You don’t have to go all the way up to the highlands to stretch the legs for a hike when we have Pentland Hills just sitting next door. Pentland hills is a regional nature park with a range of hills up to 580 meters, several fresh water lakes, cows and lot and lots of sheeps.
The Pentlands is amazing for hiking, running, mountain biking and fishing. Unfortunately the lakes can’t be used for swimming, but you can use the river to cool your weary feet.
The hike below is about 16km (10 miles) and starts from the bus stop in Balerno to the Flotterstone inn (or Penicuik if limited on time).
Take bus 44 from Princes street to the end of the line in Balerno.
Take stage couch bus 101 from the Flotterstone inn back to Edinburgh.
Make sure to plan this hike around the bus time tables as bus 101 is not running as often as a Lothian city bus. You can do the hike in the opposite direction from Flotterstone inn to Balerno and take the Lothian bus 44 back to Edinburgh for a more regular bus service.
You can cut this route short by following the signs to Penicuik after descending from Scald Law. From Penicuik you can take Lothian bus 15 or 37 back to Edinburgh.
Make sure to always carry enough water and the appropriate clothing. (a wind/rain jacket is very helpful)