SM9- Clarkston to Airdriehill

The west end of the route is just north of a small road bridge over a disused railway at Clarkston / Airdrie at Grid Ref NS 78123 66264. There is a signpost at this end of the path, but no sign on it (it currently displays a sign about dumping of rubbish).

Start, looking north

A metal field gate prevents vehicular access, but there is a wooden pedestrian slip-through at the side. In all but the driest weather this access is difficult to use, due to a large puddle which forms inside the field. A grassy tractor-track leads gently uphill, through open grazing land, northwards briefly then veering north-east at Burnhead Quarry, Thus far, the route is strictly SM 8, which continues ENE as the tractor track, but at NS 78168 66507, (No signpost) SM 9 now diverges, following the remains of the fence NW around the edge of the quarry.

Junction on SM8 and SM9

This leads to a broken gate at NS 78029 66646. The route is now only a trodden line in the grass, apparent as a ‘shelf’ running obliquely up the slope ahead, passing below a prominent patch of gorse.

Looking back to Burnhead Quarry

Once the slope eases, a fence surrounding Airdriehill Quarry can be seen, with warning notices, and at this point a rutted tractor track is followed, leading to a telecommunications mast, at a group of ruined buildings, and the route leads directly towards these. On arriving at the mast pass around it’s NE side, and a gate is visible next to the ruins of Airdriehill House at NS 77627 67004.

Gate and transmitter

The access track (stony / vehicular) is then followed downhill to the public road at GR NS 77514 66983. There was once a gate here, but this has been permanently fenced off – in response no doubt to the horrendous amount of fly-tipping – with a currently unblocked pedestrian gap at the side. There is no stile or slip through.

Panoramic view of SM9

There is no signpost to show this is the start/end of the right of way. There are good distant views, including Tinto and Arran, and a large amount of rubbish.

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2 Responses to SM9- Clarkston to Airdriehill

  1. Ross Clark says:

    I stumbled upon this post while trying to find information about Airdriehill and Burnhead quarries. Do you know what the condition of the rock is like in this quarries? I’m a rock climber and Central Belt quarry enthusiast, and I’ve caught occasional glimpses of rock faces in Airdriehill (whilst driving past), but have never heard anything about them on the climbing grapevine.

  2. jester1970 says:

    Hi Ross,
    There’s a little area of Burnhead Quarry which is ok. Single pitch only, but quite enjoyable. Airdriehill quarry is pretty unstable. I went up a few years back with a friend and there was one or two bits that we thought were ok, but in the main it was pretty dodgy. There’s another quarry near Inver House which is perhaps a bit more promising.
    Cheers,
    Jim

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