Tag Archives: Kelvin Walkway

A WEE DONDER. 8 Glasgow to Milngavie.

Change of plan – Milngavie to Glasgow, the Kelvin Walkway.

I’m still not absolutely sure, and it was my idea I think, why we changed our direction for today. An early morning train was taken from the Exhibition Centre to Milngavie.It was years since I’d been here and I was surprised at the amount of signage for the obviously popular West Highland Way. Several groups of backpackers were setting off on that journey. There was no mention of The Kelvin Walkway and we realised the River Kelvin didn’t even come through here. We set off on paths marked on the map and our first sign after a while was for the Allander Way which we’d never heard of. Still it seemed to be going in the right direction so we moved on, we had a train to catch later in the day and didn’t want too many problems. The Allander was more of a drainage ditch than a river but gave easy walking through a dull landscape.

We began to notice on the river banks a large yellow flowered plant which turned out to be the American Yellow Skunk Plant. A garden escapee which apparently has an unpleasant odour as it matures.

The river was narrow and meandering, at one point a very substantial girder bridge had been installed by the Royal Engineers, it should last forever. That is more than can be said for ‘Stan’s seat’  We didn’t really notice where the Kelvin joined forces. Our next landmark was the Balmuildy Pipeline Bridge which deposited us on a rather busy road. The map showed nearby evidence of the Antonine Wall and Roman Forts but our brief diversion revealed nothing. The Antonine Wall was built in AD 142 between the Forth and Clyde. It didn’t last long and the Roman Legions retreated to Hadrian’s wall.  As it was built mainly of wood and turf there is not much apart from its course to see on the ground.

Some pleasant riverside walking followed until we were suddenly diverted away onto roads near Maryhill. Left high and dry we followed our noses once more across Dawsholm Park and luckily [skillfully] rejoined the river. Now in a gorge and a more urban setting there seemed to be a plethora of abandoned railway bridges and at some stage we must have gone under the Forth-Clyde canal aqueduct of 1790. I wish we’d known as steps take you up to see Maryhill locks.

Signs for Glasgow appeared although I suppose we were already in it. The grounds of the Botanical Gardens were on the opposite bank and next an old flint mill site was passed.  Kelvin Bridge was an impressive structure with some ‘homeless’ camping under its arches, not the best of campsites. Also beneath the bridge in the water a Heron was waiting patiently.

Kelvin park was next. The Highland Light Infantry memorial remembered those men who died in the Boer war. We looked into here yesterday evening when the place was packed with sunbathers – pale skin and ginger hair don’t make for tanning.  All around are university buildings, churches and museums suggesting that Glasgow is definitely worth an extended cultural visit.

After all that the Kelvin runs into the Clyde almost unnoticed.

We had time for a celebration meal and drink in the Counting House, an interesting old bank-house a Wetherspoons acquisition, near Queen Street. The Modern Art Museum nearby was disappointing. Then on the train home to Preston.

So we had accomplished our venture, the Lanarkshire Link,  to join up the Pennine Way with the West Highland Way. The journey was more interesting than I had envisaged, thankfully as JD had come along. It would be good to see in the future an official Tweed – Clyde linkup,  it is 70% viable now.



A WEE DONDER* a walk from the Southern Upland to the West Highland Way.

Innerleithen to Milngavie.

I finished the Pennine Way at Kirk Yetholm 50 years ago and started the West Highland Way in Milngavie 15years later. So as part of my humble protracted Lands End – John o’Groats I could fill that gap.  I’ve done K.Yetholm to Melrose on St. Cuthbert’s Way, and Melrose to Innerleithen on Southern Upland Way so I’m left with Innerleithen to Milngavie. Out with the maps and I realise by a combination of old railways and riverside paths I could have an easy week’s  walking. I’ve called it the Lanarkshire Link.

That highlighted a problem as rights of way are not shown on the OS maps of Scotland. There is no definitive map of rights of way as there is in England and Wales and no single place on the web where you can find out about them. Paths are marked with black dotted lines but that is no indication of whether they are passable. Finding out about footpaths through Scotways [Scottish Rights Of Way & Access Society] is cumbersome for a non local so we will just have to see how things work out on the ground. Interestingly ‘rights of way’ in Scotland can be lost if there is no evidence of their use over 20 years which seems heavily biased towards the landlords.

I happened to mention my plans to JD, of Canary Island GR131 fame, who jumped at the chance of a bit of exercise and within hours he’d booked a train heading north. Cost less than £15 for Preston to Galashiels via Edinburgh.  Finding accommodation in the various villages en-route wasn’t too big a problem although that will be more expensive.

So we found ourselves on an afternoon bus from Galashiels asking for a ticket to  Innerleithen, which we couldn’t pronounce. Even in the Borders the Scottish accent is going to be a problem.

DonderTo walk in a slow and carefree manner, not really concerned with how long it takes to arrive at one’s destination. Scottish slang.

That is a good maxim to follow.