First long run route… 20 miles

Next Saturday I’m planning about a 20 mile run, from Glasgow to Milngavie (the start of the West Highland Way). The route follows the river Kelvin North (the Kelvin Walkway) up to Milngavie – about 10 miles – I’ll run to the train station and return the same way I came. I’m going to so 20 miles, and take it nice and easy, see if my wee leggies can hack distance still.

I tried to do the route in March this year and I got majorly lost… ended up running up some farm land in my new trainers. I should have known that going into a Golf Course was a bad idea, but I just kept going. lol. Numpty. 😛 The issue was when I got to Maryhill and onto the A81, I ended up taking the wrong turning… I’ll do my best not to do that this time.

Here’s the link to the OS map. And more information here from walkhighlands.

These are the instructions I need to follow –

5. Now it’s a simple matter of following the obvious (and generally well signposted) riverside path until the Forth and Clyde Canal aqueduct is reached, where the path forks left to pass beneath the canal. The riverside walking resumes until alongside the footbridge to Dawsholm Park, where the path takes an abrupt turn to the right and heads uphill away from the river. Contrary to some older maps, make a signposted U-turn to take a pleasant path that runs parallel to the A81 until the West of Scotland Science Park is reached, where the exit onto the wide A81 pavement and cyclepath should be taken.

6. From this point the walk changes in character – gone are the wide metalled pathways, replaced by narrow and often boggy single-track travelling across relatively exposed countryside with few bail-out options. If you intend to end your walk here, this is the ideal place to catch one of the frequent buses either northwards into Bearsden (where there is also a railway station) or south into Glasgow. If you intend to proceed, turn left along the pavement, cross where safe to do so and turn right at the roundabout into a continuation of the science park. Take the right hand fork at the mini-roundabout to head into Acre, and proceed along the obvious footpath until a small path on the left heads northwards towards the river.

7. Turn right along the riverbank and continue roughly northeast, hugging the significantly smaller river as it travels across increasingly open countryside. The path will eventually reach the A879 at a narrow gap in a wall – exercise extreme caution at this point as the road is fast and the verge narrow. Turn left for a few paces and then cross when safe to descend through the hedgerow to a wooden footbridge running parallel to the road bridge to the left. Cross this and turn right to regain the riverside footpath. This path runs perilously close to the river bank in places, take care in wet or icy conditions.

8. The path traces a wide semi-circle, leaving the River Kelvin halfway round and transferring to Allander Water for the remaining distance into Milngavie. There are several stiles, in varying states of decay, to be crossed on this leg. The route meets the A879 again around 1km north of the first crossing, this time passing underneath. A short distance later a minor road must be crossed – step over the crash barrier on the far side to descend a flight of steps to a long, straight well-maintained path atop an embankment.

9. Cross the footbridge to the north bank where necessary and proceed a short distance before crossing back and continuing until the path ends at the A81 on the outskirts of Milngavie. Turn left under the railway bridge and almost immediately cross over and follow the path uphill as indicated by the Allander Way signpost. Turn right as indicated and continue across the small footbridge to a path junction. Follow the Allander Way signposts straight ahead alongside the railway line until the railway station comes into view. From Milngavie it is possible to continue northwards by following the West Highland Way, which leads eventually to Fort William. Most however will simply catch a train or bus south to return to Glasgow.

Walk description and photos: Phil Turner

(Wish me luck!!…. and if you fancy it – let me know: 8am approx, Saturday)

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