Drymen to Milngavie – The West Highland Way – Day 6. 12 miles from Drymen via public paths and disused railway line to our finish at Milngavie.
In May, Lady Lynne, our friend Jen and I completed the 96 miles (154Km) West Highland Way walk North to South from Fort William to Milngavie in 6 days. This is our day by day recap of that walk.
Drymen to Milngavie was our sixth and final day walking The West Highland Way. Make sure you’ve caught up on the previous 5 days first:-
- Day 1 – Fort William to Kinlochleven
- Day 2 – Kinlochleven to Inveroran
- Day 3 – Inveroran to Inverarnan
- Day 4 – Inverarnan to Rowardennan
- Day 5 – Rowardennan to Drymen
Drymen to Milngavie – Day 6
Well this is it folks. The sixth and final day’s photographs and recap. Read, scroll through the photographs and enjoy!
Let me just start by saying that the breakfast at our accomodation, The Buchanan Arms Hotel was perfectly good. Food wise.
A pretty decent spread of help yourself cooked options. Bacon, eggs, mushrooms, tomatoes, black pudding, haggis. You get the idea.
There was also a good selection of cereal and continental options too – bread, meats and cheeses.
What wasn’t great was the service.
Breakfast was supposed to start at 7.30am. It didn’t. They only just started putting out the food at that time and didn’t finish putting everything out until 8.15!
There was a queue of people, like ourselves, who wished to start their day as quicky as possible. It felt like the staff were operating in a different time zone. No apologies just grumbling.
Then there was the fact we had to ask for hot drinks. I don’t know about you folks but I can’t function without my daily coffee. I did get it eventually. Then the world became a better place.
Until the cleaner told us to leave our room……
Yes the cleaner had been wrongly briefed as to check out times. She chucked us out of our room an hour early. We were leaving anyway but it was the fact we were literally thrown out!
Still, would I go back to The Buchanan Arms?
Yes. The staff the day before had sorted out our room problem with absolutely no issues at all. Also the reception desk team could not apologise more for the cleaning staff’s error. The food was good too.
It was just a shame that the waiters and waitresses were not great. Still, we were all fed (eventually) and set off just after 9.00.
We rejoined the West Highland Way from where we left off yesterday.
Then spent the next couple of hours walking up and down relatively quiet county lanes. Heading south.
What a change in scenery today compared to just 3 days ago when we were walking the Inveroran to Inverarnan section!
No more towering mountains and pretty glens.
In fact, today’s scenery was more of an agricultural outlook. Lots of industrial farmland for crop growing as well as fields of cattle and sheep.
I took a picture of this sign “Trolls Bridge” near Gartness. It was under a disused railway line.
I’ve searched on the Internet for more information about it but sadly I can’t find anyway.
Maybe its got something to do with Terry Pratchett’s writings I don’t know?
If anyone can enlighten me please let me know!
Maybe the trolls had something to do with some of the West Highland Way Signposts between Drymen and Milgavie too?
Take a look at this one above.
Drymen is 4 miles back up North from where we started. Milngavie is 7 and 3/4 miles further South. Where we are heading. Now with my calculations thats a total of 11 and 3/4 miles.
Now scroll up to the main image on this post.
Drymen is now 3 miles but Milngavie is still 7 and 3/4 miles. So the distance is now 10 and 3/4 miles.
Did the trolls steal a mile? 😉
At Dumgoyne, 5 miles from Drymen, there’s a pub and cafe. The Beech Tree Inn.
We stopped there for a quick pint and nuts. You can’t have a beer without a packet of nuts can you?
They do serve lunch there too. I’ve eaten there before and it’s pretty good.
We’d had our sandwiches just before we arrived at the pub so there was no need to have any more to eat.
Stopping there longer than for a pint (and it was temping to have more than 1!) would have slowed down our pace for the day.
We were aiming to get to Milngavie for about 3pm!
The Beech Tree Inn is also a great place for kids. (And big kids too. Sorry Jen!)
There’s a wildlife garden, playpark and petting zoo.
I seriously thought that Lynne and Jen were going to spend all day petting the ponies and other animals that were there but I insisted we got moving so we had more time to relax at the finish.
I later found out, after we had finished the West Highland Way. That I’d gained a reputation as “Neil no fun” but I mean we had a schedule to keep to and destinations to arrive at didn’t we???
After setting off from The Beech Tree Inn we pass by Glengoyne Distillery.
You can leave the West Highland Way path and visit the distillery and take in a tour. However you’ll need a couple of hours to do that.
My brother Paul and I had the pleasure of visiting Glengoyne Distillery just after Lady Lynne and I got married 5 years ago.
We did a whisky tasking tour. And we also made our own blended whiskies from different whiskies from around Scotland.
I’ve still got mine. I named it “Lynnisker”. After my two favourite ladies – Lynne and Talisker. 😆
As I mentioned in the title, much of today’s walk was over old disused railway lines.
Railway lines used to criss-cross this area. That was before the roads were improved and the Beeching cuts of the 1960’s.
Back then railway was king and the only way to get goods in and farm produce and cattle out to market.
The rails have long since been lifted but the original track bed still remains.
Now put to good use as part of the West Highland Way and also as a cycling path.
I’d rather there were still railway lines but let’s not get me started on that!
There’s another interesting fact about the old railway line that we walked on between Drymen and Milngavie.
Underneath our feet there’s a huge double cast iron pipeline.
That pipeline is the water supply for Glasgow and much of Central Scotland.
A population of nearly 2 million people reply on that water supply for their daily washing and cooking needs.
These are the kind of things I was thinking about today. Whilst Lynne and Jen got excited about seeing the baby Highland cow!
The two hills to the left of us are Dumgoyne and Earl’s Seat.
Again I noted those down as possible future conquests. A nice 3 – 4 hours, 7 miles walk.
Especially because you can actually finish the walk at the Glengoyne Distillery.
I mean what better excuse for popping in for a wee dram?
Apart from at the start of today’s route, from Drymen to Milngavie, the going was relatively flat.
Having walked 6 miles now, we’d got used to the mainly flat terrain.
It was a shock to our bodies to have to do some climbing again. Up and around Dumgoyach Farm but this area has so much to see.
Again, if we had more time we could have gone off path to visit the nearby standing stones.
Our last day of walking The West Highland Way from Drmen to Milngavie was fortunately dry. We were grateful for that.
Looking back up North however, I wasn’t so sure.
Those dark grey clouds looked like rain to me.
The temperature was fine for walking in too. Just not for stopping too long. Hence the reason why we had our hats on whilst sitting outside the Beech Tree Inn!
As you saw in many of the photographs from the last 5 days walking, The West Highland Way uses old roads, railway lines and drovers routes to get from Fort William to Milngavie.
On this last part we walked on this old bridleway. Just on the approach to Mugdock Park on the outskirts of Milngavie.
It was also here that civilisation began to reappear. People out walking their dogs. Kids on bicyles and the occassional jogger too.
I think it was also about here that we felt enormous relief that we didn’t have to do any more walking after today.
Our collective aches, pains and blisters were now shouting at us even louder. Probably as we became more focussed on them. Knowing we were close to the end.
That’s not to say in any way we weren’t enjoying today or our achievement. No, just that the thought of a hot shower, good dinner and several drinks were the most pressing thoughts in our minds now!
We stopped for this quick selfie on the ramp approach to Milngavie’s shopping precinct.
The end finally in sight.
Well, truthfully we still had about a half a mile to walk after this.
Our accomodation for the evening, The Premier Inn Glasgow Bearsden still had to be reached.
We’d tried to book The Premier Inn Milngavie, which is literally just a 15 minute walk from here. Unfortunately it was full!
This Obelisk marks the official start of The West Highland Way or rather for us the end!
It’s situated in the heart of Milngavie on Douglas Street.
Conveniently, but out of shot to the right of Jen is a Greggs bakery store.
The three of us were pretty ravenous at this point. So a quick stop in there for sausage rolls and cheese and onion pasties was appropriate.
We had arrived exactly on time too. It was just after 3pm.
That gave us plenty of time to amble our way down from the obelist to the Premier Inn at Bearsden.
Then it was time to follow our usual routine.
On arrival at the hotel, we collected our main pre-delivered rucksacks from reception. Dropped them into our rooms and headed straight for the bar!
We had our pre-celebration drinks at this stage before heading to our rooms to get cleaned up and changed for a proper celebration dinner booked for 7pm at The Burnbrae.
The Burnbrae is actually attached to the Premier Inn we were staying at too. So fortunately there was no more walking other than a few feet from the main hotel!
We celebrated in style with Prosecco. A hearty dinner and plenty of conversation regaling the tales and stories from the week just past.
And also beginning to plan our next walk for the 3 of us. In 2019………
So folks that ends Day 6, Drymen to Milngavie. And our 96 mile West Highland Way trek.
Thank you for reading. We all hope that you enjoyed following our story and the photographs too.
Most importantly of all we hope that you were inspired and will consider doing the walk yourself.
If you enjoyed reading this then you might also be interested in reading about our other walking adventures. Check out our 70 miles trail of The Cumbria Way.
Neil no fun!? Now that’s not very nice, ladies! It looks to me that you all had plenty of fun on this trip! Although I might have to agree with you about skipping Glengoyne. That would have been a must-do for me. Heck, I would walk the entire West Highland Way if you promised a stop or two at distilleries along the route. 🙂 I had to laugh at the Trolls Bridge sign, too. I wish I knew more about that. I’ve always liked to call myself the ‘troll under the bridge’ when I’m a little grumpy. Haha! And HIGHLAND COO! I love those coo!
We could start at the distillery in Fort William David, and then end up at the Glengoyne distillery on the way down. Then of course we always carry our own supply too! 🙂
This reminds me of my all-time favorite poem, which ends with, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” It makes me tear up every time I read it.
Absolutely Jeff! The road less travelled. Lead a life by design, not by default!
Despite crappy service, I am glad you had fun exploring – your photos and dialogue make me truly miss traveling!!! I miss adventure – but sadly, I don’t really see any travels happening for us for a VERY long time! Go on more so I can live vicariously through you!
Thanks GiGi! Lot’s more travels coming up. Got a very big hill to climb in September. 😉
Even though this part of your walk wasn’t filled with mountains, it was so scenic! I love how grey the skies were – grey skies make colors pop so well – don’t they? Also, you had me laughing at the concept of mile stealing trolls and haha I totally understand wanting to keep to a schedule – especially with impending rain…though am thinking you lost your nickname of no fun neil when y’all were having those sausage rolls and cheese and onion pasties! What a delicious way to end such an epic walk! I have so enjoyed “walking” along with y’all through your 6 day recap!
I still would like to know where thoese miles went though! Yes, once the schedule was completed I did enjoy those sausage rolls and cheese and onion pasties!
And the wine. And the beer…… 😆
Hopefully you’ll soon have another walk to follow us on. Once we come back from our African trip……. 😉