Walking in nature is proven to have heaps of health benefits for both brain and body. Within Scotland, right here in the central belt, we have extraordinary fortune when it comes to the quality and quantity of nature on our doorstep.
Just off the A702 outside of Penicuik, Flotterstone features a range of walks that that vary in length, gradient, and difficulty. Many options are open to you, whether seeking an entire day of hiking over the Pentland summits or a simple stretch of the legs.
Glencorse View is an ideal walk of little intensity and well under 90 minutes. With only two short heart raising climbs that pay generous rewards for the effort; the trail route is a perfect early morning or late evening way to unwind.
The Flotterstone car park is large though often busy, timing can be key to finding a usable space. A well-placed cafe is the first and last mark on the trail, offering coffee, cake, and chilled drinks. Picture guides show the trails of the area, points of interest, and routes to take.
As you start on the trail, a short shaded walk through the woods opens to access trails for local farmland. The paths are popular and well signposted, making routes easy to identify.
A fork in the road soon invites you to tackle the hill of Scald Law over the Glencorse View trail. At 579 metres high, the summit of Scald Law is the highest in the Pentlands. The trail signs direct you to choose: left for the hill, right for the Glencorse trail. The Scald Law view from the Glencorse fork is helpfully more intimidating than it appears almost anywhere else.
For the casual walker with less time and daring at hand; the more casual Glencorse trail continues pleasantly by the river.
The first of two short climbs carries you to the access road leading to the reservoir. The trail follows the road by the waterside for a short distance. Fishing boats are often docked by the cabin and the view over the reservoir and its small island is peaceful and picturesque.
Another marker down the road directs the route off the road again and into the final hill of the trail. The route here is pleasantly shaded by the trees as the path climbs onto Castlelaw hill.
In the short time it takes to clear the trees and come out on to the farm path the work of the day is done. Two of the best-placed seats in Midlothian provide views down the valley into the Pentlands. A momentary stop to take in Scald Law, hikers on its trail, and a choice well made is worthwhile.
From the high point of the trail, only a gentle walk down the farm-track remains to reward your efforts. The trail turns off the farm track again at the next marker sign. Single track path carries you down to rejoin the access road towards Flotterstone again.
The Glencorse View route is short, though refreshing and peaceful. Even an unfit writer stopping for photographs might make their way around in about an hour. An excellent stop off to start the day before work or end it with a bit of fresh air and gentle exercise.
Like much of the area, the trails are made up of working farmland and grazing livestock in parts. Care should be taken, particularly when taking pets to enjoy the route.