Over the next few issues we will highlight some of our favourite local walks starting here with the Torduff Water Walk – an easily accessible walk at the edge of the Pentland Hills Regional Park on which you encounter woodland, moorland and grassland on a reasonably gentle 45 to 60 minute circuit.
Access is via Bonaly Road and after you go over the Bypass you have the option of parking in the lower car park and walking up the road past Bonaly Tower and the Outdoor Centre or continuing to the upper car park just before the Park boundary.
After going through the Park gate continue up the track in the avenue of trees past the stone stell (sheep pen). At the top of the track a path goes off to the right through the pine trees of Sanctuary Wood and after 250m it reaches a gate which takes us out for a short distance over Bonaly Moor towards Clubbiedean reservoir and Torphin golf course.
This point in the walk, with only birdsong to be heard, feels miles from a city. The path drops down to a further gate where we have the option of going left to visit the earthworks of the Iron Age Clubbiedean Fort or following the metalled road to the right, across the bridge fording a small waterfall to the start of the Torduff reservoir. As you follow the road the black crags of Torduff Hill make an interesting contrast with the grassland and water and we also get glimpses othe work of our Victorian predecessors in constructing this part of Edinburgh’s water system.
After 0.5 km we have the choice of following the road downhill to the lower car park or following a path along the reservoir wall to the parkland on the opposite bank. Here again we have a choice – a scramble up to a viewpoint for a panorama of south Edinburgh – or follow the path back round the bottom of the hill to the upper car park.
All in all a lovely little walk to start or end the day. Along the route there are helpful information boards and signs courtesy of the Park Ranger service and Scottish Water to keep on the path (or to point you further into the Park if you want to be more energetic).