Scottish walks: Dumgoyne, near Killearn

Dumgoyne, near Killearn. Picture: Nick Drainey
Dumgoyne, near Killearn. Picture: Nick Drainey
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AS SHORT walks go, this is a tough one. The pointed Dumgoyne, a volcanic plug, is picturesque and easily identified, standing above the Glengoyne distillery. However, its slopes are steep, and although some locals apparently run up it, most walkers will take their time.

This is no hardship really because of the great panorama which opens up. By the time the summit is reached, the great bulk of the rolling Campsie hills can be seen to the east. To the north are the Trossachs with Ben and Loch Lomond, while the Arrochar Alps are further towards the west. Argyll with the lower lying Auchineden Hill in the foreground is to the west. (On the other side of this is a strange cleft of rock known as the Whangie, said by some to have been created by the devil’s tail when he swept past.)

Dumgoyne, near Killearn. Picture: Nick Drainey

Dumgoyne, near Killearn. Picture: Nick Drainey

Do take your time to enjoy the views, and if the going gets hard, remember there is a distillery at the bottom, a just reward for getting to the top of a great hill.

DISTANCE 2∫ miles.

HEIGHT CLIMBED 1,250ft.

TIME 2 hours.

MAP OS Landranger 57.

PARK There is a lay-by about 100 yards north of the Glengoyne distillery by the side of the A81 (about two miles south of Killearn).

IN SUMMARY Cross the road, taking care as the traffic can travel fast, and follow a track going up past some white cottages. When the track forks go right and follow it, heading past a large metal gate and up through trees. After crossing a tumbling burn (which feeds the distillery below) go through a gate on the right and into a field. Bear left to pass in front of two large arrays of solar panels and walk diagonally over the field, straight towards Dumgoyne, crossing a couple of tracks.

At the far side of the field cross two stiles and then begin the extremely steep climb up the obvious path ahead. The going is very hard and you will need to stop for a breather now and again. However, as you gain height you can look back for views opening up over Loch Lomond – to the right of the loch is Conic Hill with Ben Lomond behind it.

Ignore paths and sheep trods going off to either side and keep going up the steep slope. Eventually, after one false summit, you reach an upright stone on the top and even more extensive views.

It is easiest to retrace your steps back to the start. Some head north and pick their way through scree and crags to get to the base of the hill before turning left to return to the two stiles on the edge of the field. This circular route should be taken with care, especially if anyone with you is unsure of their footing.

REFRESH There is nothing at the start but Killearn is just up the road and Strathblane is to the south.

WHILE YOU ARE IN THE AREA The Glengoyne distillery is next to the start and open all year round for tours and tastings. www.glengoyne.com