Pentland Hills

The Pentland Hills are a range of hills to the south-west of Edinburgh, Scotland. The range is around 20 miles (32 km) in length, and runs south west from Edinburgh towards Biggar and the upper Clydesdale.

Scald Law
The range seen from Turnhouse Hill
Highest point
PeakScald Law
Elevation579 m (1,900 ft)
Coordinates55°46′N 03°25′W / 55.767°N 3.417°WCoordinates: 55°46′N 03°25′W / 55.767°N 3.417°W
Scald Law is located in Scotland
Scald Law
Scald Law
Location in Scotland
CountryUnited Kingdom
View from the slopes of Allermuir Hill, Pentland Hills
Pentland Hills from Allermuir
The Pentland Hills seen from Allermuir Hill
Pentland Hills looking west from A702
Pentland Hills looking south west from the A702


Some of the peaks include:

  • Scald Law (579 m) (1,900 ft)
  • Carnethy Hill (573 m) (1,880 ft)
  • East Cairn Hill (567 m) (1,860 ft)
  • West Cairn Hill (562 m) (1,844 ft)
  • West Kip (551 m) (1,808 ft)
  • Byrehope Mount (536 m) (1,759 ft)
  • East Kip (534 m) (1,752 ft)
  • Allermuir Hill (493 m) (1,617 ft)
  • Castlelaw Hill (488 m) (1,601 ft)

The hills span a number of council regions: from the City of Edinburgh and Midlothian in the north, south-west through West Lothian to the Scottish Borders and South Lanarkshire.


The Pentland Hills Regional Park was designated in 1986.[1] It covers an area of 90 km² (35 sq mi) at the northern end of the hills. The park, together with the rest of the hills, are used for a variety of recreational activities including hillwalking, mountain biking, horse riding, golf and skiing at the artificial ski slope at the Midlothian Snowsports Centre.

Today most of the land is upland pasture, along with a few forestry plantations. The Ministry of Defence have a rifle range at Castlelaw. A number of rivers rise in the hills, including the Water of Leith and the North Esk, and there are several reservoirs, including Threipmuir, Harlaw, Clubbiedean, Torduff, Glencorse and Loganlea.

In the southern part of the hills is Little Sparta, the garden of the late artist and poet Ian Hamilton Finlay.

Settlements in or near the Pentlands include:


There is ample evidence of prehistoric settlement in the area, e.g. the hillfort and souterrain at Castle Law,[2] and another at Caerketton. The hills were most likely settled, farmed and defended in the pre-Roman and Roman era by the local Celtic people known to the Romans as the Votadini.[3]

About 20 m (66 ft) into Glencorse Reservoir lie the submerged ruins of the chapel of St Katherine's in the Hope. The founding of the chapel is connected with the story of a mediaeval royal deer hunt. According to the story, King Robert the Bruce staked the Pentland Estate against the life of Sir William St Clair, with the outcome of the hunt of a white deer by the knight and his two hounds, 'Help' and 'Hold', being the deciding factor. The dogs managed to bring down the deer, and in gratitude, and to mark the spot, Sir William had a chapel built in the glen.

The hills were the scene of an incident in 1666 following the Restoration of King Charles II when an outbreak of armed rebellion amongst Covenanters led to a small force of badly armed conventiclers being defeated at the battle of Rullion Green, after which the whole tragic episode was (incorrectly) named the Pentland Rising. The incident is commemorated by the "Covenanter's Grave", a cairn after which one of the drove roads across the hills is known (OS Grid reference NT078521).

References Outside of Scotland

There is a residence hall at the University of California, Riverside that is named after Pentland Hills. The Pentland Hills Residence Hall houses first-year students at the university in a suite style environment. [4]

See also


  1. ^ Falconer, Susan (2007). The Pentland Hills: A Walker's Guide. Cicerone Press. p. 9. ISBN 978 1 85284 494 3.
  2. ^ "Site Record for Castle Law, Glencorse CastlelawDetails Details". Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  3. ^ "An Introduction - Pentland Hills Regional Park". The Pentland Hills. 15 November 2010. Retrieved 16 March 2014.
  4. ^ "Pentland Hills". Retrieved 28 February 2019.

External links

The Pentland Hills seen from Caerketton Hill
The Pentland Hills seen from Caerketton Hill
2017 City of Edinburgh Council election

The most recent elections to the City of Edinburgh Council were held on Thursday 4 May 2017, on the same day as the 31 other local authorities in Scotland. It was the third successive Local Council election to run under the single transferable vote (STV) electoral system.

The election saw the SNP become the largest party on the council for the first time, whilst the Conservative party overcame Labour to become the second largest party. Following the election Leith councillor Adam McVey took over control of the SNP group from Frank Ross. Conservative group leader Cameron Rose was similarly replaced by Iain Whyte. The Labour group elected Cammy Day as their leader.

Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle

The Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years. It is run at Aintree over a distance of about 2 miles and 1 furlong (2 miles and 209 yards, or 3,410 metres), and during its running there are nine hurdles to be jumped. The race is for novice hurdlers, and it is scheduled to take place each year during the Grand National meeting in early April.

During the 1960s and early 1970s the race was called the Lancashire Hurdle, and it was subsequently known by several different sponsored titles. For a period it was classed at Grade 2 level, and it was promoted to Grade 1 status in 2005.

The Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices' Hurdle usually features horses which ran previously in the Triumph Hurdle, and the last to win both events was Pentland Hills in 2019.

Battle of Rullion Green

The Battle of Rullion Green in the Pentland Hills, in Lothian, Scotland on 28 November 1666 was the culmination of the brief Pentland Rising (15–28 November 1666). At least 3000 men of the Scottish Royal Army led by Tam Dalyell of the Binns opposed about 900 Covenanter rebels.

The Pentland Rising was in the context of the long-running government campaign to impose episcopalianism upon Scotland. The uprising began in St. John’s Town of Dalry, where troops were beating an elderly man who had defaulted on a fine for not attending government-approved church services. The troops were interrupted by four covenanters and then supported by the local populace, who disarmed the soldiers. Robert McClellan of Barscobe led the Rising; he gathered some men in Dalry, led them to Balmaclellan, where after a skirmish with other troops, he raised more men. McClellan led them to Dumfries, and there they captured the local commander, General James Turner, at 5.30 in the morning, still in his nightshirt, in his lodgings on the Whitesands. McClellan, aided by Neilson of Corsock, took the gathering force up to Ayrshire, thence to Lanarkshire, and then to Colinton near Edinburgh, on their way to present their petition to the Parliament. Many deserted the group following bad weather, a poor choice of routes and the news received at Colinton that they could not expect a sympathetic reception in Edinburgh. From a peak of perhaps 3000 men the force had diminished by half at Colinton, and then further dispersed as the group headed home towards Galloway. The rebels included experienced professional soldiers as well as citizenry, and were commanded by Colonel James Wallace of Auchens, seconded by Major Joseph Learmont.

The rebel forces decided to hold a parade and review by Colonel Wallace at Rullion Green in the Pentland Hills. General Tam Dalyell of the Binns was with a force in Currie, and cut through the Pentland Hills to confront the rebels. The survivors were treated with cruelty; 15, including Neilson of Corsock, were hanged, drawn and quartered, and several, including two boys of 18, were tortured first with the boot.

The battlefield added to the Inventory of Historic Battlefields in Scotland in 2011.

Bavelaw Castle

Bavelaw Castle is a historic house in the City of Edinburgh council area, Scotland. It is north of Hare Hill in the Pentland Hills, four miles west of Penicuik, and two miles south of Balerno, above Threipmuir Reservoir.

The house was built around a 16th-century L-plan tower house. Mary, Queen of Scots, and James VI both stayed at Bavelaw.

An earlier structure was held by the Braids, then by the Fairlies, but passed to the Forresters of Niddry by marriage. From them, it went to the Mowbrays of Barnbougle in the 16th century, and then to the Dundas family who probably built the core of the current building. Later, in 1628, it passed to the Scotts of Harperigg.Bavelaw fell into a ruinous state, but was restored and extended in 1900 by Sir Robert Lorimer, linking the former out-buildings to become part of the main house, adding larger windows and a turret to increase the space in the attic, and converting the basement.Bavelaw Castle is currently owned by the Douglas-Miller family, former owners of the Jenners department store.

Other former residents include Sir Derrick Dunlop (d.1980).

Blackford Hill

Blackford Hill 164 metres (538 ft) is a hill in Edinburgh, the capital city of Scotland. It is in the area of Blackford, between Morningside, and the Braid Hills. Together with the Hermitage of Braid, it comprises the 60.3 hectares (149 acres) Hermitage of Braid and Blackford Hill Local Nature Reserve, within which lies Hermitage House.


Bonaly () is an area on the south-western outskirts of Edinburgh and the northern slopes of the Pentland Hills, lying within the Parish of Colinton. It is a mix of mainly post-war housing, woodland, pasture-land and heather moorland. Bonaly Burn has its sources in the hills above Bonaly and flows towards Oxgangs, where it becomes the Braid Burn. The Edinburgh City Bypass passes through Bonaly.


Carnwath (Gaelic: A' Chathair Nuadh; English: "New Fort" is a moorland village on the southern edge of the Pentland Hills of South Lanarkshire, Scotland. The village lies about 30 mi (50 km) south of both Edinburgh and Glasgow. It is bounded by the North Medwyn and South Medwyn watercourses.

Carnwath is a farming town set in rolling countryside, on the edge of open moorland and with views to the Pentland Hills. Recently (2019) in the news for a series of break ins along Kiamend Road. Crime rate in Carnwath this aside is relatively low. Its proximity to the A70 makes it popular with commuters to Edinburgh.

Carnwath is at the heart of Scotland's central belt and has been reputed to be the 'town' furthest away from the sea anywhere in Scotland, though only being 26 miles from the coastal resort of Portobello, it falls well short of the distance from the sea of towns such as Kingussie and Pitlochry.

Carnwath comprises a single street, set in open moorland. Little remains of the original castle, but the motte on which it was built can still be seen at the Carnwath Golf Club (founded 1907), at the west end of the village.

Carnwath also hosts the oldest foot race in Scotland, possibly Europe, the Red Hose Race, dating back to 13 March 1508. It has seen many changes over almost 500 years, but the running of The Red Hose is still a strong tradition in Carnwath. Hose being the Scots word for stockings or long socks. Each year a foot race is run at Carnwath and the local Laird must provide a pair of red stockings as the prize.

The Wee Bush Inn, until a fire, was the last pub in Scotland to have a thatched roof. For insurance purposes it has had to be replaced with a slate roof. The Inn's other claim to fame is that actor Oliver Reed was a regular customer.

Castle Law

Castle Law is a hill south west of Fairmilehead in the Pentland Hills in Midlothian, Scotland.

It is best known for the Iron Age hill fort on its slopes.

Darley, Victoria

Darley is a suburb of Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia located directly north of the central area across the Western Freeway. It is the most populous locality and earliest settlement (1838) in Bacchus Marsh. At the 2016 census, Darley had a population of 8,372.It is bordered by the Lerderderg River to the east, Korkuperrimui Creek to the west, Western Freeway to the south and Lerderderg State Park to the north. Darley is located on the rural-urban fringe, the topography varies but is mostly undulating.

It began as a small agricultural settlement on the bend of the Lerderderg River in 1838 and was surveyed and proclaimed a town in 1861.

In recent decades Darley has rapidly grown and has become a major suburban area of Bacchus Marsh with a large number of housing estates and developments to the east south and north capitalising on Darley's proximity to the freeway.

The suburb is home to Darley Primary School, Pentland Hills Primary School, large sports oval (Darley Oval) home to the Darley Football Club, the Bacchus Marsh Golf club, IGA supermarket and small commercial centre on Albert Street.

Darley is also home to "Triassic park" (The Council Trench), The Council Trench is geologically significant to Victoria. It is the only known outcrop of Triassic aged sedimentary rock in the state. The Council Trench is exposed as outcrop in a trench, about 40m in length and 2 to 5 m depth, cut into a low ridge, on the east side of Tramway Lane, Darley.

A former Military camp "Camp Darley" was housed in the Darley area, accommodating US service personnel from many units including, 49th Fighter group, 5th Airforce, 808 Engineer Aviation battalion and 182nd Infantry regiment of task force 6814.


Drepanopterus is an extinct genus of eurypterid and the only member of the family Drepanopteridae within the Mycteropoidea superfamily. There are currently three species assigned to the genus. The genus has historically included more species, with nine species associated with the genus Drepanopterus, however five of these have since been proven to be synonyms of pre-existing species, assigned to their own genera, or found to be based on insubstantial fossil data. The holotype of one species proved to be a lithic clast.Drepanopterus pentlandicus was first described from the Silurian strata of the Pentland Hills in Scotland. The only other fully described valid species is Drepanopterus abonensis, from the Upper Devonian of Portishead, Somerset. The exact relationship of Drepanopterus to other Eurypterids has long been unclear, however it is now apparent that it is a primitive mycteropoid, and an early relative of the Carboniferous Hibbertopterus.

Lyne Water

The Lyne Water is a tributary of the River Tweed which rises in the Pentland Hills of southern Scotland at Baddinsgill Reservoir. It runs through West Linton and Romannobridge, passes Flemington and Lyne Station and enters the Tweed west of Peebles. It floods regularly in winter and occasionally in summer. There is free fishing above Flemington Bridge, and below Flemington the river is part of the Peebles fishing authority.


Midlothian (; Scottish Gaelic: Meadhan Lodainn) is a historic county, registration county, lieutenancy area and one of 32 council areas of Scotland used for local government. Midlothian lies in the east-central Lowlands, bordering the City of Edinburgh, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

Midlothian emerged as a county in the Middle Ages under larger boundaries than the modern council area, including Edinburgh itself – and also known as Edinburghshire until 1921. It bordered West Lothian to the west, Lanarkshire, Peeblesshire and Selkirkshire to the south, and East Lothian, Berwickshire and Roxburghshire to the east. Traditional industries included mining, agriculture and fishing – although the modern council area is now landlocked.

Under local government reforms in 1975, Midlothian became a district council within the Lothian region and in 1996 the current unitary council area was created. It contains the towns of Dalkeith, Bonnyrigg and Penicuik, as well as a portion of the Pentland Hills Regional Park, Roslin Chapel and Dalkeith Palace.


Myrniong () is a town in Victoria, Australia. The town is near the Western Freeway, 72 kilometres (45 mi) north west of the state capital, Melbourne and 15 kilometres (9 mi) west of Bacchus Marsh. Situated close by the Lerderderg River, at the 2016 census, Myrniong had a population of 404. The town is in the eastern area of Shire of Moorabool local government area.

Myrniong was named for the murrnong plant the Aboriginal word for yam daisy, a popular food source. European settlement began in around 1850 with local farmers producing wheat for hungry gold miners at nearby Blackwood. Later production concentrated on beef and dairy.

The Post Office opened on 6 September 1858 as Pentland Hills, was renamed Myrniong in 1872 and closed in 1970.Myrniong is known for its many bluestone buildings, including the historic Plough Hotel, established in 1859, and the Anglican church. Other attractions in the area include Pykes Creek Reservoir, providing water to the market gardens in nearby Bacchus Marsh and Mount Blackwood, an extinct volcano offering panoramic views over the Wombat State Forest. and Werribee Gorge State Park. A historic Car sprint is held in the town each April, and in March an annual music event, 'Myrniong Music in The Park', is a fixture on the Blues music Calendar.

Newbigging, South Lanarkshire

Newbigging (Scots: Neebicken) is a village in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

It is near Dunsyre at the southern end of the Pentland Hills. It is on the A72 Carnwath to Peebles road.


Penicuik ( PEN-i-kuuk) is a town and former burgh in Midlothian, Scotland, lying on the west bank of the River North Esk. It lies on the A701 midway between Edinburgh and Peebles, east of the Pentland Hills.

Swanston, Edinburgh

Swanston is an area of Edinburgh, Scotland at the base of Caerketton Hill. In 2001 it had a population of only 75 residents.

It is a small village lying to the south of the larger suburban area of Fairmilehead, on the south side of the Edinburgh City Bypass off Oxgangs Road, and five miles from the city centre. The name is also used to encompass some of the more modern housing on the approach road to the village, on the north side of the bypass. Swanston lies on the lower northern slopes of the Pentland Hills, which are accessible from the village.

The main old village is unique in Edinburgh (and arguably Scotland) being a highly picturesque group of whitewashed thatched cottages set informally around a little stream with traffic being encouraged to stop outwith the village. The village is therefore set beyond a dead-end in terms of adopted roads but a historic route continues through the village and up into the Pentland Hills. The thatched houses were all Council houses until the 1970s but due to their idyllic nature and siting all were quickly bought up when the Right to Buy legislation was then introduced.

The Hillend dry ski slope is nearby and can be seen from much of the area. Swanston also houses two golf courses in the area: Lothianburn Golf Course and Swanston Golf Course. Both are placed on and around the Pentland Hills.

The area (together with Comiston) was the source of Edinburgh's water supply from very early times. Swanston Cottage was built in 1761 by the Town Council, in connection with the waterworks. It was raised in height to two storeys in 1820. In 1790 the original hollowed out tree trunk pipes, which served the city, were replaced with iron pipes. The early cisterns serving the city still exist in the fields to the east of the village. Swanston Water House (1761) lies between Swanston Farm and Swanston Cottage.


Tarbrax (Scottish Gaelic: "An Tòrr Breac" - meaning "the speckled tor") is a small village in the Parish of Carnwath, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. It is at the end of a dead end road off the A70 road between Edinburgh and Carnwath.

Tarbrax is 300 metres (1,000 ft) above sea level on the edge of the Pentland Hills. Nearby villages include Auchengray and Woolfords.

Westwater Reservoir

Westwater Reservoir is an artificial reservoir in the Pentland Hills, Scottish Borders, 3 km west of West Linton, and 26 km south west of Edinburgh. It forms part of the Lothian region water supply and is located 320 m above sea level.

Due to its popularity with pink-footed geese (Anser brachyrhynchus) it has been designated as a Special Protection Area and a Ramsar site.


Woolfords is a small hamlet in the Parish of Carnwath, in South Lanarkshire, Scotland.

Woolfords is located on the road between Auchengray and West Calder, next to Cobbinshaw Reservoir. It was formerly part of West Calder in West Lothian and has an EH55 postcode.

Woolfords is at 1,000 feet (300 m) above sea level on the edge of the Pentland Hills. Nearby villages include Auchengray and Tarbrax.

North of Woolfords and the other side of the railway line is the linear settlement of Woolfords Cottages.


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