Park in the Pentland Hills Regional Park (Harlaw). Post Code: EH14 7AS. Cost £2
(currently by donation)
via cash or RingGo12558. The car park is very busy at weekends so it is recommended to avoid going between 9:30am and 3:30pm on Saturdays and Sundays as you are unlikely to find any parking.... .
There are lots of places to swim at Harlaw... you can enter from most banks (avoiding the water towers of course). I prefer an area where there are over hanging trees 1.2km (15 min walk) from the car park as the bank isn't muddy in that area. Plus, no matter what the wind speed the water often remains calm in that section. There are a few dog walkers that go past that you can chat to as well. I have indicated another area below, but it is very popular with other swimmers and the water is choppy on windy days. In other locations it might be best to take a camping chair to put your clothes on else they might get muddy.
Best time to go:
When it is windy everywhere else this swim spot is always nice and calm. So it is perfect on very windy days. Winter months are ideal. It is, however, very popular during summer evenings - so midweek daytime is best. Harlaw Reservoir is used by fly fisherman from 1st April until 31st October, so be aware that you may bump into them at any time from dawn until dusk any day of the week. Just give them 50m distance so they can safely cast their line from the bank.
This triangular route is 240m.