Milngavie, pronounced "Mil-GHY", is a small town in Clydeside in the Central Belt of Scotland. It's a commuter and retirement town for Glasgow, 6 miles / 10 km to the southwest. Its odd pronunciation stems from its Gaelic name Muileann Dhaibhidh, "David's Mill": "David" was transcribed as "gavie" but was also shortened to "Dave" which became "guy".
The main reason to visit is to walk the West Highland Way, which starts here. Milngavie is also a good base for exploring the Campsie Fells to the north, and Loch Lomond to the northwest.
Milngavie pitched the most implausible bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics. Unaccountably, the decision went to Tokyo, and Paris has pipped them for 2024. Better luck for 2028?
By train: Trains run daily every 30 mins from both Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street, taking 25 mins via Bearsden. Mon-Sat many of these run direct to Milngavie from Edinburgh or Motherwell, but along slow lines. It's quicker to take the fast train from Edinburgh to change at Queen Street, and from Motherwell to change at Central.
By bus: Glasgow Citybus 15 runs from Glasgow North Frederick St via Hillhead, Kelvinside, Anniesland and Bearsden to Milngavie, taking just over an hour. It runs every 30 mins M-F, hourly Sat, no Sunday service.
First Glasgow Bus 60 / 60A runs from Glasgow Central and Hope St via Maryhill to Milngavie, M-Sat every 20-30 mins and Sun every 30-60 mins, taking 45 mins.
First Scotland East Bus X10 / X10A runs from Glasgow Buchanan station via Maryhill and Bearsden to Milngavie and continues via Balfron, Aberfoyle and Blairdrummond to Stirling. It runs every two hours M-Sat.
McColls Coaches Bus 47 runs between Milgavie and Kirkintilloch every couple of hours M-Sat.
By road leave M8 at jcn 16 (from east) / 17 (from west) and follow A81 north through Bearsden.
Milngavie is a small place and Mugdock Country Park is just a mile north. You'll need wheels to explore the Campsie Fells and shores of Loch Lomond.
- The West Highland Way starts here and stretches 96 miles (154 km) to Fort William. It's usually done south to north, to have the sun and wind at your back, and to have the easier southern sections prepare you for the tougher terrain ahead. There are eight stages of 10-15 miles apiece. One easy way to do it, especially for working folk who are time-poor, is to tackle each half-stage as a Sunday afternoon bimble there-and-back, no rucksack no grief, drive home three hours later and do the next half-stage whenever you please. The first stage is Milngavie to Drymen, 12 miles / 9 km, all easy lowland going. Start from the granite obelisk in town centre and plod north across the golf course and Mugdock Country Park, on into the fields and by small lochs. Zag west on B821 then on north by Dumgoyach Standing Stones, Dumgoyne village, west at Gartness to cross the river then bear north into Drymen.
- Explore the Campsie Fells a few miles north, surrounding Fintry. Their highest point is the Earl's Seat at 578 m (1896 ft). "Campsie" is from the Gaelic for "crooked fairy", but it's best not to dwell on this.
- Bearsden & Milngavie Highland Games are held in June at the West of Scotland rugby ground, midway between Bearsden and Milngavie. The next event is probably on Sat 12 June 2021, tbc.
There's a Tesco, a Scotmid Coop and a Waitrose.
Eating places clustered near the railway station include Andiamo's Italian, Classic India, and a fish & chips takeaway.
- 1 Talbot Arms, 30 Main St, Milngavie G62 6BU. A traditional pub in town centre. Dog-friendly, live music Fridays and pub quiz Sun evening. 11:00-23:00, F to 01:00.
- 1 Premier Inn, 103 Main Street Milngavie G62 6JQ (south edge of town, jcn A81 & B8030), ☏ . Large reliable chain hotel. B&B double from £50.
- There's another Premier Inn just 200 yards south, see Bearsden listing.
- 2 Ardoch House, Blanefield, G63 9AW (5 miles north of Milngavie on B821), ☏ . At about mile 6 of the West Highland Way, this 6 bedroom hotel also has a cabin and 4 camping pitches. rooms from £40.
Good 4G & Wifi signal here.
- For the scenic east shore of Loch Lomond, follow A809 north to Drymen then B837 to Balmaha. For the busier west shore, take A810 west to join A82 north to Dumbarton, Balloch or Tarbet / Arrochar.
- Go northeast to Stirling or south to Glasgow.