All posts by Glenda A. White

Wild and beautiful: Saturday, 4th July, 2018

This month we travel to Perthshire to the picturesque Glen Devon which is situated north east of Dollar.

The area has diverse habitats and features and includes grassy hills, woodlands, reservoirs and rivers. It is wild, remote and beautiful and there is the possibility of seeing ospreys, grouse and red squirrels as well as magnificent views.  Perfect for a 10-mile July walk!

Castlehill Reservoir, at the south end of the glen, provides the water supply for Fife.  There are other reservoirs including two, which were man-made, and known locally as the Frandy Reservoirs.  These were built to supply Dunfermline and Rosyth and constructed in the First World War by German prisoners.

Forest Enterprise: Saturday, 9th June, 2018

The walk starts in the centre of Aberfoyle and takes an anti-clockwise circular route through the surrounding forestry land.

This lovely walk, in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, passes Dounans Scottish Outdoor Education Centre before entering the forest immediately to the north of Aberfoyle.  The route takes in parts of the Rob Roy Way and Achray Forest.

The footpaths are of reasonable quality throughout and the route, of about 8 miles, should provide for a very pleasant day’s walk in the great outdoors.

A Nobel Path: Saturday, 12th May, 2018

Starting in Eglinton Country Park the 9-mile walk passes the ruins of Eglinton Castle and follows the Lugton Water to join the River Garnock.  The route follows part of the Ayrshire Coastal Path and passes the Garnock Floods Wildlife Reserve before entering an area which formed part of the dynamite factory that employed, at its peak, about 13,000 people and had its own railway station.  Leaving the derelict factory site the path does a circuit of Bogside Racecourse (1808-1965), now a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), and exits the SSSI through Irvine Golf Course and passes the site of the Cadgers Race Course (1793).

After navigating an urban jungle the route crosses the A78 onto a path (which can be rather wet at times) that leads back to the Country Park.

Any old iron: The Monklands Canal and Drumpelier Country Park

Coatbridge, was once one of the Scotland’s largest cities. It has six railway stations! The walk starts at Summerlee -The Museum of Scottish Industrial Life – and goes from there down to the canal basin. This area was once known as the muttonhole. It is unique in that the Gartsherrie Burn passes under the Monkland Canal. The canal is crossed by a road bridge which is then spanned by a rail bridge – possibly the world’s first ‘spaghetti’ junction!

From the muttonhole your walk, of just over 8 miles, takes you west along the Monkland Canal and into Drumpellier Country Park. After enjoying a circuit of Lochend Loch you return via Garnheath Wood to our starting point.

Starting Point

The starting point is at OS Reference NS 728 653 which is the car park opposite Summerlee Heritage Park, Coatbridge.

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Getting there:  12 miles/25 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 towards Edinburgh.  Exit at Junction 8 onto A89 (Coatbridge). Follow the road until you are in Bank Street and at the roundabout (with the Time Capsule Leisure Centre diagonally opposite on the right) turn left.  After 50m take the first right into West Canal Street.  Go under the railway bridge at Coatbridge Central station and then turn left into Heritage Way.  Parking is on the left opposite Summerlee Heritage Park and is free.

The Walk:  Monkland Canal/Drumpellier Country Park – 8.0 miles (It can be shortened if required)
You may wish to start the day with a visit to the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life (entry is free).  There is an exhibition hall, various outside attractions including Scotland’s only electric tram (charge applies), a replica of the first iron boat – Vulcan, and a recreated mine and miners’ cottages (a small charge applies for a 15 minute tour).  There is a café.

The walk itself starts from within the Heritage Park, after visiting the museum/café, and exits at the dry part of the Monkland Canal where the canal goes over the Gartsherrie Burn, the road goes over the canal and the railway goes over the road!  Turn right and follow the course of the canal under Blairhill Street and continue until Blair Bridge.  Pass under the bridge and turn immediately left, and at the road turn right.  Turn right into Drumpellier Avenue, left into Golfview Drive then left into an access drive opposite Davaar Drive.  Follow this slightly downhill and continue right on the access drive.  As you come to the last house turn left over a low stone ‘wall’ onto the golf course.  Turn right and follow the boundary of the golf course. At the bottom corner continue left hugging the boundary.  Opposite a clump of trees on the left take a short flattish path through the tree line (on the right) and turn left onto the canal towpath.  At the end of the towpath there is a choice (1) of returning along the towpath until a bridge on the left (opposite Drumpellier Home Farm).  Cross the bridge and bear left.  Continue until a bridge on the right (over the railway).  Or (2), cross the decking over the canal and follow the wide track (which may be wet and muddy) back to the railway bridge.

If you want a shorter walk cross the railway bridge into Drumpellier Country Park and turn left.  Follow the wide track down to the corner and turn right.  Follow the track until it joins a road just before the nursery and bungalow and continue onwards to Lochend Loch.  Take the path to the left around the loch and follow it to the visitor centre.

For the full walk cross the railway bridge and turn immediately left onto a path that hugs the railway line.  At the corner where a sign post indicates to go right continue forward onto a grassy path which eventually curves round to the right and passes a small lochan/pond on the right.  Follow the path into the woodland and bear left where there is an obvious choice.  Pass through a fence line and follow the path slightly downhill and cross the burn onto a good solid path.  Turn left and bear immediately right and follow this straight path to Lochend Loch.  Then take the path to the left; continue to the visitor centre.

Take the path to the east of the loch and at the southern end turn off left past the Peace Garden.  Turn right before the bungalow and follow the path past the nursery into the raised bog area.  Near a junction of paths turn left uphill through a large wooden access point.  After cresting the rise the path turns left downhill.  Ignore the path on the right and continue on until it meets the road slightly south of the bungalow.  Turn right and shortly afterwards bear right. This leads back to the railway bridge.  Cross it, turn left and after a short distance bear right (signed Coatbridge).  After crossing the canal bridge turn left and follow the towpath back to Blair Bridge and then back to your car.

Kicking up a stank: Saturday, 14 April 2018

Starting near Kilmahog the walk heads gently uphill winding its way through woodland and culminating in views over Loch Lubnaig which lies between Ben Ledi and Ben Vorlich.  The path then strikes inland and up the Stank Glen.  After traversing the stream the path returns on the north side of the glen and descends towards Loch Lubnaig (the name derives from the Gaelic word meaning ‘crooked’).  Close to the shoreline the path picks up the course of the old Callander and Oban Railway line for the return journey to the starting point.

If you wish to be more adventurous you may want to return on another occasion to take the path up to Ben Ledi which has featured in many photos from past walks.

Meeting Point:

The meeting point is at OS Reference NN 607 080 which is the Forestry Commission car park adjacent to Bochastle Hill near Kilmahog.

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Getting there:  45 miles/60 minutes

Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 towards Edinburgh.  Exit M8 at Junction 13 onto the M80 (Stirling).  Exit M80 onto M9 (Stirling).  Option [1]: exit at Junction 10 onto A84 and *continue through Doune and Callander to Kilmahog and turn left onto A821.  After about 350m turn right onto a gravel roadway flanked by Bochastle Forestry Commission signs.  Option [2]: continue to the roundabout (Junction 11) and take first exit onto B824.  At the T junction turn left (A820) towards Doune.  Continue through Doune and turn right onto A84 and *continue as above.  Parking is free.

The Walk:  The Stank Glen – 10.0 miles (Shorter options available*)

From the north end of the car park take the path/Land Rover Track (LRT) that gently climbs and winds its way through the forest.  Views over Loch Venachar, to the southwest, should be available from the path.  The LRT crests at a height of about 250m from which there should also be good views, to the north, over Loch Lubnaig.  At a crossroads of paths continue onwards (turn left to climb Ben Ledi or *right for a short cut down to the old railway line).  When the LRT joins another LRT turn sharp left and follow this uphill.  *For another shorter option turn right and follow the LRT down to the cycle path by Loch Lubnaig and turn right.  Ignore paths/LRTs on both left and right.  When the path/LRT bends left it is entering Stank Glen with Ben Ledi high up on the left.  Follow the path/LRT deep into the glen (ignoring a short link path on the right that avoids the glen) and as the path turns right to return on the north side of the glen it crosses the Stank Burn and passes Old Shielings.  Ignore the short link path (now on the right) and follow the LRT as it gently descends towards Loch Lubnaig.  Ignore the LRT that comes in from the right and continue in a northerly direction.  The LRT does a 180˚ loop to the right close to Tom Bheithe before finally descending to Loch Lubnaig.  Turn right and join the route of the old Oban and Callander Railway line which is now National Cycle Route 7.  Follow this cycle path for about 5km, passing the Falls of Leny.  Turn right when the cycle paths meets the A821 and follow the path, adjacent to the road, back to the car park entrance and follow the LRT to the parking area.

Turning on the tap: Saturday, 10 March 2018

Starting from the north side of Muirsheil Country Park at the Cornalees Visitor Centre the walk follows the good paths of the standard Greenock Cut circular route. The walk is relatively flat. The walk passes 23 stone built bridges as well as two bothies – the latter provided accommodation for the workers who built the cut. The cut opened in 1827 and supplied Greenock with water for industrial and domestic use. It was built by engineer Robert Thom and was replaced by a tunnel in 1971. In good weather there are great views.

Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NS 246 721 which is the car park at the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre, Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park about 4km east of Inverkip.

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Getting there:  30 miles/60 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow towards the M8 heading for Greenock.  Just before Greenock either: [1] go left onto B788 signed Kilmacolm/Scenic Route to Largs and continue onto B7054 (Drumfrochar Road); this will by-pass the town centre; or [2] head for the town centre and at the large roundabout just past the fire station go left onto A78 towards Irvine/Largs/ Wemyss Bay and Isle of Bute Ferry.  If option [1] is chosen continue to the roundabout and go left onto A78 towards Irvine/Largs/Wemyss Bay.  Continue on the A78 past the site of the old IBM factory and look out for a sign pointing left to Loch Thom and Greenock Cut Centre and go left onto a narrow road (Dunrod Road).  After crossing the bridge over the railway line there is a stretch of straight road.  Look out for the Loch Thom sign and at the obvious ‘Y’ junction take the left fork.  Follow the road to the Visitor Centre.  Parking is free and there are toilets but these often have restricted opening times.

For a more scenic route, which may take longer, take B7054 (as above), pass the Broomhill Tavern and after entering a 20mph speed restriction area turn left just past a sign for Scenic Route to Largs/Greenock Cut Centre into Drumfochar Road*.  Continue on this road and shortly after it bears left, and just past a school entrance on the right, turn left (Old Largs Road).  At a junction (to Whinhill Golf Course) bear right.  The road continues to climb.  Ignore the small finger sign (Corlic Hill) pointing left and further on ignore the road on the right.  Views of various lochs will now be visible.  The road skirts Loch Thom.  Turn right just past a sign to the Greenock Cut Centre.  Cross the bridge and continue along the other side of Loch Thom to the Visitor Centre.
*If this left turn is missed continue ahead (Cornhaddock Street) and at the traffic light junction go left.  Then go over the railway line at Drumfrochar Station and at the next junction go right onto Drumfrochar Road.  After a short distance, and just past a school entrance on the right, turn left (Old Largs Road) and continue as above.

The Walk:  Greenock Cut/Shielhill Glen Nature Trail – 8.25 miles
The walk starts at the car park and follows tracks and paths, the surfaces of which should be reasonable throughout.
From the car park go left and follow the track past the Compensation Reservoir and Loch Thom.  Just before Overton turn left to follow the main aqueduct.  At Shielhill, not far from the end of the walk, cross the road to take the path opposite.  After about 250m go right to follow the Shielhill Glen Nature Trail through woodland.  The path crosses a stream (ultimately the Kip Water) on several occasions before exiting the woodland.  Continue on this rising path and turn left when it joins the Kelly Cut.  Follow the Kelly Cut back to the road and turn left towards the Visitor Centre and the car park.

Going with the flow

This is primarily a forest walk starting midway between Drymen and Aberfoyle. The walk follows the High Corrie Trail which heads into Loch Ard Forest. The route crosses the line of one of the two tunnels that have been carrying Glasgow’s water supply from Loch Katrine to Milngavie since Victorian times. There are plenty of clearings in this Forestry Commisson area which provide open views of the surrounding countryside. Weather permitting, this should include the Carse of Stirling and the Ochil and Gargunnock Hills as well as the Menteith Hills and Ben Ledi.

Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NS 506 935 which is the car park near Drymen Road Cottage.

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Getting there:  20 miles/50 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow towards Drymen.  Enter Drymen on the B858 and ignore the staggered crossroads.  Just past the green on the left, and as the road bends round to the right, go straight ahead onto a minor road (the Old Gartmore Road which becomes the Old Drymen Road) towards Dalmary and Gartmore.  After about 3.5 miles there is a parking area on the right just before Drymen Road Cottage.

The Walk:  High Corrie Trail  – 9.0 miles (Option:  4.5 mile)
The walk starts at the car park and follows Forestry Commission LRTs.  The surface should be reasonable throughout.

Cross the road from the car park and take the left hand path, NOT the Rob Roy Way.  At the first junction go right.  Follow this path until the Lossnaugh Burn has been passed.  At the next junction go left for the full walk or right for a shorter walk.  On the shorter walk at the next junction ignore the path on the left.  Turn right when the path meets the Rob Roy Way and follow it back to the car park.

For the full walk ignore the path on the right (the shorter walk) and continue on the path ignoring the paths on the first right, second left, third left, fourth left and fifth left.  At the next junction turn right and after 0.5 mile cross the Corrie Burn.  After crossing the burn the path swings round to the left.  With the Corrie Burn on the left follow the path until High Corrie.  At the eastern perimeter to this property ignore the path on the right.  Continue until the path meets the Rob Roy Way near the Corrie Aquaduct and turn right.  Ignore the paths on the first left and second right (where the shorter option joins the Rob Roy Way).  The path leads back to the car park having passed an aqueduct, Corrie and a second aqueduct.

Bard Country

Start at OS Reference NS328 206 which is the car park adjacent to Ayr India on the seafront in Ayr.

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Getting there: 40 miles/60 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 going west. Exit the M8 at Junction 22 onto the M77 south towards Prestwick Airport. The M77 becomes the A77 just before Kilmarnock. Follow the signs for Ayr. At the Monkton Roundabout take the slip lane towards Stranraer/Ayr. Avoid Ayr town centre! Continue on the A77 and follow signs for Alloway/Stranraer. After the Bankfield Roundabout continue on the A77 and follow signs for Alloway/Doonfoot/Heads of Ayr. Follow signs for ‘A719 Coastal Route’ and Burns National Heritage Park and turn right into Doonholm Road. Cross the small roundabout and continue on past the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. At the end of the road turn right and at the mini roundabout turn left into Greenfield Avenue. At next roundabout turn right into Doonfoot Road and continue until traffic lights. Turn left into Seafield Road, go over a small roundabout and at the seafront turn right past Ayr India and into the car park. Parking is free but watch the speed bumps! Toilets are 30p.

The walk: 9 miles (Shorter options of about 6.5 miles are possible)
Follow the promenade south towards the River Doon and then turn left before the bridge. At the roundabout turn left and cross the road at the traffic island bearing right and then left into Greenfield Avenue and after 150m turn left into Belleisle Park. Follow the driveway towards the main house. Bear right at an obvious split in the driveway and after 50m turn left by the wall. Turn right through a gate in the wall into the garden and exit the garden to the left. Pass the greenhouse and continue on past the house (on the left) and follow a clear path across the golf course. At the Monument Road turn right and after 50m turn left into RoZelle Park. After 25m turn left onto the bridleway and follow the Poppy Trail. Just before a large poppy sculpture turn left and enter the Remembrance Woodland. Return to the Poppy Trail and take the path to the east of the pond and at the main drive turn left towards the McLaurin Galleries. Continue on the main path through the estate and at the bridleway turned left. At a T-junction of paths/bridleway turn left. Follow the path (crossing  Laughlanglen Road) until it exits the woodland (with the Slaphouse Burn on your left) at the Maypole Road. Turn right and after 250m turn right again to join the old railway line, now a cycle path. Exit the cycle path at Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.

From the museum turn left along Murdoch’s Lone and turn left onto the High Maybole Road (B7024). Just before the hotel turn left and enter the Burns Monument and Memorial Gardens. Exit the gardens via a stepped path down to the Old Brig of Doon. Cross it and at the end of a short muddy section turn right and carefully cross the B7024 into Long Hill Avenue. Keep to the pathway on the left until the bridge. Cross the road and takes a few steps down to rejoin the old railway line/cycle path and continue left until it ends at the Dunure Road (A719). Cross this busy road carefully. Take the path opposite and bear right and after a short distance turn left onto a straight minor road towards the coast. Where the road turns right* bear slightly left down a track to the beach and turn right along the shore. After passing Greenham Castle take a path through the dunes to the car park. Head towards the exit and turn left along a grassy area through another car park until you reach the River Doon. Cross the bridge and continue on the promenade (northwards) to return to the cars.

*Depending on the tides, it may be necessary to follow the road round to the right. Continue down the road for about 800 m and turn left towards the car park and then bear right along the grassy area.

Keep your eyes open:

For golf balls; Remembrance Woodland and sculpture Trail; the McLaurin Galleries; Robert Burns Birthplace Museum; the Auld Kirk; Burns Monument and Gardens; Brig O’ Doon; Greenan Castle; birdlife.

Frontier of the Empire

Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NS 720 767 which is the rear car park at the Boathouse Restaurant.

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Getting there:  16 miles/30 minutes
Take your favourite route to the M80.  Exit at Junction 4A, using the left hand lane to exit towards Kirkintilloch/Kilsyth /B8048.  Keep left and follow signs for Kirkintilloch/Kilsyth /B8048/B802.  At Back O’ Hill roundabout, take the 2nd  exit onto B8048.  At the next roundabout (Craiglinn) take the 3rd exit (continuing on B8048) and at the next roundabout (Blackwood) take the 3rd exit onto B802 (Howe Road) signed Croy/Kilsyth.  Stay on this road for about 1.5 miles.  At the next roundabout take the 3rd exit for Auchinstarry Marina.  The Boathouse is on the left.  Please park behind the Boathouse; there is plenty of parking.

The Walk:  6.5 miles (Shorter option available)

Take the path up behind the toilets and go through a gate onto the road.  Turn right to cross the bridge and take the path down to the canal on the right.  At the canal turn right to go under the bridge.  Follow the canal path and at Twechar turn left over the canal and follow the road up hill.  Just past the war memorial turn left (signed Barhill Fort/Antonine Wall /John Muir Way) where a track goes uphill.  Keep right where it forks and turn left at the kissing gate (with John Muir Way sign).  Pass through the next gate and head diagonally uphill to reach the remains of Bar Hill Roman Fort.   The fort garrisoned about 500 men, and is located slightly south of the Antonine Wall (built c140 AD).

After exploring the fort continue ENE (from the top of the fort), to pick up a grassy path that soon climbs to the top of Castle Hill.  This is the site of an iron-age fort.  Continue on the grassy path, which curves slightly right, to join the edge of the ditch of the Antonine Wall which was built by the Romans as a northern replacement of Hadrian’s Wall.  Passing an area of forestry on the right, continue until a stone wall (with a sign about the wall) and turn right.  Shortly after turn left along a track.  At a gate continue ahead and, likewise, at a later junction.

Anyone wanting a shorter walk can take either the marked footpath to Auchinstarry, or continue to the road ahead (B802) and walk back via the pavement.

At the B802, cross the road and go through a kissing gate (adjacent to a tree) and follow the path straight ahead.  Turn right at a fenced enclosure, following a surfaced track for a short distance, then turn left after a gate signed Croy Hill.  Continue ahead to reach a path and then another gate marked Croy Hill.  Continue on the grassy path that follows the line of the Antonine Wall.  The ditch is prominent on your left and in parts was cut through solid rock.  Keep left when the path forks and climb a mound formed from material dug from the ditch.  The remains of the fort are not obvious but the two nearby platforms may have been used for signalling.  Carry on along the path on top of the ridge, from which there are excellent views, and then straight ahead crossing a path (the site of the fort itself was just to the right) towards a marker post.  Next, pass a ground-level information board about Croy Hill.  The site has been excavated twice and found to comprise two forts (one superseding the other as the plans for the Wall changed during the two years of construction) and a bath house just outside one of the forts.  Remains of a civilian settlement in Roman times has also been found.  It was probably established to trade food and services with the Roman soldiers.

Continue downhill, passing under the electricity lines and turn left onto a path signed for Castlecary.  Ignore the next turn right, signed for Castlecary, and instead go past the picnic benches to take the next path on the right which heads downhill through trees (with views of the canal) to emerge on a minor road.  Turn left and cross the canal, then turn left onto the canal towpath.  At Auchinstarry cross the road bridge back over the canal to return to the cars.

Coalsnaughton Walk

Starting Point
OS Reference NS 924 957 Muircot Farm Shop in Coalsnaughton (FK13 6LS)

Getting there: 38 miles/45 minutes
Take the M8 towards Edinburgh and exit on the left to Stirling on the M80. At exit 8 follow the signs to Kincardine. Merge with the M9 but stay in the left hand lane and take exit 7 to Kincardine Bridge still on the M876. The road changes to the A876 and at the next roundabout take the first exit to Alloa on the A907. Note this will take you over the Clackmannan Bridge which will take you to a roundabout and again take the first exit following the A907 to Alloa.

Two more roundabouts with the same instructions will bring you to a third roundabout where you will take the second exit marked Tillicoutry, Alva and Sauchie on the B909.

Another roundabout will see you take the second exit on the A908 to Tillicoutry, Glenochil and Sauchie. Two miles up this road, having passed through Sauchie, you will enter Fishcross which is marked as a major cross roads. Here you will turn right on to the B9140 and another two  miles will see you enter Coalsnaughton. Go through the village and the Muircot Farm Shop is on the left just before you leave the village and about 100m before the ‘national limit’ speed sign. Careful because you come on it quite suddenly. Park vertically to the fence at the road boundary of the car park.

The Walk:
8.5 miles (Self-guided shorter options are available) Coffee is available at the Farm Shop  before heading out on the walk.

From the Muircot Farm Shop, turn left on the B9140. The B9140 is a very busy road but there is a narrow verge on the other side of the road where one can walk in a single file. After 300m turn left towards the Devonknowes Livery.  Follow the track down to a cottage, ignoring the sign which says “Path”, and continue down to the right for about 100m to a silver metal gate. Do not go through the gate but climb over the stile to the right of the gate and set off down a very narrow grassy path between a hedge and a field. Down and down by rough steps which may be slippery until a good path is reached. Turn right and after 20m note the sign for the River Devon Trail. A long stretch along this path, which is muddy in places, eventually meets a LRT of red blaise. The River Devon Trail waymarks to the left but we go right up a steep hill which soon levels off and eventually returns to the B9140. Cross over the road, continue by the ponds on the right and Aberdona Gallery. Careful since there are no verges and the few cars seem to move fast. 200m before turning left at a signpost marked “Path”! Pass a cottage on the left and once through close the gate. Continue downhill, pass a broken tree on the right and keep on. The path terminates at a large field with a metal silver gate, which may or may not be open alongside a fence. Follow this track beside a lade, noting the Black Devon river steeply below you, all the way to a major four-way junction. Go straight on and observe Gartmorn Dam Reservoir on the right. Follow the excellent path round the dam view point and then Gartmorn House, both options for lunch. Continue on the path to the Visitors Centre, cafe and toilets. A further 1.6 km round the dam will bring us to a track, Jamie’s Loan, which, turning left, will lead straight back up to Coalsnaughton and the B9140. Turn right and walk the short distance along the road, single file on verge on right, back to the Muircot Farm Shop.