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The Pentland Trails – Turning vision into reality

HarrisonStevens begin masterplan for Edinburgh’s first mountain biking centre and commercial hub.

Mountain Biking is a fantastic way to keep fit whilst offering the opportunity to indulge in the solitude of nature.

Despite its growing popularity and its numerous health benefits, the closest trail centre to Edinburgh is Glentress, and is 25 miles away. With high demand for a commercial MTB hub closer to Edinburgh, the former Swanston Golf Course on the edge of the Pentland Hills is the perfect site.

HarrisonStevens are working alongside Hillend Leisure Ltd to produce a landscape-led masterplan for the new Pentland Trail Centre. The Centre will be a family focussed, publicly accessible hub, complimented by appropriate leisure based commercial development at the foot of the valley – to the rear of the Steading Inn and between the northern slopes of the Pentland Hills. The easy to access Pentland Trail Centre will offer an excellent introduction to traffic-free cycling for Children and their families, as well as more challenging cross-country trails for Edinburgh and Midlothian’s estimated 260,000 cyclists.

The varied topography of the site offers cycling routes at a range of difficulty levels graded in colours as with ski runs. The Green for beginners, through to red which will welcome more experienced Mountain bikers. The centre will also feature other outdoor activities such as an Alpine Luge, Zipwire, high ropes course, and a Pump Track.

With a wide range of activities being made available on the edge of a thriving city, the centre aims to provide for all age groups, interests and abilities whilst presenting an educational resource for younger age groups.

By providing this facility on the edge of Edinburgh, the project aims to:

–          Promote health and well-being for all ages

–          Act as a gateway for people looking to engage with Mountain Biking at beginner and intermediate levels

–          Encourage a wider network of active travel in Edinburgh

–          Provide a commercial / leisure hub for north Edinburgh

–          Support education around active travel and Mountain biking

The implementation of mountain biking facilities on the Former Swanston Golf Course will be a complimentary development of the already recreational landscape.  Existing vegetation will be retained where possible and added to with new forms of planting and habitat provisions. The long-term vision of the Centre will not only provide and excellent resource for people but will focus on giving back to nature and encouraging a rich ecological corridor. At HarrisonStevens, we strongly believe in the core value of legacy within our projects. The Pentland Trail Centre aims to reinforce that value, by providing a resource with longevity, whilst keeping landscape at the heart of the development.

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