Holehead – S3562

Warning – this post contains nudity and terrible navigation. This was going to be an epic triple trig bagging, but I was foiled by peat bogs and my inability to stay upright.

Where to park

There is a big car park just off the B822 Crow Road, the Campsie Waterfalls Car Park. From there it’s a bit of a walk along the road to get to the path, but the parking beyond there is limited.

The Walk In

Turn left out of the car park and follow the road uphill. You’ll pass a well (Jamie Wright’s Well) at the side of the road.

Continue on and there will be woodlands on the right. Carry on, and just when you think all is lost and you must have missed the turning, there is a wooden gate with a Forestry Commission sign on the left. Go through it and follow the path parallel to the dry-stone wall.

This is where the warning signs started – the path quickly becomes very wet and avoidance manoeuvres were needed, even with my boots.

Follow the hill up, enjoying the views which get better all the time. I was chatting to a lovely lady who walks her dog here often who told me to go on ahead as I was young.

Shortly afterwards I had to stop and take my inhaler as my breathing went completely to pot, and she overtook me and beat me squarely to the top. My fitness is appalling!

Eventually you come to a radar station to the right, at which point the hunt begins for a path off to the left. Dodging the surprisingly deep holes disguised by the plants, you will come to the Holehead Trig Pillar. It has been painted and has been adopted by the Strathkelvin Ramblers.

The View

I was really lucky to get the clearest day when I did this walk. The views were fantastic – mountains forever, the whole of Glasgow, the Isle of Arran…

The Route Back

I would highly recommend at this point turning back and tracing your steps. I, however, decided to try and complete a circuit at the top of the Campsies, taking in the other two trigs at the top.

I started out on the right bearing path but the bog just got worse and worse.

Sheer-sided channels in the peat taller than me, thigh-deep puddles hidden under an illusion of solid ground… I fell quite a few times, and soon felt that I had used up all my not-breaking-my-ankle luck and as I was walking on my own and had almost no signal, and for some reason my phone was convinced that I was located in a residential area of Paisley so I didn’t even have What Three Words as a back up text for help…

I decided to take a bearing back towards the car.

I was struggling on (sinking into the ground with every step is incredibly tiring) and really starting to worry. I was meant to be picking my boyfriend up from work but it was looking increasingly like I wasn’t going to make it on time, but couldn’t even message him to let him know.

Since the path to the trig, I hadn’t seen another person. I was also exhausted and really wanted to take a nap… I came across a burn and could see rocks on the bottom.

The idea of walking on something less likely to give way beneath my feet was just too tempting, so I decided to cut my losses and follow the stream down to the road. Once in the stream I felt much better. Then it started to get steeper. Rocks and waterfalls. Very pretty!

After some time, I rounded a corner and was delighted to see a naked woman about to take a dip in a deep pool in the stream. This lifted my spirits, as the discarded shoes on the bank were wholly unsuitable for a long walk and therefore suggested that I was nearing the end of my hike!

A couple more waterfalls later (with some scrambling that Sam and Nick would have been proud of) and I was clambering up the bank next to the road, none the worse for wear.

I finally got some signal, and let my boyfriend know that I was not going to be collecting him, then walked on the lovely, flat, even road back to the car.

Most of that was totally unrelated to the trig, so apologies. But the morals of the story are don’t underestimate bogs, don’t overestimate your fitness and don’t be afraid to bail out if you think you might be a wee bit out of your depth!


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