5 Sep 2010

Rediscovering the Pentland Hills

I’m back. Once again it feels like I just blinked and now summer is over. However I’m looking forward to feeling like my sensual self again just in time for my favourite season, when the earth slows down to my built-for-comfort speed.

For more than a month I have been desperate to escape the city, but our plans for a trip to the highlands have been put back a week. Still craving a bit of space and quiet, I turned to the Pentland Hills just outside of Edinburgh.

All of my previous attempts to hike the Pentlands have started from Hillend, near the Midlothian Snowsports Centre. Right from the start the gradient is steep which I hate because I’m one of these people who needs to warm up slowly. In fact, I like to do most things slowly. It is my way.

I didn’t want to have the same daunting experience, so we chose a different route, starting in the village of Balerno and hiking towards the Harlaw reservoir, Threipmuir Reservoir and Black Hill.
This was more like it. Good, easy to navigate paths with gentle gradients, all in an idyllic setting. Unlike Hillend, there was no view over the city, which gave me the blissful feeling of being much further away from things than we were.

Highlights from the afternoon included the graceful sight of man fly fishing, the slosh of water inside an old pump house at the base of Black Hill, and the remaining purple patches of blooming heather over the landscape. We sat for some time looking out at the world, wishing we had had the forethought to pack a picnic.
I have no poetry in me today, so the photos will have to tell the story. I have to thank my wonderful blogger friends who send me encouraging comments and emails (and sometimes even snail mail and treats!) throughout the festival season.

Now here we are on the cusp of a Scottish autumn. I’m loving Visit Scotland’s Perfect Day campaign, which helps people plan their ideal autumn holiday. Trossachs Beer and Mushroom festivals anyone?

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