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.
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 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.
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.
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.
|Duncolm||1,314 feet||55°58’12"N, 4°27’5"W||Scots Gaelic: dun, hill-fort or hill of Colm, (St) Columba |
|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|
|Meikle White Hill||1,163 feet|
|Berry Bank||1,152 feet|
|Brown Hill||1,149 feet|
|Cochno Hill||1,140 feet|
|Thief's Hill||1,026 feet|
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