Sunday, 11 September 2011

Clyde Walkway

Friday 12 August: Glasgow to Hamilton (20 miles). Cloudy drizzle and light showers. From the tall ship Glenlee, opposite the new transport museum, it's an enjoyable stroll along Glasgow's once bustling harbour. Finnieston cantilever crane build to load heavy locomotives bound for all corners of the empire now stands motionless looking over Clyde Arc Bridge, a newer city icon. The carpet factory has closed but the magnificent brick facade of Templeton's remains, now a business centre. The People's Palace museum built in 1893 "for the entertainment and improvement of East End families" still serves it's original purpose well as I speed past Glasgow Green. Most people walking "End-to-End" avoid Glasgow and walk south from Edinburgh to the Pennines, but I spit in the eye of danger, fascinated by the names on my map - Broomielaw, The Gorbals, Shawfield, Dalmarnock, Parkhead, Rutherglen. I just hope danger's other eye doesn't spit back.
Happily it's a pleasant enough walk through city suburbs in light morning rain with lunch at old Cambusland or 'Orion' bridge and on to the remains of medieval Bothwell Castle to Hamilton Mausoleum and a night at my cousin's home nearby, sedated by a few pints of 'heavy' in the Cosy Corner.

Saturday 13: Hamilton to Lanark (24 Miles). Cloudy with sunny and drizzly spells. Now the Clyde is fast-flowing with green fields all around it, this is horse country. Soon I arrive at Lanark and, still feeling good, I head north to another cousin's home at their stables not too far away. Within a couple of miles the skies open and I arrive looking, and feeling, like a drowned rodent. But it's a warm welcome and I'm sad to leave but need to make the most of the sunny weather forecast.
Sunday 14: Lanark to Douglas (15 miles). Sunny with cool breeze and cloudy spells. A sad goodbye to family and soon I'm in New Lanark, a former mill village now an UNESCO World Heritage Site and a little later I pass the Falls of Clyde then head south to overnight in Douglas. Bad news, the campsite has closed down and the only hotel is being refurbished so I pitch my tent under the slightly scary castle walls and sleep like a log only disturbed by bleating sheep.
Monday 15: Douglas to Leadhills (16 miles). Cloudy with sunny spells and a cool breeze. A well-mapped path over saddle-back hill turns into a boggy mire and I'm relieved to arrive in Crawfordjohn. Bad news, the pub is closed on Mondays so it's a long hungry afternoon's walk over grouse moors to Leadhills and a late lunch next to a log fire at the wonderful Hopetoun Arms where I stay for a couple of nights to avoid rainy weather.
Photos along the Clyde Walkway. I've now walked 398 miles.

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