Pentlands: Three Mounts
A circular route from Carlops taking in the summits of The Mount, Mount Maw and Faw Mount along with Grain Heads.
- Distance: 11.6 km / 7.2 miles
- Ascent: 400 m / 1310 feet
- Terrain: Grassy hill paths, off path on grass hillsides and landrover track
- Start / finish: Carlops, Scottish Borders, grid ref NT 161 558. Car park available.
The walk starts opposite the car park in the village of Carlops on the A702. The initial section is on a farm track signed for “Buteland by the Borestane”. Walk up this track for about 1.3 km until you reach the settlement of Fairliehope. At this point the track turns sharply right to make its way around the edge of the hillside. Once round the corner and past the trees leave the track.
Head up the grassy hillside to your left picking your own route up to Fairliehope Hill and then on to The Mount. As you get higher up the hillside you may be able to make use of quad bike tracks. The summit of The Mount at 538m is our highest point today but it is not marked with a cairn or any other feature.
From the summit turn left (south west-ish) to follow a grassy path along the sky line. The path soon meets a fence which provides a good navigation feature in poor visibility. Follow the fence in a roughly south direction over the 532 m summit of Grain Heads. Some height is lost as you descend to a coll on the other side. Once past the coll the path starts to re-ascend up the north shoulder of Mount Maw. The 535m summit which is marked by a trig point, is on the opposite side of the fence from you. If you walk beyond the summit you can make use of a gate and then walk back to the trig point.
Keep to the west side of the fence / wall (it should be to your left) and descend in a southerly direction bearing right to reach Faw Mount. From here continue to follow the wall now in a westerly direction down the hill until you reach an area of steep ground. Keep to your right to avoid the steepest area and then make your way back towards the wall to reach a gate. Once through the gate continue to follow the wall until you reach a farm track.
Turn left on to this track which is part of the old drove road over Cauldstane Slap. The track takes you downhill for 1.3km to the area of Stoneypath. After passing the buildings the track bears left and reaches a junction. At this point you need to turn left following a signpost for Carlops. It is now a straightfoward 2.5km walk along Roman Road passing farms and houses to reach the main road south of Carlops.
Cross over the main road (take care as it can be very fast) and walk the 400m back into Carlops on the pavement.