Edinburgh’s volcanoes: Blackford and Craiglockhart Hills
14th January 2022
Explore some of the less visited geological attractions of Edinburgh with a gentle walk that takes us from the explosive remains of some of Edinburgh’s early volcanic eruptions to the later, quieter basaltic lava flows of the Carboniferous Period.
THE ROCKS: An opportunity to compare volcanic rocks from two very different geological settings and time periods. At Blackford Hill and the Hermitage of Braid, we can explore the remains of silica-rich lava flows and ash layers that represent a very explosive and dramatic episode in Edinburgh’s geological history. At Craiglockhart Hill we get a glimpse of later, gentler basaltic eruptions from the Carboniferous Period.
THE WALK: From Blackford Pond we will climb to the summit of Blackford Hill then descend to the Braid Burn, passing Agassiz Rock and through the Hermitage of Braid. A short walk on city streets will take us to the eastern side of Easter Craiglockhart Hill for a gentle ascent to the summit. We’ll descend to finish at Craiglockhart Pond. I have classified this as a moderate walk: we will be walking on paths and roads, but it may be rough or slippery underfoot at times and there is some climbing involved, at a gentle pace. It may be wet, windy or cold. Come equipped with strong footwear and waterproof clothing.
MEETING POINT & ROUTE: at the main entrance gates on Cluny Gardens / Charterhall Road to the east of Blackford Pond. The end of the walk is near Colinton Road, where there are buses towards the city centre or Lothian bus service 38 will take you back to the start point. Grid reference: NT255709| Nearest Postcode: EH10 6ED | What3Words: tricky.dose.dress | Route Map. Distance 6km.