This week Milngavie Rambler Andrew Summers describes a circular walk of 6-7 miles from the car park at the Clachan of Campsie bus terminus which should take about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.
It was one of the walks completed recently by the Bearsden & Milngavie Ramblers and apart from one fairly steep ascent about half way was considered to be suitable for most walkers but preferably accompanied by friends or family.
The start of the walk follows the signage, ‘Thomas Muir Trail’, (Heritage Trail in recognition of Thomas Muir of Huntershill, 1765-99, The Father of Democracy), back onto the road before turning right along Knowehead Road to reach on the left the gate entrance to the grounds of Schoenstatt - a retreat and pilgrimage centre.
It is a very peaceful place to visit especially Ballancleroch House and the Church.
Back at the main road, the walk rejoins the Trail, crosses the road into a lane and turns left before the gate onto a path alongside the burn from the Campsie Fells to reach the old Strathblane railway track.
Turning left the Trail path crosses three bridges, rejoins the old railway track beside the Glazert River and continues passed the football pitch, over a wooden bridge to a signed junction.
At this point the walk turns right, signed ‘Lennox Forest 1 ¾’, leaving the Thomas Muir Trail and starts the climb uphill which can be taken with many stops to look back at the views over the Campsie Fells.
Still climbing it takes a right turn at the next junction, left at a T-junction, signed ‘Balmore 5 ½’, and then passes Newlands farm with open views of Kirkintilloch and Tinto Hill beyond.
On level with the radio mast to the left, the walk passes round the low green gate, continues along the track with views over Balmore Golf Course into Bishopbriggs and then after the open ground takes the first turning on the right onto a path into Lennox Forest.
At the next junction the walk turns right onto a wider forest track, then left with lovely views of the Campsies before winding its way downhill to take the next turning on the left before the White House and Celtic Training Ground.
It then passes through a high gate to enter the driveway into the ruined Lennox Castle (pictured) which was used post war as a maternity hospital.
Although a ruin it is to be admired for its many artistic stone features and is currently under consideration for renovation into flats.
The walk continues down the driveway, crosses the bridge over the Glazert and takes a narrow path on the left into the wood before emerging onto the old railway track where it turns right and rejoins the Thomas Muir signage at the next junction.
On the way back to the start and if time permits a lovely detour on entering the Schoenstatt grounds is to follow and meander round the woodland path and bridges which traverse the gently flowing Campsie burn through the estate.
To obtain a copy of the current local ramblers walking programme, contact the membership secretary, Hazel Miller at 0141 942 1770.