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Run or walk to Dumgoyne and Earl’s Seat in the Campsie Fells

Written by Fiona

June 09 2020

One of my favourite local hill runs, the route to Dumgoyne and Earl’s Seat can be completed from Blanefield/Strathblane, or from the foot of Dumgoyne at Glengoyne Distillery.

The Campsie Fells is a range of hills in central Scotland and close to my home. One of the most popular hills, Dumgoyne, is about a 20-minute drive north of Glasgow. It has the added attraction of a whisky distillery, Glengoyne, at the base.

The hills stretch west to east from Dumgoyne to Denny Muir, with nearby villages including Strathblane, Blanefield and Lennoxtown to the south; Killearn in the west; and Fintry to the north. 

Earl’s Seat is the highest point of the Campsie Fells at 578m (1896ft) above sea level. 

Blanefield to Earl’s Seat run/walk

This return route is around 15km to 17km long. It starts on the Pipe Track at St Kessog’s Church in Blanefield, Stirlingshire.

I usually choose to run the eastern side of Dumgoyne to avoid the crowds heading up the west side from the distillery. I head to the summit of Dumgoyne at 427m before descending the northern slope to head along the fells towards Earl’s seat.

Earl’s Seat is the highest point in the Campsies at 578m.

To return, retrace your steps and choose whether to go east or west around the lower slopes of Dumgoyne on the way back.

The west has a well-trodden track, while the east is a bit of a tramp over grass and through bracken. You can pick up an animal track for some of it.

You then rejoin the path on the eastern side of Dungoyne and return to the Pipe Track to finish at the start point.

The total ascent is around 700 to to 850m, depending on your route back via Dumgoyne.

See route ideas:

Video overview of Dumgoyne and Earl’s Seat route:

Did you know?

  • The name of the fells is taken from one of the individual hills in the range, called Campsie, which  means “crooked fairy hill”.
  • The Campsies are recorded as the birthplace of Scottish skiing after William W Naismith, from Glasgow, skied the area and became the first person to ski in Scotland in March 1892.
  • The Monty Python film, The Meaning of Life, used the Campsies as a location. They filmed a scene of of an Anglo-Zulu War of 1879, which actually took place in the South African province of Natal.

Also see: 10 of my favourite half-day walks near Glasgow.

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