Route: Pentlands 500s (United Kingdom)

United Kingdom
48 km
Vertical Gain
2,300 m

Submitted by Josh Bakker-Dyos:

The Pentland Hills are a group of hills south of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland. Although not especially large in stature, they are famed for both their proximity to the Scottish capital and their role as a stomping ground for some Scotland’s most famous hill runners. Even Charlie Ramsay did the majority of his training in the Pentlands prior to his successful Charlie Ramsay Round in July 1978 and many an Edinburgh-based hill runner has followed suit prior to hill running challenges in the mountains of Britain.

The northern end of the Pentlands are well-trodden and feature a number of races on the Scottish Hill Running calendar including the Carnethy 5 and Pentland Skyline, both organised by the local Carnethy Hill Running Club. However, the southern end is lesser-explored largely due to a paucity of distinct trails and a necessity to route-find over fields of heather.

During the COVID-19 crisis in April and May 2020 I set out to explore the southern end of the Pentlands from my home in SW Edinburgh whilst adhering to government advice to stay local and not travel for exercise or outdoor activity. I came up with the following FKT; the Pentlands 500.


1. Start and finish at gate of Harlaw Visitor Centre Carpark (BNG 318175 665488)

2. Use of metalled roads prohibited

3. Must ascend all named peaks of the Pentland Hills greater than 500m in elevation:

a. Black Hill (501m)
b. Turnhouse Hill (506m)
c. Carnethy Hill (573m)
d. Scald Law (579m)
e. South Black Hill (563m)
f. East Kip (534m)
g. West Kip (551m)
h. Green Law (527m)
i. Spittal Hill (526m)
j. Wether Law (519m)
k. The Mount (538m)
l. Grain Heads (532m)
m. Mount Maw (535m)
n. Byrehope Mount (536m)
o. Craigengar (519m)
p. West Cairn Hill (562m)
q. East Cairn Hill (561m)

GPS Track