Walk: Croy & Castle Hills - an Antonine escapade
|[Forth & Clyde Canal near Wester Dullatur]|
North of Cumbernauld's concrete wilderness is a surprisingly attractive belt of verdant countryside. This is the upper glen of the River Kelvin: a communication corridor followed by the Forth & Clyde Canal, roads, railway and power lines, but with plenty of pockets for wildlife and scenic beauty. Directly to the south is a low ridge along which traverses the Antonine Wall: the Romans' less-heralded, northern version of Hadrian's Wall, stretching across Scotland's Central Belt from the Firth of Clyde to the Firth of Forth. This particular stretch features two Roman forts, with the one at Bar Hill still boasting visible foundations for the principia and bath house. Taking in all the above and more makes a pleasant ramble of contrasting halves: following the canal in one direction and tracing the Wall for the return. Midway along the former section used to be The Boathouse restaurant at Auchinstarry Marina - this sadly closed in October 2018, but we hope it'll be back in business soon.
|[Antonine Wall east of Castle Hill]|
📌 Walk: Croy & Castle Hills - an Antonine Escapade ★★★☆☆
Length: 10 km / 6 miles
Ascent: 210 metres
Main summits: Castle Hill (155 metres); Croy Hill (147 metres)
Points of interest: Forth & Clyde Canal; Bar Hill Roman Fort; Croy Hill Roman Fort
Start / finish: Car park on minor road by Forth & Clyde Canal (spaces on either side of the canal) a mile northwest of Dullatur, G.R.: NS 738774 ///kipper.improving.nightlife
Route: Car park - Auchinstarry Marina - Twechar - Bar Hill Roman Fort - Castle Hill - Croy Hill - start
Terrain: Tarmac towpath along canal, mostly grassy paths and country lanes for remainder. Short roadside sections.
Wildlife today: Ducks, herons, swans & cygnets, dragonflies & swallows and fish along the canal. Cows & calfs on Croy Hill. Ripe wild raspberries.
Weather today: Full sunshine, temperature in mid-20s with a cooling easterly breeze.
|[Fabulous views of the Kilsyth Hills from Croy Hill]|
Route credit: Walkhighlands (modified)
|[Forth & Clyde Canal near the start]|
|[Canal at Auchinstarry]|
|[Mute Swan & cygnets]|
|[Forth & Clyde Canal]|
|[Forth & Clyde Canal approaching Twechar]|
|[Twechar war memorial]|
|[Bar Hill Roman Fort]|
|[Bar Hill Roman Fort]|
|[View west from Bar Hill]|
|[Castle Hill summit]|
|[Descending from Castle Hill alongside the remains of the wall]|
|[Looking back from the ascent of Croy Hill]|