All posts by Glenda A. White

Saturday, April 13th: West Kilbride to Burnfoot

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!

Aberfoyle: Lang Crags

Mixed woodland autumn colours on the shore of Loch Ard

Starting Point for the Walk:

Western end of the large car park near The Forth Inn in Aberfoyle – OS Reference NN 521 009.

Getting there: 25 miles / 48 minutes

Take your favourite route out of Glasgow to 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 roundabout (by the Rob Roy Hotel) on the outskirts of Aberfoyle, turn left onto the A821.  In Aberfoyle, turn left at the sign “Parking/Scottish Wool Centre”.  Then turn right into the west section of the car park and use the parking bays near The Forth Inn.  Parking is free and there are toilets nearby.

The Walk:  Two Options …

Option 1 – Limes Craig Loop – 6 miles (10 km) – Relatively hilly

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 area1, turn right.  Continue along the LRT in a nominally easterly direction for about a mile.  The next mile or so gently climbs up the southern slopes of Lime Craig.  Take it at a gentle pace.  The climb commences with a sharp left turn onto another a LRT.  Then take a right turn onto a footpath and continue the ascent of Lime Craig heading in a nominally northerly direction.  Just below the top of Lime Craig, turn sharp left to reach the summit.  Then retrace the route for 0.1 mile and then turn left.  This leads onto a relatively steep and rough path that descends the north side of Lime Craig.  Take extra care here.  Next, join the LRT and follow it in a nominally westerly direction for 0.5 mile (gently loosing height) before it turns sharp right.  At the LRT ‘crossroads’, turn sharp left and gradually loose some more height; after 0.25 mile get great views toward a waterfall (which may look familiar to those who were on the October 2023 walk).  After a further 0.25 mile of gentle descent, turn right onto another LRT and follow it in a nominally south westerly direction for 0.25 mile.  Then cross a footbridge over the Allt a’ Mhangam burn2 and follow a meandering footpath that soon climbs (in a short and steep manner) up to The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre.  Just west of The Lodge Forest Visitor Centre, pick up the “green marker” footpath for about 0.5 mile.  Then take a sharp right turn onto a shared ‘footpath/cycle path’ and descend for 0.25 mile – this leads onto a very short section of road.  Extra  care is required here.  Then follow a road-side footpath and arrive back in Aberfoyle.


Option 2 – David Marshall Loop – 3 miles ( 5 km) – Limited hills

This walk starts as for Option 1 but as the path/LRT enters the wooded area1, turn sharp left.  Follow the “red marker” LRT in a nominally westerly direction for about 0.75 mile.  At the footbridge over the Allt a’ Mhangam burn2 follow the route for Option 1.

Saturday, 13 January 2024: New Year at Eaglesham

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.

Saturday, 9 December 2023: Winter at the Beach

Starting Point for the Walk:

South Beach Esplanade Car Park – OS Reference NS 327 298.

Getting there: 34 miles / 43 minutes

Take your favourite route out of Glasgow onto the M8 (Greenock).  Exit onto the M77 (Kilmarnock) and continue down to the Dutch House Roundabout.  Take the 3rd exit onto the A78 (Irvine/Prestwick).  At the next roundabout keep to the inside lane and take the 2nd exit onto the A79 (Prestwick).  Immediately on exiting the roundabout move to the righthand lane and turn right onto the B749 (Troon).  Follow this down to the seafront car park.  Parking is free.  The nearest toilets are 1km away, on the seafront near the town.

NOTE:  all South Ayrshire Toilets have CARD ONLY access.

The Walk: 

Troon Golf Loop – 6.25 miles (10 km) – Flat

Starting from the car park, head east onto Craigend Road (B749) and use the pavement on the righthand side.  Continue up and over the old railway bridge and on reaching the other side turn 180° right and loop under the road bridge to pick up the shared cycle path (a dismantled railway line).  Take care on this section and watch out for cyclists, particularly those approaching from behind.  At the path junction (close to the end of Willockston Road) turn right and then left (skirting a high wall enclosing a cemetery).  Continue until the next road bridge (Dundonald Road).  Go under this road, and on joining the entrance road to Marr College turn right.  Cross this access road and keep on the path to the left of Dundonald Road.  After a short distance turn left onto a good path towards Marr College sports ground and then veer left onto a grass path close to a line of trees.  Follow this until the vegetation forces the route to skirt the edges of the golf course for 100m.  Cross another path onto a gravel path heading north and follow this meandering path (which crosses Darley Burn) until a wooded area.  Emerging from the wooded area, the path meets a ‘T’ junction.  Turn left (onto another shared cycle path) and parallel the Kilmarnock Road for a short distance.  Then climb the steps on the right to join the Kilmarnock Road.  At the top turn left and head for the sea at Barassie.

Close to the seafront, cross the North Shore Road (B746) onto the shared cycle path and head south west towards Troon.  There are toilets on this section.  At the small North Shore Road car park cut across the parking area onto a grass path that hugs the coastline.  At the final hedge turn left, and climb for a short distance to meet Port Ranald Drive.  Turn right and follow this road towards the marina.  Just past the Troon Cruising Club turn left onto Kennedy Road and at the end (Port Ronnald) turn left to follow Titchfield Road.  At the small seafront car park go through the sunken gardens (previously an outdoor swimming pool) and join the esplanade.  Where St Meddans Street terminates at the seashore (there are toilets here), take to the beach for the final kilometre back to the South Beach Esplanade Car Park.

A walk in the woods

It is essential that the Queen Elizabeth Forest Drive will be open  for this walk (April to October). The Forest Drive allows cars to journey deep into the forest and to explore Loch Drunkie. Although most of the trees are evergreen,  the deciduous trees on this walk are stunning in any season.

Park at the Visitors’  Lodge (FK8 3SX) in the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park. To get there make your way to Aberfoyle probably on the A809 and A81. At the end of the village, swing sharp right to climb steeply up on the A821. When you see the signs for GO APE turn in right.  Park as close as you can to the Visitors’ Centre and purchase a £5 ticket per car. This covers parking all day and the £3 entrance to the Forest Drive. The Lodge offers coffee, cakes,  snack meals and toilets.

Set off from the front of the Lodge following a wide gentle track (with white, green, red and blue markers). Look out for the memorial (statue and plaque) to the ‘Lumber-jills’ who worked the forest during two world wars producing the supports for trenches. A little further, take the track on your right with green and orange markers. This good path winds around and down through the forest to a typical highland river, the Allt a’ Mhangan, with peaty waters tumbling over rocks and leading to a magnificent waterfall. After oohing and aahing over this  return a few steps to cross a bridge and make your way to a hide to watch red squirrels quarrelling over peanuts. Coming back across the bridge,  turn right to the waterfall and pick up a path on the left which leads miraculously back to the Visitors’ Lodge! And all this in less than two easy miles!

Back at the cars and drive out of the Visitors’ Centre, turning right up and over the Duke’s Pass. Drive for just over 1.5 miles, climbing steadily and passing a cottage at a sharp corner. Turn right into the Forest Drive (signposted) and follow the instructions in the forest. Ignore the payment meter and follow the drive for about 3 miles. When you are driving along the edge of Loch Drunkie you are almost there. Park at the large carpark where there are toilets.

The second walk begins on a good track besides Loch Drunkie. It winds around the Loch edge and just before the Fishermen’s car-park, a path leads down to a glorious promontory. A second path takes you back on to the forest drive for a short stretch before you dive back into the forest once more to emerge at the dam across the northern end of Loch Drunkie. A new path continues down to the shores of Loch Venachar. Here  turn left and follow the Forest Drive back to the Fishermen’s carpark. From here  retrace your steps to the cars. (Distance, about 4.0 miles).

Helensburgh to Rhu

This circular walk of approximately 6 miles starts at the car park next to the new Helensburgh Leisure Centre. The route winds its way up past The Hill House (of Charles Rennie Mackintosh fame) and then along The Upland Way behind Helensburgh coming out at Rhu. After lunch on the shore near the Rosslea Hotel  a return along the promenade from Rhu to the starting point.

Starting Point for the Walk:

The car park at Helensburgh Leisure Centre (9 West Clyde Street G84 8SQ) – OS Reference NS 295 821.  Parking is free.  There are regular train services to Helensburgh Central Station – travel time 65 minutes.  There are also regular bus services to Helensburgh.  The train station is a few minutes walk from the leisure centre.

Getting there: 24 miles/ 50 minutes

Take your favourite route onto the A82 (Great Western Road).  Follow this out towards Loch Lomond and at the Arden Roundabout turn left onto the A818 (Helensburgh).  Continue on this road straight into Helensburgh.  At the seafront the Leisure Centre should be clearly visible ahead.

The Walk:  Helensburgh-Rhu Loop – 7.5 miles (12 km)

The walk starts from the seafront at Helensburgh next to the Leisure Centre and continues up Sinclair Street.  Shortly before the road becomes Luss Road turn left onto Kennedy Drive (signed National Trust for Scotland The Hill House).  Continue along this road and turn right into Upper Colquhoun Street and pass Charles Ronnie Mackintosh’s iconic Hill House.  Continuing past the entrance to the house, heading further up Upper Colquhoun Street and into a wooded area beside Hill House car park.  Cross the car park and follow a sign (Rhu 4km) which takes a route to the left, along a track, into a mix of woodland and open ground.  This track, known as the Upland Way, provides good views across to Glen Fruin to the north and Helensburgh to the south, as well as across the Clyde to Greenock and over to the Rosneath Peninsula on the other side of Gare Loch.

After crossing open ground, the route continues through a gate and back into a large, forested area (Highlandman’s Wood).  The route follows a semi-circle through the wood eventually emerging onto the old Highlandman’s Road (now a track).  Turn right and continue down the track towards Rhu.  The track eventually becomes Station Road.  Continue down Station Road and at the junction with Pier Road turn right.  At the junction with Manse Brae turn left.  Continue down Manse Brae until it reaches the seafront next to the Rhu Inn.

At the seafront turn left onto the Gareloch Road (A814) and continue eastwards.  This route passes the Rhu Marina; HM Naval Base Clyde; the Ardencaple Hotel; Helensburgh Sailing Club; and the Helensburgh Airfield Memorial.  The walk then continues along the promenade and finishes back at the car park at the Leisure Centre.


Saturday, 12th August 2023: Loch Leven

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.

The Craufurdland Estate.

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.

Starting Point for the Walk:

At the car park adjacent to a row of shops (NOT the Tesco car park), on the Glasgow Road, Kilmarnock (KA3 1UT) – OS Reference NS 438 402.

Getting there: 22 miles/34 minutes

Take your favourite route onto the M8 (Greenock) and then exit onto M77 (Kilmarnock).  Exit M77 at Junction 8 onto B7038 (Kilmarnock /Fenwick).  At the first Roundabout take the 2nd exit (B7038) and at the second Roundabout take the 1st exit (B7038).  At the next Roundabout take the 2nd exit (the first is a private road) and continue until the Roundabout at Tesco.  Head for the shops to the right of the Tesco Superstore.  Parking is free.

The Walk:  Craufurdland Estate –  6.0 miles (10 km)

Note: some paths can be muddy at times.

From the car park adjacent to Tesco, turn left and walk along Glasgow Road until a single-track road on your right signposted “Borland”.  Cross the Glasgow Road onto Borland and continue over the bridge crossing Fenwick Water.  The road now starts to go uphill.  Near the top of the hill there is a crossroads – continue ahead past the brown access information sign.  The road crosses the A77.  Keep left at a fork, signposted “No vehicle access to Craufurdland Castle”.  Continue until another fork in the path by Loch Plantation and keep left again (signposted “Borland Lane Walking and Bike Trails”).  Continue on this pathway through the woods turning left at a junction to cross the Fenwick Water again, this time by a suspension bridge.  Follow the path to Dalmusternock Farmhouse B&B and then turn left along a lane to join the B7038.  Turn right onto the B7038 and continue along the pavement into Fenwick.  Fenwick village has several Points of Interest.  In Main Road there is the Parish Church which has four covenanter gravestones.


Depending on time, stop for lunch in the small park (with a few seats) near the Kings Arms Hotel (the hotel could be used for a comfort stop).  Retrace outward steps along Main Road and turn left into Waterslap.  Follow this road, which again crosses Fenwick Water, and continue past the entrance to The Laird’s Table to a cottage.  Beyond this cottage there is a bridge over the Craufurdland Water.  Immediately after crossing the bridge look for a ‘Footpath’ sign on the right, where there is a gap in the stone wall leading onto a narrow woodland trail.  The trail proceeds until to a double stile.  Cross the stile to the left – there is no visible path beyond this point.  Stick to the perimeter of the field, keeping the fence on the right-hand side.  This leads onto another stile.  Cross it and the field beyond, then repeat again once more.  At the fourth field, cut straight across it in a SW direction (rather than following the perimeter fencing).  After crossing into the fifth and final field, look for a stile and ‘Footpath’ sign directly ahead (SW) at the other side of the field.  To reach it you can either walk straight across or if there are crops growing in the field, turn right and follow the fence line around its perimeter.  The final stile leads onto Wardlaw Road.  Cross the stile and turn right.  Continue on the road, crossing Bringan Ford via the footbridge, and go under the A77.  At the next road junction turn right.  This goes back to the crossroads encountered on the outward route at the bottom of “Borland”.  Turn left and retrace the outward route back to the car park.


Major-General William Roy

Starting Point for the Walk:

The car park off Smuggler’s Brig Road, Crossford, South Lanarkshire – OS Reference NS 825 467.

Getting there: 25 miles/35 minutes

Take your favourite route onto the M8 (Edinburgh).  Leave the M8 at Junction 8 onto the M73 and head south for the M74 (Carlisle).  Exit the M74 at Junction 7 and turn left at the T junction onto the A72 (Lanark Road).  At the roundabout take the first exit (A71) towards the Garrion Bridge Roundabout.  At the roundabout take the third exit (second is into a private property!) onto the A72 (Lanark Road) and continue past many garden centres.  On entering Crossford the road crosses the River Nethan.  Turn left just before the Village Hall into Smuggler’s Brig Road and immediately right into a small parking area behind the Village Hall.  Parking is free.

The Walk:  Major-General William Roy – 7.8 miles (13 km)

From the car park return to the main road and turn left keeping to the narrow pavement on the left side of the road.

Turn left over the bridge (a single-track road) over the River Clyde.  There is a narrow pavement on the right side of the bridge.  Once the bridge has been crossed, re-cross the road opposite an information board and take the path down to the river to join the Clyde Walkway.

The Clyde Walkway changes elevation several times via a series of wooden steps.  Continue following the Clyde Walkway until the outskirts of the Milton-Lockhart estate.  The path then turns right through an area of woodland and rises to join the rear access road to the estate.

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.

At the road turn right and leave the Clyde Walkway, and at the next junction go left.  Pass the monument to William Roy and shortly afterwards turn left onto a farm track (Raes Road).  This continues onto a well-defined track.  At an obvious junction turn right and follow a winding (often narrow) path through the tranquil Jock’s Gill.  The path criss-crosses Jock’s Burn and exits onto Station Road (Carluke) at Glenburn.  Turn right, be attentive to the traffic and keep to the right-hand side of the road.  The road rises gently before descending again.  Cross the road to the left to take a path through a stone wall into some natural wetland and follow the path to the right.  Keep taking the right turn where there is a choice, and the path emerges back onto Station Road close to its junction with Milton Road.

Turn right and then take the first left onto a quiet road which passes several farms as it descends back to Crossford.  After passing a 90° left turn, turn right and continue downwards to pass Waygateshawhead.  The road narrows near Gills as it descends more steeply.  Although the road is quiet particular care should be taken.  There is much to look at on the route, but do not be too distracted!  At Poplarglen take the path off to the right of the road.   This is, initially, a farm track providing access to some fields.  Look out for and take the protected walkway to the left of the farm track.  At this point it passes what appears to be a fortified hill.  The path then continues onto a little used track which leads back to the Clyde Walkway.  Turn left at the river and retrace your outbound steps to the car park.

Saturday, 8 July 2023: Craufurdland Estate

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.