Lake District


North Yorkshire

North Wales



About Summiteer


7th May 2021

Dendreich Summit

Dundreich Summit

Scroll down for photos and a description of the walk....

Barony Castle Great Poland Map of Scotland

We stayed at Fairydean Mill B&B in Eddleston. Access is via a narrow road that appears to be only for guests and staff of Barony Castle Hotel, but the public road runs around and behind the hotel and the B&B is hidden away in the woods. Molly n' me went for our usual 6am leg stretch and walked much the same route as the day before. Within the grounds of Barony Castle Hotel is The Great Poland Map of a few words a concrete scale map of Scotland built by Poles. For more information, search the internet resources for the fascinating story and wonderful work of art.


Snow-covered Dundreich

This early morning view of Dundreich only serves to make the planned walk more appealing. But first it's back to base for breakfast.

Fairydean Mill B&B

Fairydean Mill B&B

The guest accommodation is in the building on the right. It used to be a sawmill and the proprietors, David and Mandi live in the part nearest the camera. Their other business, wedding cakes and decoration is to be found in the old joiners' shop on the left. We cannot speak highly enough of the care and service provided with Molly very welcome. They have two dalmations, the dogs never met within the premises. We had the "Tree Top Suite" allowing two bedrooms, a bathroom and an area to relax, listen to music or read books. A piano is provided for those with the right talents; I might know where middle C. I can regognise a base clef from a treble, but I was sharp enough to decline any invitation to revisit my days at the piano might have gone very flat, very quickly.

Old Edinburgh Road

Old Road to Edinburgh

We set off from the B&B and soon picked up the quiet Old Edinburgh Road. With access rights in the countryside in Scotland still confusing me a little, I planned a route along here and into woodlands, thus avoiding farmland and cows.

Portmore Portmore House

The gatehouse (left) served Portmore House (right). We walked up the roadway to Portmore House and then skirted the boundary by following well-worn tracks away from the private house and maintained gardens.

Gallow Law

Portmore Estate

This seems to be an acceptable access route through a part of Portmore Estate. The OS maps for Scotland don't have public footpaths marked as they are in England and Wales and whilst this will be normal for locals and those used to walking these areas, it tends to unsettle and confuse me a little as I like to avoid trespassing or upsetting residents / landowners....most of the time.

Pentland Hills Northsfield Rings
Pentland Hills
Northsfield Rings

The Pentland Hills, SW of Edinburgh come into view as we leave the forestry and soon, we take a track to our right to investigate Northsfield Rings. Here three concentric earth ditches and mounds mark the site of a prehistoric settlement. Archaelogical studies have measured the site at 240ft by 210ft and recognised entry channels. There is no cafe or visitor centre here.

Mixed woodland

Mixed Woodland

We follow tracks north to Portmore Reservoir, which becomes Portmore Loch on smaller scale OS maps, maybe because "loch" fits better into a smaller space.

Portmore Loch

Portmore Loch or Reservoir

Our first encounter with the infamous Scottish Midge. Sand martens aplenty here feeding on the swarms of midges. The target fell is getting closer and looks good in the bright sunshine. Light refreshments were taken here; needless to say, another couple of walkers were already in the best seats by the time we arrived.

Sand martens

Sand Marten

The sand marten would swoop over the water and then return to the wall to rest, preen and peck at the algae.

Dundreich Ascent

Dundreich Ascent

The ascent route is simply a matter of following the wall all the way to the summit. The longstanding walls of our countryside offer shelter, guidance, safety, certainty etc. Coversely, a modern fence offers only a barrier, nowhere for the birds and little creatures, no shelter from the weather.

The Dip

A little dip into a col breaks up the ascent. It's warm work, but cooling off as we gain height and showers are in view to the west. Very little wind, so any shower could stay put for some time.

Dundreich Snow

Final Push

It's 1,000ft from the loch and this last bit was particularly tough, battling steepness with wet, slushy snow/hail on the ground. We used the fence as a rail for the toughest sections, so fences do have other uses!

Looking Back

One of the wintry showers is just to the west of us and we have lost the sunshine.

Arthur's Seat

Arthur's Seat

The Firth of Forth and Edinburgh, with Arthur's Seat dominating this view.

Dundreich Summit

Dundreich Summit 2,044ft asl

Dundreich is part of the Moorfoot group of hills and is seemingly jointly the lowest Moorfoot Donald, tied with Whitehope Law. It is now also the highest Moorfoot Molly.

Dundreich Molly

Peter and Molly at the highest point. It's cold and we are heading south to Brown Dod and we'll be looking for a track to lead us off the mountain.

Moorfoot Windfarm

Windfarm on Bowbeat Hill

What a magnificent use of the natural asset of air movement across these northern hills. I'm sure a similar set of turbines would look great on Blencathra or The Dodds in the English Lakeland fells. We'd soon get used to their gentle hum and and elegant shapes.

The Track

The Track

I used the OS App on my phone to locate the track as the landscape on top was covered in the white stuff and no paths could be seen. One of the reasons for walking the route this way round was so we could easily see which fields around Boreland Farm contained cattle and hopefully avoid them.

Barony Castle Hotel

Barony Castle Hotel and Fairydean Mill

The hotel is easy to see and I've put an arrow pointing to where I think Fairydean Mill is located.


Darnhall Mains

Darnhall Mains

There is a local walk known as The Barony Loop and it brings you down (or up) the curvy track. Note the prescence of cattle, unfenced in the pastures to the right of the track. This would not have been on today's walk, but it proves the value of research and planning.

Cottage Bank Lane

Cottage Bank Lane

We avoided cattle in the pastures around Boreland Farm and made our way back to Old Edinburgh Road via Cottage Bank Lane.

Old Edinburgh Road Horseshoe Inn Eddleston
Old Edinburgh Road
Horseshoe Inn, Eddleston

Steady plod back to Eddleston where we pass The Horseshoe Inn....our eating place for all three evenings of our local stay. Great staff and a friendly atmosphere with Covid19 rules in place. No alcohol could be served indoors and the pub had to be vacated by 2000hrs. The food was ok, we felt the menu was a little unambitious, but these are tough times for everyone and where else would we have gone? Dogs welcome.

Eddleston Railway Station

Eddleston Railway Station (disused as such)


Siskin at Fairydean Mill

Walkers: Peter, Molly and Me.

Time taken: 5hrs 20minutes over a distance of about 10 miles.

Route: Fairydean Mill, Eddleston, Old Edinburgh Road, Portmore Estate, Gallow Law, Northsfield Rings, Portmore Loch (Reservoir), follow the wall up to Dundreich Summit, Brown Dod, Track off and to the west, descending to Boreland Farm, Skiprig, Cottage Bank, Old Edinburgh Road and back to base.

Refreshements: The Horseshoe Inn, Eddleston, as described above.

Weather and conditions: Cool, cloudy and light snow on the top. Skies clearing for a bright end to the walk.

Neidpath Railway Bridge

Neidpath Railway Viaduct

The final morning we had another Peebles river walk and enjoyed a good look at Neidpath Railway Viaduct, one of the finest examples of a skewed-arch design. How on earth did they do that? You can walk through Neidpath Tunnel....

Across the Viaduct

Neidpath Tunnel

Neidpath Tunnel, East Portal

It's about 600yds long and is dark, but mainly dry. At the time of our visit, there were no obvious hazards, take a headtorch.

All photos copyright Richard Ratcliffe 2021 ©

Take me back to the start ....

Take me home....