WHW: Milngavie to Drymen (Day 1)

We flew into Glasgow mid-morning.  We checked into our hotel (Z Hotel), which was located in the middle of the city near George Square.  I loved the hotel and recommend it if you are coming to Glasgow.  The rooms are small but clean and modern.  They offer free wine (a glass) & cheese every evening.  We took advantage of it and enjoyed some of Scotland’s cheese and some great chutneys with bread and oatcakes, another Scottish offering.  We spent the remainder of the day walking through the city.  We didn’t take any pictures because we were afraid of using up our camera batteries and in an attempt to decrease the weight of our packs, we didn’t bring chargers, only the camera, Christian’s cell phone and one spare battery pack.  We had dinner at Ingram Wynd, which was a short walk from our hotel.  There we tried haggis for the first time in the form of what they called a bon bon or meatball.  Haggis is usually sheep’s heart, liver and lungs mixed with oats and other ingredients.  It doesn’t sound appetizing but I tried it and it was okay!

The next morning we took a short train ride (25 minutes) from Glasgow to Milngavie (pronounced Mull-guy).  The town where the West Highland Way (WHW) starts.  We realized that we forgot to buy a fuel canister for our JetBoil, so we walked through the small town trying to see where we could buy one.  It was only 8AM, so not many shops were open but we did find a shop that sold produce, some kitchen items and a small camping section in the back of the store.  I think they knew that people might forget things and need a place to pick them up!

Starting the West Highland Way!


The day was mostly overcast and the terrain was mostly flat but varied in appearance.  We walked through towns and along streets, never really deep into a forest or far away from civilization.


Around lunchtime we reached Glengoyne Distillery.  It was a welcome stop and we took a tour of the facility and Christian had a taste of their whiskey.  He really enjoyed it and ended up purchasing a small bottle that we were to drink at the end of the hike but actually never did!

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We ate our lunch at the distillery and then continued on our way.  The second half of the day followed the old railroad, a water pipeline and through forested areas.

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We arrived in the town of Drymen (12 miles hiked).  Our plan was to hike past Drymen to where an official camping spot was located.  I was starting to feel the soreness in my hips from my backpack and Christian realized he was developing his first set of blisters.  We were taking a snack break along the side of the trail and a lady hiking by stopped and asked if I posted a picture recently to Instagram.  I had and was so surprised that someone recognized us from thousands of other photos!  We ended up not finding the official camping area but we found a couple spots were you could see that people had camped.  We set up our tent, cooked dinner and read about what was in store for the following day’s hike before bed.


The view from our camping spot.  In the distance is Loch Lomond.  Not far from us (luckily in another fenced area) were grazing sheep.  We went to sleep hearing their “baaing” and in the morning, as our wake-up call!


Total: 16.5 Miles Hiked

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