This section of the 'Strathkelvin Railway Path' takes you from Scotland’s urban central belt into the beginning of remote countryside and really shows off the striking Campsie Fells. It uses a good quality, gentle railway path, while the volcanic plug of ‘Dunglass’ close by the path towards the end of the route providing an interesting landmark. The route is also used by the John Muir Way and the Thomas Muir Heritage Trail.
The railway path starts from Eastside or Kilsyth Road in Kirkintilloch. If starting from Lenzie station, add another two miles to the total distance. Turn left from the station and take the first right onto Garngaber Avenue.
After 700 metres, turn left onto the signed Strathkelvin Railway path. This reaches Lenzie Road from where you head north through Woodhead Park and along Townhead Road until you reach the Forth & Clyde Canal.
A pleasant alternative route is to turn left off Lenzie Road onto Marina Way and wiggle through quiet roads to reach the Southbank Marina and the unusual prow-shaped bridge over the canal. Turn right onto the towpath and about 350 metres past Townhead Road, follow the signs to the Strathkelvin Way heading left off the canal.
Follow the route along Canal Street and take care negotiating the roundabout just before the entrance to the railway path off Eastside. After crossing over Kilsyth Road, you are really on your way!
From here it is plain sailing along the railway path. The railway was formed by the Campsie Branch of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Line and the Blane Valley Line extension from Lennoxtown to Strathblane. The railway closed to passengers in 1951 and to freight in 1966. It is now a tree and flower-lined path, running close by the Glazert Water, which is visible on occasions.
At Milton of Campsie admire the wonderful work done by the local community at the site of the former station to restore the platforms and the tunnel and to plant flower beds. Take a detour off the path to reach the pubs, restaurants and shops in the village.
The railway path turns west and runs parallel to the volcanically formed Campsie Hills. It passes south of Lennoxtown, which grew to be a major centre of population in the 19th Century due to print and chemical works. (There are few road crossings from Lennoxtown westwards to be aware of if you are travelling with small children.)
A mile past Lennoxtown, a short detour will take you to the settlement of Clachan of Campsie, from where there is a popular short walk up Campsie Glen.
There is also a nice tearoom and a bicycle repair shop here. Continuing on the path, you will know you are approaching journey’s end when you pass Dunglass on your left, a dramatic 153-metre high volcanic plug.
The path ends on Campsie Road, opposite Strathblane Church, in the pleasant village of Strathblane where there are an inn and a shop for refreshments, before returning to Kirkintilloch.
Extending the route
Although Route 755 currently ends at Strathblane, it is possible to continue west keeping away from traffic for most of the way. If you have a robust bicycle, take the right fork off the A81 in Strathblane up Campsie Dene Road. This leads onto a track and road that contours the side of the hill, passing a number of by washes and aqueducts carrying water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow. After just under three miles, take the left fork down to Dumgoyne Distillery.
Turn right onto the A81 and follow it for less than half a mile to reach The Beech Tree Inn, a popular stopping off point for walkers and cyclists on the West Highland Way. The West Highland Way continues on unsealed railway path to Gartness, where you can join Route 7 on road to Drymen and Aberfoyle and northwards to its ultimate destination of Inverness.
Also at Kirkintilloch, you can join Route 754 on the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath for a 16-mile traffic-free ride east to the Falkirk Wheel or a 16-mile traffic-free ride west to Glasgow and Bowling.
We have taken all responsible steps to ensure that these routes are safe and achievable by people with a reasonable level of fitness. However, all outdoor activities involve a degree of risk. To the extent permitted by law, Sustrans accepts no responsibility for any accidents or injury resulting from following these routes. Walking and cycling routes change over time. Weather conditions may also affect path surfaces. Please use your own judgement when using the routes based upon the weather and the ability, experience and confidence levels of those in your group.