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Trail running East Dunbartonshire: Exploring six new routes

Written by Fiona

March 20 2021

With Covid lockdown continuing, I have been exploring new trail running routes in my local authority area of East Dunbartonshire (and within five miles of the boundary). I am lucky to have friends who can show me trails that I have not run or walked before, so thanks to them for helping me to adventure in different places. These routes would all make great runs or walks.

Antonine Trail Figure-of-Eight Run

The long-distance Antonine Trail stretches around 100km across central Scotland. The building of the Antonine Wall started in AD142 during the reign of the Roman emperor, Antoninus Pius. Today, there is still evidence of the wall in many places, as well as various fort sites.

This route follows a section of the Antonine Trail near Twechar and Croy and heads over Barrhill, Castle Hill and Croy Hill.

There are several options, but this suggested figure-of-eight route is around 12km, starting and finishing at Twechar. It visits Auchinstarry marina, on the Forth & ClydeCanal and is also close to the site of a Roman fort.

Also of note, is that this route follows a section of the John Muir Way, another long-distance trail that extends across Scotland from Helensburgh to Dunbar.

Also read John Muir Way joins stable of Great Scottish trails.

If you enjoy reading about my walking and running routes please do consider making a small donation so I can keep on exploring and writing.

Lennox Forest: Castle and trig pillar

A 10k loop in Lennox Forest. See OS Map for route.

This route is around 10k and leaves Lennoxtown Memorial Hall car park for a loop into Lennox Forest. The first section is mostly uphill. You pass the ruined Lennox Castle and head upwards to reach a height of 214m where there is a trig pillar.

The views on a clear day are wonderful and I really enjoy the atmosphere and trails of the forest. Also see this route description.

Crow Road loop to Holehead weather station

Holehead trig loop. See OS map route

This is another 10k route that starts on one side of the Crow Road (the B822 between Lennoxtown and Fintry), heads into forestry, then crosses the road. There is a bit of running along the side of the road before taking a track up to a weather radar station high in the Campsie fells.

The weather station is at around 550m elevation, near Holehead trig pillar.

Come out of the track at Waterhead back on to the road.
A beautiful night run.
The weather radar.
The mountains of the southern Highlands in the distance.

Three peaks of eastern Campsie Fells

Three peaks of the eastern Campsie Fells. See OS Map for route.

The 15km route in the Campsie Fells takes in three summits, Meikle Bin at 565m, as well as Cort-Ma-Law and Lecket Hill. It is very boggy in places, so it might be worth waiting for slightly better weather of summer.

See a further route description: Three peaks in the Campsies.

Lennoxtown, Lennox Castle and Clachan of Campsie

This route starts with a mile uphill, then a mile downhill, then the rest is fairly flat. Lennox Castle is now in ruins. It served as a mental hospital in more recent times and has a very sad story.

The route follows a section of the Strathkelvin Railway to Clachan of Campsie and then a muddier trail at the foothill of the Campsies back to Lennoxtown.

Lennox Castle. Credit: Iain Todd
Lennox Forest.
River alongside the Strathkelvin Railway.

Cairnoch Hill, Carron Valley

This 15km route is in Stirlingshire (within a five-mile drive of East Dunbartonshire). It follows wide forest tracks to do a full circuit of the hill. You can climb to a trig at the summit of Cairnoch at around 414m.

The views along the Carron Valley and over the large reservoir are beautiful. You also pass the site of Sir John de Graham’s Castle. Sir John de Graham of Dundaff was a 13th century Scottish noble. He was killed during the Battle of Falkirk on July 22, 1298.

Trig on Cairnoch Hill.

Other local walking and running routes

If you enjoy reading about my walking and running routes please do consider making a small donation so I can keep on exploring and writing.

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