West Water & Medwynhead (C3)

Time – 3-4 hours

Distance – 15km/9 miles

A long walk out into the high Pentland moorland, mostly on good tracks but with one short section across rough and boggy moorland. The return leg follows the route of walk B7, ‘Prehistoric Walk to West Linton’, which is worth taking with you for its useful historical notes.

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Route: Start/finish – West Linton

Leave the village to the south and cross the A702, turning right up the minor road signposted to Baddinsgill. Head up the road for 500m then turn left towards West Linton Golf Club (footpaths signposted to ‘Dolphinton, Dunsyre and Garvald’, and ‘Boston Cottage’) [1]. Continue along the tarmac road leading across the golf course for 1km to North Slipperfield.  Passing through gates, the road crosses a bridge and shortly afterwards [2] heads uphill towards the West Water reservoir. Follow the road all the way up to the far side of the reservoir [3] and walk across the dam wall and through a gate [4], 100m later joining a track coming uphill from your left [5]. Turn right here, following the track west away from the reservoir.

After 2.5km, the track fords a shallow burn.  500m later, just as you draw level with some woods 300m away to your left, you reach a weather-beaten wooden post leaning at an angle. A rough path heads off left at this point [6]towards the woods across a short stretch of moorland.

Follow the path, reaching the left-hand end of the woods where you join a track [7]. Down the track to the right, the estate lodge at Medwynhead is hidden among the trees. Turn left where the path joins the track, and head south, following the track all the way down for 2.5km to Medwynbank Farm. Bear left on reaching the farm, passing to the left of the main farm buildings.

Just before reaching a pond, and as you draw level with the side of the house at Ferniehaugh, turn left onto a waymarked track [8] and head up a gentle slope with woods to your right.

The undulating track then follows the route of walk B6, passing by several prehistoric burial cairns.  After 3.5km, the track emerges on the track between North Slipperfield and West Water reservoir that you walked up earlier.  Turn right and head down to re-cross the golf course and then back down to West Linton.

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