The Clyde enters the big city.
The trains were back to normal this morning and we had a quick journey back to Uddingston. We dropped down to the Clyde and crossed a pedestrian bridge but immediately we were taken away from the river on undulating paths and roads through what looked like old mining or industrial areas which are slowly being developed with housing estates. Not particularly attractive. We eventually rejoined the Clyde near an abandoned railway bridge just upstream from an attractive weir, I think we were in Carmyle. Somewhere along here was the stork’s nest on a lamppost. One benefit of the urbanity was a nearby supermarket whose well known value cafe we visited for morning tea and snacks.
We crossed another old railway bridge onto the north bank of the river where we remained all day. On this side we came across new signs which detailed the route in minutes. The M74 was ducked under and then there were surprising stretches of pleasant countryside as well as modern housing. Somewhere we passed near by Parkhead and Celtic Park the home of Celtic FC.
Along here we were brought into conversation with [accosted by] a well known Glaswegian on a bike with his dog. Tales of the slums of Glasgow, a Barras stallholder, working with the London privileged in the 60’s [he showed us the scar on his hand from a bite from Christine Keeler’s dog!!] some sort of ongoing protest about a drugs/jewellery raid on his house many years ago and his subsequent life as an artist. James Donnelly, all is documented on the internet. For a flavour watch …
Anyhow onwards around a towering wall hiding old water treatment works. The cycle way we were sharing became busier with families out cycling and we spent a lot of time dodging bikes. Now into the parkland of Glasgow Green which houses the Peoples Palace Winter Garden glasshouse and Templeton’ s Carpet Factory brick facade. Through the park, today busy with families, is an obelisk built to honour Horatio Nelson.
Bridges come thick and fast now as we approach the centre. across the way was once the infamous Gorbals tenements. The route stays alongside the Clyde all the way but mostly with a busy road adjacent so there are no riverside developments or cafes to enjoy. Having just returned from the Thames Path through London I feel Glasgow has missed a trick. We could have easily diverted into the busy centre of Glasgow and all its historic buildings. The river also seems to lack any boat traffic.
The most interesting section on the river is the Exhibition Area in the west. Lots of modern designs are highlighted in this area as well as restored dock side relics. There is the Finnieston Crane and on either side of the river Rotunda which once housed lifting equipment for the passenger tunnel, closed in 1980. The old tower and pump-house has been converted into a distillery. On the far bank is the BBC Studios, a science museum and an old paddle steamer.
This all culminates at the Riverside Museum with its Tall Ship alongside.
It is here where the Clyde Walkway finishes and the River Kelvin enters the Clyde. Tomorrow we will follow that river to Milngavie to complete our week.
We could have been singing this as we walked the last few days. All together now –
A fascinating blog. I’ve walked in the borders but never at all in the central belt – a lot of working class history there. Enjoy your walks, John B.
Thanks John. It was surprisingly rural well into the City. Yes we would have liked more time to explore some of the historic sites. They must have spent a lot of money smartening up Glasgow.
They say it’s a city with a great many green places. We like going there.