Category Archives: Strathclyde

Castlecary to Linlithgow

Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk Wheel

Continuing the tradition of doing canal walks in July Jazz and I were doing the middle bit of the Central Belt’s canal network.  We were dropped off near the Castlecary arches and quickly reached the canal.  It was at about this point we discovered that the map was still in the car currently heading west. Well, we were on a canal and the John Muir Trail (JMT) that is sure to be well sign-posted: what could possibly go wrong…? Continue reading

Strathblane to Kilsyth

Canal near Kilsyth

Canal near Kilsyth

A bit of good luck today: the Missus wanted to cycle to see the Falkirk Wheel and offered us a drop-off and pick-up: this meant we could do another linear section of the John Muir Trail. So we were back in Strathblane heading east. It was a lovely summer’s day and the only grit in the oyster was the memory that last time we did a section of the Forth-Clyde Canal the cycling hordes were a pain. Surely I was just in a bad mood then; it’ll be better today. Nope.

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Balloch to Strathblane



“That’s one small step for man, one long walk for man+dog”.  Given today is the 45th anniversary of Neil Armstrong stepping onto the Moon (closely followed by Buzz) it seems appropriate to paraphrase his comment for this second section of the John Muir Trail (JMT). Continue reading

Helensburgh to Balloch

Local Hero

Local Hero

When I read that the John Muir Way (JMW) had been extended and now stretches from Helensburgh to Dunbar this was a nice infusion of new walking options. Today we started our campaign with the start at Helensburgh. It’s 215km (134 miles) long and splits into nice day sections, and unlike our friend the SUW, there is actually some public transport (and obliging relatives) to help us connect up the stages. Today we gave ScotRail our custom: we parked at Balloch station and took the train to Helensburgh and walked back. Continue reading

Blood Sport

Red Admiral feedingI 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. Continue reading

Glen Finlas Horseshoe

South Loch Lomond from CraperochThe west side of Loch Lomond has lots of lovely hills arranged into nice circular walks that are strangely ignored by the people heading north or for the Munro on the other bank.  Today Jazz and I did one that the Missus and I did back in 1989: the horseshoe walk around Glen Finlas. Continue reading

Falls of Clyde

Snowdrops beside a streamToday was one of those grey pre-spring days when visibility is poor and so a woodland walk sounds good.  For reasons known only to my brain, out popped the idea of a circuit around the Falls of Clyde at New Lanark. We’ve done this a few times before and a winter walk is always great because the trees don’t obscure the river (too much) and the volume of water is usually higher and so the Falls more impressive.  And it was so. Continue reading

Heatherstane Law

Base of wind turbine

Today for inspiration I opened Nick Wiliams’ excellent Southern Uplands guide with the intention of walking where it opened (so long as it looked interesting and wasn’t too far away, obviously).  So step up Heatherstane Law.  However, don’t try to find this on an Ordnance Survey map because there it is called  Hudderstone.  Clearly when the OS surveyor asked a local for the name of yonder hill their accent was a little on the strong side and the literal transcription made it into the database.  Whatever name you use, it was a nice day out, and a good example of how quickly a guide-book can go out-of-date.

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Culter Fell and Friends

Culter Fell from Hillshaw Head

The map just south of Biggar goes all brown and contoury 1 and is an area we usually just drive passed. Well, a bit of winter planning came up with a route that takes in one of the bigger lumps, Culter Fell and a few of its friends in a nice circuit taking in four Donalds and so today my legs got a much-needed stretch on a beautiful Spring day.  Continue reading


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What Have the Romans Ever Done for Us?

Tow-path near Dullatur

With Last-born at T-in-the Park, a weekend of rain was expected and indeed forecast, so you can imagine our complete lack of surprise to have a lovely walk in hot sunshine.  A bit of a change this week with a nice circular walk taking in a bit of the Forth-Clyde Canal and the Antonine Wall near Kilsyth and so getting two engineering marvels in one go. Continue reading