Heather clad slopes in the Pentland Hills Edinburgh

Pentland Hills

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The Pentland Hills Regional Park is an area of natural beauty, covering 35 square miles to the south-west of Edinburgh. Just six miles from the city, you can soon be close to nature, in the tranquillity of the Pentlands.

Geology, Archaeology and History

The hills formed 430 million years ago when two continents collided beneath the ocean. Then they went through a period of volcanic eruptions and an ice age, which helped shape them into what we see today. The park has a number of archaeological remains, ancient monuments and listed buildings within it. There is a rich history to discover. Including the ancient Celtic settlers of Medieval times and Robert the Bruce’s frequent visits. Plus the Battle of Rullion Green, which took place there in 1666.

Visiting The Pentland Hills

There are two visitor centres within the park. Harlaw House Visitor Centre and Flotterstone Information Centre. These centres provide information and advice on things to do in the Pentland Hills.

Things to do in The Pentlands

Popular with walkers and cyclists, there are over 100km of signposted routes to discover across the Pentlands. Routes are colour coded. Green is for surfaced paths suitable for most people. Yellow means more difficult and irregular terrain. And red indicates routes over hilltops which are for experienced walkers and not recommended for cyclists.

It is also a wonderful place to discover Scottish wildlife. There are many habitats such as heather moorland, woodland, open grassland and reservoirs. And this varied landscape allows over 900 recorded species of animals and plants to thrive. With an abundance of resident and migrating birds, the park is popular with birdwatchers and there are three enclosed bird hides.

Other activities within the Pentlands include camping, fishing, horse riding and orienteering. Whatever you plan to do, please check the Pentland Hill website for rules and safety advice first.