Start location: Allanfauld, by Kilsyth (NS 717 788)
End location: forestry line on the Campsie Ridge Route, west of Garrel Hill (NS 696 811)
Path Type: Leisure Path, 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 produced a lovely Campsies map leaflet showing this 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 route past the Laird's Loup shares its first kilometre or so with the Chapman's Road. The path from NS717788 shown on the OS 1:25,000 map is not apparent on the ground, but there is a gate at this point and it is possible to walk round the boundary fence of the field to a gate at NS716792 where there are slight traces of an old metalled road if you look closely. At NS715795, this route diverges from the line of the Chapman's Road and heads north-west eventually reaching the edge of the Carron Valley Forest at NS696811. As we've had mixed reports of the condition of this route, we hope to resurvey it soon, and will then update this route description.
From here, either retrace yoursteps or explore the Campsie Ridge Route. Heading west along the ridge will give you the opportunity to return south via Johnnie's Dam Path from the Birkenburn Reservoir. Alternatively head east and, either turn south at the Chapman's Graves to pick up the Chapman's Road, or travel over Tomtain to reach the Tak Ma Doon Road.
OS Landranger 64 (Glasgow) or OS Explorer 348 (Campsie Fells)
This route presently forms a good circular walking route from Kilsyth - up the Tak Ma Doon Road, over Tomtain and Garrel Hill and back again via the Laird's Loup. Its recreational history stretches back to at least Victorian times with the fashion for visiting sites in the hills such as the Laird's Loup waterfalls. The first edition of Scottish Hill Tracks (1947) describes a through route from Kilsyth to Kippen via the Laird's Loup and the Spout of Ballochleam. More recently, ScotWays' records from the 1990s indicate that The Strawberry at NS715791 is a rock pool frequented by local people in summer - Heritage Paths doesn't know whether the locals still use it this way, so we'd be interested to hear if they do!
However, the Laird's Loup path's history is not just that of leisure. It formed an important part of the network of footpaths that once crossed the Kilsyth Hills; these are beautifully shown on the OS second edition 6" maps. Diverging from the Chapman's Road, the footpath passed the Laird's Loup and crossed the area now afforested to reach Burnhouse, these days just a ruin in the Carron Valley Forest.