All posts by Glenda A. White

Saturday, 10th November: Knock, Knock

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!

Starting Point
The starting point is at OS Reference NS 209 575 which is the first car park on the left just over the railway bridge heading for Largs Yacht Haven.

Getting there: 33 miles/50 minutes
Take your favourite route to the M8 heading for Greenock. At Junction 28A take the exit to Irvine A737.  Follow this to the Roadhead roundabout where you turn right to Lochwinnoch on the A760.  Stay on the A760, through Kilbirnie, following signs for Largs till you end up at the bottom of the Hayley Brae where you turn left, away from Largs and towards the Yacht Haven.  You pass a small estate of houses on the right, then some playing fields and then turn right into the road for the Yacht Haven.

The Walk: Knock, knock – 11 miles (18km)
Start by exiting the car park on the Ayr Coastal Path towards Largs and continue along this till you reach Aubery Crescent, where you turn right towards the main road.  When this is reached cross carefully, turn left and then right to continue up Barr Crescent. The route follows the higher Knock Hill variant of the Ayrshire Coastal Path; ignore a footbridge but soon after fork left, as signed, to follow the path upstream beside the burn.  The path emerges on a housing estate at Glen Avenue; turn left and follow this to reach the main junction with Brisbane Glen Road. Turn left and follow the road, initially on pavement but then on the road itself as open countryside is reached. Look out for a track on the left signed for High Road / Knock Hill; take this track, following it to Brisbane Mains Farm.

Pass the farm buildings and then follow the track through the gate on the right at the far end.  Pass above the buildings, avoiding the free-range chickens.  The now rougher track continues, passing through another gate. At one point the track leads through a sheep pen – bypass this on the right to rejoin the track beyond.  There are good views of the rich farmland on this section. Further on – above a wooded burn – take the left fork (signed Ayrshire Coastal Path) to continue on a boggy ATV track uphill.  A junction is reached by a marker – keep left here to begin the detour up to visit the summit of Knock Hill, which soon comes into view.

The boggy track leads to the left of Knock Hill and spirals round to ascend to the summit.  The view expands to include the Cumbraes, Arran, Bute and a great sweep of the Firth of Clyde as the summit area is reached.  A trig point marks the highest point, whilst the earthworks of the iron age fort which was once built here are still readily apparent.

Retrace your steps back down the hill and back along the boggy track.  A marker post indicates where you can turn left to follow a very faint path to a wall, then turn right along rough ground beside the wall to rejoin the main boggy track at a gate .  Pass through the gate and continue on the faint and boggy path to the left of the burn, passing some fine trees.  Keep ahead until a corner in a fence enclosing the burn/ravine is reached; here keep along to the left side of the fence.  Eventually the woods are entered at a kissing gate; continue down through the trees until you reach the tarmac road.
Turn left to follow this quiet minor road back towards Largs.  It passes near the privately owned Knock Castle and a fine building opposite, continuing past the Routenburn Golf Course and giving some good views across to the Firth of Clyde.  Eventually the main A78 is reached; turn left, to cross the bridge over Noddsdale Water and then right to retrace your steps downstream and back along the promenade to the car park.

The Fife Coastal Path: Elie to Crail

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, you will pass the remains of a number of castles, a fine dovecot, a windmill and numerous churches and caves. The views out to sea include the Bass Rock, North Berwick Law and May Island from all directions.  Both sections of the walk are  ‘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 Monansyou might like to 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!

To do this walk you need to plan your day around the No 95 Bus which runs around the coast. Unless you use the bus both ways, it is probably best to park in Crail (where there is ample free parking along Marketgate) and take the bus to Elie. The No. 95 is every hour (check the latest timetables) but there is a café by the bus stop in the High Street. It is a half hour journey to Elie.

Your walk begins in the High Street where you can pick up the Fife Coastal Path signs and almost any road will take you down top the sea and around the harbour to Ruby Bay car-park. There are toilets hear and you step out along the Way and on to a good track.

On the south of Shepherd’s Knowe is the Lady’s Chapel now in ruins. This Tower was built for Lady Jane Anstruther in the later part of the 18th century and was used by her as a bathing house.  She was a naturist and from this point she was able to enter the bay below without being seen by the local residents of Elie.

Regaining the path adjacent to the shore, (if you went to see the tower) the walk heads towards St Monans. On the way, the path passes two ruins, the first being very limited in height and is Ardross Castle, a 14th century building. This now has farm buildings next to the ruins and the path passes directly through some arches of the castle. The next ruin is Newark Castle, a significantly more visible and imposing ruin sitting above the cliff face. The path leaves the shoreline and climbs up to the ruin and the adjacent round tower. This castle was built in the 15th century for the Sandilands Family.

Just opposite the castle, there is a signpost offering an inland path if the tide is in. Obviously, you should take this if necessary. However, the inland route is very attractive, not much further, and offers a pastoral view for a change. It also gives a fine view of St Monans’ Church. If you take this route don’t go down to where the shore track comes up (you’ll only have to climb back up again) but stick to the village road above Partan Craig and the Harbour. St Monans is thought to be one of the more traditional fishing villages of Fife.  It is easy to get lost at the end of the harbour. Turn left (there is a sign on a metal post) and then right along Rose Street (again, there is a sign on a metal post.) There are toilets in St Monans further up the hill but come back to Rose Street to continue.

The way takes you past St Monans Windmill: this was used in the past to pump seawater into the salt pans which are very obvious along the shore line.

The next community on the route is Pittenweem, only a mile further along the coast. If you feel you are making progress you might stop to look at the 17th century home of Captain James Cook, known as the Gyles, and/or St Fillan’s Cave with its earlier Christian connections. This can be found up a narrow alley directly opposite the harbour. There are toilets on the way in to Pittenweem.

From Pittenweem the path has a further two miles before it enters Anstruther. This section starts at a slightly higher level along the edge of fields before dropping down to the shore. It then runs parallel to the Anstruther Golf Course entering from the west close to the club house. The route reaches the main road. The road to the right beside the church looks tempting but you can’t get across the river. You have to follow the main road through Anstruther. When you hit St Andrews Road  turn down right to the harbour area which, although one of the more commercially active ports, is still very picturesque. There are many pleasure craft in the marina and a number of shops. The toilets are down in the harbour. If you are stopping here, you have time to get the traditional fish ‘n chips, or a snack before exploring Anstruther (lighthouse, life-boat museum (free), the well-known Scottish Fisheries Museum (charge) or the few shops. If the weather happened to dry up it would be very pleasant simply to sit at the harbour or explore Cellardyke, with its quaint houses and streets. Anstruther is made up of three communities, Anstruther Wester, Anstruther Easter and Cellardyke, all at one time having their own active harbours. You can stop here and get the bus back to Elie or on to Crail.

CONTINUING TO CRAIL

To continue on the Coastal Path, leave by the side of the Museum and take the road to a “T” junction. Instead of following the road to the left we continue on the narrow road straight ahead passing a lot of interesting traditional terraced fishing houses on either side. This shortly opens out at Cellardyke harbour. Straight ahead is a caravan park, Kilrenny Mill, on the left. The good track goes straight across between the caravans and the sea. There are wonderful views across to the Isle of May. The route is now by a mixture of track, path and open field as it heads for over three miles towards Crail. The way is obvious and easy to walk. About half way there are the Caiplie Caves. These were formed in post-glacial times but the importance are the carvings that Monks and pilgrims made on the caves as they travelled towards St Andrews. The path climbs up beside the harbour to the main road. Don’t follow the path back down to the cliffs but make your way along the main road to The Golf Hotel (recommended for a meal), past the library and straight along Marketgate where you should find your car.

Saturday, 12 January 2019: A Mugdock Muggle

Given the time of year and for some, increasing anxiety about slippery paths, we shall play safe and stay local, for this walk around Mugdock Country Park.

We shall start at the Visitors’ Centre which has a good car park and splendid loos.  It also has the attraction of coffee, hot chocolate and enticing sugary items to ensure that we start off in good spirits.  Hopefully we shall be able to walk through the woods, skirt Craigallion Loch and cross Drumclog Muir.  If we have not got lost, we shall emerge at Mugdock Castle, walk past Mugdock Loch and Craigend Castle to end up back at the Visitors’ Centre.

 

Saturday, 8 December 2018: Another Christmas

This is more of a Christmassy trip with all the trimmings than a challenging hike! We’ve never taken the Christmas walk too seriously, thinking more of the meal to come than the miles we’ve covered. However, this is a new venture for WECWC (although KH walkers will recognise it). We park at Lomond Shores where, if we’re early or quick or recalcitrant, we might just have time for a quick scoot at the shops, before wending our way around Loch Lomond to the station at Balloch (short and picturesque). Here we take the train to Dalreoch (also short but not quite so picturesque). Alighting at Dalreoch we go straight down to the River Leven and keep to the path along its banks all the way back to Balloch, around the Loch and over to the cars. (Seven, very easy, miles!) We’ll take the cars along to Balloch Park, parking behind The Balloch House (a Vintage Inn) where we’re booked for our Christmas meal. If you’re very good we might even go down to the shores of the Loch to sing our carols in the gloaming!

Saturday, 10th November 2018: Knock, Knock

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!

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.