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ordnance survey map of the West Highland Way variations walking route

West Highland Way variations

A popular walking and jogging route using side roads and a trail, along the West Highland Way and the John Muir Way. We are very fortunate to have this major walking route passing so close to the village – nearby stretches follow the old railway line (which is also used by the water pipeline). Three different options offer a variety of distances.

Type Walking
Distance8km / 5 miles
Time1.5 hours approx. plus breaks
TerrainSide roads; trail (West Highland Way)

This website is designed to maximise accessibility for assistive technologies like screen-readers. This applies to the static maps in this section but regrettably this is not a facility on the interactive maps on the linked page.

Interactive map

Path description

  • The route starts and finishes at the Buchanan Monument in Killearn
  • Directions can be followed in reverse order, if preferred.
  • Photos are courtesy of Kay Roxby
  1. Section 1. 

    Depart from the Monument (*1) towards Balfron and take the first left down Station Road. At Spittal Cottage turn right (signposted to Killearn Cemetery) down Gartness Road (2*). Continue on down past the Cemetery, the Woodland Cemetery, Drumore Farm and – on the right at 1.7km the old Curling Pond. Proceed to carefully cross the busy A81 main road towards Gartness with glorious views of Conic Hill and Ben Lomond to the right. At 2.6km cross the bridge over the old railway line and then turn left onto the West Highland Way and the John Muir Way (*3). 

  2. Section 2.

    Follow the trail path along the route of the old railway line – crossing the busy A81 main road at 3.5km. To the right are views of the Queen’s View and The Whangie; to the left views of Dumgoyne and the Campsies. At 4.5 km the old Killearn Station Master’s house is on the left: pass under the road bridge (Option: turn right off the West Highland Way onto the bottom of Station Road; double back over the bridge and return to the village approx. 2km) Cross the entrance to Oakwood (the old Killearn Hospital site is across the A81 on the right) and at the next gate continue straight on before turning left, still keeping to the West Highland Way and the route of the pipeline. Across the fields on the left is the site of Killearn Mill. Pass behind Atkinson’s Garage on the right and the Water Treatment Works on the left until the road at 5.8 km (*4). Either turn left at the junction or continue for a few metres to Killearn Mill Business Park and possibly a refreshment at Turnip the Beet. (Option for a longer walk / run continue on the West Highland Way, past the Beech Tree; cross the fields to the Glengoyne Distillery; climb the hill to the Pipetrack to return to the village adding approximately 5 km.)

  3. Section 3.

    Follow the road to the foot of Drumbeg Loan then climb the long, steep slope past a number of interesting houses. At the mini-roundabout at the top at 7 km (*5) turn left onto Main Street. Pass the Water Pipeline on the right, Kirkhouse on the left and the entrance to Garteneaglis on the right to join the Heritage Trail at Board 7. Pass Blacklands on the right and Lilybank on the left; continue past the Co-Op and Trail Board 8., to return to the Monument at 8.2km.