We drove from Croftamie via Killearn to Fintry where we picked up some rolls in the excellent Fintry Sports Centre. Back in the car we continued heading east along the B818, taking a left turn shortly after leaving Fintry signposted Denny (still the B818). After about 3.75 miles / 6km (from Fintry) we reached the Carron reservoir on the right-hand side of the road where there was ample room to park.
Up into the hills we walked, a constant gentle rise. In the adjacent fields herds of handsome looking cows looked on with interest, apparently regarding walkers passing by as some major calendar event.
A descent in the road led to another bridge over the Endrick Water – looking still narrower, then a climb again. We had passed through several gates – all of which were fixed open and although the road had no tarmac the surface was well made and even.
After a long gentle ascent the road started to veer over to the right over the shoulder of the hill (Cringate Law). In the distance we could see ruined farm buildings of the former Burnfoot Farm. Just at that point on the left hand side, next to what looked like a passing place was a single post with a broken disc on it and an arrow on the disc. The arrow pointed across open moor to the north west and we struck off into the banks of rushes heading down hill.
Soon we came to a gate and next it a style over the fence. We crossed the style, still making our way downhill. At the bottom of the hill, next to an old dry-stone wall was a new looking bridge over a burn.
Close to this bridge is the confluence point of the Burnfoot Burn and the Backside Burn – the latter being the bottom one. Where the two waters of the Backside and the Burnfoot meet is the start of the Endrick Water.
The bridge over the Burnfoot Burn turns out to be quite important. Funded by Scotways with a grant of £22,800 from the Brown Forbes Memorial Fund (BFMF) and £4,600 from Forth Valley and Lomond LEADER and support from Scottish National Heritage the bridge was the “missing link” connecting existing paths to form the first off-road walking route across Central Scotland, linking the villages of Kippin and Kilsyth. Built by The Conservation Volunteers it provided a safe crossing on this route from 2014. For more information about the walking route follow this link: www.scotways.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=342:heritage-paths-in-the-campsie-fells-a-new-bridge-for-central-scotland&catid=1:news&Itemid=69
We could see a ruin up on the hill on the other side of the burn so we crossed the bridge and made our way up through occasionally boggy ground to what turned out to be an old abandoned farmhouse. The roof appeared to have been off this building for many years and the rubble built stone walls were crumbling rapidly. An old swinging pot hook remained in place on the internal fireplace.
This was the remains of Burnfoot Cottage, a former small steading.
We have been (reliably?) informed that as part of the deal for permission to install Earlsburn Windfarm it was agreed that the village of Fintry would benefit financially. The income from one of the wind generators would go directly to the village. This financed the building of their excellent sports centre. It may be this fact requires further investigation.
A rough track leads north from Burnfoot Cottage leading eventually down to the village of Kippen. It would have been a long journey in the days of horse and cart - and very few if any other inhabitants to meet on the way.
One other dwelling in this valley is marked on the 1890Ordinance Survey map - Backside Farm about one mile to the north. Little now remains of that particular dwelling.
After exploring Burnfoot we followed the track north for a few miles and in the distance up on a hill to the west we managed to glimpse the Spout of Ballochleam. But conscious of the short hours of daylight we turned back and returned to the car the way we had come and left the exploring of the Spout of Ballochleam to another day.
A very pleasant stop on the way home was the Fintry Inn with their warm fire, local beers and excellent food. A great place to put your feet up and relax after a long walk.