All posts by Glenda A. White

Saturday, 8th June 2024 Falls of Clyde and Mouse Water

With a distance of about 8 miles this walk is a  familiar one although this route includes the Mouse Water, a tributary of the River Clyde, before descending down through Lanark and back to the starting point.  This makes it more interesting for those who are accustomed to doing the usual loop up to Bonnington Linn and then back along the path on the north side of the River Clyde. The Bonnington Hydro scheme was built in the 1920s and opened in December 1927. It was the first major hydroelectric project for the public supply of electricity in Scotland.

Starting Point for the Walk:

On the road below the church on Braxfield Row/New Lanark Road – OS Reference NS 880 426.

Getting there: 32 miles / 59 minutes

Take your favourite route to the M74 towards Carlisle.  Exit the M74 at Junction 7 (Lanark/Larkhall) and turn left onto the A72 (brown signed New Lanark).  At the roundabout just before Garrion Bridge go left and at the Garrion Bridges Roundabout take the 3rd exit onto the A72 (Lanark) and continue through Rosebank, Crossford, and Kirkfieldbank.  Enter Lanark from the north side and, at the traffic lights, turn right to join the A73/A473 (brown signed New Lanark).  Continue through the town and past the train station.  At the roundabout take the 3rd exit (Hyndford Road) towards New Lanark.  Take a very sharp left turn into Braxfield Road (then onto New Lanark Road) and follow the signs to New Lanark.  On approaching the main car park for New Lanark turn right to zig-zag down to New Lanark.  Park on the street.  If there is no parking available return to the main car park (fee payable) and walk down to the village.  There are toilets and a café at the Visitor Centre.

The Walk:  Falls of Clyde Circular – 7 miles (11 km)Occasional steep inclines/declines and steps

Staring from the old church, walk up the main road (New Lanark Road) and just before the road swings sharply to the right, turn left onto the signed Clyde Walkway.  Follow this woodland path downwards to the River Clyde and continue past Braxfield Park.  At the steep zig-zag path which climbs to the right, leave the views of the river and emerge into Castlebank Park.  Turn left onto the metalled park road and at the entrance to the park turn left onto St Patrick’s Road.  Follow this minor road to the end and turn left onto Chisholme Brae which passes the water works and meets the river again.

Continue onwards and after passing a few buildings turn left and cross the old bridge (Riverside Road).  Then turn left again into Kirkfield Road.  With the road rising gently, turn left through an old stone gateway onto a woodland track.  Follow this gently rising track watching out for wildlife and spectacular views of the river and falls.  The area is part of the Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve.  Continue past the ruins of Corra Castle and some minor falls and at Bonnington Linn cross the bridge to the east side of the river and turn left.  Continue on this gently descending path towards Corra Linn and the Falls of Clyde.  Pause at the viewing area for the Falls and then continue on the path down past the Bonnington hydro-electric power station at Corehouse.  Just past the power station bare left towards the river and continue onto a short stretch of boardwalk.  The path then continues towards the village and then passes The Mechanic’s Workshop, Robert Owen’s School, the site of Mill 4, the Institute for the Formation of Character, and Mill 3 (the New Lanark Visitor Centre and Café).  Return to the cars parked on the street or at the main car park.

Saturday, 13 July 2024: The Pipe Track

This month we plan for a circular walk from Blanefield, passing beneath Dumgoyne before following a field path into Killearn. From there the route follows the West Highland Way back towards Blanefield.

This walk is popularly known as the ‘Pipe Track’ as it follows the route of the pipe bringing clean water from Loch Katrine to Glasgow. It was built following a cholera outbreak in 1848 in Glasgow. Water is piped from Loch Katrine to Milngavie. At over 40km long, about half of it was tunnelled by hand through rock.

River Ayr walk

This is a gentle walk of approximately 8.5 miles along the banks of the River Ayr. The walk is mostly flat and includes some country roads near Auchincruive.

The walk commences from the car park on the north side of Ayr Academy in Beech Grove. The route crosses the University of the West of Scotland – Ayr Campus before joining the path on the north side of the River Ayr. The path heads eastwards towards Dalmilling Golf Course and from there continues on to Mainholm Smallholdings and towards the Auchincruive Estate. The return journey retraces the outward route back to the A77, crosses the river, and then takes the path on the south side of the river before recrossing the river back to the university grounds and the starting point.

Starting Point for the Walk:

At Ayr Academy Car Park, Beech Grove, Ayr – OS Reference NS 351 215.

Getting there from Glasgow: 37 miles / 50 minutes

Take your favourite route to the M77 towards Ayr.  At the Whitletts Roundabout approach in the third lane and take the 3rd exit (A719/Whitletts Road).  Continue down Whitletts Road, passing Ayr Race Course, and at the traffic lights turn left into Craigie Road (B747).  At the next set of traffic lights turn left into Craigie Way.  Take the first exit at the small roundabout to continue on Craigie Way and then the first right into Beech Grove.  Just beyond the Premier Convenience Store turn right into Ayr Academy car park.  There are toilet facilities at the University of the West of Scotland (UWS) Ayr Campus near where the outward/inward route joins the river path.

There are regular train and bus services from Glasgow to Ayr.  The Starting Point for the Walk is approximately 1km from the railway station and 1.5km from the bus station.

The Walk: 

Ayr River Walk – 8 miles (13 km)Mostly flat earth paths and minor roads

From the Ayr Academy car park head south on Beech Grove towards the river.  Pass another car park on the right and turn right at the junction and then first left to head southwards past the Ayr Riverside Guest Rooms.  Continue on a short section of earth pathway and at the river turn left.  The River Path heads east on the north side of the river.

Continue along the path on the north side of the river and on reaching Dalmilling Golf Course, follow the path to the A77.  Cross the road bridge onto the south side of the river and turn right down steps.  At the river turn right under the roadway and come up on the other side of the road.  Turn right and head northwards for about 200m and then turn right into Mainholm Road.  A road sign on the left points to the right and is signed ‘Mainholm Smallholdings’.  Continue on this road (part of the River Ayr Way) and take the first right and then the first left and head towards Auchincruive on a quiet country road.  Continue along the road until two large rocks appear at a junction.

Retrace the outward route back to the A77 passing under the road again.  This time, instead of taking the steps back up to the A77 continue along the path on the south side of the river.  Follow the path, in a westerly direction, with the river on the right and cross the River Ayr to the north bank using the Craigie Bridge.  Retrace the outward route back to the car park at Ayr Academy.

The Alloway Loop

Starting Point for the Walk:

Burns Cottage Car Park, Alloway, Ayrshire – OS Reference NS 333 185.

Getting there: 40 miles / 50 minutes

Take your favourite route out of Glasgow onto the M8 (Greenock).  Exit onto the M77 (Kilmarnock) and continue south on the M77/A77 until Holmston Roundabout on the outskirts of Ayr.  Then follow the signs for Stranraer and Alloway (A77).  At the next roundabout (Bankfield) follow the signs for Stranraer (A77).  Turn right off the A77 (signed Alloway/Doonfoot/Heads of Ayr).  There is also a brown tourist sign for Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.  Follow Doonholm Road until a small roundabout and turn right (2nd exit) and follow this to the junction with the B7024.  Then turn left and at the mini-roundabout turn right into Greenfield Avenue and then after about 100m turn right into Burns Cottage car park.  Closest train station is in Ayr, with local bus services to Burns cottage.

The Walk: 

Alloway Loop – 5 miles (8 km) – Flat

From the car park next to Burns Cottage, cross the road and follow the “Poet’s Path” in the direction of Robert Burns Birthplace Museum.  The Path has ten weather vanes and sculptures depicting scenes from Robert Burn’s poem Tam O’ Shanter.  Cross over the wooden bridge and turn right at the museum heading towards the Auld Kirk.  Toilets are available in the museum.  The graveyard at the Auld Kirk dates from 1516 and contains the grave of Robert Burn’s father.  The graveyard was also the setting for the dancing witches in Tam O’ Shanter.

From the Auld Kirk, cross over the road and turn right along the pavement towards the Burns National Monument and gardens.  There is a nice garden to explore and excellent views from the top of the monument.  There will be time to listen to Tam O’ Shanter in another outbuilding where the statues of Tam and Souter Johnny are on display.

Crossing over the Brig O’ Doon, take the path which leads towards the main road and then turn right and then left onto Longhill Avenue.  Travel along Longhill Avenue and take the steps on the right, down onto the tree-lined cycle path.  Turn right and follow the path over the River Doon.  Mungo’s Well is on the north bank on the left.

Continue on the cycle path and at Maybole Road turn left.  After 150m turn left into Kersepark and then right into Pemberton Valley.  Opposite Broadwood Park turn right into a narrow lane that leads into woodland.  Joining the woodland path, turn left and follow the path towards Rozelle Park.  Cross The Loaning and continue into the park.  Take the path to the left leading to Rozelle House and the Maclaurin Gallery.  Wander around the park to take in the sculptures, the Story Stroll and the pond before heading back to the car park.

Kilmannan and Burnbrooks

With a distance of about 7 miles, this walk, which lies between Carbeth and Queen’s View, starts at the Eden Mill Farm Shop.

A forest track takes you up to Kilmannan reservoir. Passing this reservoir on its eastern edge continue on to the Burncrooks reservoir. After a circuit of this reservoir on a well-constructed walking path, pick up the waterworks road for the return journey to the farm shop car park. Part of the walk uses the John Muir Way.

Starting Point for the Walk:

Edenmill Farm Shop car park – OS Reference NS 514 793.  The postal address for the Farm Shop is: Stockiemuir Road, Carbeth by Blanefield, G63 9AX.

Getting there: 10 miles/35 minutes

Take your favourite route towards Bearsden (A809) and on the northern side of Bearsden turn right onto the Stockiemuir Road (A809).  Continue past Carbeth and at Auchengillan turn left (just past a parking area on the right) onto a narrow road     (signed for the farm shop) with a 15mph speed limit.  Continue for about 400m until the car park.  Note: watch out for ‘speed bumps’,  pedestrians and other road users!

The Walk:  Burncrooks & Kilmannan Reservoirs – 7.2 miles (11.5 km) – Undulating

From the parking area, return to the gates of the car park and back up the road for about 100m.  Note the house with scaffolding on the right and then turn left through more gates noting the John Muir Way (JMW) marker.

Continue on this tarmac path for about two kilometres to a junction – the JMW indicates to go left.  However, keep straight on and shortly arrive at the end of the dam of the Burncrooks Reservoir.  The path now descends to the right and curves round to the left to meet a stony track.  Turn left, in a southerly direction, onto the JMW.  Alternatively, cross the dam and follow a very muddy path for about 50m that climbs up to meet the aforementioned stony track.

Continue on this stony, undulating track until reaching the east side of Burncrooks Reservoir.  At the junction of paths, the JMW goes left but turn right at this point and after a short distance, at a T-junction, turn left and go through a metal gate.  The path descends to the banks of Kilmannan Reservoir.  Near the dam the path leads away from the reservoir.  Continue through Greenan Glen, with Auldmurroch Burn on the right, for a couple of kilometres, ignoring paths going off to the right, until the path meets the JMW again.  Turn sharp left and continue on the JMW, in a north westerly direction, until back at the Edenmill Café car park.

A pootle about penicillin

This walk in the Ayrshire countryside takes in the birthplace of the renowned Scotsman, Sir Alexander Fleming (1881-1955) who was a physician and microbiologist, and best known for discovering the world’s first broadly effective antibiotic substance, which he named penicillin.

Starting Point for the Walk:

The Car Park in Ranoldcoup Road, Darvel – OS Reference NS 563 373. About 36 miles from Glasgow, one hour and 10 minutes by car

Getting there: 

Take your favourite route to the M77 towards Ayr.  Once on the M77 continue to Junction 6 signed Galston A77.  After ½ mile turn right onto A77 (Galston) and go under the M77.  At the roundabout take the 1st exit onto Ayr Road signed Galston A77 (A719).  After about a mile turn left onto A719.  Continue through Waterside and Moscow and after about 6 miles (at the Galston roundabout) take the first exit onto A71.  Continue through Newmilns and arrive in Darvel after about 3 miles.  Just past an attractive square on the right, turn right into Ranoldcoup Road.  Continue down Ranoldcoup Road to a car park on the left, opposite Collins Avenue.

The Walk: 

A Pootle around Penicillin – 6.5 miles 10 km) – Undulating with one steep uphill

From Ranoldcoup Road Car Park turn right, and then turn right again onto East Main Street.  Pass the Railway Inn and continue the full length of East Main Street.  At the end of the village cross the busy A71 with care and take the road on the left leading uphill (signposted Irvine Valley Walks).

Continue slowly uphill, past the cemetery and the path to Loudon Hill, until there is a crossroads.  At this point the worst of the hills is over!  Turn left and continue along this road with fields on either side.  Once past Feoch Farm and just before Laigh Braidley Farm there is a road on the right which leads to Lochfield Farm.  Here there is a notice for the birthplace of Sir Alexander Fleming.  Sir Alexander Fleming was the eminent bacteriologist who discovered Penicillin.  There is an option, for those who wish to do so, to take a detour to Lochfield farm to see it up close.

The main route continues gently up to the top of the rise where it zigzags and starts to head steeply downhill to Braidley Bridge which crosses the Glen Water.  This is a particularly picturesque section of the walk.  The road continues uphill for a short distance and then, at the T-junction turn left – the road on the right is a no through road. Continue past Gateside keeping left to cross Mucks Water at Mucks Bridge.

After a short uphill section the road continues at a high level to become Foulpapple Road and then starts to descend.  The village of Darvel soon comes into view, and eventually there are a couple of modern-looking houses on the right.  Turn left here onto Burn Road which is a steep, downhill, narrow road.  It passes the Darvel Telephone Museum (on the right) just before the junction with West Main Street.  At the junction, turn left to return to Ranoldcoup Road and the cars.