The beautiful little village of Carlops is situated beneath the Pentland Hills, Scotland, and is a perfect spot to start a whole variety of walks from. Hills, rivers, woodlands and hidden beauty spots surround the immediate area. Each walk is also filled with historical stories and landmarks.
I was staying in the village too at the Allan Ramsay Inn. Right in the centre of this historically rich village you needn’t use your car to take these walks in any direction.
The aforementioned Inn I did a review on, I had shown that they have a rich history, as they are named, with Allan Ramsay, the great Scottish poet. Within the pub you can gather a whole load of information for many heritage walks and for all distances you wish for. One of Allan’s Pastoral Dramas in particular ‘The Gentle Shepherd’ is set around Carlops and the countryside here. These walks take it all in as well as take you to landmarks mentioned that are visible today.
I had a couple of hours so took in one of the low level routes this day. In fact a perffect one if you have a small family in tow too!
Just a couple of hundred metres from the pub heading South through the village down the A702 there are the famous rocks, Witches Leap. The Scots for this is Carlins Lowp and this is probably where the village of Carlops got its name. Both sets of rocks are about 20 metres in height and folklore tells us that once, there were witches (Carlins) that used to jump from rock to rock for entertainment in the evenings.
From here you head down a track away from the road, admiring the quietness as well as the hills in the backdrop. From a map obtained in the pub I knew that upon reaching an old stone obelisk gateway, it was time to turn left and head down into the woods.
I had not seen a single soul since stepping out on the walk. It was as if I had the whole woodland to myself. It was a glorious sight too and the hidden views just kept on coming.
I was there just in time to see the last of the bluebells too when there. An added bonus.
Down in the bottom of the woods, a little wooden bridge was a sign I was getting close to the beautiful and hidden, Peggy’s Pool. A gorgeous waterfall set in a beautiful quiet spot. Another location used in The Gentle Shepherd by Allan Ramsay.
It is one of those spots in the world where you just have to take a stop, take it all in, and unwind surrounded by nature. The sound of nothing but water and birds. Green trees of such variety all around. A little hidden paradise indeed.
Alas, then it was time to wander on. Back up through the woodland on the other side of the river. Differing views but new beauty nonetheless.
The heritage trail maps from the Allan Ramsay Pub will help you extend or shorten the walk from here so you can gauge as you wish or see other locations from the tale or historical landmarks.
I took a short wander to see the unique building of Newhall Estate. The estate dating back to the 13th Century and the main building dating from the 18th Century.
From here took the path back into the village and pub that ended one of my favourite and pleasantly surprising short walks for a long time. I am looking forward to getting back to Carlops, Penicuik soon and hitting the historical walks again. Up on the hills next time.