A walk through woods and along farm tracks.
How to get there
For Satnav, the nearest postcode is EH24 9AS. This is for Whitehill House, which is just past the parking spot.
From the Edinburgh bypass, take the A7 turn off south, then after about 3 miles, turn right onto the B6932, signposted Peebles, Bonnyrigg. Follow this road round until it joins the B6934, then follow that road until you see the left turn for Rosewell village. Turn here and follow this road for about 400 yards until you see a lodge on your left with a sign for Whitehill Golf Course. Turn in here and park about 200 yards down, by the gates. There is room for 3 or 4 cars here without blocking any access.
2 walks, one of about 2 miles and another about 3 miles. Both difficult in places and not disabled friendly. However the road way from the car parking spot to Whitehill house is definitely OK for a wheelchair. You can see a map of the routes here.
Walk1, the shorter walk
Go through the entrace to Whitehill house and you will see a path on the left leading into the woods. Take this path through the woods and right down to a small stream. Turn right along the stream path until you reach the end of the golf course, then turn right up the hill and follow the path by the golf couse fence, up the hill and down the other side. The path now joins a golf buggy route over a small bridge crossing the Dalhousie Burn, and up the other side of the stream bank. At the top of the bank, the buggy path turns right through a gate and back into the golf course, but keep following the original path, which runs on top of a steep bank by the golf course fence. Follow this path until it brings you out at a rough roadway.
Now turn right and follow this roadway along until you come to a roadway on the right, just past Thornton Farm, which goes down hill. Take this road, and at the bottom of the hill, turn right again for Whitehill house. Go through the gate, and follow the roadway past the house, over a bridge, then back through the woods to your car.
Walk 2, the longer walk.
When you come out of your car, take a rough farm track that runs eastward past Whitehill woods (left as you are facing the entrance, but just before the entrance). Follow this track to Parkneuk cottage, then turn right down a better trackway. Follow this track down, then up over a hill and down the other side to the Dalhousie burn. It is possible to turn right here and follow a path up the burn to the the buggy bridge mentioned in walk1, but it's a steep scramble on the start of the detour, and a muddy, brambly path at the other end. So assuming you want to stay clean and scratch free, follow the trackway over the bridge, up the other side and right round until you come to a cottage. Just past the cottage you come to a 'T' junction. Turn right here, follow the rough roadway down a dip and up the other side, where you join up with Walk 1.
The most prominent feature of this walk is Whitehill House, which was built in 1844 for the owner of nearby Whitehill colliery. The size of the house indicates just how much the coal trade was worth in those days. It was later taken over by the Roman Catholic Church and run as a hospital for severely disabled children intil the late 1900s. If you look to the right as you pass through the gateway on the far side of the house, you will see a small graveyard for the children and the nuns who looked after them.