and follow it for roughly a kilometre to reach a junction with a minor road that heads off to the left. Take this road, which runs through the localities of Belstane, Gogar Bridge and Ormiston. At Ormiston the road turns to the right to run up alongside the Edinburgh - Carstairs railway line before turning sharp right and diving beneath it. Look out for traffic here. Just beyond the railway bridge you reach the road junction at Ormiston Mains, the end of your day's walk. Tomorrow's route goes to the left, towards East Calder, while the railway station at Kirknewton lays just 200 meters to your right. There's also a regular bus service from Kirknewton into Edinburgh.   

Maps: OS 1:25000 Explorer 344 (Pentland Hills), 350 (Edinburgh)

Peebles to West Linton Back to South of Scotland Way index Kirknewton to Winchburgh

This page last updated 16th December 2010