Discover something new at Nethercroy
These pretty woods are an ideal spot for a peaceful stroll or a relaxing picnic surrounded by views, wildlife and a tremendous sense of history. Begin exploring beside the Forth and Clyde Canal at Auchinstarry Marina. Watch the boats along the waterway and enjoy views over the Kelvin valley as you gain height on Croy Hill. On the ridge you can discover the remains of part of the remarkable Antonine Wall, built in the AD140s and briefly the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire.
You’ll find refreshments, toilets and bike hire at Auchinstarry Marina. There are also more places to eat, drink and shop at nearby Croy and Twechar.
Mountain biking trails
In summer, the meadows on the hillside are full of wildflowers, including the sweetly-scented lesser white butterfly orchid, and abuzz with butterflies and insects. You might spot a red squirrel and this wood is also a haven for great crested newts: watch for them in the ponds along the way.
The Romans in Scotland
Croy Hill has some of the best preserved sections of the ramparts and ditch of the Roman Antonine Wall. This remarkable structure stretched 37 miles (60km) between the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Clyde and, for around 20 years, marked the northernmost frontier of the Roman Empire. Today the remains are cared for by Historic Scotland.
The Forth and Clyde Canal
The 35 mile (56km) Forth and Clyde Canal opened in 1790, creating an important shipping route across the centre of Scotland. It linked the Firth of Forth on the east coast with the Firth of Clyde on the west until it closed in 1963. As part of the Millennium celebrations, it was restored and reopened again in 2002 and is now linked to the Union Canal by the Falkirk Wheel rotating boatlift. New marinas like the one here at Auchinstarry provide moorings and other essential facilities for boating along the canal.
As part of our conservation of the grasslands and Antonine wall on the site, Forestry Commission Scotland grazes a herd of 30 rare breed cows on the open hill between April and September of each year.
How to get here
Nethercroy Wood lies between the village of Croy and the Forth & Clyde Canal near Kilsyth.
The main access point to the wood is from Auchinstarry Marina beside the B802, just south of the village of Auchinstarry. There is parking at the marina, which is at grid reference NS 721 767. A path winds up into the wood from the picnic area.
There are also entrances to the wood in the villages of Dullatur (NS 729 774) and Croy (NS 713 762).
G65 9SG is the postcode for Auchinstarry Marina.
There are regular trains from Glasgow to Croy and buses run between Croy and Auchinstarry. Find details at Traveline Scotland.
Head for nearby Twechar to visit Bar Hill, another hilltop wood steeped in history. Here you can visit the remains of a Roman fort on an imposing vantage point above the Antonine Wall, overlooking the Kelvin Valley and Campsie Fells.
It’s also not far to Carron Valley, where you’ll find scenic family-friendly routes beside the reservoir that are ideal for a walk or cycle ride. If you’re feeling more energetic, there are some exhilarating mountain bike trails in the woods here too.
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