Given that our Southsider friends have had some distance to travel lately, this walk gives them a break! It is also possible to use the train – indeed we all use the train to get to West Kilbride from Fairlie. It’s a very long time (October 2010) since we hiked to Portencross and we have never continued to Fairlie. From West Kilbride we stroll down through Kirktonhall Glen, emerging at Seamill. From then on it’s completely flat along the coast, through Portencross and along the coast to Goldenberry. All this stretch gives glorious (hopefully) views of the Clyde coast and islands, with history supplied at the Castle (King Robert II was a frequent visitor). Hunterston A Power Station is now decommissioned and provides feeding grounds for waders. Hunterston B still supplies 25% of Scotland’s electricity. Our walk ends finishes through an area of woodland before arriving at small waterside picnic area at Burnfoot and the waiting cars. About 8 downhill or flat miles!
The New Year starts in Eaglesham, Scotland’s first conservation village. The walk goes through The Orry (a 15-acre A-shaped green area gifted to the inhabitants of the village by the 10th Earl of Eglinton) and exits the village onto Moor Road. Following a path that goes south-east, the route passes Picketlaw Reservoir, managed by Eaglesham Angling Association, and continues onward to Revoch Farm.
Crossing the Strathaven Road, the route crosses the Polnoon Water before passing the old mill (now converted into houses), several farms, and rolling countryside.
We detour into Auldhouse before following some quiet roads back into Eaglesham.
Four years ago, we enjoyed a walk which included part of the west side of Loch Leven.
This time the plan is to start at the Farm Shop located near the north-east corner of Loch Leven and then follow the loch-side footpath for a couple of miles towards the town of Milnathort.
After a short visit to the remains of Burleigh Castle, we then head east along the footpath that (broadly) follows the route of the former Dunfermline to Perth railway line.
After a couple of miles of minor roads and rough
tracks we then pass the small villages of
Glenalmond and Wester Balgedie and soon
arrive back at the Farm Shop.
Starting near Dean Castle Country Park the route takes minor roads before crossing the A77 and entering the Craufurdland Estate.
Passing Craufurdland Loch Fishery one of many paths crosses Fenwick Water and exits the Estate joining the B7038. Heading into Fenwick there are a number of points of interest. It is thought that the Fenwick Weavers’ Society is the oldest cooperative in the world. It was founded in 1761. The Parish Church, however, dates to 1643 and has a history that includes the Reformation, the National Covenant, and Patronage all highly sensitive issues at the time. The churchyard, which has sentry boxes to guard the entrances, has several covenanters’ graves.
Returning to the southern outskirts of Fenwick, the route follows country roads before picking up a woodland path which traverses several fields before emerging onto the Wardlaw Road. This road cuts under the A77 before joining the outgoing route.
I was recently updating the booklet listing all-but-one of our walks over the last 37 years and I counted up that we had been to Arran seventeen times! Oh, the fun we’ve had: breakfast on the boat; meeting the Queen (Elizabeth that is); sending for the helicopter to find four lost members; hospitality from the Buddhist monks on Holy Isle on a very wet day; losing the leader on Cir Mohr… ..and endless coffee and scones with Henry and Irene at their holiday home in Corrie. It’s time we went back.
But we will do yet another new walk! From the ferry terminal, we take the ‘Fishermen’s Path’ along the shore to the entrance to Brodick Country Park and Castle at Cladach. From here, those who wish to can climb up Goatfell while those preferring a more gentle route will follow the woodland and waterfall- strewn paths around the entrance before taking the wider paths up, around and beyond the castle. As well as being of interest in itself, the Country Park gives glorious views of Arran and the Firth of Clyde. In the late afternoon we stroll back along the Fisherman’s Path for an evening meal before boarding the boat for home.
This month we start in Crossford in South Lanarkshire and pick up the Clyde Walkway to follow the river northwards. Admire the beauty of the river and the surrounding architecture. Wildlife is abundant.
At Milton-Lockhart Estate the Clyde Walkway deviates inland to avoid the main house. There has been an estate here since the 14th century. In 1828 William Lockhart demolished the existing house. Sir Walter Scott gave him advice as to the best location for the new house. It was built in the Scottish Baronial Style as was the bridge which provides the main visitor entrance to the estate. In 1989 the house was purchased and moved to Japan! A new house has subsequently been built but the old bridge remains. The eagle-eyed will notice this on the way down to Crossford.
On reaching the main (rear) drive to the estate we
turn right to exit the estate and walk on quiet
country lanes towards Carluke. Stopping to view the
monument to General Roy we continue through the
wooded area of Jock’s Gill before picking up country
lanes for the return trip. The final part of the route
takes a small track (that passes a possible hill fort)
before re-emerging on the Clyde Walkway.
This walk is similar to a circular “summer” route traversed about 8 years ago. The main difference is that this time we will cover the route in an ‘anti-clockwise’ direction – and being in the “spring”, the walk should look sufficiently different from the previous version!
Starting from Edenmill Farm Shop (near Carbeth), we join the John Muir Way and follow it in a westerly direction for about 4 miles. In due course the path climbs through Forestry Commission land which eventually leads to Burncrooks Reservoir. The path around the Reservoir has plenty of good views – weather permitting! After traversing the Reservoir, we follow a forest road in an easterly direction which eventually brings us back to Edenmill Farm Shop.