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Running southwest from Stirling to Loch Lomond, and bordered by the broad farmlands of the Carse of Stirling to the north and the northern suburbs of Glasgow to the south, are the Campsies.

This is an area of gently rolling hills and fertile farmland, comprising the Fintry, Gargunnock, Strathblane and Kilsyth Hills and the Campsie Fells. Other than weekend hikers from Glasgow, the Campsies attract few visitors and this unspoiled peace and beauty is their main attraction. There's a string of picturesque villages nestled in the hills, amongst them Killearn, Kippen, Gargunnock and Balfron, birthplace of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, Glasgow's great Victorian architect. There's plenty of good walking to be done here. For details of the Campsie Fells Trail, contact the Stirling TIC, Tel. 01786-475019.

Local Sights & Activities for The Campsies

Sightseeing

Fintry

Lying at the heart of the Campsies is the attractive little village of Fintry, at the head of the Strathendrick valley, and regular winner of the 'Scotland in Bloom' competition. Two miles east of the village is the 90-ft-high Loup of Fintry waterfall. There are a few places to stay in Fintry, including the wonderful Culcreuch Castle Hotel, Tel. 860228, a 14th-century castle set in the 1,600-acre Culcreuch Country Park. A cheaper option is the Fintry Inn, Tel. 860224, which also offers pub food.

Drymen

At the western end of the Campsie Fells is the village of Drymen, the busiest of the Campsie villages due to its proximity to the eastern shores of Loch Lomond. Drymen also lies on the West Highland Way. There's a seasonal tourist office in the library on The Square. Tel. 660068. May-Sep.

You can rent bikes at Lomond Activities, 64 Main Street, Tel. 660066.

Walks

South of Killearn on the A81 is the Glengoyne Distillery, Tel. 550254. Mon-Sat 1000-1600, Sun 1200-1600; (stop by for a nosing session), which is the starting point for two excellent walks in the Strathblane Hills, to the top of Dumgoyne Hill (1,400 ft) and Earl's Seat (1,896 ft), the highest point in the Campsies.

Further west, on the other side of Strathblane, is Queen's View on Auchineden Hill, from where there are wonderful views up Loch Lomond as far as Ben Ledi. Queen Victoria was particularly impressed with the view – hence its name. The path to the top starts from the busy car park on the A809 Bearsden to Drymen road. It takes about 45-50 minutes each way. From the car park a path also leads up to The Whangie, a deep cleft in the rock face with sheer walls rising over 30 ft on either side. A path runs for 100 yd through the narrow gap.

 

The Campsies Hotels & Accommodation

Self catering Cottages in Campsies

Self Catering Cottages in Drymen

There's a decent selection of other Accommodation in Drymen. Best hotel is the Buchanan Arms Hotel, Tel. 660588. Late Rooms Availability for Buchanan Arms Hotel & Leisure Club in Drymen

There are lots of B&Bs, including Easter Drumquhassle Farm, Tel. 660893, on Gartness Road. A highly recommended place to eat is the moderately priced Clachan Inn, Tel. 660824, on The Square, or you can try the Winnock Hotel nearby, Tel. 660245.Late Rooms Availability for Winnock Hotel in Drymen

Accommodation in Strathblane

Just 20 minutes from Glasgow, yet in a different world is the charming, small Strathblane Country House Hotel. Recommended. Late Rooms Availability for Strathblane Country House near Glasgow

Travel Directions to The Campsies

There are several buses daily to Drymen from Glasgow, via Queen's View. There are also buses through the region from Stirling. A postbus service, Tel. 01752-494527, www.royalmail.com/postbus, leaves from Denny, five miles south of Stirling, to Fintry (Mon-Sat at 0955), from where two buses (Mon-Sat) run to Balfron. There are regular buses to Denny from Stirling bus station.

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