As has become a tradition, I went for a Christmas Eve walk in the Pentlands with my friend Adrian this afternoon. This year our mission was “simple”: The summit of Allermuir, a hill I’ve yet to summit despite being nearby it several times over the years. It was also a hill that I planned to summit in 2019, so the timing was great for crossing another win off of my 2019 list!
When I woke up, I had wondered if I would head out for a 5K run before our walk. But good sense got the better of me and I spent the morning doing small chores around the cottage ahead of my New Year’s Eve day tidying tradition. For most of the morning, I was quite upset about this decision, but the moment we started to climb the first hill, I knew I made the right call.
Our walk began just after 1 o’clock near Boghall Farm and was a steady incline of about 900 feet over the next nearly two miles to the summit of Allermuir. The first mile was especially muddy and mucky, which wasn’t helped by my sub-par walking gear. Still, I was determined to make it so we carried on.
I had wondered if we would have to cut across to Castlelaw and back down after Allermuir so that I didn’t end up frozen to death in the Pentlands, But as we neared the summit, I decided that I was dry enough and warm enough for us to carry on with the walk as planned. That meant that from Allermuir we carried on around Capelaw then began our descent through Phantom’s Cleugh before dropping down to Glencorse Reservoir (in time to see the sunset colouring the water) for the final (paved!) stretch towards the Flotterstone Inn for our traditional Christmas Eve pint.
By the end of the walk, we had managed just shy of 6 miles in just under 3 hours (which included stops for photos and lunch). And according to my Garmin, we had an elevation gain of 1,053 feet with a loss of 1,114 feet. Of course, after the official walk, we still had a mile walk back home to the cottage! Which explains why my legs are a bit sore now. And which makes me even happier than I decided against that simple 5K run this morning.
Because this was a new route for me (as well as the new summit) I was able to see some great new views of both Edinburgh and across the Pentlands. I also got to see some great “features” and structures in the hills that I’d not had a chance to view before. And, of course, I got to enjoy a lot of my favourite views again, as even though there were new paths taken, there were plenty bits of connecting paths that were old friends of mine.
After our walk, we enjoyed a nice Christmas Eve meal at the cottage followed by a movie in front of the fire. (It was my choice this year, so we watched Bad Santa which is an amazing movie. I don’t think I’ll be allowed to pick the movie again.)
And now, I am settled in my room, in my new Christmas pyjamas, ready for Christmas day tomorrow. This will be my 11th Christmas without Paul and I am (finally) starting to get the hang of it. The day will be spent mostly on my own, but I have loads of little plans and traditions to keep me occupied.
As always, here are some photos from the day’s adventure for you to enjoy. Happy Christmas!!