Top 5 hills within an hour of Glasgow
January 1, 1970
by Zane Tubb
Living inside of the tourist district of Glasgow means in my day to day life I am constantly bumping into tourists and chatting to them. A common question came up of how best to see the Scotland’s famous countryside?
Now for tourist I realize that you may not all be keen or able to drive miles into the heartland of Scotland to find a Munro that you need ropes and an ice axe to conquer. So, I compiled a top 5 list of my personal favorite hills in and around Glasgow to give you a taster of what we have to offer.
1. Glasgow Necropolis
More often than not neglected as a hill the Glasgow Necropolis is not only the most beautiful views of Glasgow but also one of the most important cemeteries within the UK. The highest natural view point within the city limits. The 4.5km walk should only take around two hours following the paths which lead you around various graves and catacombs of famous people vital to the history of Glasgow.
Getting there: it’s bang in the city center, super easy to get to and right in the middle of the tourist district.
A 10minute walks from Glasgow Queen Street and 15minutes from Glasgow Central. There is also available parking in the street along the length of the Necropolis.
The distinctive steep peak of Dumgoyne is a local landmark and can be seen from most parts of Glasgow. It perfectly combines a hard initial climb with a reward of a spectacular view from the top, as well as a cheeky wee dram at the local distillery (Glengoyne) based at the foot of the hill. Up and down the hill should take 2/3 hours depending on how fit you are. If you choose to walk on you can attempt Earl seat which sits just behind the first summit which will give you a 10.75km round trip.
Getting there: This one’s a bit out their yet still easy to get to!
Regular bus (10) from Glasgow Buchanan bus station will stop at distillery on request.
Driving is the easiest option on this one and you are treated to some lovely views on the way there. Parking can sometimes be a issues as you are not allowed to park in the distillery car park and only have access to a layby with around 6 spaces.
3. Croy Hill and the Antonine Wall
This spectacular circular route offers both magnificent views as well as sights dating back to the Roman era. The 10.5km route starts and finishes at Auchinstarry marina on the canal where there is parking, toilets and a pub/restaurant. The route covers various small peaks most of which have the ruins of Roman forts and Iron Age castles.
By far one of my favorite walks to do as you are overwhelmed with history every step of the way. The Romans meant business when they constructed this 63 km wall most of which is still visible when walking along as seen in the photo taken from the base of the hill on which the main Roman castle stood.
If you are brave and have the time you can extend this walk for mile after mile but id personally say the 10.5km walk is the best option to get the feel of the Antonine wall.
You can get the train from Glasgow to Croy which is 1.5km from start. Driving is the easiest option with various car parks being available from around the Marina or the Quarry (which is free)
4. Cort-ma Law
After a steep climb from the start point at the Crow road car park (carpark in the sky) you follow the path over several false summits passing by a few Cairns pointing out some lower summits to eventually reach the top of what is a deceivingly challenging climb.
The top follows a marshy path which leads you from summit to summit allowing you to bag several of the Campsie peaks in one go. Once reaching the top you are presented with views over Glasgow and the surrounding suburbs.
Total walk time should be around 3.5 hours covering 9km with a final ascent of 351 meters.
During my attempt of this I managed to bag 5 cairns. After the initially steep climb the peaks are easy to bag with them coming one after another and some of them only separated by 100 meters and a small incline. I wore my Salomon speed-cross 4s which managed perfectly so no need for any fancy climbing gear.
Getting there: For this one to save yourself a long and boring road side walk I would say a car is a must with plenty of parking available at the foot of the hill at the crow road car park. If you do choose to walk the X85 bus will stop in Lennoxtown and all you need to do if follow Croy road up till you get to the base of the hill which is the car park.
5. The Whangie
The Whangie is a bizarre rock feature which provides great views on a clear day towards Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies.
Id suggest attempting this one on a nice day. The views are much better on a clear day and several of the paths basically become rivers when there is heavy rainfall.
Boots are recommended for this one as the initially well-established path soon deteriorates into a muddy mess. This short walk features various rock formations which provide great selfie opportunity’s with the most spectacular being a massive crevice with 50 foot high walls on either side. The full walk will take around 2 hours which will lead you around the 4.5km route.
Getting there: by car you can park at the Queens View car park on the A809 which is also where the bus will drop you off.
So all in all hopefully this small list will help you see a bit more of Scotland than getting carted around in a double decker bus and waiting in queues of people.
Step outside of the city and see the real beauty of Scotland