Castlecary to Longriggend
The route begins at the Forth and Clyde Canal at Castlecary. If driving, park either at the Castlecary House Hotel or the nearby retail park.
Commence up the road from the canal bank and turn left on to the A80 access road and continue on to the junction with B816. Turn right and almost immediately turn left on to Walton Road. This road winds round and under the viaduct which carried the main Glasgow to Edinburgh railway high above.
The road then begins to ascend fairly gradually for 1.6km passing Castlecary. Castlecary also offers an ideal place for a relaxed meal in the Castlecary House Hotel, which serves traditional lunch and suppers. There are good views over Cumbernauld and the hills beyond from this road.
After another 1.2km the road begins to wind uphill once again for a short distance to where a T-junction is reached. Here turn left on to a fine modern road, but within a few hundred metres turn left on to the road which is signed for Arns. This road immediately begins to amend fairly gradually once again for a short distance.
The road continues almost flat and dead straight for 1.6km and then begins to gradually wind uphill again for a short distance past the small cluster of houses which is Arns. This little minor road is a perfect road for cycling. On now past a radar mast, 400m after which a T-Junction is reached, where a right turn is made. On now for 1.2km to where the road passes straight through the yard of Easter Fannyside Farm. Take care here for there is a road hump across the road in this farmyard but should not be of particular harm to the cyclist.
The countryside here is very pleasant with Fannyside Lochs visible on the right. Soon afterwards turn right and after passing Fannyside Mill carry on to a T-Junction and turn left. There is now another very straight stretch of road, which continues, on the rise, for 1.6km to where it joins the B803 Here turn left and commence gradually uphill from time to time for 1.6km. At the point where a sign showing a speed camera is located, turn right on to another minor road. Following this picturesque country road for 3.2km, as it meanders around a few bends and uphill gradually to where it joins the Longriggend Road, just at the beginning of the village itself.
However, unless a shop is required, turn right and head away from Longriggend. After 2km the road rises steeply for 200m as it passes Longriggend Remand Centre before descending to the B803 once again. Here turn right and continue along the B803 for 1.2km to the road junction where the B803 was joined some 8km before. Turn left back on to this minor road once again but this time carry straight on at the next junction. This road now passes between Fannyside Lochs with a boat yard on the left. The land which borders the road in this vicinity is full of peat. After 1.5km the road then begins to descend through the woods of Fannyside Muir, towards Cumbernauld.
Just before entering Cumbernauld the descent becomes steep so take care here not to gather too much speed. Soon a T-junction is reached. Here turn right following the sign for Castlecary. After 800m. passing en route the Arns Road once again, there is the junction of the road which was used for the first leg of this route. Turn right on to this road where it is signed for Castlecary and retrace this route back to the Forth & Clyde Canal.
This page is an extract from '25 Cycle Routes Around Glasgow' with kind permission from Erl Wilkie.
If you enjoyed this route why not try the nearby Airdrie to Longriggend walk / cycle.
Location: ML6 7AG