Fifth 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.
Calculated time is computed with the distance, the height difference, and an average speed of 2.2 mph. For an intermediate walker, this time includes small breaks.
Start: Beeslack High School, Mauricewood
(D) At the Beeslack pedestrian underpass next to Beeslack High School, take the side road leading downhill, away from the main road, towards Aaron House.
(1) Beyond the playing/tennis pitches proceed right into trees. The path leads down to the Penicuik-to-Dalkeith Walkway, along the former Edinburgh to Peebles railway line (A).
(2) Turn left along the old railway. Follow it for three miles to Rosewell, passing through tunnels and past old station platforms.
(3) On reaching the outskirts of Rosewell (B) cross the A6094, go left on a short path alongside the main road. At the junction turn right into Gorton Rd. Quite soon take a snicket, on the left by houses, through into Gorton Place. Find a path, which leads across washing greens into Victoria St. to meet the main road at Lousia Square. Turn right. Then opposite Gorton Rd., in the centre of Rosewell, steer left into the park.
(4) Head across, diagonally-right, and exit through a hedge into Whitehill Rd. Follow the road to the left as it crosses the Dalhousie Burn and winds around the magnificent Whitehill House. Carry on, turning right at The Old Dairy, and then left to pass the entrance to Thornton Farm. A rough track leads straight on. Take it, and after a few tens of paces follow the footpath (right) into woods to shortly reach a high wall.
(5) Step through the high boundary wall. Go sharp left, along the far side of the wall, and then right along a long, straight path through agricultural land and over a stile. At the minor road ignore the footpath sign opposite. Go right along the road, past cottages and Parduvine farm. At the road-junction you carry straight on.
(6) A footpath soon leads off left. Cross the stream just below the small confluence and set off downstream.
You are heading towards the distant houses at Carrington. Go through two gates, keeping to the left-hand edge of fields, to pass through a dilapidated kissing gate. Keep on following the left-hand field boundary as it winds gradually onwards (eastwards, besides a deep ditch) to eventually join the minor road into Carrington.
(7) At Carrington Kirk, turn right along the road to Temple. When the road starts to descend, look for a low fence (and broken stile) on the left. Once over the fence, bear down, left, and contour along and gradually descend through overgrown trees to reach a conifer plantation. The path leads downwards crossing more stiles to eventually reach the R. Esk at an attractive bridge.
(8) Ignore the bridge, take the riverside path, to the left, downstream. The path winds along, and up and down. After a mile, cross the Esk, keep going downstream and, after a weir, cross the tributary stream of the R. Gore. Take care here, as you need to turn immediately right to follow the tributary upstream.
(9) Head upstream following the Gore. Soon the rumble of traffic crossing the new Shank Bridge carrying the A7 high overhead is to be heard. Go under the viaduct, then immediately climb steeply up left. The aim is to use the viaduct to cross high above the R. Gore. On reaching a cross-path, take it horizontally left. On reaching the main road turn left again. Follow the pavement to cross high above the river.
(10) Once over the viaduct, pass a low stone plinth to bear gradually left across a small patch of scrubby ground, and enter trees, at a footpath sign. Walk onwards above, and then alongside, the R. Gore. Proceed upstream. Eventually exit right, up wooden steps, above the brick walls of the old gunpowder works to trace alongside a field edge.
(11) Step left into a playing area. Cross slightly diagonally to a left-hand corner, by buildings. Exit left, and head back, sharp left again, into John Bernard Way and then Glenview Place to find a path (or equally good, steps) which leads down to Powdermill Brae (C).
(12) Turn left, cross the bridge over the R. Gore followed by the bridge over the refurbished Waverly railway line. Go up Station Rd. and into Main St. Leg 5 of the Lothian Transect ends in the centre of Gorebridge, at Hunter Square. (A)
D : km 0 - alt. 175m - Beeslack High School
1 : km 0.28 - alt. 173m - Playing/tennis pitches
2 : km 0.71 - alt. 157m - Edinburgh to Peebles railway line
3 : km 5.22 - alt. 151m - A6094
4 : km 6.14 - alt. 155m - Rosewell Park
5 : km 7.68 - alt. 174m - High wall
6 : km 9.01 - alt. 172m - Road-junction
7 : km 10.84 - alt. 152m - Carrington Kirk
8 : km 12 - alt. 125m - Attractive bridge
9 : km 15.27 - alt. 104m - R. Gore
10 : km 15.93 - alt. 128m - Viaduct
11 : km 16.7 - alt. 143m - Playing area
12 : km 17.12 - alt. 137m - Powdermill Brae
A : km 17.59 - alt. 160m - Hunter Square
Start: Beeslack High School, Mauricewood
End : Gorebridge
Visorando and this author cannot be held responsible in the case of accidents or problems occuring on this walk.
(A) Former Edinburgh to Peebles railway line. The old line forms part of the Penicuik to Dalkeith Walkway - a 9.5 mile route passing through many of Midlothian's historic towns and villages. The railway, like most railways, was built mainly for the transport of goods. There were three paper mills (sadly, now new housing estates) en route. The line also served the gunpowder mills in Roslin Glen.
(B) The village of Rosewell grew-up around the coal-mining industry. In 1846, the population was just 133 people, but by 1881 it had risen dramatically to 2129. This rise was due to many Irish immigrants coming over to find work and escape the effects of the Irish potato famine. This influx led to Rosewell becoming known as ‘little Ireland’. Life was undeniably hard in the early days. There was no electricity or running water. However, a comparatively good class of brick-built housing was provided and these Miner's Cottages remain to today. It is relatively unusual to see brick-housing in Scotland; most bricks were made by the coal board and they were not of good enough quality to be left exposed to the elements, hence the ubiquitous Scottish harling of brick-built houses.
(C) Stobhill Gunpowder Works (Scotland’s first gunpowder mill). In 1794, the mill started operations on the banks of the Gore Water. The construction of the gunpowder mill was a major work of engineering. The Gore Water was diverted, four dams were built and a complex system of lades and culverts took water from these dams to operate ten water wheels which powered the various mills. Besides supplying blasting powder for mines and quarries at home, gunpowder was sold to the Government during the Napoleonic War. Blast walls, pits, lades, blast recesses, a mill pond dam and drying building remains are still discernable, although faint.
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.
Linear from Bilston to Colinton, via Pentland Grove, Cow Lane, Boghall, Hillend and Swanston. This is leg 3/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
Linear from Colinton to Cramond Brig, via Water of Leith, Wilderness Wood, Heriot-Watt, Union Canal, Hermiston Gait Shopping Centre, Edinburgh Park Station, The Gyle Technology Park, Braehead Recycling Dump, Cammo Estate and River Almond. This is leg 4/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
Situated not far south from Edinburgh this walk follows lanes and tracks to complete a circuit of Gladhouse Reservoir. The reservoir is home to many bird species depending on the season.
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.
Fourth 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.
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.
Linear from Cramond Brig to Ocean Terminal, via River Almond, Cramond, Silverknowes, Granton Point, Royston House, Granton Harbour, Primrose Bank, Newhaven, West Breakwater & Western Harbour. This is leg 5/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
Linear via Docks, Swing Bridge, Leith Links, Sewage Works, Portobello, Joppa, Musselburgh and River Esk. Walk around the outskirts of Edinburgh and through its hinterland.The aim of this walk is to follow the coast to Musselburgh, while avoiding busy roads and streets. This is leg 1/5 of the Edinburgh Circumnavigation Walk.
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