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The walk started at Milngavie station, headed across Strathblane road and up Dougleston Avenue to the golf course. We skirted the golf course, following the forest path till we reached Dowan Road, which took us to Baldernock Church. A left and a right up Tower Road and then left at the top before turning right at High Blockairn Farm took ust to the track leading to the moor. Up the track through the farmyard took us to a gate. Once located, we had a very wet trek over peaty moorland to get to the natural amphitheatre. The Auld Wives Lifts were in the centre of what could only be described as a bog!! Careful footwork was definitely needed here. Having examined the faces and markings, we returned a more straightforward though still decidedly peaty and wet underfoot way directly to the farm gate, only to discover that, had we looked on the way up, we could actually see the rocks were on the left path up to the moor!! Out of the farm road we turned right on to Craigmaddie Linn down to the main Strathblane Road, then left towards Glasgow, and then right along the road built for the new filtration plant at the waterworks and down to the reservoir where we met Bob our ex-leader waiting to join us on the way back to Milngavie. Auld Wives Lifts.
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Natural Rock Feature
I laughed, saying they were asking the right man as it happened, but in retrospect I never explained to them why although I did give them first class directions on how to get there. But what actually are they? Well, the short and weird answer is that nobody is quite sure or can agree on what they are, what they were for, or how they got there. But the long explanation is a whole lot more interesting. From my own inspection I would say that these faces were once 12 or 13 in number, but that they have worn away on the weathered south-west side of the stones. The site was one surrounded by a circle of yew trees, and the hallucinogenic variety of mushrooms grow in the vicinity to this day all these being Druidic clues. Let me say right now, that even in a country like Scotland which has more than its fair share of creepy places, the Auld Wives and their setting is one of the most uncanny, unsettling, and powerful places I have ever visited.
High on Craigmaddie Muir is a natural amphitheatre in the peat bog. Within that bowl are a pair of very large boulders with a third balanced on top. It looks not unlike a burial chamber with the capstone still on top, but it was almost certainly left this way by a glacier. The stones are full of graffiti from the last years. Footholds have been carved into one corner making it relatively easy to access the top of the pile. But perhaps most interesting are the heads which have been carved into the rock. Some of these look relatively modern. And whilst it's not possible to date the carvings, some of them look much older and are in a classic Celtic style perhaps dating to the Iron Age. Celtic heads are often associated with water - and today this is one of the wettest parts of a boggy location.