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For a city, Edinburgh is rich in green space and hills. The infamous Arthur’s Seat is a great walk right in the middle of the city, the Pentlands are a glorious set of hills located just outside the city but Blackford Hill is my favourite of them all. This short but definitely sweet walk is only about a 30 minute walk from our Bruntsfield shop. Part of the Hermitage of Braid, this walk features a meandering river surrounded by towering trees, a serene pond complete with friendly ducks and one of the best views of Edinburgh. From the top you can see the Pentlands, the Forth bridges, Edinburgh castle and a spectacular view of Arthurs seat.
I walked this early in 2017 when the weather was very Scottish: misty, rainy, cold and windy! I quite like walking on days like that as it creates an eerie but exciting vibe and if you’re wearing good quality gear then it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing right? :) This walk is a one and a half hour drive from our Glasgow store on Great Western Road but it’s a real lovely drive along the banks of Loch Lomond and through the Trossachs. The ascent is fairly smooth and very picturesque. It gets a little bit trickier near the top but is still straightforward and there is no real scrambling to endure. The views from the top should be magnificent, unless you do it on a day like I did and then you will likely see rock and mist and not much else but it is still a fun climb when it is like that! For the daring type, there is the option to “thread the needle” at the top – climbing through to the rocky pinnacle which marks the true summit. I would only recommend doing this on a dry and clear day though and so as of yet, I have not managed to do this.
I’ve not been to the Lake District yet. Shocking! I am going to change that this year though. So I asked some of our shop staff where they like to walk around there. One that stood out was the walk along the West side of Bassenthwaite Lake. It is only about 10 to 15 minutes drive from our Keswick shop and is a nice gentle walk that boasts beautiful views. Not only do you have the beautiful lake to admire but you are surrounded by the impressive Northern Fells, including Skiddaw. Two cool facts about this lake: it is home to the Vendace, a rare and endangered fish species found only in Bassenthwaite Lake and in Derwentwater. Apparently Bassenthwaite Lake is the only true lake in the Lake District, as all the others are considered meres or waters.
I love this walk! It is slightly more demanding than the others mentioned in this blog and does involve some scrambling so I would advise doing this walk with a friend. It is on the West Coast of Scotland, near Torridon and like all of the hills on the West Coast, is super impressive! Two munros are conquered in this walk and you will enjoy some steep, zig zagging climbing, impressive waterfalls, epic ridges, marvellous panoramic views including the Isle of Skye and a slightly scary but exciting scramble if you choose to tackle “The Horns” at the end. I was lucky enough to have a really clear and still day when I climbed it and I instantly fell in love it. I definitely earned my celebratory tent building beer that day!
You can find all the Scottish walks mentioned in this post on the Walk Highlands website.