Walk: Croy & Castle Hills - an Antonine escapade

East Dunbartonshire / North Lanarkshire | Croy | Half day walk | ★★★

[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 is The Boat House restaurant at Auchinstarry Marina - this is happily back in business after a short period of closure at the end of 2018.

[Fabulous views of the Kilsyth Hills from Croy Hill]

Location & info

📌 Walk: Croy & Castle Hills - an Antonine Escapade ★★★
Start / finish on minor road by Forth & Clyde Canal 1 mi northwest of Dullatur, G.R.: NS 738774 ///kipper.improving.nightlife
🚌 Bus to Auchinstarry, Croy or Twechar (various points on route) | 🚆 Croy (1 mi from a different point on the route) | 🚗 Car parks either side of canal

▶ 10 km / 6 mi | ▲ 210 m | ⌚ Half a day
Features: Forth & Clyde Canal; Bar Hill Roman Fort; △ Castle Hill (155 m); △ Croy Hill (147 m); Croy Hill Roman Fort
Moderate | Tarmac towpath along canal, mostly grassy paths and country lanes for remainder. Short roadside sections.

Route: Car park - Auchinstarry Marina - Twechar - Bar Hill Roman Fort - Castle Hill - Croy Hill - start

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On our visit

Wildlife: Ducks, herons, swans & cygnets, dragonflies, swallows. Fish in the canal. Cows & calfs on Croy Hill. Wild raspberries.
Weather: Full sunshine, temperature in mid-20s with a cooling easterly breeze.

Chronological photo guide

[Forth & Clyde Canal at the start, near Wester Dullatur]

[Forth & Clyde Canal near the start]

[Auchinstarry Marina]

[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 along the wall towards Castle Hill]

[Looking back from the ascent of Croy Hill]

[Fabulous views of the Kilsyth Hills from Croy Hill]


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