Western Moorfoot hills

Grahams

Blackhope Scar (651m)

Donalds

Dundreich (623m)
Bowbeat Hill (626m)

Ascent

625m (2,050ft)

Distance  

21km (13m)

Time

walking : 6:45hr*, running : 2:45hr
 *Naismith's rule : 4km/h distance + 600m/h ascent


Main route summary


To the north of the Borders town of Peebles, Moorfoot hills contain many summits amongst the rolling landscapes. This western section make for a high-level circuit over varied terrain - tracks lower down give way to faint paths higher up. Fence-lines aid navigation on heather clad crests and the sound of windmills hum spookily in misty conditions.

start/finish Mauldslie by Gladhouse Reservoir
(grid ref : NT310530)

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Terrain
easy Tracks, path but also some tiring pathless tussocky heather difficult
Navigation
easy No obvious in mist on crests testing
Effort
easyAn easy afternoon outlong day
Scenery
ok Super views all round stunning
main route outlineprint route
Getting there
  • Gladhouse Reservoir lies below the Moorfoots, a few kilometres east of the A703 between Penicuik and Peebles.
  • There is some parking at the eastern end of the loch, but if you continue to the road-end at Mauldslie, it is possible, with permission to park on the verge by the farm buildings.
  • The lower slopes are covered in toff's shooting areas, so beware after the 12th August !

Blackhope Scar
  • From the dip in the road, just before the road-end at Mauldslie, go through a gate aiming south-east.
  • On a grassy trod, head through a stretch of wood, then south to pick up a track aside forestry.
  • Ahead on the hillside, a track can be seen climbing diagonally - there is a steep climb to reach this.
  • Once on it, follow it onto the crest, then over heather, pick up a fence on Mauldslie Hill.
  • On rough, tussocky, heather clad terrain, the fence is followed for 4km to Blackhope Scar.

Bowbeat Hill
  • Over more heather, head south, then west following the fence-line.
  • The fence drops to the edge of a forest and the edge of Eon's Bowbeat Windfarm.
  • Climb up on a faint path through heather to the most easterly windmill, from where an excellent track continues to the summit of Bowbeat Hill.

Dundreich
  • Continue on the track westwards, then north to the most northerly windmill.
  • Leave the track, head on a faint path following a fence north-west.
  • As the ground dips, leave the fence and head over tussocky ground towards Dundreich's summit.
  • The ground becomes grass covered and easier underfoot at the top is neared. Good views all round from the trig point and cairn.

Return
  • A dyke and fence aim north-east from Dundreich's summit - follow this to the cairn on Jeffries Corse.
  • Keeping to the east of the fence, drop on a grassy path to Gladhouse Cottage - the ruins of Hirendean Castle are worth a visit.
  • A farm track is followed to the farm buildings and cottages at Moorfoot.
  • Look for the sign marked 'Huntly Cott', then follow the road, track and path through various gates and over cattle grids back to Mauldslie.
  • The route is well signed but know your access rights with regard to bikes and dogs !

© 2017 Steven Fallon