Gorebridge to Ormiston, Lothian

This walk is part of the trek Lothian-90 Walk.

Sixth Leg of a 90-mile walk across the whole of the Lothians, using quiet footpaths, country parks, disused railway lines, river banks, tracks and the occasional minor road.

Technical sheet
No. 24780744
A Midlothian walk posted on 02/08/22 by Roy's Edimburg Walks. Update : 05/08/22
Calculated time Calculated time: 4h55[?]
Distance Distance : 15.65km
Vertical gain Vertical gain : 158m
Vertical drop Vertical drop : 224m
Highest point Highest point : 269m
Lowest point Lowest point : 85m
Easy Difficulty : Easy
Back to starting point Back to starting point : No
Walking Walking
Location Location : Midlothian
Starting point Starting point : N 55.842388° / W 3.047363°
Ending point Ending point : N 55.91281° / W 2.939878°
Download : -


Start : Gorebridge, Hunter Square

(D) Head uphill (North-East), from Hunter square on Gorebridge (A) Main Street, up Bonnybank Road. Keep on upwards. Stobhill Primary School is on your right.

(1) A path continues straight ahead. Take it, then bear slightly left in the trees. Cut through, right, to the radio-mast on the far side of Barleyknowe Rd. Cross.

(2) Enter the left-hand field. Follow a rough track up and alongside field boundaries, through gates, all the way up to Common Wood.

(3) Once over the stile follow the minor road round, and down, to the right. At Moss Cottage turn left. The farm track passes deserted buildings with a distinctive chimney. Pass more buildings to find the Esk Valley Trail signposted to the right. The footpath leads downward, to cross Vogrie Burn and thence reach the B6372 at Newlandrig between buildings.

(4) Cross the road and follow the pavement left. At the end of the housing pass one minor road junction on your right. Then enter Vogrie Country Park (B) at a second road junction. A path parallels the road, through trees, to soon reach a picnic-spot and toilets.

(5) Carry on towards the North-East, towards BBQ1. Vogrie House (off your route) will be seen through the trees to the right. A network of paths leads on, still towards the North-East, through trees, with a large grass area over to your left. Keep going and eventually cross the Vogrie Burn. Swing left here and so head northwards along the entrance-road. This old, somewhat overgrown carriageway slowly swings left, North-West and finally West, to exit Vogrie Park at Rookery Lodge Gates. Turn right along the pavement into Dewarton.

(6) In Dewarton turn sharp right between houses. Head along the track to pass Woodhead Farm and carry on through to Ford. On reaching the minor road, cross, turn right and follow the pavement up to the outskirts of Pathhead. Telford’s magnificent aqueduct lies on the left.

(7) On reaching the main 'A' road, take care. Do not proceed into Pathhead itself. Instead cross the busy A68 and follow Hill Road, directly opposite, almost due North. Keep ahead (right) when a minor road leaves on the left to soon reach the Lion’s Gate (C). Pass through to enter the grounds of Preston Hall (D).

(8) Carry onwards (heading North), the river lies below to the left. Magnificent specimen trees lie all around. Keep on along the road.

(9) Fork slightly left to pass the old walled garden on your left, the main house is over to the right. The estate road is all the while gradually swinging right. Beyond the walled garden look out for a gate and track continuing ahead.

(10) Follow the track through the broad parkland field. Pass across a magnificent avenue of trees. This old avenue connected the Temple (E) to the main house. Keep on ahead, a white gate leads into woods. A secluded woodland path takes you through to the old North Gates. Pass through them easily.

(11) Turn right along the minor road. Then turn left at the first junction. Pass under electricity cables and carry on to the West Byres junction. (An interesting old burial ground, with a Memorial erected by Isabella sister of Robert Burns, can be visited just left of the junction.)

(12) From the West Byres junction go right, for 100 metres, to enter the old Ormiston Estate, on the left. Belsis Burn lies on the left. The old estate road leads straight ahead to pass interestingly and tastefully restored housing on the right. Soon a T-junction is reached.

(13) At this point the main Lothian Transect Route leads left. However a short detour to the Ormiston Yew (F) is strongly recommended.

To reach the Yew, follow the minor road to the right. pass housing on your right. A few paces beyond the housing a public right of way leads off to the right, behind the housing. The magnificent Ormiston Yew is to be found, on your right, in about 70 yards. Push through the surrounding low vegetation to emerge beneath the sweeping branches of the yew. The area beneath the weeping branches, especially late on a quiet summer evening, is possibly the author's favourite spot along all nine legs of the Lothian Transect Route.

The main route follows the left hand road. It keeps right at yet another well restored house, and then carries onwards, through deciduous trees, to reach the A6093.

(14) Cross and go right along the wide grassy verge, to quickly reach the B6371. Turn left here, follow the pavement, cross the River. Tyne and so enter into Ormiston. (A)

Waypoints :
D : km 0 - alt. 160m - Hunter square
1 : km 0.53 - alt. 198m - Stobhill Primary School
2 : km 1.19 - alt. 196m - Barleyknowe Rd.
3 : km 2.18 - alt. 228m - Moss Cottage
4 : km 5.23 - alt. 193m - B6372
5 : km 6.23 - alt. 180m - Picnic-spot and toilets
6 : km 7.49 - alt. 165m - Dewarton
7 : km 9.26 - alt. 139m - A68
8 : km 10.64 - alt. 128m - Preston Hall
9 : km 10.76 - alt. 127m - Preston Hall Walled Garden
10 : km 11.17 - alt. 122m - Parkland field
11 : km 12.54 - alt. 117m - B6367
12 : km 13.34 - alt. 116m - West Byres junction
13 : km 13.47 - alt. 118m - Lothian Transect Route
14 : km 14.61 - alt. 103m - A6093
A : km 15.65 - alt. 87m - Ormiston

Useful Information

Start : Gorebridge, Hunter Square
End : Ormiston
Transport :

  • Walk start: Lothian buses 3 & 29 run to Gorebridge. Lothian 29 is quickest from Edinburgh town centre. 2015 will see the reopening of Gorebridge railway station.
  • Walk end: From Ormiston, Lothian Country Bus 113 runs (every 30 mins) on the Pentcaitland to Edinburgh (Western General) route.

More information at Roy's Edimburg Walks website 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

(A) Gorebridge - a former mining village gets its name from the bridge across the River Gore. Gorebridge was the home of Scotland's first gunpowder mill.

(B) Vogrie Country Park is managed by Midlothian Council. It consists of a woodland estate surrounding the Victorian Vogrie House. Facilities include toilets, a miniature railway, 9-hole golf course, children's play area and four miles of walks.

(C) The Lion Gate. Pair of single storey, square-plan classical lodges with balustraded screen walls and paired columns supporting recumbent Coade stone lions. Dressed ashlar. Date from circa 1795. Situated at the formal entrance to Prestonhall. It was on this site that the Duchess of Gordon, then owner of the Hall, had breakfast prepared for Prince Charles Stuart in 1745. For this heinous act, Henrietta later lost the £1000 pension she had previously received from the Exchequer.

(D) Preston Hall grounds contain several 'Monumental Trees'. One horse-chestnut has a girth 6.67 m and height around 24 m. The 'Prestonhall Beech' has been nominated as a heritage tree of Scotland. Lady Gordon was the person who laid out much of the extensive parkland around the Hall before her death in 1760.

(E) The Temple. Classical octagonal-plan temple, with bell-roofed tempietto surmounting, lies at the end of an avenue of ancient oak and sycamore trees. Originally intended as Alexander Callander's mausoleum, but never used.

(F) Ormiston Yew. This majestic yew sits on the edge of varied garden grounds. There is a long established public right of way to the Yew. As early as the 15th century, the yew was recognized as a local landmark. A parchment dated 1474 was found to have been signed under the yew tree. The famous religious reformer, John Knox, who was born in nearby Haddington, is reputed to have preached his early sermons within the secluded interior of the yew’s evergreen canopy.

Background notes to all nine "Lothian Transect Route" walks. Lothian is the region of the Scottish Lowlands lying between the Firth of Forth and the Southern Uplands. It encompasses the old, historic counties of West Lothian, Edinburghshire (Midlothian), and East Lothian. The complete ‘Lothian Transect Route' crosses the whole of the Lothians, from its far western edge (Harthill) to its most easterly point (Dunglass), in nine 10-mile long sections. All nine legs have been designed to begin and end at places well served by public transport.
West Lothian sits astride the main routes between Edinburgh and the west. Originally a pleasant, fertile and well-wooded county, West Lothian became industrialised from the 1840s onwards. First ironstone, then coal and shale mining dotted the landscape with bings. Today the remaining bings are treasured as industrial monuments - the pink ones are shale, the grey ones coal. Since WWII the heavy industry has gone and been replaced by electronics and service industries. Thousands of houses came with the development of Livingstone New Town. Such overspill towns were an ambitious post-WWII attempt to meet Scotland’s housing challenge, caused by the shortage in the big cities. Despite all these C19th and C20th developments it is possible to walk across West Lothian along quiet footpaths, through pleasant community woodlands, over reclaimed bings, along riversides and though old country parks.

Midlothian provides more space and solitude. The transect route crosses through the Pentland Hills, ever popular with hill walkers or outdoor enthusiasts, and then onward through more old mining and manufacturing areas into a rich agricultural landscape. Old railway lines nowadays provide handy walking and cycling paths.
East Lothian is one of the most picturesque areas of Scotland. It also had an extremely important agricultural and industrial past. Officially the sunniest and driest area in Scotland, it has a gentle, open aspect and is home to a rich variety of wildlife. It is bounded on the south by the Lammermuir Hills and stretches eastwards to the boundary with Scottish Borders at Dunglass.

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The GPS track and description are the property of the author.