When you have an urge to slide down a mountain covered in white stuff, but there isn’t a lot of it nearby, it is time to get all zen like and fine tune your snow hunting senses. Making the most of what you can sniff out is part of the fun of late season skiing in Scotland.  Take for instance April 2013. We had a heck of a lot of snow that winter. Even Edinburgh had lucked out with nice dumps of fluffy white stuff. It doesn’t tend to hang around for very long though due to the low altitude. Luck was however on my side. There was still some snow clinging on for dear life a short drive from the city. The great thing about Spring is the sunlight hours get longer every day. This makes fun after work mini expeditions entirely possible.

Portmore Loch is located 17 miles south of Edinburgh and lies at the foot of the Lammermuir Hills. The hills are not particularly high. The highest point being Meikle Says Law at 535 m (1,755 ft). The name Lammermuirs means “lambs moor” and probably derives from the fact the area was traditionally used for sheep grazing. The loch is also a private fishery of around 100 acres and caters for flyfishers – Portmore Private Fishing Syndicate.

Due to time constraints I decided to limit myself to Loch Hill (477m). I parked about a mile from the foot of the hill and started hiking. It is an easy walk down to the lochside. I headed south east around the loch and then then hugged the tree line on my ascent. The walk is exceptionally easy and enjoyable. It’s good to stop and turnaround every now and again to take in the surrounding countryside. The area is really quiet and peaceful. A great place to get an outdoors fix away from the city.

I can usually win Olympic Gold medals in procrastination. Seizing the moment. Not allowing too much time to stop and think is sometimes the best way to go. A midweek mini expedition is like a refreshing weekend away compressed into a “school night” evening. Thoroughly recommended.


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