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A wander up The Whangie

Last week's Sunday newspaper rated The Whangie as the "Walk of the Week". It is a great walk with fantastic views and is very easy to get to from Appletree Cottage.


Photo of the top of the Whangie
Part of the Whangie


The Whangie is a bizarre and unusual rock formation towards the eastern end of the Kilpatrick Hills.   A ten-minute drive will take you from Appletree Cottage, along the Stockiemuir Road (A809), to Queen's View car park.  From there, a track leads up the side of the hill to the site. A forty-minute walk will take you up to the Whangie.


View of the path from the car park
The stone stile and path from the Queens View car park

Once over the stone stile, we follow the well-made path. Good footwear should be worn for this expedition as the ground can get uneven further up the hill. The path follows the north flank of the hill and can be icy in winter.  There are fantastic views to be had on the ascent.


View to the north and Loch Lomond
Looking north to Loch Lomond


View from Whangie path looking east
Looking north east to Balfron and Killearn

To the north lies Loch Lomond, with Ben Lomond towering above its eastern side. In the distance, the Arrochar Alps present an exciting adventure for another day. To the north lies Loch Lomond, with Ben Lomond towering above its eastern side. In the distance, the Arrochar Alps present an exciting adventure for another day.


​To the east, there are views down the Forth Valley towards Stirling, with Killearn and Balfron villages scattered on the nearby ridge.



The Whangie is unlike the surrounding hills and geology and arrives quite suddenly and unexpectedly.  I

A geological phenomenon, the Whangie is the result of what is called "glacial plucking". This happens when extremely low temperatures freeze slabs of the basalt rock to the glacier.  As the glacier moved, the rocks stayed attached and were plucked from the hillside, causing the basalt to split, leaving sheer rock walls rising above either side of the gap.


View north from the Whangie
Looking north from the Whangie towards Loch Lomond and some of its islands. Shandon Farm, next to Appletree Cottage is the white building in the centre

Being within easy reach of Glasgow and the central belt of Scotland, The Whangie is hugely popular with local climbers.  The craggy stable rocks form many faces, gullies and chimneys on climbers can practice and hone their skills. More about climbing at the Whangie and its various routes can be found here: ​https://www.ukclimbing.com/logbook/crags/the_whangie-193


After a good look around, we climbed to the trig point at the top of the hill and thence to a cairn at the eastern end of the summit.  Panoramic views from there are stunning, with Loch Lomond and its surrounding hills to the north and the Forth Valley and Campsie Hills to the east. We could also see south to Glasgow, with the distant high-rise flats towards Motherwell and Hamilton, glistening white in the bright sunshine.



View from top of hill above The Whangie
Cairn near the summit above the Whangie


We followed the path from the crest of the hill back to the car.  This we agreed was preferable to the initial climb route as it was in the sun and less icy - although a little boggy here and there. As we made our descent we were treated to an excellent view of Glengoyne Distillery at the foot of Drumgoyne Hill.

 

Glengoyne is the nearest distillery to Appletree Cottage and one of the oldest in Scotland. More information about the distillery and visiting times etc. can be found here: https://www.glengoyne.com


View of Glengoyne Distillery from The Whangie
The excellent Glengoyne distillery is the large white building. Well worth a tour and a taste!

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