Start at the Visitors’ Centre ( OS Reference NS 547 780 ) which has a good car park and splendid loos. It also has the attraction of coffee, hot chocolate and enticing sugary items to ensure that you start off in good spirits.
Getting there: 10 miles/30 minutes
Take your favourite route to Milngavie. This is generally either:
- Great Western Road or the Clyde tunnel to Anniesland and then the A739 (the Switchback) through Temple and on to Canniesburn Toll; or
- Queen Margaret Drive to Maryhill Road, then Canniesburn Toll.
At Canniesburn Toll take the A81 to Milngavie. If you come from Maryhill Road you don’t actually reach the roundabout but take a slip-road to the right; if you come from the Switchback, go right the way round (second exit) ignoring the first road to Bearsden. The A81 takes you through the east end of Milngavie (past what was the East Dunbartonshire Council Buildings and is now a hotel); round the roundabout at Waitrose, etc. (sign-posted to Strathblane) and past the waterworks. On a straight stretch, with Dumgoyne looming ahead, a brown Tourist Board signpost points to a road on the left to Mugdock Country Park. At the T junction turn right and keep going past the first car park and on to a more imposing entrance with a well-laid out car park, sign posts and buildings.
The Walk: Mugdock Country Park Trails – 7.5 miles
Your walk begins from the Visitors’ Centre where you take the eastern (or left) side of Gallows Hill, past the Play Area on your right on a broad LRT sign-posted to Craigend Castle. This curves round and continues to and round the end of Mugdock Loch and down towards South Lodge car-park. At a T junction turn left, as signposted, and come down to a second T junction just before the actual car park which you don’t enter. Instead a slight dog-leg right and left leads to a short but lovely off-road path along and across a little nameless burn which runs down from Mugdock Loch to the Allander water.
This path emerges on Ellangowan Road where there is a pavement. Take this to the gates of Mugdock Reservoir, where you cross the road to enter on your left and then turn immediately right to continue beside the water to where a gap allows access to Drumclog car-park. A very firm path exits the rear of the car-park by an excellent Information Board and map. The broad path continues to a broken sign-post where you turn left. (The indicators are missing but the path to the left is well-made and obvious whereas the path straight on is narrow and muddy.) Turn left here and, with splendid views across Glasgow, go downhill to the West Highland Way where there is a blue bench and a sign-post pointing in all directions!
Turn right and follow a broad LRT with a packed surface along the lovely Allander. There is also a narrower path which is worth following occasionally since not only is it nearer to the river but is also free from cyclists. This comes out at Craigallian Bridge where you dogleg slightly left then right to continue the track towards Craigallian Loch. At the far end of Carbeth Loch, turn right, around the loch, and then take the track which leads up to the Boards Walk. This is the only steep bit on the walk.
At the T-Junction, turn right which brings you, eventually, on to the Khyber Pass. Turn right and either take the short-cut on the left-hand side of the road or walk a short distance along the road and turn left into the Khyber car-park. Turn immediately left, opposite the car-park, back to Craigend Castle and the Visitors’ Centre.