Campsies Open Gold Qualifying Expedition – 2020


We will be running a Gold Qualifying expedition ‘with a difference’ this October. In order to minimize risks associated with COVID-19 we have been afforded the flexibility by the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award to run a gold expedition out with a wild country area and without camping. Participants will return to home each of the three nights of the expedition. 

The expedition will take place in the Campsie Fells, to the north of Glasgow and will suit participants from the city. The expedition date is:

  • 14-17 October 2020

This document provides an outline of the expedition, what’s involved and what’s included. More detailed information on the expedition will be set out in our ‘Participant’s Pack’.

To book on to the expedition  click here


Total cost is £200 per participant.


What’s Involved

This expedition will run over four days, from Wednesday to Saturday. The theme for the expedition is to explore the Campsie Fells, a range of rolling hills to the north of Glasgow. See below for more information what the Campsies are like. 

The expedition will comprise of four day walks, starting in a different part of the Campsies; for example:

  • Kilsyth
  • Strathblane
  • Gargunnock
  • Carron Valley

As part of the preparation for the expedition participants will be given instructions on planning expedition routes from these bases. You will be given guidance on places of interest, hazards to avoid and clear instructions on how to plan your routes using edofe mapping. Detailed route planning instructions will be provided in the participant pack.

Each day you will need to meet at the starting point of the walk at 9am. The finish time will be determined through your route planning but will generally be about 5pm. You can arrange to be dropped off and picked up by parents at the respective start and end points. We will also have our Aspen minibus available to pick up and drop off from transport hubs like Stirling train station and Croy train station etc. Detailed information on start and finish points and transport arrangements will be set out in the participant pack.


What to bring

Because we won’t be camping, you won’t need to carry a sleeping bag, mat or tent. You will, however, need to bring all of your other normal expedition kit and equipment, including a stove (you’ll be expected to cook a meal with your stove on each day of the expedition).

Click on the weblink below for more information kit; including a video offering advice on packing a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition rucksack.

One other item of kit you’ll need is an emergency group shelter. We can provide that for your expedition group. The other items of kit we can lend you are map cases, stoves and gas canisters.  

Contacting Aspen

For more information about the expedition please contact Alastair Ewen,, 07427326697.

More Information on the Campsies

The Campsies cover a big area, about 400 square kilometers. The hills are made of 300 million year old basalts and form a plateau at about 400m – 600m in height, surrounded by cliffs and steep slopes. The highest hill in the Campsies is Earl’s Seat (578m). Other prominent hills include Cort-ma-law (531m) and Meikle Bin (570m).



The Campsies comprise of smaller hill ranges like:

  • The Kilsyth Hills – in the south;
  • The Touch hills – in the north near the village of Gargunnock;
  • The Strathblane hills – in the West; and,
  • The Fintry Hills – in the north west.

In the centre of the Campsies is Carron Valley Reservoir and Carron Valley Forest. The terrain is quite rough with lots of tussock grass. Together with hill paths, hill tracks, forest roads, wind turbine tracks and minor roads there is lots of scope for making up really good gold expedition routes.  The links below are useful in researching the Campsies.