Dumgoyne – The Earls – Dumbreck

Route summary

Over 10 miles trail running in the Campsie Fells, running up Dumgoyne, Earls Seat, Little Earl and Dumbreck with breathtaking views.

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Dumgoyne – The Earls – Dumbreck

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Route information

Over 10 miles running in the Campsie Fells which are to the north of Glasgow. This route gives you a great workout climbing and descending the hills and depending the weather, running through some boggy marshes.

You’ll run / walk / scramble over:

  • Dumgoyne
  • Earl’s Seat
  • Little Earl
  • Dumbreck

and run around the peaks of Dumfoyn, Garloch Hill, Slackdhu and Sandy Hill. Nicola from EpicTrails joined me as I tested this route and if you’re interested in guided trail runs you can check out EpicTrails on Facebook.

The route starts from Blanefield where you can park near the war memorial, or depending the day and time, behind St Kessog’s. It begins with a gradual incline along what is known locally as the Pipe Track and it is a well-maintained path. The different types of lock gates in use present their own little Krypton Factor challenge.

At about 1.3 miles, as you pass a house on your left and the path is about to snake round to the left, you’ll see a gate on your right-hand side. This is the start of your run up to Dumgoyne. It’s a runnable grassy/hard mud path, some of which you’ll probably walk. It goes on until you cross a small stream then run through the bracken and paths alongside the foot of Dumfoyn towards Dumgoyne.

As you start nearing Dumgoyne about 2.3 miles in you’ll start climbing up and there is a choice of two paths to take. Follow the route as shown which takes the left path and is a more runnable route. If you’d like a scramble and very steep ascent continue straight ahead up the less trodden path (we did this by mistake).

Once you reach the top you’ll be greeted by amazing 360 views at the trig point. There is a clear path to come down the other side, however it is very steep so watch your footing, then follow the path up and round Garloch Hill. Don’t forget to look back as Dumfoyn and Dumgoyne present a perfectly framed landscape.

The path up to the highest point in the Campsies, Earl’s Seat, is fairly obvious, although by now you might have noticed how boggy it can get. It was a glorious day when we did this run but it had been raining for a few days beforehand and the hill was drenched.

From Earl’s Seat, the path becomes less obvious as you follow the boundary fence to Little Earl and Dumbreck. In some parts you’ll be able to follow 4×4 tracks, in others you’ll be finding your own way trampling through bog. Take care crossing a couple of fences and beware of discarded pieces of fencing. The rusted fence rails can blend in dangerously with their surroundings and can present quite a hazard!

After Dumbreck, zigzag the 4×4 tracks down to Ballagan Farm, giving the sheep a wee hello as you pass. Cross the A891 and run back to Strathblane via the cycle path with views to Dunglass Hill on your left and the hills you’ve just conquered on your right. Then you’re back into Blanefield where hopefully you’ll have packed a towel, some clean socks and fresh trainers.

I would recommend trails shoes for this run but it would be doable in road shoes with some grip and if you’re happy for them to take a bit of a pounding. Make sure you’re prepared for the conditions. Even on nice days, I’d recommend packing a jacket in your running vest/backpack as you get exposed to the elements as you climb and the temperature can dip as you reach the summits.

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