Down the Kelvin Walkway

I was cycling along the B788 mid-week when I was rudely honked at.

I thought ‘I know that vehicle’ and at the next junction, a smiling face was offering me toffees, the whole packet, but I resisted accepting only a handful as I needed some sugar, you see.

It was the Roddy fella so a ‘get up to date’ chat and the thought of another cycling adventure was hatched.

‘Where ?’, ah, Roddy had asked at one point about the run along the north bank of the river from Glasgow. I thought as I’ve been up a few times we’d catch the one down Route 75, 7 across the river and back along 754 (Sustrans routes). Sustrans info HERE.

A day was arranged, now yep, you guessed the WX was watched so the intended route was reversed but it was suggested (by R) to incorporate the Kelvin Walkway so it was off to read up as I’d never ventured to that area. A visit to poltaroute.com and I soon had the route planned and loaded into my v650.

It promised rain later and strong breezes but as we left and headed down to the A8, it was dry and making excellent time along through Langbank and up to Bishopton, heading out and soon up over the Erskine Bridge.

River Kelvin

River Kelvin

A quick drop down Lusset Glen and it was east along the Forth & Clyde canal, a cracking surface and today, busy with both walkers and cyclists. An excellent facility, the cycle counter at Clydebank showed plenty daily activity so far. I did the usual tourist guide and pointed out stuff (stuff? You know what I mean), all other bikes seemed to be heading west today and soon we were on virgin ground (to me), stopping to look at this and that before Bob missing our turn off at Maryhill Locks (duh), a quick check and back to our downward drop through the said walkway, impressive structures en route. My excuse is the map shows cycle tracks in a broken red line, the route? is a solid red track.

Iron bridge

Iron bridge

I liked the fact the Walkway was a downhill drop, I like downhill.

Bridges?, there are quite a few, grandly built in a style which sadly isn’t used nowadays, Kirklee Bridge, a red sandstone bridge with grand pink granite columns,  Gibson St Bridge with its ornate cast iron metal work and city coats of arms, Ha’penny Bridge which was swept away but replaced with a modern version amongst others. There is pillar remains the entire length of the river walkway.

The Roddy fella

The Roddy fella

One intriguing ruin is that of the old North Woodside flint mill which has been preserved after closure in the 1960s, the river was once littered with mills along its length which used it as a disposal point for their effluent and had killed the river of its wildlife, now salmon and trout and many species of birds have returned.

It was a quick run down before a tentative run round the BMX track in Kelvingrove Park as a bit of fun, I should act my age, before finding our way down to the city waterfront.

The city waterfront was quieter than normal, it can be chaotic at points during the day, we cycled to the squiggly bridge and sat and admired the view.

Boat at Dalmuir

Boat at Dalmuir

It was on to the 2-way cycle lane on the south side of the river, under the Kingston Bridge and a stop for a burger lunch.

It was now to find Route 7, a job that I keep failing in, I can find the way to Kinning Pk but keep taking the wrong path but finally it was up over the M8 and onward to Pollok Park, a steady run through parkland and along the bank of the White Cart before a run through housing estates before meeting up with the dedicated path at Hunterhill, through Canal St and soon we were in Elderslie, not long to home, 11 miles.

It was a now very familiar run up Route 75 from Linwood and back home.

50 miles logged and a fun day out.

If you had told me a few years ago, I’d be now regularly cycling to Glasgow city centre, I’d have scoffed but this makes a good circuit which has a few different routes home on the north bank of the river.

I have since made the trip going the opposite way with a grandstand finish last few miles over two steep rises I hadn’t attempted before from the back of Langbank to Kilmacolm, I’d forgot the Barochan Road was closed, oh well.

Rather than me prattling on about the Kelvin Walkway and its history, I’ll link to HERE HERE HERE

Botanic Garden heritage trail (PDF) HERE

Sustrans Glasgow Waterways Loop map HERE

Scottish Canals Cycling HERE

Maryhill Locks HERE

Thanks go to Walkhighlands, Wikipedia, Scotcities, Glasgow City Council and Sustrans.

Kirklee Bridge photo © the Roddy fella

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