Dunglas - 153m
Saturday 29th August 2009

Weather/Conditions: A mixture of sun, rain showers and high winds blowing thick cumulus from the west.
Distance/Ascent/Time: 4.8km / 150m / 1h 45m
Accompanying: Alone

Dunglas is a rocky swell in the landscape but a fabulous little hill all the same. My plan for this weekend wasn't to climb Dunglas, but instead visit some higher mountains. By the time Saturday arrived, I still had to make up plans and do something. Motivation was lacking, but I wouldn't be doing anything else with my day. Having read some rock climbing articles throughout the morning, my interest shifted away from hillwalking and ukclimbing.com gave me some crags that I could access with relative ease. After thinking through it in my head, my target was Dunglas which according to the website offered quite a range of climbs. I had seen this little hill many times from the surrounding Campsies but it was a new venue and the prospect of some rock climbing and scrambling fired me up. The motivation almost came too late for I ran a considerable distance to catch the bus, going with such speed as to eventually catch it in good time. I was on my way to Strathblane, eagerly anticipating exploring new ground closer to home.

The morning had seen sunshine and passing showers, so I packed some waterproofs but also rock climbing gear in case there did happen to be climbing routes of particular interest. I hadn't been rock climbing for a while and I was on my own today so there would be no desperate, vertical climbs. I'd just have a look, but since I didn't know what I would find, I took some gear with me.

Hard Way to Dunglas

I arrived in Strathblane at 3.55pm and my first problem was to find Dunglas. I wanted to get onto a path following a disused railway, but the map seemed to suggest that the start of the path went through private gardens. And sure enough, it did. I didn't want to go walking up anyone's driveway, so I went the rough way around their perimeter fence, walking through the trees and bushes, finding it hard going and also aware that I didn't want to be infringing on anybody's privacy.

I spent quite a while in these forests. It must have been one of the most difficult routes I could have taken. I emerged from the trees to fields east of Strathblane, and when I couldn't see any railway cuttings, I thought I'd follow the fields, given that Dunglas was now close. But when someone entered the field on a quad bike, I jumped a fence and headed down into what I thought was a stream. At the bottom there was a path, and I realised that I'd found the railway cutting. Everything seemed obvious now, and it was plain sailing to my destination.

Dunglas appeared as a little rocky knoll ringed with cliffs. I left the path I'd been following and climbed up onto the side, examining the cliffs and any possible route that didn't involve walking. On many sides, the cliffs seemed loose and crumbling, so I followed the east slopes upwards until I emerged on the flat southern slopes. A couple of moments later I was on the top of this hill. It was hardly a 'hill', but since elevated from the surrounding fields, the views were pleasant and different take on the landscape than I was used to from the higher Campsies.

(Almost) Rock Climbing

Although a nice viewpoint, the summit was also very windy, so I descended the west side to have a look at the cliffs further round that I hadn't been to already. The rock on one wall was made of very secure rock, and overhung slightly giving some difficult climbs. I then saw chalk marks all the way up the cliffs suggesting that these were well worn climbing routes. Closer observation revealed that the wall was bolted. This would sure make a nice evening out with a friend and rope, but today I wasn't going to climb anything spectacular. And given that I had nothing else to do this afternoon, it was nice to relax and check the crags out.

A rain shower passed through, and I spent about ten minutes on the crags after that. Once feeling like I'd done what I'd set out to do, I headed back along the disused railway line and back to Strathblane. By this point, I knew that this was very much a public route since people had been walking, running or cycling along it. When the track reached Strathblane, it curved up to the right (in a NW direction), and entered Strathblane opposite the church.

To kill time, I walked up to the Blanefield newsagent and back to the Kirkhouse Inn and catch a bus. I was home soon after. Although I really should have been on some big mountains, Dunglas was enough of a day for me and it was enjoyable enough to spend time on unfamiliar terrain in an otherwise familiar landscape. One day I imagine myself going back with ropes.

360° Panorama


Times (Time relative to 0.00)
(0.00) 3.55pm Strathblane
(0.40) 4.35pm Dunglas
(1.30) 5.25pm Left Dunglas
(1.45) 5.40pm Strathblane
Written: 2009-08-29