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Venue: Pentlands - Bonaly

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No. of Trails: 1
Car Park
Not as easy to get to as you would think (becasue there is no exit off the city bypass for it). Leave the Edinburgh City bypass at the Dreghorn junction. Turn left at the second roundabout and continue past the Dreghorn Barracks to the T junction at Colinton Road. Turn left, when you reach the traffic lights, take the left hand fork along Woodhall Road to the third turning on the left, (Bonaly Road). Drive up Bonaly Road, over the bypass bridge and straight on. The carpark is at the very end of this narrow road.

Click here to see a detailed map and information about any additional locations.
Bonaly Country Park is just on the outside of the Edinburgh city bypass and gives the people of the city almost instant access to the north end of the Pentland hills. Owned by Edinburgh city council and managed as part of the Pentland Hills Regional Park, the area has many trails and tracks, and several of them are good for mountain biking.

The small car park is popular with walker and bikers. There is not much in the way of facilities, and the trails are quite ‘natural’ in feel. This is not an ‘MTB Development’. If anything, Bonaly is closer to an ‘Epic Trail’ venue because it gives access to the whole of the Pentland hills.

A notable item which is missing (at present) from the trails listed below, is the downhill tracks. Right next to the car park there are a network of trails of a ‘Downhill course’ nature right on the side of ‘White Hill’

Trails at Pentlands - Bonaly


Trail TitleLength (Miles)Ascent (Mtrs)Time (Hrs)Tech GradeFitness Grade
WMB - Clasic Route20.97734 Moderate Moderate

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Comments and ratings for WMB - Clasic Route
Brilliant trail! Did this loop Jun-2015 joining from Currie after cycling the off road NR75 from Edinburgh. Despite being fit, the 'moderate fit' trail status was understated for me, it was to... read whole comment...
menno gave this trail 4 stars about 4 years ago
I rode this trail the other day. I enjoyed it becasue it was a nice day and just great to be out on the bike. But it's not exactly what I would call 'exciting'. Very much an XC route (except for the ... read whole comment...
wayne gave this trail 3 stars about 9 years ago

WMB - Clasic Route

Viewed 28163 times
Length: 20.9 Miles
Ascent: 773 m
Time: 4 hrs
Tech Grade: Moderate
Fitness Grade: Moderate
Av. Trail Rating:
(2 votes so far)
This route through the Pentlands near Edinburgh was published in the December issue of ‘What Mountain Bike’. Starting at the Bonaly Country Park car park, the trail is within easy reach of the centre of Edinburgh.

The overall nature of this trail is that of a ‘get out on the hills’ cross-country trek. There are some exciting decents if you allow your speed to get up, but lots of the trail is on grass and open hills (with a considerable quantity of tarmac connecting the various sections together). So if you’re looking for a cross-country trek on a nice sunny day with the occasional interesting decent then this is a great trail. However, if you feel cheated when all your hard work climbing up a hill isn’t rewarded by a similar amount of twisty, rocky, and exciting singletrack on the way down, then this one is probably not for you.

Route Description

Start at the Bonaly Country Park car park and turn right along some singletrack immediately you pass through a gate.

Tag-1 This is where there are some steep steps down to the start of the path past the Torduff Reservoir. A nice technical challenge, or an obstacle to be walked down… your choice.

Tag-2 The road you are on keeps going right past the Clubbiedean Reservoir, but you should turn left here to go through some nice singletrack through the trees.

Tag-3 A road section connects you to this point where you enter the trees and take the higher of the two single track paths.

Tag-4 A road based climb (there are singletracks at either side of the road) takes you to the top of the hill here where you turn left through a gate to get back out onto the hillside.

Tag-5 After a long climb up the hillside (mainly on singletrack) you reach the top of the pass here at Tag-5. Go over the style to the right and follow the hill round.

Tag-6 This is the start of a nice long grassy decent off the hill. If it’s wet then the grass can be interesting, but it’s not so steep as to make it hard to control your speed (though obviously you can go as fast as you like, and if you do this is great fun).

Tag-7 After a fairly long road section along the A702 turn left here into the fields. There may well have been a path here at one time (it is sign-posted), but when we were there is was a bit of a swamp. Just keep following the map and you’ll eventually gat back onto a recognisable trail.

Tag-8 From this point to the top of the hill is they only time things got so steep on this ride that we needed to get off an push. This would be a great decent on the way down, but unfortunately we were going up… so pushing was in order.

Tag-9 The first (100m or so) part of the decent off this hill is nice rocky singletrack, but at this point it changes to grass. Which would be fine, but this really is quite steep… So if you let your speed get up too high your tyres don’t have enough traction to slow you down again. Great fun if you want to test where the limits of traction are (particularly if the ground is wet).

Tag-10 Another long road section takes you to this left turn up the hill.

Tag-11 This is the start of the last major climb of the trail up past the live firing range (Stay on the marked trail). It is all double-track at this point.

Tag-12 Getting to this (the top of the main climb) involves about 5 ‘false horizons’ so be warned. Just as you think you are at the top… not so much.

Tag-13 Trun right here off the main track down a singletrack to a gate. Then go right round the hill and off down to the start of white hill.

Tag-14 Trun into the woods here to get to the start of the downhill course.

Tag-15 This is the downhill course at White hill. This is by far the most technically challenging section of the entire ride. There are jumps, drops, berms, etc. and they are all connected by a network of singletrack trails of forest floor mulch. Some sections are extremely steep and once you get started you have no choice but to continue. But there are more sedate ways to get down, so if you’re not a downhill type, you just need to look around a bit. This trail is marked overall as Tech Grade 'Moderate', but this particular section is definitely ‘Hard’ or even ‘Very Hard’ in places just because of the gradient.

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Average rating for the trails at Pentlands - Bonaly

4 Stars

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This venue has been viewed 46337 times

Overall comments about Pentlands - Bonaly

The Pentlands offer outstanding cycling well within easy reach of Edinburgh city centre. Leaving from Bonaly is a great route and the Flotterstone Inn also provides an excellent start/finish point. Th... read whole comment...
bigmadchris commented about 8 years ago

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