Glasgow Open Gold Practice Expedition – 2020


We will be running a Gold Practice 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 two nights of the expedition. The expedition will take place in the countryside around Glasgow and will suit participants from the city. The expedition dates are:

  • 9-11 October 2020

This webpage 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.

What’s involved

This expedition will be run over a Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The aim of the expedition is to journey from Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow to Balloch on Loch Lomondside via Mugdock Country Park, the Kilpatrick hills and Dumbarton. Apart from Mugdock Country park, the end point of day one, all of the starting and finish points each date are accessible by public transport.

Each day of the practice expedition involves about 15-18km of walking. Underfoot we will be using tracks and footpaths, some of which will be muddy.

Training on navigation skills, campcraft, route planning and team work will be provided by instructors.

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 here for the full kit list 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.


The total cost of the expedition week is £150 per participant.

Information about the area

The countryside to the north of Glasgow offers good hiking terrain. On day one, from Kelvingrove Park in Glasgow, there are good paths along the river Kelvin and Allander Water all the way to Milngavie. From there you can use bits of the West Highland Way to reach Mugdock Country Park. Day one is wooded and relatively flat and no off path navigation. Mugdock Country Park Visitor Centre is the pick up point for participants at the end of day one.

Day 2 takes you onto the Kilpatrick hills which have some rough terrain, with muddy sections. Some of the route involves off path navigation and is certainly more challenging. Towards the end of the day you’ll descend down to a part of Dumbarton called Old Kilpatrick where there is a train station.

The walking on day 3 is easier as you use the Forth and Clyde Canal towpath and cycleways along the river Leven to reach Balloch, by Loch Lomond. There is a train station at Balloch.