Total distance – 4.8 kilometres
Ascent – 180 metres
Walking conditions – Well defined footpath up a gentle slope but can be very muddy in places
Time required – Around 2.5 to 4 hours
Nearest town – Milngavie
High volumes of traffic pass by the apparently small and featureless Auchineden Hill on a daily basis. I, myself drove past on numerous occasions unaware of the hill’s hidden character. I did however think it strange that at this inconspicuous point on the A809 there was a large and invariably busy car park. I once stopped there for a cup of tea, looked at my map and noted a trig point at the top of Auchineden Hill and thought to myself that it’s probably a very nice viewpoint. Indeed it is, but that’s not the reason for this busy car park. In fact, what’s concealed from view and to the rear of Auchineden Hill is where according to folklore (I therefore can’t guarantee it is factually correct) the devil himself carved out a deep crevice in the hill with his tail. Locals later named this astonishing feature ‘The Whangie’. This cleft is long, very narrow, over 50 feet high in places and great to walk through. Inspired by this spectacle I ensured that my daughter would never in blissful ignorance pass by The Whangie so when she was seven weeks old we got her in the Baby Bjorn sling and took her there.
Take the footpath from the car park over the small dyke and follow this for around 300 metres. When you reach a fence, cross it and maintain the same direction which should mean that you are now skirting around the side of the hill in a westerly direction. Continue doing this for about 1.7 Km. It’s fairly easy going but can be muddy in places so boots are essential. Eventually you will reach the entrance to The Whangie. Stroll through this narrow cleft but beware that there are of a couple of fairly large drops. You could never fall off them doing normal walking but if a child was to start scrambling on the boulders there is scope for a bad accident.
When you reach the end of The Whangie there is a fantastic spot on the right hand side for a picnic. Or if you prefer, the footpath takes you 200 metres to the trig point. Take the direct route back down from the trig point to the car park. It’s easier walking and a lot less muddy.
If you’re driving back towards Glasgow I’d recommend that you reward yourselves with a hearty meal at the Carbeth Inn that is just a couple of miles down the road. You’ll recognise it by the large number of motorcycles parked outside. It is always very friendly, lively and the food is generous and of a good quality.