All posts by Glenda A. White

Knock, Knock: Saturday, 10th November 2018

The walk starts in Largs where evidence of Roman baths were unearthed in 1820.  The route follows the Ayrshire Coastal Path north via Pencil Point for a refreshing promenade along the seafront.

At Noddsdale Water the route heads inland, but still on the Ayrshire Coastal Path (!), and gently climbs until reaching the Iron Age hill fort on The Knock (known locally as Knock Hill) where, weather permitting, there should be good views.

The descent is down Blackhouse Burn, then passes close to Knock Castle before returning to the seafront and following the Ayrshire Coastal Path back to the Marina.

At around 10 miles it is a relatively easy walk but can be muddy in places!

The Kingdom Coast: Saturday, 13th October, 2018

By now, most people will know that this month is the ‘traditional’ coach outing allowing us to travel a little further, undertake a linear instead of the usual circular walk, and enable walkers to choose three lengths of walk, or no walk at all:

1. Walk the whole route from Elie to Crail 10.4 miles
2 Walk from Elie to Anstruther, spend the afternoon in Anstruther and take to coach to Crail 6.2 miles
3. Take the coach from Elie to Anstruther, spend the morning in Anstruther,  and walk to Crail 4.2 miles
4. Spend a little time in Elie, take the coach to Anstruther for a stop, and then take the coach to Crail. 0 miles!

You will be given much more detailed notes on the coach and don’t need to decide which section you will walk until then. The stopping, parking, coach-finding, timings and points of interest will all be included in the notes!

Starting Point
The coach will pick us up at 8.45outside the, now-closed, building of Hillhead Baptist Church in Cresswell Street, Glasgow G12 8AG. At present there are 36 booked (but space for others!) so it would be helpful if you could arrive earlier since we will need time to get settled on the coach. The coach seats 49 people and has a small toilet for emergencies.

The Journey
Our journey will probably take us over the spectacular new bridge to cross the Forth and is on motorway or dual carriageway until we are near the coast. We will take about 1½ hours to travel to our coffee stop, arriving about 10.15 at Blacketyside Farm (a Christian Café) where we stop for coffee, scones and toilets. We should be back on the coach at about 10.45 for the short journey to Elie. The coach will drop the walkers off at the car park at Ruby Bay, where there are toilets, and from where the Fife Coastal Path starts immediately.

The walk
This very well-known stretch of the Fife Coastal Path is justly popular. In addition to the villages of Elie, St Monance, Pittenweem, Anstruther and Crail, each with their picturesque harbours, we pass the remains of Newark Castle, a fine dovecot, a windmill and numerous churches and caves. The views out to sea include the Bass Rock, North Berwick Law (where we were last year) and May Island from all directions.  Both sections of the walk are described as ‘easy’ although the section from Elie to Anstruther is longer. There are some stone steps up and down and some slippery rocky sections but nothing difficult or steep. At St Monans we take the ‘tidal route’ mainly because it is delightfully pastoral and makes a short change from the rocky shore. The section from Anstruther is shorter and flatter and you can actually look at the views rather than your feet!

Eating
We are eating at 6.00 pm in the Golf Hotel in Crail which is in the centre of the village. We expect to be back in Glasgow at 9.30. The cost for coffee, a scone, and two-course dinner is £22.00. You DON’T need to choose your meal – we’ll do that on the coach.

An amble in the foothills

Starting at the Red Moss Nature Reserve, near Balerno, this is a walk in the Pentland Hills Regional Park. It will cross the Threipmuir Reservoir and pass through wooded country emerging at the foot of the main Pentland hills.  The hilltops will be clearly visible but do not despair!  An easy walk across the moor, with wonderful views of hills and water, will gradually descend to The Howe, a small cottage at the end of Loganlea Reservoir.  The reservoir is used for fishing.  We turn for home up an impressive  gully, Green Claugh and contour the hill, returning via Threipmuir Reservoir to the start point.

 Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NT 166 639 which is the car park near Red Moss (of Balerno) Nature Reserve.

Getting there: 46 miles/65 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 towards Edinburgh.  Exit the M8 at Junction 3 onto the A899 (Livingston) and continue south.  At Lizzie Brice’s Roundabout take 2nd exit onto A71 (Edinburgh) and at the next roundabout go left (A71).  Turn right onto the B7031 (Kirknewton/Balerno);  continue through Kirknewton and at the junction with the A70 turn left and continue for about 1 mile.  Then turn right (turning is not signed), shortly after stone buildings on the left, onto Glenbrook Road towards Balerno.  Turn right (opposite a large stone wall) into Johnsburn Road and continue (now Cockburn Crescent).  At the junction at the end of the road turn right onto Mansfield Road. Continue south on this narrowing road and look out for a small sign (Pentland Hills Regional Park Threipmuir) and turn left.  A No Entry sign is visible but bear left into the car park.

The Walk:  An Amble in the Foothills – 7.5 miles (12km) (with options to extend or shorten the walk)
It is recommended that a Harvey Superscale map is used as some of the paths are not shown on the OS map.

The walk starts from the car park and crosses over the Threipmuir Reservoir  at Redford Bridge and continues south on the road towards Bavelaw Castle. As the road turns left to the castle turn right and after a short distance turn left following a line of trees. Pass the sheepfold and continue on Red Road passing Hare Hill on the left.  Follow Red Road until a junction of paths close to West Kip and turn left. After a short distance there is a choice of [1] taking the left fork to contour the hill to the north towards Lover’s Loup and then swinging left (north) through Green Cleugh; [2] take the right fork over West Kip (an ascent of about 150m) and continue to East Kip and turn left at a junction of paths and descend to Lover’s Loup. Alternatively, at this junction there is also the option [3] to continue on the path over Scald Law and descend to the Old Kirk Road turning left at the junction of paths towards The Howe, passing The Pinnacle on the right, and continuing into Green Cleugh.

Pass through Green Cleugh and at the junction of paths, at the north end, take the right fork and, after an initial short ascent, the path contours around Black Hill towards Black Springs and the eastern end of Threipmuir Reservoir.  (Alternatively, for a shorter walk, there is the option [4], to take the left fork towards Bavelaw Castle and then to retrace the outbound route back to the car park.  Note, however, that this path is through boggy terrain which, although shorter, may be more challenging.)  At Black Springs turn left and follow the path over and around Threipmuir Reservoir. Take the left path near Harlaw Reservoir and cross the bridge where the Threipmuir and Harelaw Reservoirs meet and turn left.  Follow the path back to the car park.

Option [2] does not add significantly to the overall distance of the main route.
Option [3] adds about 1.5km to the walk.
Both options [2] and [3] are more challenging because of the ascents and descents.
Option [4] will shorten the main route by about 2km.

12 Gates: West Kilbride to Fairlie

After a low-gradient climb on quiet roads, through a lovely avenue, already seeing views of the firth of Clyde, up above a reservoir, you survey Arran and later, many other islands.  Walking in this direction you minimise views of wind turbines as you walk a fairly level (mainly Landrover) track to Fairlie via a fishing loch, deciduous and coniferous woodland, and a fairy glen & castle.  You return by train to West Kilbride.

Starting Point:
Start at OS Reference NS 208 454 which is the car park at West Kilbride railway station.

Getting there: 31 miles/55 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to join the M8 towards Greenock. Exit the M8 at Junction 28A onto the A737 (Irvine) and continue to Dalry. In Dalry turn right onto B780 (Kilbirnie/W Kilbride/Ardrossan) and continue (it becomes B781) into West Kilbride (Cubrieshaw Street). Pass the junction* mentioned below and after 500m turn left into the station parking area. Parking is free. Toilets are in Glen Road; a 5 minute walk.Turn right just past the station parking area into Brigend and at the junction with the church go left (alternative parking on left). Continue along Main Street and take second left into Glen Road. Returning by car is a circuitous 1 mile circuit around the one-way system!

The Walk: West Kilbride to Fairlie – 6.0 miles (Note: stout footwear recommended)
Turn right out of the station car park into Cubrieshaw Street bearing right onto B781. As the road swings right leave the B781 by going straight on at the junction* displaying rusting horticultural equipment. Continue on this country road for 250m (passing under power lines) and turn right (signed Crosbie Towers) just past the warning sign for horses. Follow this road (The Avenue) over the railway bridge and under more power lines. Continue via an avenue of trees to Crosbie Mains Farm to the walk’s first gate (#1). Follow the LRT upwards and at a fork in the path (at an old red Water Board building) bear right through a green gate (#2) and continue up above the reservoir. Ignore the locked gate (#3) and follow a stone wall to find another gate (#4). Go through the gate (#4), and keeping the stone wall in sight down on the left, follow the LRT (which gets progressively rougher) as it contours around Glentane Hill. The next gate (#5) leads to a grassy meadow which is easy walking. Head down on the left to the far end of this large field and at a wall there is a gate (#6). Continue through it and into a short fenced passageway then pass through a wire fence. Head for the left-hand-side of the fishing loch (Glenburn Reservoir) between two trees. The path can be seen ahead but not yet the route to it. Take the path (on duckboards) round the fishing loch to the right and after crossing a bridge turn right off it, through another gate (#7) by a hut, into a car park. Take the wide track down to the large gate (#8) at the road. Turn left onto the road and follow it down past a small car park (on the left). Go over a cattle grid and look out for a wide track on the right just before some trees. Go through the gate (#9) onto the LRT which briefly climbs and then levels out. Glenside Wood is on the left. Continue to the next gate (#10).

OPTION: By Glenside Wood take a grassy path on the right over Black Hill (an ascent of 60m). Kaimhill Quarry, to the east, used to supply millstones. When the track runs out at the top of the hill, cross over some moss-covered stones, and with the stream to the right, go downhill and swing west to pick up the track to gate (#10).

Go through gate (#10) and then proceed to gate (#11) in the same fence. Once through the latter gate go down the side of the forest and look for a kissing gate (#12) on the right (through a wall) which leads into the forest. Follow this path looking for a gate (#13) on the left that leads into another field. Follow the grassy single track round and up to the right to a gap in the forest. Cross the shallow Southannan Burn using stepping stones and exit this tiny piece of forest through another gate (#14). Once out of the forest look for an inconspicuous path on the left (heading downhill) which becomes well defined. Head down to the gate (#15) and into another field. Keep near the trees and look out for a kissing gate (#16) which leads to a bridge over a stream. Follow the path from the bridge downhill, passing Fairlie Castle on the left, and as the track enters the housing estate it becomes a road (Castlepark Drive). Turn left into Burnfoot Road and then immediately left again over a small bridge that leads to Fairlie Station.

A Nobel Path

Starting in Eglinton Country Park the 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).

Getting there: 30 miles/60 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow onto M8 west towards Greenock.  Exit M8 at Junction 28A onto A737 (Irvine). Continue through Kilwinning towards Irvine.  As the road rises to cross the A78 watch out for signs to Eglinton Country Park and turn left at the traffic lights – signedCountry Park/Ayr.  After 100m turn right into the Country Park.  At the end of the entrance road pass the first car park on the right and continue onwards a turning area and turn left through the ‘entrance gates’ and continue to a larger tarmac parking area.  Parking is free.  There are toilets and a café near the Information Centre.  Alternatively, use M77 (Kilmarnock); A71 (Irvine); at Warrix Interchange A78 (Kilwinning,  keep to nearside lane.  Exit at Eglinton Interchange A737 (Irvine), keep to right-hand lane (A737 Dalry). Exit onto A737 signed to Eglinton Country Park.

The Walk:  10.0 miles– Can be wet and muddy at times (Route can be shortened if required)
From car park head northeast toward the ruins of Eglinton Castle.  Cross the Lugton Water (metal bridge) and turn left along a track.  At the (white) Tournament Bridge turn left over it and immediately right to follow the south bank of Lugton Water.  Re-cross Lugton Water by the stone bridge onto a tarmac road and follow until it joins the main road (A737).  Take the protected street path to the right and cross the road at the pedestrian crossing. Turn left and after 25m turn right into Woodmill.  At the T junction turn right then at the end of the cul-du-sac bear left onto a path between two houses.  Turn left at the joining of paths and cross the River Garnock.  Turn left onto National Cycle Route 7.  The path follows the river then swings right and goes through a tunnel under the A78 emerging on a slightly rising path to join a minor road (B779).

Turn left and after crossing the Nethermains Bridge bear right onto the Ayrshire Coastal Path (ACP) which parallels the B779.  Continue on the ACP past the Garnock Floods Wildlife Reserve until the Recycling Centre.  Continue on the ACP, and after 25m take a grass track to the right that follows the boundary fence of the Recycling Centre.  Bear left as the track swings away from the Centre and take the small tunnel under the railway.  Follow the obvious track until it joins an elevated path at a line of trees.  Turn right and follow this raised pathway until it emerges into a field.  Bear right and follow the obvious grass track through the open fence. Towards the bottom of the field turn right through another open fence into the environs of the old Nobel dynamite site.  Turn right after 10m and follow the tarmac path to the end and turn left.  Follow this path until it turns right and just before it appears to be a dead end turn left along a grass path with the River Garnock on the right.  The path emerges through a boundary fence by a bridge over the river (which is blocked on the far side).  Turn left and follow the roadway until it bends left and at this point turn off right through a sandy area and pick up an obvious track through scrubland.  Turn right when the path meets another path in woodland and follow this path, which becomes straight, until it swings left and right again to emerge at the north end of the disused Bogside Race course.

After 50m bear right and follow the grass path in an anti-clockwise direction around the old Bogside Race Course, part of the Bogside Flats SSSI.  Keep to the outer path where there is a choice. After completing three-quarters of the course exit right and join a tarmac drive across part of the golf course. Take the road over the railway bridge and pass Towns Moor (previously Irvine Race Course) and at the junction with the B779, turn right.  At the next junction, by the school, cross the main road and head eastwards along Redburn Place, Hunter Drive and Dickson Drive and turn left through a parking area just before the Redburn Community Centre.  Exit onto the pathway, cross the road (Castlepark Circle), and turn left. At the Castlepark Community Centre turn right and follow the path through their car park which exits on the north side of the adjacent Primary School.  Take the path to the right of the flood basin and continue northeast. At a Y junction take the path on the right across more open space.  With houses on the left cross to a parallel path on the right and follow this as it swings left and right between houses.  It emerges at a bus stop.  Turn right, then cross the road, take the elevated walkway across the A78 and turn left on the other side.  Follow the path (which parallels the A78) until a tunnel under the B7080.  The path leads into the Country Park.  Turn right for 100m and then turn left up a broad grassy avenue to the viewpoint at the top.  Descend to the left and back to the car park.

Wild and beautiful

This walk is in 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 8-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.

Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NN 996 032 which is the parking area adjacent to Castlehill Reservoir.

Getting there: 43 miles/55 minutes
To get there, take your favourite route to the M8 towards Edinburgh. Take exit 13 to merge onto M80 towards Stirling and Kincardine Bridge. After 15 miles take exit 8 to M876 Kincardine Bridge. Continue on A876/M9/A876 . At the Higgins Neuk Roundabout take SECOND exit towards Perth and M90. At the Kilbagie Roundabout take the FIRST exit onto A977. At the Gartferry Roundabout take THIRD exit to continue on A977. After 8.5 miles turn left onto A823 (Crieff); stay on A823 and turn right briefly onto A91 and keep left for 210 yards leaving the A91 and back onto A823 (Glendevon). After 1.4 miles you will see signs for parking on the right, beside Castlehill Reservoir.

The Walk: Glen Devon – 8.0 miles
The start of the route is directly opposite the lay-by and follows a metalled road to Glenquey Reservoir. Turn right before the house and the reservoir. Continue to follow the path veering to the left to pass the Fish ladder and to follow an old drove road which drovers used to take their livestock to market in Falkirk. It is also a Right of Way (RoW) that goes from Glendevon to Dollar. This path follows the reservoir and continues on beyond. The path is clear and at the time of the reccé was dry but can be wet and muddy.

Our route turns off the RoW at the end of the forest on the left, and below can be seen Castle Campbell and Dollar. At this point, folk who don’t want to continue can return by the same route to make a 6 mile walk. Otherwise turn left and begin to climb up a short hill at the end of which is a seat and a few tree stumps that make this a decent lunch stop, with a view.

After getting your breath back, take the right hand route and curve round Hillfoot Hill, descending a little then ascending slowly. As the route climbs, there is a panorama of the Forth Valley from the bridges at Kincardine eastwards. When the forest is re-entered, look out for a path going right from the forestry track with a metal gate at the end. This brings the route out into the open hills. Take this path off to the right (instead of continuing on the track) and it brings you out onto a fine grassy path on Commonedge Hill, with Seamab Hill in the distance. This is a lovely section on a clear day; but watch out for the deer! Head towards the large stile over the deer fence and quickly ascend Seamab Hill. Head down a clear path from the hill towards a Y-junction and take the left hand path to bring you down to the Reservoirs Trail. Follow this back to the starting point.

Forest Enterprise

This walk, in the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, starts in the centre of Aberfoyle and takes an anti-clockwise circular route through the surrounding forestry land. It 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.

Getting there: 27 miles/55 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow towards Strathblane on the A81 (or towards Carbeth on the A809 and turn right onto the B834 and then left to join the A81 towards Aberfoyle).  At the Rob Roy Hotel by the roundabout on the outskirts of Aberfoyle turn left (A821) and in the town centre turn left at the sign Parking/Scottish Wool Centre.  Parking is free and there are toilets.

The Walk:  Aberfoyle Forest Trails – 8.0 miles
The walk starts at the car park and heads east past the Scottish Wool Centre and picks up the Rob Roy Way.  Cross the A821 and take the Rob Roy Way past the Dounans Centre.  As the path/Land Rover Track (LRT) enters the wooded area leave the Rob Roy Way and turn left.  Continue on the LRT and as it swings right, turn off left onto a smaller track (behind David Marshall Lodge).  When the track meets another track turn sharp right and follow this until the path meets the A821.  Cross the road carefully and continue on the rising track which circles Srath Buidhe until it meets the A821 again.  Cross the road and take the LRT into the forest.  At the T junction turn right onto another LRT for about a kilometre.  At the ‘cross-roads’ of LRTs continue ahead until a smaller path goes off to the right.  Continue climbing towards the mast (at the top of the hill) and pick up an LRT.  Follow this downhill ignoring two LRTs going off sharply to the right.  Ignore the LRT on the left just before the route does a 180˚loop to the right.  At the next junction turn right onto the Rob Roy Way. Follow this past the Dounans Centre, retracing the outward route back to the car 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.

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

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.

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

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
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

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.

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.