West Highland Way – Day 1

Milngavie to Drymen (pronounced Drimen) – 12 miles

It was an early start and the weather looked changeable. We had breakfast and put our luggage out ready for the baggage carriers at 9am. Once we had checked our walking gear and bought a sandwich for lunch it was off to the start point where we asked a lady, who was standing at the obelisk and guiding everyone to the tourist office to sign the West Highland Way book, to take our photos by the obelisk.

Whilst we were there taking more photos

we saw a group of 8 gents outside Costa’s coffee shop drinking coffee and after a quick chat we found they were also walking the West Highland Way.

We set off and the first part led us to Allander Park down into Mugdock Country Park. The path, which is well sign posted, is good underfoot; you could say purpose made. The trail is well lined with trees of various varieties, but you do need to be careful of mountain bikers as they seem to sneak up on you. There were also lots of people in the park enjoying their Sunday morning walk, jogging or walking their dogs. It wasn’t long before we were getting out of Glasgow and into more of the countryside, with hills and

rivers appearing everywhere. On the path we passed the Craigallian Loch & fire memorial which became important in the 20s & 30s when people met there to picnic & discuss issues during the time of depression in Scotland before returning to their homes, so it was a social meeting place.

As we continued we crossed the B821 and into more forest woodland. It was here I had my first sighting of the beasties; luckily for me they were in the next field.

We met a couple of walkers heading to Glasgow and with a passing chat we found they were French and had nearly completed the WHW from north to south (Fort William to Glasgow). They didn’t say very much as their English was not too good, neither was our French.

As we walked on we were seeing more and more walkers and joggers. We were now passing the Glengoyne Distillery which is just off the trail, but far enough away to use up valuable walking time so we carried on until we found a suitable place for lunch at Dumgoyne where we were joined by a robin.

After lunch we walked alongside an old railway banking, dated 1882 – 1951. It turns out to be a banking that used to hide a pipeline supplying water from Loch Lomond to Glasgow and it certainly gives protection from any wind that blows across the fields.

We were now near Gartness, over the bridge of Endrick Water / Weir,

walking on tarmac road for the first time today when we met four students also walking the WHW. They were hoping to complete it in four days at an average of 25 miles a day whilst carrying 65 litre rucksacs. We soon got our first sighting of the end of Loch Lomond & Conic Hill

and as we got to the point of leaving the road heading back into fields we saw a WHW post at the top of a hill. When approaching it, it felt as though when you got to the top you would see for miles, but in fact all you saw was the rest of the field and cows in the distance; it was what you might call a false hill. As we left the field, carefully crossing the A811, it was then a straight road into Drymen to find our accommodation which was in the centre of the village.

Here we had a warm welcome with a pot of tea and a couple of biscuits before being shown our room. After a quick freshen up / shower it was time for a warm down walk around the village, report into base control (home) to announce our arrival and then find somewhere for dinner. Drymen is a little village with pubs, hotels & B&Bs, but our host had suggested we try the oldest registered pub in Scotland. Dated 1734, the Clachan Inn just happened to be across the road from where we were staying, how convenient! Whilst waiting for our dinner we saw the Costa crowd (as we now named them) for the first time since leaving Milngavie (Mullguy). We had our meal and a drink or two before calling it a day

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