THIS week’s walk is described for us by Malcolm Christie (76), a former member of Milngavie and Bearsden Ramblers, who lives in Strathblane. It is a circular walk from Blanefield to Glengoyne Distillery and back - seven miles or three miles for the shorter version. Grade: Easy.
THIS walk takes you out of Milngavie to Blanefield, taking the No 10 bus from Milngavie Station bound for Balfron.
Leave the bus in Blanefield opposite the Blane Valley Inn.
Cross the road with care, turn left for 40 metres and take the Campsie Dene Road at the War Memorial on the right.
The road becomes a track which is in excellent condition whatever the weather. On your right are the Campsie Fells (named the Strathblane Hills on the OS map) with impressive gullies and cliffs.
The most impressive is Black Crag or Creagh Dhu, after which the foremost Scottish Mountaineering Club is named because its founders met by chance there in 1930.
To your left and straight ahead are wonderful views across the valley of the river called Blane Water and to the north a range of mountains, snow clad at this time of year, from Ben Lomond to the Cobbler.
The track passes a lovely white cottage (Cantywheery) and then a farm on the slope below the track.
The track divides, the left branch going to the farm; follow the right branch with mixed woodland on your left and open moor on your right.
Four kilometres from the start, a smooth grassy track crosses the hard track you are on. Take the track downhill. It’s steep so be careful, especially if the grass is wet.
The uphill section of this track leads to the summit of Dumgoyne (below) which dominates your view for most of the walk.
At the foot of the grassy track you come to the A81; on your right is the Glengoyne Distillery. It offers tours of the distillery and has a shop.
It is 5kms to the distillery and if that is far enough you can catch the bus back to Milngavie.
But if you want to walk back to Blanefield, cross the road and turn left along the footpath for 200metres to a private road.
Turn right along this road for 150metres to a footpath which crosses it. It’s not marked as such, but this is the West Highland Way. Turn left onto a very straight path.
Alongside the path is a bank containing a pipeline which carries water from Loch Lomond to Glasgow.
From now on your path goes straight ahead - from time to time it crosses farm tracks but do not vary from the straight.
You are in fact walking along an old railway line and the pipeline follows the same route.
It’s a contrast to the outward upland path because you are walking along the bottom of the valley close by the Blane Water.
On the way you will see Duntreath Castle (above) on the far side of the river,
After 4kms you come to a tarred road. Turn left for 40metres and follow the path to the right. This leads to a broad track with allotments on the right.
Soon you arrive at the Strathblane playing field where you turn left, and at the next corner of the field bear left up a gradual sloping metalled path to the A81.
A bus stop and shelter for taking the bus back to Milngavie is on the other side of the road, about 40metres to your left.
Alternatively, turn right and walk about 150metres up the road to the Blane Valley Inn, where the food is good.