Return to Whittle Wanderer

Glasgow, Stonehouse, Biggar, Meldon Hills, Penicuik, Innocent Railway, Edinburgh, Scotland.
(3Ĺ  day bike-pack)
Tue 23 Apr - Fri 26 Apr 2019

Tue 23 Apr 2019

Tue 23 Apr 2019
Wed 24 Apr 2019
Thu 25 Apr 2019
Fri 26 Apr 2019
 
Heading back to Scotland with my bike. I was there last month but had to alter my route considerably due to heavy rain, flooding and snow. I cycled into Preston and caught the 08:03 train to Glasgow which was on time. Last month it was late. There was a signalling delay on route so it was about 5mins late when we arrived in Glasgow. I cycled south along Union Street until I came to the river Clyde where I turned left to follow the cycle track along the north Bank. I soon came to an impressive wall mural painting of a snarling tigerís face.
Preston Railway Station almost deserted

Glasgow Central Railway Station

Glasgow Central Railway Station

Face by the Clyde
I continued on the north bank to the People's Palace Park where I follow the cycle track to the old St Andrew's Suspension Bridge. This was originally built to provide easy access for workers as they had previously to use a very busy ferry.
St Andrews Suspension Bridge
St Andrew's Suspension Bridge built 1854-55 to replace a busy ferry conveying workers from Bridgeton & Calton to Hutchesontown. A wrought iron structure with single span of 67m. Repaired and refurbished 1996-98 by Glasgow City Council funded by the European Union.
St Andrews Suspension Bridge
I crossed over the river and continued along the south bank which soon became the west bank due to the rivers meandering. There has been a lot of subsidence damage to the cycle track and I left that route and followed the roads for a while. I returned to the river along a cycle track which has recently been improved but a lot of building work was going on adjacent.
Cuningar Park
It took me to the Shawfield Footbridge which looks relatively new but unfortunately the surface had a lot of smashed bottles on it. I turned right to the Clyde Walkway which I followed for quite a while to the Cuningar footbridge which although was dedicated to foot and cycle traffic had no direct connection with the Clyde walkway I had to make a detour through adjacent roads to join it. Once over I was in Cuningar Park where I turned right to head back to the roads and the A724. I turned left to follow the Cambuslang Road which took me back over the River Clyde where I rejoined the cycle track and continued to the next Bridge. I followed the interesting cycle track to the north of Cambuslang heading east and along the line of an old railway. The weather was fairly overcast with a variable easterly wind which I had to ride in from time to time.
I reached the next footbridge to the west of Uddingston then the cycle track circles around the playing fields of the Grammar School. I reached the road and turn right to follow Castle Avenue and south to the branch Road to Bothwell Castle. I visited this on my last trip but didn't pay to go in as there wasn't sufficient time. Today was the same and I had a look at the shop which was closed due to staff off at lunchtime.
Bothwell Castle
There was some rain so I decided to wait under the entrance arch to shelter for a while. The rain was light and intermittent. I returned to Castle Avenue and continued round to Blantyre Mill Road which was shown as closed but was open to cycles. I descended to the David Livingstone Memorial Footbridge and after crossing tried to look at the David Livingstone Centre. Unfortunately the main entrance was barriered off as it was closed for extensive renovations.
David Livingstone Memorial Bridge
I continued up the road and into Blantyre and Blantyre Bridge and a monument.
In Honour of the Covenanters.
Battle of Bothwell Bridge 22 June 1679.


Battle of Bothwell Bridge 22 June 1679

Battle of Bothwell Bridge 22 June 1679

Rowers on Strathclyde Loch
I turned left to follow the cycle track along the A74 which took me east to the large new interchange round the M74. There is an interesting cycle route through this new road layout and the footbridges got me across and to the entrance road to Strathclyde Country Park. I followed the cycle track along the side of Strathclyde Loch where there were teams of rowers were training. I followed bit round to another Bridge another Footbridge over the River Clyde where I crossed and then soon turned left to follow the cycle track towards the A723. It was here where I couldn't get through the last time due to the track being under about 1 m of water. Today it was clear and the water was around 2 m lower than the cycle track.

Cycle track today

Cycle track 13th Mar 2019
I was able to follow it through a park area and onto an old stone bridge with a cobbled surface over the Avon water. I cycled across and followed the cycle track through Chatelherault Country Park. I made a detour round the hall buildings round to the west car park and passed the walled garden area.
David Livingstone, Sir William Wallace
and Robert Owen

Chatelherault Country Park

Chatelherault Country Park

The cafe
It looked an interesting place to visit and once again I didn't have time to call in. I left to the east and continued to the A72 road where the path is also a cycle track. I was so glad there was a cycle track as the road was extremely busy. I followed it until the cycle track left to the right where I rode round a park area to exits into Larkhall. On Caledonian Road I stopped to call at the Co-op Foods shop to buy water at 19 pence per 2 lt.
Terrible pile of rubbish outside Larkhall

 The weather had now improved and was quite warm so I took my top cycle jacket off and packed it away. I left to the west and descended steeply down to Avon Water where I crossed the Millheugh Bridge. I immediately turn left onto Millheugh Road which is narrow and in a bad condition. As I climbed the hill I stopped to look at a pile of rubbish which had been dumped off the road and spilled down the steep bank towards Avon water. The climb up the road is extremely steep so I decided to push the bike unlike the last time where I cycled up. Once up I had a pleasant ride through the countryside towards Stonehouse which is where I was looking for somewhere to pitch my tent. It was very disappointing to see large amounts of rubbish dumped by the road and in lay-bys. The last time I came here there I camped in a field before the village.

This time I descended to the river and crossed over then wheeled my bike into Alexander Hamilton Memorial Park. There was a play area and plenty of flat grass but it was too visible so I followed a path along the River to a flat area where I couldn't be seen from the road. However there were several footpaths around and people were out walking and dog walking. It wasn't ideal but there was nowhere else.
Camp 1 by Avon Water