Time – 2 hours
Distance – 7 km/ 4.5 miles
A circular walk from Carlops taking in Patie’s Hill, which is only 435 metres high but has ‘bangs per buck’ in terms of its views. The route passes via a plantation of native trees and wetland that will surely become a local beauty spot and a fine restored sheep pen.
A variety of terrain, with some good well-marked paths and other sections over grass and open hillside with no obvious path. Some short steep sections.
Route: Start/finish – Carlops Car Park
From the car park, walk to the north-east end of the village . Just before the last house on the left, turn down a track (signposted ‘Buteland by the Borestane’) and pass Patie’s Mill. The footpath goes round to the right of the mill and alongside its garden, emerging by the North Esk River through a gate.
Once past the gate, bear slightly right and uphill. After no more than 50 metres , you should be able to see a fingerpost up above you to the right. Head up to the post (signposted ‘Wetland and Sheep Stell’) and pass through the gate. Turn left and head uphill following the line of the fence in the general direction of the phone mast and Patieshill Farm.
As the terrain levels out, you will reach a wooden gate in the fence leading into a plantation of young trees. Turn left to follow the clear grass path around the edge of the plantation, which leads down to a pretty pond that forms the centrepiece of the planting. This will be a magical place once the trees have matured.
Continue on the path past the pond to a gate that takes you out of the plantation. Turn left and head uphill, following the fence until you reach a restored circular dry stane sheep stell . A little to the west of this is a memorial dedicated to two of the men who helped to restore the stell.
From the memorial, head north and directly uphill across rough ground to reach the ridge of Patie’s Hill . Bear right and head along the (fairly) clear ridge path that leads up to the top. The relatively short climb is rewarded with great all round views.
Continue onwards on the ridge path, which swings north/left and begins to descend into the gap between Patie’s Hill and it neighbour to the north, Spittal Hill . Head for a gate and cattle grid on the track that passes through the gap. Turn left and walk along the vehicle track that runs along and then down the hillside towards the North Esk Reservoir.
On reaching the reservoir,  cross the dam wall and walk over to a stile by an information board to the right of the water-keeper’s cottage. Cross the stile and then pass through a gate to come out onto the track that leads to the cottage. Follow this track  for 3km back down to Carlops and the car park.