From Whitecraig Village to Bilston, Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk

This walk is part of the trek Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.

Linear from Whitecraig to Bilston, via Dalkeith, Hardengreen, outskirts of Bonnyrigg, Springfield, Polton Mill and Bilston Burn. Walk around the outskirts of Edinburgh and through its hinterland. This is leg 2/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.

Technical sheet No. 23672949

A East Lothian walk posted on 06/07/22 by Roy's Edimburg Walks. Last update : 01/08/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 5h05 ?
Distance Distance : 15.69 km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 210 m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 77 m
Highest point Highest point : 165 m
Lowest point Lowest point : 32 m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : East Lothian
Starting point Starting point : N 55.919505° / W 3.041231°
Ending point Ending point : N 55.870737° / W 3.177695°
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Start : Saint John's Whitecraig Church - Whitecraig Village. Postcode : EH21 8NB. Grid ref : NT 350 700

(D) From Saint John's Whitecraig Church, walk North-East along A6094, and turn right to reach the village green.

(1) Head South-East across the village green. After a hundred yards, cross Whitecraig Gardens and bear slightly more to the South along Deantown Drive. Soon turn left on Deantown Avenue, passing the bowling green now on your right.

(2) Go behind housing and under the old railway at a narrow underpass before rising right onto it. This is the first of seven sections of old railway and tramways used by this 2nd leg of the circumnavigation. Follow the path (on a 200o bearing) for 3 km all the way to the outskirts of Dalkeith.

(3) On reaching the B6414 turn right (South-South-West) along the pavement. At the next set of pedestrian lights cross and go 90o right (West) passing a recreation area. Cut left at The Salter’s Inn, and then right on, so proceeding along Salter’s and Gibson Drive through a small housing area.

(4) Exit right, as Gibson Drive curves left, dropping slightly down steps and grass to cross the road-bridge over the South Esk. Immediately head up through the small nursery area, exit left to climb to Allan Terrace, still on the 200o bearing.

Turn left and then right into Gibraltar Terrace, and then Gibraltar Road, and so head towards Lidl. At Lidl’s turn right onto the main Newmills Road (A6106), cross at the pedestrian lights into the central Dalkeith square.

(5) Leave Dalkeith along Eskbank Road passing Kings Park on your left. Cross to the North-West side of Eskbank Road to gain the cyclepath (the 2nd of our old railtracks) at the Water Tower.

(6) Follow the path as it forks (old railway #3) left beneath Eskbank. Carry onwards, through old railway cuttings, to Hardengreen.

(7) When the path divides turn acutely to the right (North-West) heading towards Tesco’s. Take care here, on reaching small warehouses you need to find the path leading off to the left (South-West), heading towards the pedestrian bridge.

This dead-straight, old railway (#4) is followed for a long stretch (over 3 km) past Bonnyrigg and onwards all the way to the outskirts of Polton. At Cockpen Road just cross and continue onwards. Look out for lamp post number 33.

(8) At this exact point leave the old railway, cut right through garages into a housing estate. Turn left into Cockpen Crescent. Follow it as it swings right, to diverge left through a small snicket onto the main Rosewell Road (A6094). Turn left; soon cross where the road narrows and head off on a bearing of 280o along the left-hand edge of the recreation ground.

(9) Fields lie to our left, housing estates to our right. Merge with Cameron Crescent to crest a small rise with excellent views of the Pentlands and the route ahead. Clearly visible are the radiomasts and woodland of the Boghall to Hillend section.

(10) Continue down, still at 280o, turning left, a few paces beyond the Lothian Bus route terminus, along the marked footpath at the field edge.

(11) When the field ends turn right and cross directly over the Rosewell Road onto a driveway. Following this drive, bear slightly right down the Cast, an overgrown path (also know as Notlop – Polton backwards!) to Springfield Mill (old railway sidings, #5). Walk through the old mill grounds (now a nature reserve) to exit and cross the minor road-bridge to the left bank of the River North Esk.

(12) We leave this narrow road immediately by turning-in left into the woods to climb steep steps. Cross a magnificent little arête - the River North Esk is below on your left, Bilston Burn on your right. Head Westwards and upwards. Keep going, finally turning right, at the top, to gain the Lasswade viaduct (Railway, #6).

(13) Cross the viaduct to the left bank of Bilston Burn. Turn immediately left. Head due West through extensive old railway marshalling yards (7th and last of the old railway branch-lines) and levelled coal tips for about 3⁄4 km. Bear slightly left at a rise. Wiggle back right, following the footpath signs.

(14) Eventually drop down left, in trees, to re-cross Bilston Burn and continue westward. Exit the woods by passing to the left of the tree-house village of the Bilston bypass protesters. Recross the Burn on a substantial stone structure to pop out of the woods at the Bilston VW Garage. (A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 32 m - Saint John's Whitecraig Church
1 : km 0.32 - alt. 32 m - Village green
2 : km 0.99 - alt. 46 m - Old railway
3 : km 3.23 - alt. 51 m - B6414
4 : km 4.12 - alt. 51 m - Gibson Drive
5 : km 5.77 - alt. 61 m - Kings Park
6 : km 6.36 - alt. 64 m - Old railway
7 : km 7.67 - alt. 74 m - Tesco
8 : km 10.32 - alt. 113 m - Lamp post number 33
9 : km 11.03 - alt. 131 m - Recreation ground - Field
10 : km 11.42 - alt. 129 m - Lothian Bus route terminus
11 : km 11.87 - alt. 140 m - Rosewell Road
12 : km 12.77 - alt. 78 m - Minor road-bridge
13 : km 13.55 - alt. 144 m - Viaduct
14 : km 14.78 - alt. 151 m - Trees - Bilston Burn
A : km 15.69 - alt. 162 m - Bilston VW Garage

Useful Information

Start : Saint John's Whitecraig Church - Whitecraig Village. Postcode : EH21 8NB. Grid ref : NT 350 700

Find out more on Roy’s Edinburgh Walks here.

Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.

During the walk or to do/see around

Edinburgh has a particularly long and illustrious history; so it is not surprising that many features of historical or architectural interest are encountered along the circumnavigation route.
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