West Highland Way 1: Milngavie - Drymen

by Dan Bailey - UKHillwalking.com Sep/2011
This route has been read 2,000 times
Walking

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.

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

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Detailed description

1
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.

2
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.
3
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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