Category Archives: Within a radius of about 30 miles Part 2

Classes and Education

This walk from Dunblane to Bridge of Allan and back will take you through forest, along country roads as well as using a Sustrans cycle way. You will go via a rather affluent Victorian residential area and on to the Stirling University campus. The return route, by the Allan Water, may be a fairly muddy track!

Distance is about eight- ten miles.

Starting Point:
The starting point is at OS Reference NN 781 014 which is the car park on the north side of Dunblane Cathedral.

Getting there: 34 miles/40 minutes
Take your usual route (M8 from Glasgow) to M80 towards Stirling etc. Stay on this road to the large Doune, Perth, Bridge of Allan roundabout where you take the third edit (B8033) to Dunblane. This shortish approach to Dunblane is a dual carriageway. Ignore the first road left to the town centre and continue to the roundabout and turn left on to B8064. Follow this road down to the Cross, turn right to the Cathedral, then right, left and left to the car park to the north of the Cathedral.

The Walk: Dunblane to Stirling Uni Loop – 10 miles (Route can be shortened if required)
Turn left from the car park and left again and up the hill for about two hundred metres. Turn right between two white gate lodges into Holmehill and follow the path (left at T junction) to main road. Cross the road and turn right then left into The Crescent. Follow this to St Margaret’s Drive which becomes Newton Crescent. Continue to Leighton Avenue and turn right along public path to Sherrifmuir. Continue to entrance on right to Dykedale Wood.

Follow the path through the wood, taking left-hand fork, till minor road and turn right. Walk down hill to T junction and turn left into Glen Road. Continue through the very attractive Kippenrait Glen to the first house in Brig of Allan keeping to the left at the gushet and carry on till you reach the quarry at the edge of Coppermine Wood. Continue along the path at the edge of the wood and then follow Abercromby Drive to junction with Kenilworth Road. Turn left into Kenilworth Road and proceed to Sheriffmuir Road where you turn left and keep going till you reach the edge of Hermitage Wood. Turn right into a loan that runs along the edge of the wood. Then go through the second gate in the wall on your right into Stirling University Campus.

Follow the path to Airthrey Castle and turn right along the path between the loch and the student residences. Follow this till it takes you out of the campus and turn right along the main road into Bridge of Allan then right up Coneyhill Road, left along Kennilworth Road to Well Road. Then take another left at Alexander Drive and turn right at the main road.

After the Allanwater Café turn right into Blairforkie Drive. Just after Darnallan House turn left and follow the footpath along the river back to Dunblane along the Darn Road (which is now just a path). Cross the dual carriageway, then along the High Street back to the Cathedral.

Knock, Knock! Knock Hill in Largs

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.

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.

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.

A circular walk around Milton

Getting to the Forest Enterprise car-park at MILTON near Aberfoyle is easy. Take your favourite route to Aberfoyle (generally the A81 which you pick up either at Maryhill Road or Canniesburn Toll). The A81 takes you through the east end of Milngavie; round the roundabout at Homebase, etc (sign-posted to Strathblane); past the waterworks; on to Strathblane, Dumgoyne, Gartmore House to the new roundabout outside Aberfoyle where you turn left towards Aberfoyle.

YOU MIGHT LIKE TO STOP FOR THE TOILETS AT ABERFOYLE NEAR THE TIC

Then go back onto the main street and continue through Aberfoyle (without turning right up the hill) and drive straight on towards Milton (and Kinlochard and Stronachlachar). After just over a mile, at the restored mill in Milton, turn left off the main road, cross a bridge and follow the road around, bearing right (I think!) at the Forest Enterprise signpost. Turn left into the main car park.

The Walk

Your walk starts off straight over at the cross-tracks you drove up and continues through the forest to Lochan Gleannan, The lochan is lovely but the next two miles may be a bit of a hike through the forest although you get fine glimpses of Loch Ard below. Then it all gets interesting again as you reach the Aqueduct, the Valve House, Duchray Bridge and Duchray Cottage. .

Continue on past Duchray Castle to Lochan Splingen. If you have time you can go all the way round to take in all the sculptures.