Walk 1491 - printer friendly version
WHW - Day 1 - Milngavie to Drymen Walk
Author - Peter Smyly
Length - 12.0 miles / 19.5 km
Ascent - 0 feet / 0 metres
Grade - moderate
Start - OS grid reference NS555745
Lat 55.94175723 + Long -4.315164279
Postcode G62 8BS (approx. location only)
This stage is generally regarded as a warm-up and the distance is the shortest of the six days with no significant height gain and ground may be covered relatively quickly. This is an advantage if setting off mid-afternoon having travelled up by train from the deep south earlier in the day. The Glasgow commuter town of Milngavie (pronounced Mullguy), with its distinctive WHW granite obelisk is the official starting point but the route quickly assumes a more rural nature as it passes by a stream, Allander Water, through parkland and woods.
A short rise up a hill at Allander Park offers a last glimpse of the houses of Milngavie before they disappear from view. The route passes through Mugdock Wood before a road crossing and Craigallian Loch, backed by woods, soon appears on the right. The serene lake of Carbeth Loch, with its reeds and water lilies, appears next on the left, followed by a few hundred metres of road walking at Easter Carbeth. The WHW leaves the road on the right and the dome-shaped, steep-sided grassy hill of Dumgoyne appears on the skyline ahead and this landmark remains in view for much of the rest of Day 1, seen from near and far. Rather than an isolated hill top, it turns out to be part of a range of hills, as can be seen as the walk progresses.
The WHW descends briefly at Arlehaven to pass another dome-shaped hill, the wooded Dumgoyach. This is pleasant countryside walking on a bright sunny day. On a clear day, Scotland's most southerly Munro, Ben Lomond, can be glimpsed afar, a reminder that this peak overlooks Rowardennan which will be reached on day 2. Next the route runs along an old railway line after Dumgoyach Bridge to pass the Beech Tree Inn at the village of Dumgoyne. It then runs closely in parallel to the busy A81 before crossing it to follow a minor road which crosses a river at a bridge at the houses of Gartness. A little further along the road, cows could be seen grazing on a hill ridge above gorse-covered slopes to the right, a pastoral scene. Most of the remainder of Day 1 passes along this minor road as far as Drymen. A first distant glimpse of Loch Lomond is seen to the left. A path up a grassy hill off-road to the right connects with Striling Road, leading to Drymen which is slightly off-route from the WHW and is pronounced "Drimmen". Everything at the village is within easy walking distance including the village green, guest houses, pubs, shops and the post office.