Day 04 - Milngavie to Drymen

Date: 9/10/2016

Location: From: Milngavie To: Drymen

Mileage: 12 Mi.

Weather: Beautiful with blue skies

Temperature: 63 F°

Lodging: Drymen Inn

GPS Location: 56°3’58” N and 4°27’ 6” W

Highlights: Beautiful walk on a well-maintained trail, views of all the mountains and valleys in the distance, and the tour of a whiskey distillery

Summary of the Day:

I got up at 6:00 a.m. this  morning and got everything packed to go. I met Hawk and Little Pony and we went to breakfast at the Beefeater restaurant next door to the hotel. It was a good breakfast, complete with fresh fruit, eggs and veggie sausage. The coffee was really good. After we had sufficiently eaten a little of everything that they had on the breakfast menu, we figured it was time to hit the trail. We left all the bags that the transport service was going take to Drymen for us tonight and grabbed out packs and headed out to the marker that indicated the official beginning of the West Highland Way. There were about 15 people standing there waiting to have their picture taken before leaving.

The trail started out pretty much level and well maintained, which was a lot different from the approach trail out of Glasgow. We made great time along the way. In the distance we could see mountains.  It wasn't long before we came to the Craigallian  Fire Memorial site. This is a memorial that became famous in the 1920s and 30s as a meeting place for a range of people. This included travelers, climbers, and walkers as well as the unemployed that were escaping the Great Depression in Glasgow. They would sit around the fire and drink tea and tell stories and just discuss the fate of the world.

It wasn't too long after leaving the memorial that we came upon the Glengoyne Distillery. It was only a few hundred yards off the trail so we decided to head over and see what it was all about. As it turned out they offered tours of the distillery every hour on the hour and it was five minutes until one started, so we took it. It was really interesting. It started with a film that  showed how whiskey was made from beginning to end. After the film they took us through the plant and showed us every step from how the barley is prepared by first soaking it and then using steam to get it ready to mix with the water for making whiskey. Next was how it was put in the large vats and aged it. Some of their whiskey is 6 years old and yet some of the finer  whiskey is as much as 44 years old. After that process is over they bottled it.. They explained the reason as to why some whiskey is clear and some is a darker yellowish color. It is all because of the vats that it is aged in. The older the vat the darker the whiskey. They only use a vat three times before discarding the vat. The tour was about an hour and a half long and after it was over and they offer to let you taste more or buy a bottle.

We headed on to Dryden, which only took about another two hours. There was a fair amount of road walking into the small town, but after getting here we quickly found the Inn that we were staying in. It is a quaint little inn and there isn't much in this little village but restaurants and lodgings, but it’s all you needed for a trip like this. I did find while walking around after I got cleaned up, a wedding that was starting, and there was a young girl playing bagpipes. I asked her if I could take her picture, and she said yes. Later I met up with Hawk and Little Pony for dinner. The meal was one of the best yet. I had a large slice of roast beef on mashed potatoes with gravy and mixed vegetables.

All in all, today has been a great day, but I'm still tired. Tomorrow is a shorter day so we will walk a little shorter and from what I've read, this is a tourist town so I'll have more to see. The walk has been really nice so far, good weather, nice trail and great views and best of all great company and friends. The journey continues and I will write more tomorrow.

Go to top