Tag Archives: buggy

Queen’s Park, Glasgow

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Total distance – 3.2 kilometres

Ascent – 60 metres

Walking conditions – Nearly all tarmac paths. No difficulties. Buggy compatible.

Time required – Around 1 to 2 hours

If you thought that the abundance of squirrels was the only reason to visit Queen’s Park you couldn’t be more wrong. Apart from being in the ‘trendy’ part of Glasgow’s South Side, Queen’s Park has a number of attractions including a glasshouse featuring the Zen Garden, ponds, tropical fish, exotic birds and an excellent reptile house. There’s even a small soft play area for the under 5s. And it’s all free! There is also much to keep you occupied on your way around the park.

Make your start/ finish point the Queen’s Park Glasshouse. From the Glasshouse exit right. After a few metres take another right leading onto a dirt footpath that takes you along the rear of the Glasshouse. After about 400 metres you will come out at the Queen’s Park Flagpole which is the highest and best viewpoint in Glasgow City. When you make your way down form there you’re pretty much just circum-navigating the park. Try to ensure that you visit the play-parks, nature pond and rose gardens. And don’t forget to keep your eyes peeled for squirrels!

Queen's Park

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Balloch Circuit, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

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Total distance – 6.5 kilometres

Ascent – 120 metres

Walking conditions – Mainly tarmac paths. Gravel/soil footpath adjacent to Loch Lomond can be muddy or even submerged during particularly wet weather. Otherwise accessible by buggy.

Time required – Around 2 to 3.5 hours

Balloch is one of our favourite places. It’s a small yet bustling town sitting in one of Scotland’s most picturesque landscapes. There’s loads for the children to do so it’s always a popular choice of destination.

Park at Loch Lomond Shores Shopping Centre. The only down-side about parking here is that you might end up abandoning your walk and instead go shopping, visit Sea Life (watch out for two-for-one offers otherwise it’s quite expensive), or go for a coffee and soft play at the Tourist Information Centre. You can even visit the Maid Of The Loch paddle steamer.

The route really starts just beyond Sea Life. Take the path going North East. After about 200 metres you cross a road and  the path bends off to the right and follows the River Leven for a few hundred metres. You then cross the road bridge and turn left to take the path at the river’s edge. From then on in it’s basically a big loop around Balloch Country Park. We usually do it in an anti-clockwise direction. This involves an easy ascent along tarmac paths past Balloch Castle (great spot for a picnic). The path then leads you down along the edge of Loch Lomond. Keep walking until you get to the road bridge you previously crossed. Return via the same route.

Balloch

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Pitlochry, Perthshire

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Total distance – 1.7 kilometres

Ascent –  60 metres

Walking conditions – Roads, pavements and good paths. Footpath through forest can be muddy. The stairs up Pitlochry Dam are a bit steep.

Time required – Around 45 minutes to 1.5 hours

My first impression of Pitlochry was that it is a picture postcard town set within a stunning Highland landscape. However, that didn’t explain why it was jam-packed with tourists and buzzing at all hours of the day. As it turns out one of the main reasons for this lies south of the River Tummel and is the Pitlochry Festival Theatre. But there are numerous other reasons for Pitlochry’s popularity. Recently, we did a little circular walk form the centre of town to the theatre taking in Loch Faskally by way of the Pitlochry Dam. This short and pleasant walk provided us with a good flavour of the place.

Park near the centre of town and make your way to the railway station which in itself is a place of interest. Take the path going east then turn right under the railway bridge. Walk past the car park, cross the road and take the footpath through the forest. This short forest walk takes you out at a small housing estate. To the left hand edge of this estate is a path that leads directly on to a footbridge taking you over the River Tummel. Turn right and you’ll pass by a very pleasant riverside pub with the theatre up the hill on the left. It’s a great place to stop for a picnic as there are plenty of wooden benches and a great view. Pitlochry dam is also a couple of hundred metres away. Walk along the road then make your way up a series or little stairways and channels which take you to the top of the dam. Cross the dam then make your way back to the railway station. There’s a quaint little footbridge you can cross between platforms.

We’ve been to Pitlochry on several occasions and each time stayed at Scotland’s Hotel which was great fun and relatively inexpensive. There are always new things to do and explore in Pitlochry and it won’t be long before we’re back.

Pitlochry

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Glasgow Green to Buchanan Street, Glasgow

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Great Scottish Run/ Toddler Dash at George Square

Total distance – 5.2 kilometres

Ascent –  30 metres

Walking conditions – Entirely roads, pavements and good paths. No difficulties.

Time required – Approximately 2 hour’s walking time plus however long you wish spend at the numerous attractions

Glaswegians like a long lie at the weekend; apart from those who haven’t been to bed yet. This provides the fantastic opportunity of going for a morning walk around some of the Scotland’s busiest and most interesting streets whilst it’s still quiet.

Park at Templeton Street on Glasgow Green. Walk along this road and you will quickly reach the Doulton Fountain, which is the world’s largest Terracotta fountain and lies next to the People’s Palace. The People’s Palace is also a great tourist attraction. Apart from the museum (free entry) which charts the history of Glasgow there is a magnificent large glasshouse at the back which is home to a delightful café and features a variety of trees and shrubbery and leads out into beautiful gardens. From there, walk to the other side of Glasgow Green and cross the road at the High Court. Follow the path next to the Clyde for a few hundred metres then turn right just past the St. Enoch’s Centre. This will take you directly to the pedestrianized zone of Buchanan Street which my wife reliably informs me is one of Europe’s great retail centres. Walk as far as the Buchanan Galleries then walk down to George Square. There is always something going here including any manner of street performers and organised displays.

By now you will probably experience the dilemma of choosing somewhere to go for lunch. If you walk from George Square down Queen Street you will find a number of well-reputed places to eat at Royal Exchange Square. Then make your way back to Glasgow Green via Argyll Street.

There are some really good play-parks in Glasgow Green particularly the one on Templeton Street which should be close to where you’ve parked.

Glasgow Green

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Calton Hill to Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

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Calton Hill

Total distance – 3 kilometres

Ascent –  80 metres

Walking conditions – Entirely roads and pavements. Some stairways could prove awkward for buggies.

Time required – Approximately 1.5 hour’s walking time plus however long you wish spend at the numerous attractions

A trip to Edinburgh is always a good day out. We’ve had particularly good times in the city centre during the Edinburgh Festival and also the Christmas Market. On our most recent visit we did a 3 Km loop incorporating the fantastic viewpoints of Calton Hill and Edinburgh Castle with a number of attractions in between.

This particular route starts at the top of Calton Hill. Parking near here can be quite difficult so we tend to have these excursions on a Sunday when there’s less traffic and less parking restrictions. Calton Hill can be easily accessed from all directions and is an easy 40 metre ascent. The only issue might be that if you’re using a buggy you may have to carry it up flights of stairs. When you get on top you’ve got a 360 degree un-interrupted panoramic view and it’s magnificent. You can also marvel at Edinburgh’s finest architecture including the National Monument and the City Observatory. Exit Calton Hill and turn right on to Calton Road, then a left at New Street over the railway line. You then take a right at Canogate onto the Royal Mile which leads up to Edinburgh Castle. On returning from the castle go left which takes you down to the Mound and the home of the Scottish National Gallery. Finally make your way back via the Princes Street Gardens.

If you’re visiting in December my wife recommends you get a coffee and Bailey’s at the Christmas Market to warm your cockles.

Calton hill

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Glasgow’s West End

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Total distance – 4 kilometres

Ascent – 30 metres

Walking conditions – Entirely roads and pavements

Time required – Approximately 1.5 hour’s walking time plus however long you wish spend at the numerous attractions

The west end of Glasgow was my happy hunting ground in my years as a student at Glasgow University. It is also a fantastic urban adventure for the children as there’s loads to do. We’ve carried out a number of incursions into the West End and on our most recent mission we identified three key objectives.

The Botanic Gardens is your first port of call so find a parking space close by. If you are in a metered zone make sure you buy a parking ticket. The parking attendants do not mess about here. The gardens are open all year round (free entry) and there are 19.6 hectares to wander around in. These gardens extend to the river Kelvin walkway. The Glasshouse (Kibble Palace) and Tearooms are also worth a visit and are open during the day.

From the Botanic Gardens head along Byres Road. Take a left at Dumbarton Road. By all means stop for lunch at one of the cafes along the route. After about 300 metres you will see the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery on the left hand side. When you enter, despite what may appear to be the case the Kelvingrove Art Gallery is in fact not a crèche with loads of things to climb onto, but a museum which is free to visit and show-cases numerous invaluable works of art. Make sure you scare the children by visiting the dinosaurs.

The final objective is Kelvingrove Park which is right beside the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. It’s a great park with extensive grounds and for the children there is a skatepark and a playpark beside each other. I could now reminisce about the original skatepark which had been filled in during the 1980s and has made up some of my fondest childhood memories, but that would be self-indulgent. Anyway, when you’re done, walk along Kelvin Way and take a left at Universtiy Avenue which leads you back to Byres Road.

Glasgow's West End

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