Total distance – 2.5 kilometres
Ascent – 50 metres
Walking conditions – Tarmac/dirt footpaths. No difficulties. Buggy compatible.
Time required – Around 1 to 2 hours
Nearest Town – Glasgow (South Side)
House prices in East Renfrewshire are notoriously high. Apparently, it’s all down to school catchment areas, but I wonder if Rouken Glen Park has something to do with it. Either way, Rouken Glen Park is still well worth a visit. There’s a brand new pirate themed play area in the middle of the park, so what further incentive do you need? What about an ice cream shop next to a boating pond? Oh, it’s got that as well.
Park in the large car park in front of the garden centre. The path to the left takes you to the wide open section of the park. You’ll immediately see the ‘pirate’ play area. By continuing along the path for a few hundred metres you’ll pass the skatepark on your left and then you’ll reach a small incline that leads to the boating pond. Walk around the pond clockwise, buy an ice cream then take a left. This will lead you to a spectacular waterfall down the White Cart. Cross the waterfall via a bridge, and then immediately take a right onto a delightful footpath which follows the stream and crosses a series of little bridges. This will lead you back to the wide open section of the park. Make your way back to the car park.
Total distance – 7.2 kilometres
Ascent – 40 metres
Walking conditions – Roads, footpaths (or sandy beach). No difficulties. Buggy compatible.
Time required – Around 2 to 3 hours
Nearest Town – South Queensferry
The South in South Queensferry may be optional, but a visit to this charming town on the shore of the Firth of Forth is obligatory. Try to visit before the new bridge has been constructed as the building works are amazing to look at. That’s right, there will soon be three bridges over the Forth, in close proximity. After all we’re in the land of plenty with trams and Holyrood and investment galore. The walks aren’t half bad either. The walk from South Queensferry to Hounds Point is just one such walk.
Find a parking space in the cobbled Queensferry High Street and follow this road going eastwards. After just over 1 Km you’ll be at the foot of the Forth Rail Bridge with Hawe’s Inn (featured in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped) on your right. Another few hundred metres takes you to the start of the Dalmeny Estate. There’s no vehicles beyond this point so you’ll start to feel as if you’re now on a proper walk on a footpath. The path continues to skirt along the shoreline and before long you’ll be on the magnificent sandy beach of Hounds Point; a place that is well worth the walk in itself. Return via the same route.
Total distance – 2.9 kilometres
Ascent – 60 metres
Walking conditions – Footpaths and tracks. Can be a little muddy after heavy rainfall. Buggy compatible on dry days. No difficulties.
Time required – Around 1 to 2 hours
Nearest Town – Milngavie
Milngavie is probably best known for being the town that always has its name mis-pronounced. But it’s also famous for being the start of the West Highland Way which is far more exciting. And Mugdock Country Park is directly across the road from the start of the West Highland Way. It’s an expansive park with countless walking routes in addition to playparks, a castle, garden centre, and second world war installations to name but a few things. A great day out!
For one of our favourite routes, park at the garden centre and make your way south past the courtyard and on to the gravel track. This southerly track quickly veers to the right and you will soon see a large ruin. The track then curves around to the left until you start to walk in an easterly direction. After about 300 metres keep your eyes out for the footpath leading off to the right (you’ll see the castle on the right so you can’t really go too far wrong). This path takes you out over marshy ground. Not to worry though, because you’ll be walking on wooden decking. And after no more than a couple of hundred metres you’re in Mugdock Castle.
To return, follow the footpath back to the track but this time turn right for a couple of hundred metres. Then take the footpath going left. This takes you on a nice loop back to the car park via the Walled Gardens. Visit the café and visitor centre, then let the kids run about the playplay. This should ensure that they’re suitably exhausted and you can guarantee yourself a good night’s sleep.