West Highland Way 1: Milngavie - Drymen

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com ? Sep/2011
This route has been read 1,936 times

WalkingWest Highland Way 1: Milngavie - Drymen

East Dumbarton, SCOTLAND

google map Graded easy ?

Voting 3*
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Distance 12.51 miles (20.13 km)

Total ascent 255m

Steepest climb 8% (1 in 13)

Time 5 hours (Walking)

Start Stone obelisk marking the start of the WHW on Douglas Street in Milngavie, NS552744; Finish Centre of Drymen, NS474886

Nearest town Milngavie

Terrain Gentle paths, cycle tracks and some tarmac walking. No real hills. WHW waymarks to follow at every junction.

Seasonal variations None

Weather and hill conditions mwis: Cairngorms & MonadhliathMet Office: West Highlands

Public transport Train from Glasgow to Milngavie; Drymen has buses to Balloch (another rail link to Glasgow)

Guidebooks West Highland Way, Dan Bailey, pb. Pocket Mountains

Maps OS Explorer 348 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 347 (1:25,000), OS Explorer 342 (1:25,000), OS Landranger 64 (1:50,000), OS Landranger 57 (1:50,000)

Accommodation Wigwams at Drymen Camping are a budget option 01360 660597

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Tourist info Glasgow (0141 204 4400); Glasgow Airport (0141 848 4440); Dumbarton (08452 255 121)

Suburban Milngavie is an inauspicious place to begin a great long distance walk, and the mountains aren't even in sight from here. But the West Highland Way had to start somewhere. This whole stage has the air of a prelude, a warm-up to get you into your stride for the rest of the route. It's a pleasant enough country stroll - green and leafy, but unremarkable. The main scenic interest is around the foot of the Campsies, where the pointy mini summit of Dumgoyne gives a worthwhile potential detour.

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+West Highland Way stage 1: nowhere near the Highlands yet, 115 kb
West Highland Way stage 1: nowhere near the Highlands yet


Detailed description

NS5530174433 From the middle of Milngavie signs direct you onto the WHW proper, which follows the Allander Water into the lush oak woods of Mugdock Country Park, a popular local dog walking area. Dogleg over a minor road and continue past Craigallian Loch and Carbeth Loch. The latter is the site of Scotland's largest remaining hut community.

NS5376379587 Turn left onto the B821, then right onto a track winding over open pastures to loop around the foot of Dumgoyach, a steep wooded knoll. Cross over Blane Water. For the next few kilometres the WHW follows the course of an old railway line, which makes for very easy going. The first stretch is dominated by the prominent little volcanic plug of Dumgoyne, with the whisky distillery of the same name at its foot. The two together are a nice detour, with excellent views of the Highlands from the summit. Beyond this the track crosses several roads, passing close to Killearn to join a minor road at Gartness.
NS5037986955 Turn left onto this road, crossing a bridge over a weir. At a road junction go straight on, following the quiet lane between hedgerows onto a low rise. Pass a campsite and a quarry and just beyond a sharp bend in the road go right (waymarked) on a path through pasture to the A811. The main course of the WHW now heads right, but Drymen is only a few minutes' walk to your left. It's a nice little village with all the necessary facilities - accommodation, pub, cash, groceries, camping supplies; north from here there aren't any comparable centres for several stages of the WHW.

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