Old road from Glasgow to Stirling past Sauchie
Start location: Gateside junction, south of Chartershall (NS 788 897)
End location: road south of North Third Reservoir (NS 763 876)
Geographical area: Campsie Fells, Stirling, Clackmannan and Falkirk
Path Type: Rural Path
Path distance: 3.5km
Accessibility info: Suitable for pedestrians
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Newsflash! The Heritage Paths (Campsie Fells) Project is very pleased to announce that we have a lovely Campsies map leaflet showing this old route and other paths in the area. To get your hands on one, simply send us an SAE c/o ScotWays (see address top-right) and we'll post one out to you.
This is a route of three sections. The old road leaves the current road at Gateside just south of Chartershall near the M9. It heads south west along a well used track that is still used for access to a number of houses that live along it. Continuing this way you cross a very nice old bridge and then meet a pair of imposing gateposts with signs pointing you away from the road for the Craigs. Follow these signs if you wish to go to the Craigs but continue forward if you are intending to walk the old carriageway - the route is a core path and right of way so you are within your access rights to continue.
After a while you'll reach a point where there is a turn off to Old Sauchie, which is now private housing. The old road does not use this turn off but continues on an obvious track south west but soon after leaves the track for a much wilder section. The Land Rover track takes a tight turn to the right but the old road continues straight ahead and is still bounded by the old stone walls that have defined it for hundreds of years. Few people walk this now but it is mostly still perfectly accessible but for the odd fallen tree that you have to walk around.
After a while you meet a gate and go onto another well used track. Follow this south west and you pass a house with a 'private' sign. This is actually a recorded right of way and you are within your access rights to continue on the old road. Sadly there are a number of locked gates on this section. Continue on this route, which is still obvious by the boundary walls and you'll get to a barbed wire fence that you need to cross to get into a slightly boggy section in forestry. After a short piece of bog you get to a track that is used for tree extraction and so very accessible and the old road is this standard till it reaches the road south of North Third Reservoir.
Altogether a very enjoyable walk as you feel you are discovering a little used road that has probably been used since medieval times.
OS Landranger 57 (Stirling & The Trossachs area)
The old road past Sauchie is said to have the appearance of an old coach road - the bridge over the Sauchie Burn is reported to be substantial. As part of the Road from Glasgow to Stirling, it is clearly shown on the Roy Military Survey of Scotland (1747-1755). Unlike today's New Line Road, it doesn't follow the Loch Coulter Burn then head past Howietoun Fishery and Foot o' Green to reach St Ninians. Instead it lies further to the north-west and passes Sauchie Home Farm, Old Sauchie, Howlands and Chartershall.
It is not clear exactly when the Road from Glasgow to Stirling was superseded by the New Line Road. On Grassom's map of 1817, Thomson's map of 1820 and Carrington & Carrington's map of 1847 the road still runs past Old Sauchie. However, by the time the OS surveyed the area in the 1860s, although the old route is still marked, it is clear that today's new line is the main route in use.