Kilpatrick Hills

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Duncolm in the heart of the Kilpatrick Hills with Lily Loch
From Cochno Hill to The Slacks
Fynloch Hill
The Whangie in winter

The Kilpatrick Hills are a range of hills which extend from Dumbarton in the west to Strathblane in the east, within two counties: Dunbartonshire, and Stirlingshire.

Strathblane divides the Kilpatricks from the Campsie Fells to the east, while to the north is part of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. To west and south the hills are fringed by the settlements of Balloch, Dumbarton, Milton, Bowling, Old Kilpatrick, Clydebank, Bearsden and Milngavie.

The highest points in the range are Duncolm (1,314 feet) and Fynloch (1,313 feet). The Kilpatricks offer a number of viewpoints and places of interest: among the best known are Doughnot Hill and The Whangie. The area features several reservoirs.

The hills are of volcanic origin, modified by subsequent glaciation.


View along The Whangie from the south

The Kilpatrick Hills are a part of the Clyde Plateau Lavas. These are about 340 million years old. Basaltic types of rocks (lavas, tuffs and agglomerates) predominate here. These are produced by denudation of the successive flows.

The Whangie

The Whangie in the north of the Kilpatricks is of particular interest to geologists and casual walkers alike. It consists of a slice of the hillside that has been separated from the main slope. This has created a narrow chasm up to 30 feet high and about 350 feet in length through which visitors can walk. It has commonly been explained as result of glacial plucking, but more recent research indicates that a translational landslide was the cause. During an ice age, a glacier slowly undermined the crag, opening up cracks in the rock and causing this chasm to form.

The origin of the Whangie's name is obscure but it might derive from the old Scots for slice (as in whang o' cheese). Local folklore suggests that it was created by the devil flicking his tail as he flew past.[1]

Archaeological sites

There are several archaeological sites on the south-facing slopes of the hills. The chambered cairn at Carnhowit is situated on the plateau top near the edge of Cochno Loch, at a height of 902 feet.

There are three other cairns, which may be from the Bronze Age. One known as Maidens Paps is nearby, just to the east of Jaw Reservoir which abuts Cochno Loch. Both it and another cairn on Cochno Hill are at a height of about 820 feet, and the third cairn is sited at Wester Duntiglennan at approximately 492 feet height.

Cists have been found at Cochno and Duntocher, and on the slopes below 492 feet several groups of cup and ring marks have been found on outcrops, mostly around Auchnacraig and Whitehill, with other groups further west along the slopes to above Bowling, Dunbartonshire.[2]


The hills are named after the village of Old Kilpatrick, which lies at their southern foot. The following table lists summits over 1,000 feet. Duncolm, the highest point of the range, is also the only 'Marilyn' in the Kilpatricks, having a relative height of over 492 feet.[3]

Name Height Coordinates Notes
Duncolm 1,314 feet 55°58’12"N, 4°27’5"W Scots Gaelic: dun, hill-fort or hill of Colm, (St) Columba [1]
Fynloch 1,313 feet 55°57’41"N, 4°28’1"W
Middle Duncolm 1,289 feet 55°57’46"N, 4°27’27"W
Darnycaip 1,232 feet 55°57’37"N, 4°29’4"W
Doughnot Hill 1,227 feet 55°58’0"N, 4°29’22"W
The Slacks 1,199 feet
Auchineden 1,171 feet
Craigarestie 1,166 feet
Meikle White Hill 1,163 feet
Berry Bank 1,152 feet
Brown Hill 1,149 feet
Cochno Hill 1,140 feet
Knockupple 1,116 feet
Craighirst 1,074 feet
Thief's Hill 1,026 feet

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Kilpatrick Hills)


  1. 1.0 1.1 Drummond, Peter (2007) Scottish Hill Names: Their Origin & Meaning. p166
  2. Ritchie and Adamson (1981) Knappers, Dunbartonshire: a reassessment, Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland , 111, 172-204.
  3. Region 26 - The Relative Hills of Britain