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  GOOD THINGS TO SEE AND DO IN MILNGAVIE
TO BE HONEST, THERE'S NOT A GREAT DEAL TO DO IN MILNGAVIE. IT'S A SMALL TOWN THAT YOU COULD WANDER AROUND IN THREE MINUTES THEN THINK TO YOURSELF, 'NOW WHAT?' THERE'S NOT MUCH IN THE WAY OF FINE ARCHITECTURE, AND NO TOURISTY THINGS LIKE THEY HAVE IN  WHITBY WHERE YOU COULD, IF YOU FELT SO INCLINED, 'SEE THE MAN WHO FEEDS FLIES TO SPIDERS AND THEN EATS THE SPIDERS.' SIGH, SO WHY AM I EVEN MENTIONING THE PLACE? WELL, SOMETIMES IT'S NICE NOT TO HAVE ANYTHING TO DO, JUST TO GO SOMEWHERE FOR THE SIMPLE PLEASURE OF BEING THERE, TO BREATHE AIR IN A LOCATION YOU ARE UNFAMILIAR WITH. IT MEANS YOU DON'T HAVE TO GET KINDA STRESSED, IN A TOURISTY WAY, BY RUSHING AROUND TRYING TO SEE EVERYTHING, TICKING THINGS OFF A BIG LIST. ALL YOU DO IS SLOWLY SAUNTER TO AND FRO, PEERING AIMLESSLY INTO LITTLE SHOPS, HAVING AN ALE HERE, SOUP THERE, AND AN ICE CREAM ON THE TROT. IN SHORT, YOU CAN RELAX, AND IF YOU FEEL A SMALL BURST OF ENERGY COMING ON AND FANCY A WALK, THEN YOU CAN BE ASSURED THAT YOU ARE IN THE RIGHT PLACE. BECAUSE IF THERE'S ONE THING MILNGAVIE HAS APLENTY, IT'S WALKS, FROM ITSY-BITSY AMBLES TO WHOPPING GREAT ONE-HUNDRED MILERS.
MUGDOCK COUNTRY PARK, CRAIGALLIAN ROAD
This is a mile or so outside Milngavie. It's a pleasant walk to get there, especially if you start at the beginning of the West Highland Way and head through Mugdock Wood. As well as utterly beautiful scenery, you can see where Big Charlie the elephant lived and bathed, creep around the ruins of an old mansion and castle, and eat splendid cream teas in the visitor centre. If you look real close you can still see the outlines of some of the animal enclosures from when it was a zoo in 1949/1950. The zoo struggled to survive amidst some seriously stormy weather and visitor figures that were much lower than forecast. But as if that wasn't enough, children kept putting their arms through bars and leopards obligingly chewed them, much to the delight of the press. The zoo might be closed, but country parks don't come much better than this.
WEST HIGHLAND WAY
This long-distance walk starts in Milngavie. It's almost one-hundred miles in length, and not the sort of excursion you should take lightly. But if you are reasonably fit, have a map and compass (and know how to use 'em!) and a big rucksack with dangly bits, then this could be just what you're looking for. It may be regarded as an adventure of Tolkienesque proportions with blue misty mountains looming ever closer as you tramp upon your merry way.
A LITTLE WALK TO STRATHBLANE
Strathblane sits just over three miles north of Milngavie. If you follow this route, which starts at the Mugdock Country Park Visitor Centre, the walk's about three miles. It will offer magnificent views towards Strathblane and the Strathblane Hills. The Ordnance Survey map you should carry is Landranger Sheet 64, 'Glasgow', 1:50000 scale or one-and-a-quarter inches to a mile.
Leave Mugdock Country Park Visitor Centre. You'll see a narrow road at the main vehicle entrance. On the other side of the road is a gate and access-point to the moor. Ignore this and turn left along the road. About fifty metres along is another gate and access point. Enter the moor here. Pick up the path that veers left, through another gate, and follows the line of electricity pylons.
The path descends to a wide forest track. Turn right, then first left along another woodland track. This bends this way and that, drops down through a tunnel of trees, and comes to a T-junction of tracks. Turn right.
Ignore the next branch on the left, and carry on. The track will bend round to the right, passing some buildings (the Boards) and will make for Strathblane. You will soon be presented with awesome views. There's even a seat not long after a huge boulder (the Gowk stane).
As you near Strathblane you will pass by some houses and come to a road junction. Turn left down Old Mugdock Road for Strathblane proper.
[NOTE - When I last followed this walk (January 2012), the final track that would pass the Boards was completely blocked by fallen trees. UPDATE - June 2012 - track now clear of fallen trees, in fact a whole forest has gone!]
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Mugdock Castle, in Mugdock Country Park, Milngavie
Having a stroll in Milngavie town centre
The West Highland Way and the small hill of Dumgoyne, near Strathblane
Check our shop for a guide-book on The West Highland Way
Entering the moor near Mugdock Country Park Visitor Centre
The Gowk stane on the Boards walk near Strathblane
View of Dumgoyne and the Strathblane Hills from the seat on The Boards walk near Strathblane