Category Archives: Within a radius of about 20 miles

Eaglesham wander

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.

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.


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.

Barr Castle and Lochwinnoch Loop

This walk starts at Castle Semple Loch in the Castle Semple Country Park. The park is part of the much larger Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park. The regional park covers 280 km2. The walk makes use of quiet back roads and cycle tracks. There is a ruined “castle” which dates from the 16th century which can be seen but not accessed.

Starting Point for the Walk:
The car park at Castle Semple Country Park – OS Reference NS 356 589.

Getting there:
By Train – 25 minutes
There is a regular train service from Glasgow Central to Lochwinnoch.  It is a ¾ mile walk from the station to the Starting Point.

By Car – 20 miles/32 minutes
Take your favourite route to the M8 Westbound towards Greenock.  Once on the M8, prepare to exit at Junction 29, onto the A737 [Irvine] (that is immediately after the Glasgow Airport exit).  Continue on the A737 until the Roadhead Roundabout and take the 3rd exit onto the A760 towards Lochwinnoch.  Pass the station on the left, just over the railway bridge, and the RSPB Reserve on the right, and after less than a mile turn right onto Lochlip Road.  Continue straight on until you see the Castle Semple Country Park sign and turn right into the large car park.  There are toilets in the car park (but these are sometimes closed) as well as in the Visitor Centre at the end of the car park.

The Walk:  Lochwinnoch/Kilbirnie Loop – 8.9 miles (14 km)
The walk is on small back roads, and cycle track so is not muddy.
Head out of the car park and turn right into St Winnoc Road, pass under the bridge and then take the second left into High Street.  Continue down High street and take the second right into Calder Street.  Continue up Calder Street past Lochwinnoch Primary School and turn left to cross the small bridge.  Having crossed the bridge turn left again.  This is a continuation of Calder Street – a little confusing!  Take a right turn at Lochwinnoch Golf Club into Corsefield Road. Continue along this road through all the ups and downs, and ignoring turns to the left and right.  There are lovely views to be had over the Garnock Valley on a clear day.  There are also a number of interesting small holdings and farms along the way.

On approaching Kilbirnie, the name of the road changes to Dipple Road.  Continue on until the junction with Stoneyholm Road (A760).  Carefully cross the A760 and follow the signs for the cycle track.  The return route uses the cycle track with the lochs on our right hand side.  This section of the route affords lovely views over the lochs.  On the outskirts of Lochwinnoch follow the cycle route signs which lead back to the car park at Castle Semple Loch, the starting point of the walk.

A circuit of Loch Banton

A  convoluted walk around Colzeum

Getting there: about 21 miles, 40 minutes.

Park considerately in the roads around ‘The Swan Inn’ in the village of Banton where there is a small shop.

There are various ways of getting to Banton but this route gives you a feel of where you will be walking. Take the M8 east from Glasgow, then the M80 towards Stirling etc. At the sign indicating Kirkintilloch/Stepps etc turn left to a very large roundabout with traffic lights. Turn first left off the roundabout and come down to a smaller roundabout where you go straight (second exit) up Initiative Road signposted Kirkintilloch. Follow this straight road crossing all roundabouts and ignoring all exits until you come to the A803 at major traffic lights. Turn right and follow the A803 (past the road to Twechar) through Queenzieburn and Kilsyth and past the signs and gates of Colzeum Country Park. Ignore the first road on the left and take the second left (at Kelvinhead) clearly marked ‘Banton’.

The walk
Take the Mill Road almost opposite ‘The Swan’ turning right along a sign-posted path which leads to Banton Loch. This very picturesque mill-workers’ path takes you into Colzeum (pronounced Coal-zee-um) Country Park. At the junction at the end of the loch, turn right and then left  to follow a convoluted route along a canal feeder to a small bridge across the canal feeder.  The path heads up towards the main House (where the toilets at the restaurant may be open). Continue past the restaurant and up a wooded glen around a magnificent waterfall, returning through a pets’ cemetery. Turn left (vehicular – take the pedestrian path across a bridge) then left again and right to go straight down along a pedestrian path over an ancient bridge and out on to the A803. Crossing carefully, start on a vehicular road but quickly enter a gate and go past boulders, an old bath etc to a gate and footpath on the right. This goes down to the ruined Craigmarlich House and out to a car park on the Forth and Clyde Canal. Turn left here and follow the canal to a sign-posted footpath on the left up to Kelvinhead and, crossing the A803 again, up to Banton. The total distance is about 7.0 miles.

Bonnyton/Hill of Droops Loop

This is a lovely walk starting and finishing in the village of Eaglesham. It is a clockwise circular walk and passes through the village of Waterfoot before returning to the starting point.

At about 8.5 miles it is a pleasant walk with undulating elevations mostly on country lanes. There are shorter options of about 4.5 miles and 6 miles for those wishing a shorter route. There is a ford to be crossed on this walk but at this time of year there should be no problems. There is plenty to see in and around the village of Eaglesham including an equestrian centre, a golf course, an
environmentally friendly housing development, a dog gym exercise area, and quiet country lanes. There are good views
northwards to the Campsies, Ben Lomond and the surrounding hills when the weather is clear.

Starting Point for the Walk:
Mid Road, Eaglesham – OS Reference NS 572 518.

Getting there: 16 miles/25 minutes
Take your favourite route to the M77 (Kilmarnock).  Exit M77 at Junction 5 (East Kilbride/Eaglesham [A726]).  At the roundabout turn right (Eaglesham [B767]).  Continue into Eaglesham and at the traffic lights turn right into Montgomery Street.  Free parking is available in Montgomery Street which is adjacent to Mid Road.

As an alternative, buses run regularly from the city centre to Eaglesham (FirstBus: Service 4a).  Journey time is about 60 minutes.  A regular train service runs from Glasgow Central to Clarkston.  Journey time about 20 minutes.  There is a regular bus service from here to Eaglesham (FirstBus: Service 4a). [Information correct at May 2022]

The Walk:  Bonnyton/Hill of Dripps Loop – 8.25 miles (13 km)
There are two points at which there is the option for a shorter walk of either 4.8 miles (8 km) or 6.5 miles (10 km).

Starting from Mid Road, turn right into Montgomery Street and continue up the street towards the edge of the village where it becomes Moor Road.  Turn right into Kirkton Moor Road and take the gentle inclined road to pass the equestrian centre and golf course.  At the end of the road turn right into Bonnyton Moor Road.  This stretch of road provides fines views over Glasgow to the Campsies and Queen’s View on a clear day.  At the bottom of this road, the road turns right at a 90° corner, it then becomes Humbie Road.  At the roundabout (Point A) there are two options.  For the full walk turn left and go under the A726.  (See Option A below for 4.8 mile walk).

At the next roundabout turn left again and at the third roundabout turn right into Floors Road which leads into Waterfoot.  At the end of Floors Road (Point B), at the junction with Glasgow Road [B767], there are two options.  For the full walk turn left.  (See Option B below for 6.5 mile walk).

Continue until the intersection with Waterfoot Road [signed Newton Mearns] and turn right to cross the Waterfoot Bridge and pass Dripps Mill.  Continue with caution up this road (now without a pavement – keeping to the right side of the carriageway) and take the first turning on the right.  After about 2km, and after a 90° bend to the left, turn right to join the Holehouse Road.  Follow the Holehouse Road down to the ford, cross the ford and follow the road under the A726 and then up the long hill to the start of Eaglesham village.  At the junction with the B767 turn left and *after passing the Eglinton Arms turn right into Polnoon Street and left into Mid Road to return to the start point.

Option A:  Turn right at the roundabout (onto Humbie Road).  At the end of Humbie Road, at the junction with Glasgow Road [B767], turn right.  Continue south on Glasgow Road into Eaglesham and follow the route from * above.

Option B:          At the end of Floors Road, at the junction with Glasgow Road [B767], turn right.  Continue south on Glasgow Road back into Eaglesham and follow the route from * above.

Kilmaurs Loop

This  loop around Kilmaurs, East Ayrshire is an easy 7 mile walk on quiet country roads, passing through a gentle agricultural landscape. The walk has some interesting places including Chapeltoun House. The house was designed for Hugh Neilson, the owner of Summerlee Iron Company in Coatbridge. The walk also passes Watermeetings Bridge.
Check these websites from your browser – They provide some interesting information about Chapeltoun House.

Starting Point for the Walk:

The car park near Weston Tavern (Fenwick Road) – OS Reference NS 410 412.  Parking is free.

Getting there: 23 miles/35 minutes

Take your favourite route to the M77 (Kilmarnock).  Exit M77 at Junction 7 (Kilmaurs [B751]).  At the exit roundabout turn right and go under the M77 and turn left to join the A77.  At the next roundabout turn right towards Kilmaurs (B751 – Kilmaurs Road).  Continue on this road and enter Kilmaurs.  Just after the 20 mph limit sign turn left into the car park which is just down the road from the Weston Tavern which is visible from the car park.  Street parking is also available.

Trains run regularly from Glasgow Central to Kilmaurs.  Journey time is between 33-49 minutes.

The Walk:  Kilmaurs Loop – 7 miles (11 km)

This an easy walk along quiet country roads behind Kilmaurs.  It passes the Annick Water, alongside the Glazert Burn, and cross the local beauty spot known as the Watermeetings.  There are several lovely cottages (and mansions!) to admire, including those around the Chapeltoun Estate area.  The route crosses the East Ayrshire / North Ayrshire boundary 4 times!

From the car park, return to the Fenwick Road and turn left.  At the junction turn right into Main Street and continue until a road on the left called Standalane is reached.  Continue along Standalane for 1.7 miles to reach the B769 and cross this road continuing straight ahead.  After another mile (and passing through Chapeltoun), reach a T-junction and turn left onto Kilwinning Road.   After 0.6 miles look out for a left turn (it can easily be mistaken for a road leading to some farmhouses).  This quiet single-track road follows the course of Glazert Burn until it flows into the Annick Water at the Watermeetings Bridges.   It then emerges at the B769 again.  Continue straight ahead.  At High Langmuir Farm turn right and when it reaches the Irvine Road turn left and continue for about half a mile to arrive back at Main Street, Kilmaurs.  Then turn left and first right back to Fenwick Road and the car park.

A Castle, a park and a river

Starting Point for the Walk:
Park at the Castleview Park & Ride area Stirling.  This is adjacent to Junction 10 (M9) NS 778 948.  Parking is free.

Getting there: 30 miles / 36 minutes
Take your favourite route out of Glasgow towards the M8 (Edinburgh).   Leave the M8 at Junction 13 onto the M80 (Stirling).  Continue on M80 and leave at Junction 10, going right at the Craigforth Roundabout onto the A84.  At the Kildean Roundabout take the 3rd exit onto Millennium Way and at the next roundabout go right into the Park & Ride area.
NOTE: There are no toilets at the start of the walk.  The nearest facilities are at the Stirling Services Area at Junction 9 on the M80/M9.

The Walk:  A Castle, a Park, and a River – 7.2 miles (11.5 km)
Leave the Starting Point via a path at the SW corner of the Car Park, and head through Castle Business Park.  After half a mile join the rather “over grandly” named Millennium Way which soon leads below the cliffs on the western side of Stirling Castle.  The next half mile meanders below the castle and eventually leads onto an area of intriguing grass-covered mounds called the King’s and Queen’s Knots (generally considered to be the remains of 17th century royal gardens).  The route then briefly enters a residential area before leading into Kings Park.  Continue around the edge of the Golf Course and Kings Park in an anticlockwise direction.  Weather permitting there will be plenty of good views on this section.  After another one and half miles reach The Pavilion Cafe (adjacent to Public Toilets). [Distance so far = 3 miles].  Nearby there is some park seating, making this a good place to have lunch.

Continue walking through Kings Park and then briefly enter another residential area and arrive at the Albert Hall.  The next three-quarters of a mile continues at a slower pace up a couple of paths of varying steepness, eventually emerging at the Church of the Holy Rude, followed by Stirling Castle.  After leaving the Castle, descend on the north side, ‘zig zagging’ down to the “Beheading Stone” – legend says this rock was once a chopping block for public executions.  After completing the descent, arrive at the “old Stirling Bridge” across the River Forth.  The majority of the final one and half miles meanders along the bank of the River Forth, before returning to Castle Business Park and Castleview Park & Ride.

All about Houston

This walk takes in part of the River Gryffe, and meanders through fields and woods. It passes the ruined Kirk of Kilallan which bears the date of 1635, and the current Houston & Killellan Kirk building which dates from 1875.

On a clear day there are lovely views of the Kilpatrick hills and views over Glasgow.

Starting Point for the Walk:The parking area in Ardgryfe Crescent NS 417 662.  Park on the road adjacent to a long stretch of grass near the river.

Getting there: 15 miles / 35 minutes

Take your favourite route to the Clyde Tunnel, and the A739 and follow the directions for M8 (Greenock).  Take Junction 28A signposted Irvine (A737).  After 3.4 miles take the exit signposted B789 (Johnston)/A761 (Bridge of Weir) and turn right onto B789 (Houston). ***

Continue straight on through the traffic lights, then at the roundabout sit in the righthand lane and take the 3rd exit onto Barochan Road (B789).  Continue on this road (there is a sharp left-hand bend) and after entering the 30mph limit on the outskirts of Houston continue through the traffic lights.  At the roundabout, take 2nd exit onto Houston Road (B790) and take the third right (after ½mile) into Ardgryfe Crescent and continue until a long stretch of grass at the river on the right hand side.  Park on the road.

*** There are no toilets at the start of the walk.  Morrisons in Johnstone have facilities.  To get there, take the left lane of the slip road and turn left at the lights into the lane for the supermarket.  After visiting, take the right lane at the traffic lights and turn right onto the B789 (Houston) and continue as above.

The Walk:  Houston Loop – 7.7 miles (12 km)

The walk can be muddy at the beginning, so boots and poles are recommended.

The walk starts at the River Gryfe and follows it for a short distance until it reaches a ford.  Turn left (away from the river) and enter a wooded area before crossing a field and heading down towards a private road.  Continue along this road and cross the B789 (Houston Road), which can be busy, and continue straight ahead to follow a Right of Way between two fields.

Continue on the Right of Way as it rises slightly uphill towards Chapel Road.  Turn right and walk along this road to the end (near the entrance to Barochan House/Farm) and then head left up Corsliehill Road (single track) which passes the site of the old Barochan Cross (now in Paisley Abbey).  Cross the B789 (Barochan Road) and continue past Corsliehill House.  Continue on this walking lane, which meanders up and down, until a pathway on the right leads down to the ruins of the old Kilallan Kirk.

After returning to the lane, continue to the end of the road and turn left onto Kilallan Road.  Keep on this road, veering to the left before reaching the B789 on the outskirts of Houston.   Cross the B789 into the narrow Kilmacolm Road and at the end bare left into Kirk Road to pass the Houston and Killellan Kirk where there is an opportunity to buy coffee nearby.

Suitably refreshed, continue along the Kirk Road until the junction.  Cross the road and do a short dogleg into Quarry Brae.  Follow this until the main road (B790) and cross it.  Then take the footpath leading left back towards the River Gryfe and the cars.