I hate blood sports, particularly when the blood is mine! In a misguided display of parental selflessness I’d given the Brat my insect repellant as she was going camping in D&G and so I had no protection from the biters who looked on me as lunch during our walk around the Kilpatrick reservoirs. It was disconcerting to slap my arm as a diner dug in and then find my fingers covered in my precious A Rh+. By the end of the walk I was anaemic.
This walk came from 25 year old walking guide I had found at the back of the bookcase and it seemed ideal for a hot day as Jazz could cool off in each of the four reservoirs we’d pass. Unfortunately in the intervening years some inconsiderate organisation had planted a forest…
We started at Glasgow University’s farm at Cochno and headed for Jaw reservoir along the signed path with Red Admiral butterflies gorging themselves on the thistles. The path climbs a brae and gives great views along the Clyde to Glasgow with Tinto Hill on the horizon 60-odd km away. After Jazz had a quick dip in the reservoir we passed the Maiden's Paps (a pair of earth mounds) and then followed the track skirting a forest. Unfortunately my old guide hadn’t foreseen a new stretch of forestry and so Jazz and I had an unpleasant stretch following a stream up to my nose in bracken while being a blood donor to all the insects of central Scotland. Let’s fast-forward this bit and just say that your correspondents finally reached the lunch spot at Kilmannan reservoir in a poor mood.
After lunch we were now on a decent track going to Burncrooks reservoir for a post-lunch dip and then following a fire-break heading for Duncolm, the high-point of the day. At just over 400m this lump isn’t going to get on walking lists but as it sits out from its surroundings, it does give a great viewpoint, especially to the north to Loch Lomond and its hills. It is in the short-but-sharp category but the view really is worth it. I took a panoramic picture stretching from Dumgoyne to Ben Lomond, Ailsa Craig (90km away) and then over Glasgow and Tinto Hill.
From Duncolm we head south for Greenside reservoir along a decent (albeit occasionally squelchy) path. After the obligatory Jazz-dip we now follow the track back to the car. This was a mixed walk: the forest bit was awful, but the view from Duncolm made up for it. And the next time I’m up here it will be with a tanker of DEET.