Walking in the Ochils, Campsie Fells and Lomond Hills
33 Walks in Scotland's central fells
The Ochils, Campsie Fells and Lomond Hills are the areas of high ground between Edinburgh, Glasgow and Perth. This guidebook describes 33 mostly circular day walks, covering a variety of terrain such as moorland, forestry and rocky crags. The routes range from easily managed walks to long distance with difficult terrain.
SeasonsYear round. May, June and September are recommended. Tops of the Ochils are particularly hard and cold in winter.
CentresMenstrie, Alva, Tillicoultry, Dollar, Glen Devon, Strathblane, Lennoxtown, Milton of Campsie, Kilsyth, Fintry, Kinross, Glenrothes
DifficultyCircular hillwalking routes of varied difficulty from just under 4km to 25.5km. Basic navigation required.
Must SeeBen Cleuch, Meikle Bin, West Lomond, ‘Round of Nine’ route, Corrie of Balglass, Benarty Hill Ridge, Falkland Palace
The Ochils, Campsie and Lomond Hills form a prominent band of high ground across the central belt of Scotland, providing a dramatic backdrop to the nearby cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Perth. Overlooked by many walkers on their way to larger hills in the north, these three ranges provide uniquely wild, challenging and beautiful walks literally on the doorstep of many towns and cities. Ironically, it is perhaps their proximity to these major areas of population which means that these hills remain a relatively uncrowded oasis for walkers.
Collectively the three ranges combine a rich mixture of distinct neighbouring habitats, ranging from: moorland, ancient and managed forestry, deep lochs and reservoirs, fast-flowing burns and meandering rivers, to rocky crags and fertile carseland.
This Ochils, Campsie Fells and Lomond Hills guidebook offers a mixture of routes, including many popular peaks such as Ben Cleuch, Meikle Bin and West Lomond, as well as areas that are well off the beaten track. The walks have been chosen to reflect the diverse landscape that exists in these ranges, and affords as much importance to smaller peaks and lower-level walks as it does to larger hills and high traverses. Several of the walks include peaks known as ‘Donalds’ – hills in lowland Scotland over 2000ft that have a drop of 100ft on all sides.
While some of the walks are justifiably popular and lined with obvious tracks and paths, walkers are also encouraged to explore routes following the natural lines of ridges and glens where few or no paths exist, so that the guide not only gives details for enjoying some classic routes, but also acts as a starting point for linking and creating endless combinations of different routes. The majority of walks included are circular, and wherever possible, start from a suitable place to park a car.
The walks are divided into three sections, one for each range of hills, and each section opens with an introduction to the area. All the route descriptions begin with a summary of information, along with an overview of what can be expected on the walk, including any significant details about terrain and navigation.
Despite being relatively low compared to the larger ranges in the Scottish Highlands, the hills covered in this guide present challenges that require similar levels of skills and experience to those that would be needed in more mountainous regions. A basic level of ability in macronavigating is assumed; as is the understanding of grid references, map orientation, gradients, map symbols and estimation of distances. For more challenging routes the ability to use a compass in setting and walking on bearings is crucial, as are micronavigational skills involved in timing and pacing distances.
How to Use this Guide
Planning and Preparation
Access and the Environment
Walk 1 Blairdenon Circuit
Walk 2A Dumyat Hill
Walk 2B Dumyat Hill
Walk 2C Dumyat Hill
Walk 3 Myreton Hill
Walk 4 Bengengie Hill and Colsnaur Hill Circuit
Walk 5 Ben Cleuch via Ben Buck
Walk 6 The Nebit
Walk 7 Wood Hill
Walk 8 Ben Cleuch Circuit
Walk 9 Mill Glen to Dollar Glen
Walk 10 Castle Campbell Circuit
Walk 11 Tillicoultry to Blackford
Walk 12 Innerdownie Ridge
Walk 13 Kirk Burn Glen Circuit
Walk 14 Seamab Hill
Walk 15 Frandy Burn Circuit
Walk 16 The Glendevon Reservoirs
Walk 17 Steele's Knowe and Eastbow Hill
Walk 18 Ben Thrush Circuit
Walk 19 Glendevon Forest Circuit
Walk 20 The Round of Nine
The Campsie Fells
Walk 21 Dumgoyne
Walk 22 Ballagan Burn Circuit
Walk 23 Cort-Ma Law and Lecket Hill Circuit
Walk 24 Dungoil
Walk 25 Meikle Bin
Walk 26 The Corrie of Balglass and Earl's Seat
Walk 27 Little Corrie and the Corrie of Balglass
Walk 28 Stronend
Walk 29 North Third Reservoir Walk
The Lomond Hills
Walk 30 The Lomond Circuit
Walk 31 East Lomond Circuit
Walk 32 Glen Vale and West Lomond
Walk 33 Benarty Hill Ridge
Appendix Further Information
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Walk 5: revised distance / time is 14km / 4 hours
The timings of the below routes have been revised as follows:
Walk 1 - 3 hours
Walk 2 - 2 hours
Walk 3 - 2 hours
Walk 4 - 3 hours 30 mins
Walk 7 - 2 hours 10 mins
Walk 8 - a) 4 hours 30 mins b) 3 hours 40 mins
Walk 9 - 3 hours 30 mins
Walk 10 - 4 hours
Walk 11 - 5 hours 30 mins
Walk 12 - 4 hours 30 mins
Walk 13 - 1 hour 40 mins
Walk 14 - 2 hours 30 mins
Walk 15 - 5 hours
Walk 16 - 4 hours 30 mins
Walk 17 - 3 hours 30 mins
Walk 18 - 2 hours 20 mins
Walk 19 - 7 hours
Walk 20 - 9 hours 30 mins
Walk 21 - 3 hours
Walk 22 - 4 hours
Walk 23 - 3 hours 30 mins
Walk 24 - 2 hours 40 mins
Walk 25 - 4 hours 20 mins
Walk 26 - 5 hours 30 mins
Walk 27 - 4 hours 20 mins
Walk 28 - 4 hours
Walk 29 - 3 hours
Walk 30 - 5 hours 30 mins
Walk 31 - 4 hours
Walk 32 - 3 hours 20 mins
Walk 33 - 2 hours 30 mins
Please note that the times in this book are pure times and do not account for rest breaks or difficulty in the terrain. Many people may find that the walks take longer than the times given.
I have just recently purchased this book and done lots of walks from it and it really opened up my local hills to me. Previously there were many hills in the Campsies and the Ochils that I wanted to climb but couldn’t figure out a safe route to them from the OS maps but this outstanding book gives you detailed route information all following easy to identify features on the ground to use as navigational handrails, it is well written and uses extracts from the relevant OS maps to illustrate the routes.
There are many little known and little walked but spectacular hills featured here that you wont find in any other guidebook. At last an excellent guide book for the Campsies/Ochils and Lomonds. Congratulations to the author.
(Reviewed on Amazon.co.uk)
'It's clear the author knows his subject well and has tramped the hills described in this book very many times. His acquaintance, wisdom and knowledge of the three areas stand out proud.
The book is a bargain at £10 and for anyone planning to explore the three areas described, there is no better way than taking this book with you.'
(Scottish Mountaineer magazine / February 2007)
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As a keen outdoor enthusiast, Patrick Baker spends the majority of his free time walking, climbing or scrambling in the Scottish hills. This passion for the outdoors has led to several expeditions in major mountain ranges across Europe but closer to home, time spent in the mountains of the West Highlands and the Cairngorms and the hills of the Central Scotland is an ongoing source of interest and enjoyment.View Guidebooks by Patrick Baker