Kilsyth is a town on Clydeside, historically part of Lanarkshire, in the Central Belt of Scotland. It's 15 miles northeast of Glasgow near the watershed between the Clyde and Forth river catchments, at a point where the natural lowland routes become pinched between the Lanarkshire moors, the abrupt Campsie Fells, and sucking bogs. So this way have passed the Romans, cattle droves, warring armies (the Battle of Kilsyth was fought here in 1645), and later road, canal and rail routes. The town claims to be the birthplace of the ice-sport of curling and to host the oldest club, though there are stronger contenders for both titles. It has a population of 10,000 and is nowadays a commuter town for Glasgow, along with the neighbouring villages of Croy and Dullatur. Four miles southeast is the drab "New Town" of Cumbernauld.
Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA) is 25 miles west of Kilsyth. Take the airport bus 500 to Glasgow city centre then onward bus or train as below; or the X24 direct from airport to Cumbernauld (heading for Fife) and change to the local bus 43.
Nearby Cumbernauld airport only has private aviation.
The nearest railway station is 1 Croy, two miles south of Kilsyth along B802. This has trains from Glasgow Queen Street every 15 mins, taking 15 mins, with the first at 06:15 and the last at 23:45. These trains continue east to Edinburgh (every 30 mins via Falkirk, taking 35 mins) or Stirling (every 30 mins, taking 20 mins) and Alloa. Change at Stirling for Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness: those trains rush through Croy without stopping.
Between Kilsyth and Croy Station, take Bus 43 or the X35 as described below.
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 Scotland East Bus X35 runs M-Sa hourly from Glasgow Buchanan station via Croy to Kilsyth, taking 45 mins, and continuing west to Falkirk, another 40 mins. Change at Falkirk for Stirling and Edinburgh.
First Glasgow Bus 89 runs M-Sa every 30 mins from Buchanan station via Caledonian University, Springburn, Bishopbriggs, Cadder and Kirkintilloch to Kilsyth, taking just under an hour.
Canavan Travel Bus 43 shuttles M-Sa every 15 mins between Kilsyth, Croy and Cumbernauld.
Nothing on Sunday so take the train; or you could reach Cumbernauld by bus then take a taxi.
You can reach Colzium and Croy & Bar Hills on foot. A bike will be handy for exploring the canal towpath or the Campsie Fells.
- 1 Colzium House and Estate, Stirling Rd, Kilsyth G65 0FF. The park has a walled garden, the remains of an old ice house, a curling pond, and beautiful scenery. There's a visitor centre & cafe open April-Sept. The 18th century Colzium House is not open to the public but is often hired for functions such as conferences and weddings. Free.
- Banton Loch half a mile east of Colzium House is the feeder reservoir for the Forth & Clyde Canal. The site of the Battle of Kilsyth is submerged within it.
- 2 Antonine Wall. Always open. The Romans built this wall from 142 AD, 100 miles north of their earlier Hadrian's Wall. It ran for 39 miles from Bo'ness on the Firth of Clyde to Old Kilpatrick near Dumbarton on the Firth of Clyde. It was only held for 8 years to 162 AD, then the Romans withdrew to Hadrian's Wall; it was briefly re-occupied from 208 AD then they again withdrew and never returned. Medieval accounts called it Gryme's Dyke - Gryme being the Devil. It was only made of turf with a wooden fence on top, flanked by a ditch and a military road. Thus less of it survives than Hadrian's stone wall, as it became obliterated by agriculture, buildings, and roads and the canal which took the same route. What remains is a UNESCO World Heritage site: Croy Hill and Bar Hill, the best preserved sections, were forts within signalling distance of each other, though you'll have to use a bit of imagination to perceive the camp layout. Discoveries from the wall, such as the richly-carved plaques left by its builders and garrisons, are in the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow. Free.
- Burngreen park. Is a short walk from both the Main Street and Colzium Estate, described above. 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.
- Takeaways and fast food places in town centre include Marinis, Dhillons, House of the Dragon and Viva Garden.
- 1 Scarecrow Bar & Grill, 2 Main St, Kilsyth G65 0AQ, ☏ . M-Sa 11:00-23:00, Su 12:30-23:00. Gets great reviews for food & ambiance, so it can be busy even midweek.
- 2 Boathouse Restaurant, Auchinstarry Marina, Kilsyth G65 5SG, ☏ , email@example.com. M-F 07:15-20:00, Sa Su 08:00-20:00. Mid-priced restaurant by the canal marina south of town, also has bar and hotel. Bearers of the "John Muir Passport" can get it way-stamped and have a free cuppa.
- Other pubs in town are Campsie Bar at 4 Parkfoot St, and The Curling Stone at 5 High Craigends.
- 1 The Coachman, 4 Parkfoot St, Kilsyth G65 0SP, ☏ . Pub with decent clean rooms, okay for a stopover but noisy music from the bar till late on Fri & Sat nights. The pub food gets good reviews. B&B double £50.
- See Cumbernauld for accommodation along the M80 south of town.
Decent 4G & mobile signal in town and along the main roads, patchy up in the hills.