Clachan of Campsie in East Dumbartonshire, Scotland
2 short walks. One up a steep slope through woods, and another by a stream near to a religious retreat.
How to get there
For SatNav, the nearest post code is G66 7AB.
Heading north out of Glasgow, take the A879 Balmore road, which eventually brings you to a roundabout just past the county sign for East Dumbartonshire. Turn right here on the Kirkintilloch road, follow this to the Torrance roundabout. Turn left into Torrance, then right at the traffic lights onto the B822. Follow this windy road to the 'T' junction at Lennoxtown, then turn left omto the A891. Follow this road right through the town and about half a mile past the town you will see the right hand turn for Clachan of Campsie. Turn right and follow the road up to the car park.
You can get a bus to this exact spot, the X85 runs from the centre of Glasgow through Kirkintilloch and Lennoxtown.
You can see a map of the route here.
Walk1, up the steep hill. Starting from the car park, head up to the cafe and cycle shop, turn right, and head round behind the buildings. At the end of the buildings, you will see a pathway running up into the woods. Follow this until the path forks. The left hand fork is a dead end, but it does lead down to a waterfall by the small stream. Take the right hand fork, and follow it as it winds its way up the hill. Keep going until you reach open moorland, then up a bit more and you will come to a car park on the 'crow road'. At this point, out of breath, you wonder why you did not simply come up by car! Enjoy the views from the car park then make your way back down again.
Walk2, a gentle walk. Starting from the car park, head back down the road for a short distance, then turn right on a road way, past a quaint cottage and over a bridge. Just past the bridge, up a short hill, you will see a gateway on your left for Schoenstatt. Open the gate and walk through, it's public access. Just before you reach the house a pathway goes off to the left and crosses the burn on a wooden footbridge. Follow this path over the bridge and along past the burn until you come to the front entrance to the house. Here, I stopped and turned back, but this path leads down to the John Muir way which crosses Scotland east to west.
There are many walking options from this car park, either of the walks described can be extended, and there are other marked pathways leading off.
Please page or swipe round the images in the gallery.
The name Campsie derives from two old Gaelic words meaning 'crooked fairy hill'. Clachan comes from Saint Machan, who brought Christianity into the area in the Dark Ages. He was buried on the site of the old church behind the tea room.
The original house at Schoenstatt was called Ballencleroch house and was built in the 13th century. It burned down in in 1982. In the 1600s, a certain Hugh McFarlan fought a duel in the grounds of Ballencleroch house and killed his opponent, a member of the Stirling Family. For many years afterwards, the ghost of young Stirling wandered around beside the chestnut trees under which the duel was fought. One of those trees still survives in the grounds, the other blew over in a storm and its trunk lies on the ground. A rusty rapier and a short dirk were found near the trees and it is supposed that they were used in the duel.
The house was rebuilt and became a retreat and conference centre run by the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. There is a shrine dedicated to Our Lady of Schoenstatt in the grounds which is often visited by pilgrims. If you are looking for a bit of peace and solitude, then it is possible to stay in the retreat.
A public toilet is available, which costs £2 to use. The cafe also has a toilet but they charge £2 unless you are eating and drinking in the cafe, in which case it is 'free to pee'.