Kilsyth is reputed to be the birthplace of the winter sport known as curling. In 1645, the armies of James Graham, 1st Marquess of Montrose, loyal to Charles I, defeated a force of Scottish Covenanters under William Baillie a few miles outside the town. The Battle of Kilsyth is represented on the town's Coat of Arms as two crossed swords.
The town is home to roughly 10,000 inhabitants.
Nearby is the village of Dullatur (population 520 (2004)). Its name is anglicised from the Gaelic "Dubh Leitir", which means dark slope. The route of the Antonine Wall passes just to the north of Dullatur, and a Roman camp was sited on the line of the wall at nearby Croy Hill.
The development of the village owed much to the creation of the Glasgow-Edinburgh railway line, with a station sited in Dullatur in 1842 to encourage commuters to settle there. Several grand villas were built as part of the original development, two of which were designed by the celebrated architect Alexander "Greek" Thomson.
The make up of the village was of the higher socio-economic class, and early recreational developments included golf and lawn-tennis clubs, both of which persist to the present day. The train station is now closed but the village still serves as a commuter settlement, with a number of new private properties having been built there.
Aside from the private Cumbernauld airport, the nearest airport to Kilsyth is Glasgow Airport (40 km). This is served by many major airlines, including British Airways. Edinburgh Airport is slightly further out (56 km), as is Prestwick Airport (80 km). Although there are public transport links from all three airports, these are not ideal and car hire is recommended.
Although Kilsyth does not have its own railway station, it is close to Croy Station, which can be reached by a short bus ride (on either the Stagecoach-run dedicated station bus number 349, or the local Canavan’s Bus service, number 43).
- 1 Croy railway station. Croy Station is situated on the Glasgow-Edinburgh via Falkirk line and on the Glasgow-Dunblane line, so until around 7PM in the evenings, there are four trains an hour from Glasgow Queen Street to Croy. Depending on whether a Dunblane or Edinburgh train is used, the journey takes from between 15 – 20 minutes. A Cheap Day Return will cost £4.20. From Edinburgh, trains are half-hourly until after 6PM, when they run hourly.
From Glasgow, the quickest route involves driving along the A803, via Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch. It is essentially a straight road, although one does pass through residential areas. Caution is advised when driving at night, as between Bishopbriggs and Kirkintilloch, and Kirkintilloch and Queenzieburn, there are stretches of road which are poorly lit. Kilsyth is also easy driving distance from both Falkirk and Stirling.
First Bus runs services to Kilsyth from both Glasgow, Falkirk and Stirling. The town can also be accessed by bus from nearby Cumbernauld.
Due to its size, Kilsyth can easily be covered on foot.
- 1 The Colzium House and Estate. Is situated on the outskirts of Kilsyth. It features a renowned Walled Garden, the remains of an old ice house, a curling pond, and beautiful scenery. Colzium House is often rented for functions such as conferences and weddings.
- 2 Bar Hill and the Antonine Wall, Croy Hill. A UNESCO World Heritage site, is a short walk from Kilsyth. The walk is picturesque and not overly arduous, so is suitable for dedicated hill walkers and amateurs.
- Burngreen park. Is a short walk from both the Main Street and the Colzium Estate. In addition to a traditional children’s park, there are other activities available, including a tennis court, trampolines and a miniature putting green.
- Visit Lanarkshire 10 Walks Guide features two routes in and around the Kilsyth area - the Antonine Wall and Forth and Clyde Canal Walk and the Colzium House and Tomtain walk.
Most of the shops in Kilsyth are situated on Main Street. There are few recognisable high street names, with most of the shops being run by local businessmen. There are two principal supermarkets – the Co-operative on Main Street, and a Lidl just off Main Street.
- 1 Coachman Hotel, 4 Parkfoot St, ☎ .
- 2 Westerwood Hotel & Golf Resort, 1 St Andrews Dr,Dullatur, ☎ .