I’d been asking about NCR 755, the Strathkelvin Railway Path, from Graeme as local knowledge always helps. I had decided at some point to visit the area and tying in with my last blog post that I’d made the trip out 754 to Kirkintilloch which handily would allow me to tie in with the path and its journey along westwards along the edge of the Campsie Fells.
At the end of the path, would I take the busy route down through Glasgow or enjoy a reverse of my NCR 7 journey to Drymen, remembering this time to avoid the main A811 road to Balloch. Croftamie was my chosen turning home point and a run down NCR 7.
I choose what turned out a perfect day weather wise and set off down to sea level, it’s good dropping almost 500 ft but not returning. Soon I was through Langbank, Bishopton and crossing over the busy Erskine Bridge.
A quick drop down the Lusset Glen and a turn on to NCR 7, travelling eastwards along the Forth and Clyde Canal working my way through Clydebank, into Glasgow then up past the Kelvin Walkway over Maryhill Locks and soon I was down, under and on NCR 754 heading east to my first destination, Kirkintilloch, I’ll link to earlier blog posts which have info and images of the in and outwards journeys HERE HERE HERE
The track along 755 at this point is a mixture of whin dust and tarmac, today I met a few cyclists and walkers as it had been a quiet journey last time. I mulled over to explore a bit further thinking maybe out to the Carron Sea Lock but nope, I decided to turn back at Twechar Bridge retracing my steps to Kirkintilloch. The canal out from Glasgow is a bit bland in places with very little to break up the route but except the occasional canal boat. I spotted a well weathered stone pillar with the initials ‘FCN’, it was ‘Forth Clyde Navigation’. An old marking stone. I saw the sign for 755 but carried on into Kirkie to pick up something for lunch, soon stuffed into the back pouches on my cycling top, and in pro-cycling fashion, it was a filled baguette. it was now to find my way down to 755. I’d checked street view so it was easily found.
I set off along a tree covered tarmac path, I stopped at the first bench to have lunch, a healthy one to boot. No chippy for Bob. I was soon passing through Milton of Campsie with its ornate well designed tunnel frontage, the track although tarmac here is a bit bumpy in places. I skirted Lennoxtown as the path runs parallel to the Glazert Water as it heads down to meet the Kelvin.
I was soon in open countryside with the Campsies prominent to the north and I stopped to admire an impressive basalt volcanic plug which is Dunglass, one of the few in the area. An impressive landscape feature. The track is part of the Thomas Muir Way, not the well-kent Muir but I’ll leave it to this to tell about him HERE and HERE, a bit of a lad indeed.
Too soon, it was the track end and the town of Blanefield, on road again, I took my choice, the A81 westbound. It was busy and surprisingly, I was glad of the odd rise and fall in the road after many miles of ‘flat’ cycling, I passed the eerie ruins of Killearn Hospital en-route. I was to look for B834 and A809 which would take me to Croftamie. I carried on past the twin plugs of Dumgoyne and Dumfoyne and stopped for a water (aye, water) break outside Glengoyne Distillery, lots of tourists visiting today. Busy snapping photos with themselves and the distillery in their background. The West Highland Way runs parallel at this point.
It was off again and I turned into B834 and set up a long ramp to head west at the junction, views of Ben Lomond and the north were stunning. I thought that I’d maybe missed the road I wanted but soon I could see the village ahead, I looked for the 7 sign, I previously been up this way and along an old railway bed (Forth and Clyde Junction) I headed. It was on to quiet country roads and could see an occasional stretch of obvious old railway en-route. I did think of heading down Auchencarroch Road into Jamestown but I’ll save that for another day. I met a few cyclists wending their way NE. I was in familiar territory so I knew I’d be heading down before crossing the A811 and uphill into Balloch Castle Country Park, an impressive grassland area. I would find a now regular run down the side of the River Leven, busy with anglers today even with bright sunshine. I passed through Dumbarton, skirted Milton, through Bowling where I’d meet the canal again.
It was over the bridge and down through Erskine, I’d join the Houston Rd at Inchinnan end and make my way to NCR 75 and home. I spent part of the journey speaking with a Dutch couple who were heading across to Argyll, where’s my bivvy bag?
85 miles travelled, a new Bob record although the mileage is irrelevant, I had a great day out, new places visited and all enjoyed. Where next, indeed.
NCR 754 HERE
NCR 755 HERE