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The Whangie

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The Whangie lives up to its strange name, which is Scots for a whang, or slice. It is a strange rock feature found on the NW flank of Auchineden Hill, about 20km north of Glasgow. Take the A809, Milngavie-Drymen road and park at the large car park at Queensview. Here there is an indicator pointing out the features to the north, as this is a good viewpoint on a clear day.

Keep dogs on their lead as there are sheep here. After rain the path may have one or two muddy sections, particularly if you wish to visit the summit of Auchineden Hill.

Cross the wall behind the car park by a stile and take the grassy slope up then right adjacent to a belt of trees. After a climb of about 100m the path contours round the side of Auchineden Hill (357m) and gently curves round the hill to reach the rocks of the Whangie in about 45 minutes from the car park.

This unusual feature has been described since the early 17th century. In effect, a great slice or rock, about 90m in length, one to five metres wide and nine to 15 metres in height has parted company from the hillside and moved forward, leaving a narrow passage between it and the hillside. The fissure has opened along the large, curved surfaces known to quarrymen as "backs" and those with a keen eye will soon match up sections of rock on both sides of the chasm.

You can also find cavities in the rock walls, lined with sparkling crystals. The rock itself is an Olivine Basalt, black or dark green when fresh and weathering to a dull red. The sun is on the rocks from about noon and the view over Stockie Muir to the Loch Lomond basin is very fine. Newish conifer planting to the north may soon partly spoil the views slightly.

Rock climbers have haunted this feature for over a century, though to be honest there is better rock! For a return variation, it is possible to go back over the summit of Auchineden Hill, dropping down to the approach path before the trees.


Maps: OS Sheet 64 'Glasgow, Motherwell & Airdrie'
Distance: 5 km
Ascent: 120 m
Time: 2 hours
Food & Drink: Carbeth Inn is a few km south of the car park, on the A809. Good food and drink, with bench seating outside on a good day.


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