Travellers often head to Scotland‘s capital of Edinburgh, or Athens of the North, for its culture and architecture. The city’s namesake castle and medieval Old Town rank high on itineraries – but natural landscapes like Arthur’s Seat and the Pentland Hills shouldn’t be overlooked. Pack a pair of sturdy walking boots and plan to hike in and around Edinburgh on your next visit.
Fancy a spot of wild swimming? Head to the Pentland Hills National Park, a 40-minute drive south of Edinburgh, where you’ll find the Threipmuir Reservoir Circular. This moderate 19.2km (12mi) loop trail near Juniper Green passes by the Threipmuir Reservoir, which was designed by civil engineer James Jardine and constructed between 1843 and 1848. The water contains high levels of peat, so the water is often warmer than expected, and has been known to reach 22C (72F) in summer. It also takes in the smaller Glencorse Reservoir (more below), which is popular for swimming and fishing.
The Threipmuir Reservoir Circular, in the Pentland Hills National Park, not only passes by its namesake body of water but also the picturesque Glencorse Reservoir, which is surrounded by a pretty glen. The west side of the reservoir is popular for both boat and bank fly fishing – you’ll get rainbow, blue, brook and brown trout, and the season runs from March to October – but there’s also plenty of space for wild swimming. There are a number of other walks around the reservoir, too, from the challenging West Kip, East Kip and Scald Law circuit to the more moderate Flotterstone Inn to Glencorse Reservoir circuit.
Mandi Keighran contributed additional reporting to this article.