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Pentland Hill Lochs
An interesting bike route from Edinburgh, mostly off-road and great views
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Distance: 15 miles
Difficulty: Technically easy - sometimes a bit hilly
Average Time: Five Hours
How to get there: Route starts from Tollcross in central Edinburgh.
Riding conditions: Canal towpath; the occasional back road; tracks beside the reservoirs.
Directions: (O.S. Landranger Map 66).

At Tollcross, start from the King?s Theatre. Go up Gilmore Place opposite, then take the first right by a church to Lower Gilmore Place. Cross over Leamington Lift Bridge to the Canal towpath (grid ref 245 727). After two miles the towpath goes over a high aqueduct over the Water of Leith. Shortly after this leave the canal by crossing a footbridge over the canal and Lanark Road (A70).

Keep right, along a disused railway line by the Water of Leith; go through a tunnel to Spylaw Park, keep straight on. The route crosses access roads a few times, continue in the same direction looking for the dirt path on the other side. This section ends by Balerno High School in Bridge Road.

Turn left on to Bridge Road, then left up Bavelaw Road, signed Malleny House Garden (NT). Keep straight on up the hill, passing Harlaw Road (pub). After just over a mile, at Red Moss Wildlife Reserve, take the left fork towards the hills.

After a little way turn left at Threipmuir Car Park and go down a rough track. Through a gate, then bear right at the next gate using the triangular detour. Continue along by the shore of Threipmuir Reservoir to the overflow sluiceway. If this is dry you can cycle along it; if not use the little iron bridge.

Bear left after the sluice to continue along a straight track, Harlaw Reservoir on the right. When you reach the dam at the far end of Harlaw Reservoir, cross it.

Leave Harlaw Reservoir by bearing left, past a red sandstone cottage. After 300m bear left on to the public road. When you see the sign 'Public Path to Glencorse', go in the opposite direction. Turn right at the next T Junction, by electricity pylons.

There is a descent, with a view of the Forth Estuary, an S bend at Wester Kinleith, then a gentle climb followed by a view of the city. Turn right at a white house, just before a steep descent to Currie, to continue in the same direction to Easter Kinleith.

After 500m you cross a burn on a stone bridge, then find yourself in a farm-yard. Turn sharp right, reversing direction on to a rough track. This passes a Pentland Hills Park notice board, 'East Kinleith', then turns east to Cubbiedean Reservoir.

Follow the main path past Cubbiedean Reservoir. This turns right at the far end by a cottage then descends steeply to Torduff Reservoir. A footpath marked no bikes please leads up towards Bonaly. Ignore this and bear left to go round the west side of Torduff Reservoir.

After Torduff there is a steep descent to Torduff Road. Turn left to cross over the City Bypass. After this keep straight on down Bonaly Road, passing modern houses, and turn right at the T junction at the foot on to Woodhall Road (opposite West Colinton House).

After 300m, turn left down a footpath. This is opposite a white house with black timbers. Walk down steps, then turn left down more steps just before the bridge carrying the public road. When you are on the same level as the Water of Leith, cross the river on a footbridge and turn right to return to the city the way you came.
Where to stay: No Information Available
Where to eat & drink: A pub in Balerno near the route that does bar lunches is the Kestrel, 14 Harlaw Road (0131-449 5414). A good pub near the start with a choice of real ales and food is Cloisters Bar 26 Brougham Street. There are lots of other pubs, restaurants, cafes and food shops near the start but there is no source of food apart from at Balerno on the rest of the route.
Bike Shops: Bike shops near the start are Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative, 5 Alvanley Terrace (0131-228 1368) and Bike Trax, 11 Lochrin Place (0131-228 6633)
Further Information: No Further Information Available
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