Here in Glasgow we are blessed with being within easy reach of incredible scenery including lochs, hills, mountains, woodland and beaches. We are less an hour from the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs, Ayrshire beaches and ferry links to the islands including Bute and Arran. If you’re looking for a nice hike suitable for the family and accessible by both car and public transport, here are five of our tried and tested recommendations.
Close to Killearn, the Dungoyne summit on the Campsie Hills can be reached by a steep path and the distance is approximately 2.5 miles. The height of the summit is 427m. It’s a short steep hike with beautiful countryside views at the top. If you’re looking for a longer walk, you can go onto Earle’s Seat which is the highest point in the Campsies.
Conic Hill, Balmaha
Part of the West Highland Way, this is a highly popular hiking route which is around 3m and with a height gain of 360m. Once you reach the summit there are stunning views over Loch Lomond and its islands. The walk is quite steep in places with lots of up and down to give your legs a good workout. The walk can also be extended to form a circular walk of around 6.5m.
You can park at Balmaha carp park off the B837 or catch a train from Glasgow to Balloch and then a bus to Balmaha.
Milngavie to Drymen – West Highland Way Stage 1
Another West Highland Way route, the start is at Milngavie and the reward is a stunning view across to Ben Lomond. The route is longer at 12m but the height gain is only 89m. From Milngavie you head through Mugdock Country Park and into open countryside with views of the Campsie Hills.
To get there you can arrive at Milngavie train station if using public transport but to get back you will need to travel by bus from Drymen.
This is the first section of the West Highland Way and gives a great introduction to the famous walking trail.
This 2.75m walk takes you through the Whangie rocks, a strange rock formation on the Kilpatrick Hills with great views over Loch Lomond and the Campsie Hills. It’s an amazing sight and well worth seeing especially as you can walk through the centre of the rock formation. The walk has a hill climb but is fairly shallow with a height gain of 140m. Take care as the rocks can become slippery when wet.
If you want to extend the walk, head to Auchineden Hill trig point for a climb.
This 6 mile walk has a height gain of just 108m. Starting at the Edenmill Farm Shop and cafe on Stockiemuir Road (A809), it’s just past Carbeth in Stirlingshire. There is a large car park but it’s difficult by public transport. You could take a train to Milngavie and cycle the West Highland Way to Carbeth.
The route climbs steadily up to reach the reservoir, nestled in the Kilpatrick Hills and you can walk the hilly path either clockwise or anticlockwise.
Helensburgh to Balloch, John Muir Way
The Helensburgh to Ballock section of the John Muir Way will give you beautiful views over the countryside. You’ll know you’re on the right track if you see the John Muir Way signpost at the edge of the woodland. The route takes 9.5 miles with a height gain of 280m. There’s a direct train from Glasgow to Balloch so it’s ideal if you don’t want to take a car.
In total, the John Muir Way is 134 miles cost-to-coast across Scotland, from Helensburgh to Dunbar and is one of Scotland’s most famous trails. Opened in 2014, the trail includes pavement, gravel, paths and forestry.