Dumgoyne Hill and Earl’s Seat

Dumgoyne Hill
Dumgoyne Hill

After a few weeks of lowland walking it was time to hit some hills again. Dumgoyne was the hill chosen today as it’s not too difficult a climb but gives a good workout for more serious climbs in the next few weeks. Dumgoyne is 1,280 ft. high and one of the hills in the Campsies. It is situated above the  Glengoyne Distillery on the A81.  Tours can be made around the distillery and some samples of whisky tasted, but this should be left for after the walk.

The climb can be approached by a path to the right of the distillery or by walking up the small road to the left of it, near the lay-by. The climb up Dumgoyne takes about one hour, but as it is a very steep and  strenuous climb,  a degree of fitness is required. On our walk today it was cloudy, but the ground was reasonably dry and this helped us keep out footing on the climb.

The small steps which had been worn into the ground by the thousands of walkers who frequent this hill were of great assistance in the ascent. There were quite a few other people out walking, and the hill seemed quite busy at times. Although much of the climb was on grass, there were some rocky sections, but nothing too difficult, and as the rock was dry, it helped us keep our footing. The view was not great because of the cloud, but as our objective was to increase our fitness rather than taking in the view, this did not really matter too much.

We had to stop a few times  for a rest on the ascent until we reached the final part of the climb, which turned out to be much steeper than the rest of it. As we were climbing the final section, a fell runner came running down it,  oblivious to the severity of the descent. Arriving at the top, we were surprised to see a number of people there and we chatted to them for a while before heading towards Earl’s Seat.

Rear View of Dumgoyne Hill
Rear View of Dumgoyne Hill

If the climb up the hill was steep, the descent can only be described as ‘precipitous’. It was rocky, and the earth was quite loose in places. As I uttered the words “the descent is not too bad” I lost my footing and slid quite a distance down the side of the hill until I managed to stop myself on a large clump of grass. My companions descended the hill in a more leisurely fashion before we continued our walk to Earl’s Seat. This part of the walk was much easier than the climb up Dumgoyne and we were able to walk at a much faster pace. The mist was coming down, but it was not as bad as it had been when we were on the climb to Lecket Hill at the beginning of February.

The ground was boggy in places, but could easily be avoided most of the time. There were some small climbs, but they were fairly easy compared to the climb up Dumgoyne and it was not long before we approached Garloch Hill, with Earl’s Seat to the right of it.

Dumfoyn
Dumfoyn

Before the ascent of Earl’s Seat we had to climb over a fence and over some boggy ground which was a much worse than anything we had encountered earlier, but as we had got this far, we were not turning back. We eventually got over this boggy section and  started the final ascent to Earl’s Seat. About 15 minutes later we were at the top. The mist was getting quite thick now so we started our return journey to Dumgoyne. We retraced our way back to Dumgoyne Hill, but instead of climbing it, took a path around the side of the hill and made the final descent to the distillery. Hopefully the next time we do this walk the weather will be much better.

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Cort-ma Law and Lecket Hill Walk

Went walking in the Campsies today. Started from the small village of Clachan of Campsie which is near Lennoxtown. This is a lovely village which has a cafe and gallery, a bike shop and a cycling boutique.

St Machan’s Church

Before the walk, we stopped at St Machan’s Church (NS 61021 79641) which dates from the 12th century. The church is in ruins now and the graveyard is no longer used for new burials. At the east side of the graveyard is the Lennox family vault, now thickly covered by ivy.

St Machan's Church
St Machan's Church

Spent some time in the churchyard before heading up through Campsie Glen to the car park on the Crow Road.

This is quite a steep climb and is a good warm-up for the next part of the climb to Cort-Ma-Law.

Cort-Ma Law

The path to Cort-Ma Law is well defined and is across the road from the car park. The first part of the climb is quite steep, but it does level out at the top. The weather was dull and cloudy, so we were unable to get some great views of the Arrocher Alps, which was unfortunate.

Clachan of Campsie from Car Park
Clachan of Campsie from Car Park

When we reached the top of the climb, the path became much flatter and, despite the cloud, the views  of Glasgow, Kirkintilloch and Arrocher were good.

There were a number of people out walking today, including young children, and they all looked as if they were having a good time.

View from Cort-Ma Law
View from Cort-Ma Law

As the Campsie Fells are quite flat, there are a few cairns on the path which can be used as navigation aids, especially when visibility can be affected by mist. The first cairn reached was Crichton’s Cairn and this is where the majority of casual walkers turn round and walk back down the hill.

We pressed on to Cort-Ma Law. The ground was firm all the way to the summit. As we admired the scenery, a cyclist could be seen in the distance pushing a bike  up the hill. No doubt he was going to cycle back down it as he never passed us on his bike!

At the top of the hill, a decision was made to continue to Lecket Hill, as the weather was still quite good and there was plenty of time before darkness fell.

Summit of Cort-Ma Law
Summit of Cort-Ma Law

Lecket Hill

As we walked to Lecket Hill, the ground became quite boggy and despite my best efforts, I managed to sink quite far into it in places.

However, my boots held up and my feet remained dry. As we continued along, the mist set in and visibility became quite poor. We continued on and the mist cleared, so we were able to continue the walk in reasonably clear conditions again.

As we descended from Lecket Hill we were able to view the ridge we had walked along to Cort-Ma Law. Some walkers could be seen in the distance. The road soon came into view  and the walk was almost complete. One last obstacle was crossing Alnwick Burn, but as the water level was low, it was quite easy to get across it without wet feet.

Crow Road

The final stretch of the walk was down the Crow Road to the car park and then to Clachan of Campsie. The distance walked was 6.5 miles, which took about 3 hours.

I enjoyed my walk today.