Looking something up recently for the previous Pentland Hills post I discovered I had enough photos, taken in all the different seasons of the year, with various companions, for an overall scenic gallery or two. Enough to truly capture this much loved Edinburgh hill range in all its unique glory. A sweeping and majestic viewpoint here of The Pentlands from the moors above Carlops. A week of heavy snowfalls over the east coast landscape a month previously was now rapidly melting under a strong Spring sun.
A walk of great beauty unfolded, most of it undertaken over grass slopes with Alex chasing targets on his hill bagging list at the time but when we did hit any snow patches they were sometimes ankle to thigh deep to cross. Wading downwards was fine... wading up slope much harder. On a few occasions however snow firm enough in certain places to permit very enjoyable and lengthy standing glissades down the slopes occured. Once a common experience for me on the mountains but a rare treat these days.
A lone buzzard looking for a meal.
The Pentlands run from Edinburgh's suburban outskirts heading south west and inland for around 20km before they fade out into lower grassland near the town of Lanark. This is the hill range starting to drop lower here near the Black Mount region. Still scenic but sheltered enough for green pastures and livestock to thrive.
You can come across unexpected sights on the lower slopes. Fallow deer here.
A sideways view. Happy lawnmowers in action. Young animals by the look of them.
I wonder what chickens think when rabbits suddenly pop out of holes in their midst?
The joy of Spring sunshine and young lambs doing push ups on the grass. Give me twenty more solider. Feel the burn!
And the opposite side of the coin. Hungry adults looking for a handout after several weeks of deep snow and minus 12 overnight temperatures.
Although the Pentland summits sit below 2000 feet, in winter they can provide challenging but fun conditions. Waist deep snow sometimes or hard packed slopes where you need crampons to climb to the top. Enjoyable in every season.
Even in lush summer conditions they provide walks to think about. An old stone bridge on a right of way path to Mendick Hill. Constructed in 1620 apparently so the same age as the Mayflower and the Pilgrim Fathers sailing to North America. Makes you wonder about the dramatic changes in the USA since- the industrial revolution- the railroads across the plains- cowboys- Indian wars- farming dustbowls- depression era gangsters- the skyscraper cities emerging slowly from virgin swamps or forests... yet this view here has hardly changed in all that time period. A kind of landscape immortality that's very rare in the modern world so close to settled lands.
Arthur's Seat and the Pentlands from the middle of the Firth of Forth shipping lanes. Diffuse sun in winter.
Climbing up Scald Law. 579 metres or 1,899 feet. Feels higher on a raw winter day.
Think this is Ron on the walk in to Scald Law from the Bavelaw Castle side of the ridge.
Cutler Fell in early morning winter sunshine. One of the delights of the Pentland Hills nearer Lanark is views like this looking south and further inland towards the higher mountains of the Southern Uplands. Cutler Fell, a remote and wild summit is 748 metres, 2,457 feet high and feels every inch of that bulk in winter, plodding along across extensive upward slopes and false summits as I can testify on another of Alex's hill bags. But an exciting outing.
This quieter end of the Pentland Hills lends itself to great lightning effects as well throughout the year.
Small woods and mist pockets. Sheet 72 Upper Clyde Valley is a fantastic OS Landranger map to have on your person, offering dozens of beautiful, and very quiet days out.
Misty Day. Sheep in Winter.
Sunset on the Pentlands.
An evening with Anne in Edinburgh. The Pentlands rising behind the illuminated city with Hillend Ski Slope lit up... to be continued....