Wild Walking UK

Clyde Walkway

The Clyde Walkway is 40 mile (65 km) long, foot and cycle path between Partick in Glasgow and the UNESCO World Heritage site of New Lanark in South Lanarkshire. The path runs close to the River Clyde for most of its length. Unlike other long distance paths it is close to urban centres with easy access to public transport, and is mostly on good surfaced paths.

The route begins in the heart of the city and ends in a spectacular gorge complete with waterfalls. Those interested in very long walks can link the Glasgow end with the West Highland Way by using the Kelvin Walkway to Milngavie, making a very interesting 145 miles route.

I walked this as part of my Lands End to John O’Groats and 3 Peaks challenge. I joined the Clyde Walkway from the waterfalls near New Lanark end and walked to Glasgow to join the Kelvin Walkway.

Day 1 (46): Wednesday 3rd April 2019

The day started nice, but it clouded over quickly. Some heavy hail showers arrived, followed by snow showers, and then the day finished dry but very cold. I wore my Polartec top under my softshell for most of the day which was very rare, and I was still cold. I needed to keep moving for most of the day to keep warm.

Falls of Clyde

I enjoyed walking by the river on a lovely footpath past the Falls of Clyde, even though it was raining fairly heavily. This is a good surfaced footpath, with constant views of the river. It follows the river as closely as possible, all the way to the World Heritage Village and Visitor Centre.

UNESCO World Heritage site of New Lanark

This turned out to be a very impressive World Heritage Site, I could have easily spent half a day looking around, but I didn’t have time. I just stopped for lunch in the large cafe.

I felt much better after lunch, or at least I did until I looked at my map and realised I needed to cover about 12 miles between now (3pm) and dark if I was to have any chance of getting through Glasgow in one day. I felt better, but not that much better…

Once I got out of the heritage site, I found the Clyde Way (not terribly well signed) and enjoyed a very nice walk along the river. I did a few miles as fast as possible on this footpath, but didn’t make it as close to Glasgow as I wanted to. The rain started again, the toe on my left foot was hurting and I had a new sore rubbing on the side of my ankle. As soon as I found a good spot I put the tent up so I could sort out my feet

Camping spot

Dinner tonight was a Mug Shot, bread, half a pot of olives, cous cous and two chocolate bars. Calories definitely weren’t a problem today and I felt better for it, apart from a few aches and pains.

Day 2 (47): Thursday 4th April 2019

It rained most of the night. I had to blow my pillow up four times in the night, and my air bed once. Both seemed to have slow punctures. Putting wet socks on this morning was not nice too. I desperately need some drying weather soon, but rain was forecast again today.

I didn’t fancy the rest of my pot of olives and bread for breakfast, and I still had no coffee, so not a great start.

It was an uninspiring walk in the drizzle along uninspiring paths, fields and tracks near the river to the rather impressive Strathclyde Country Park water centre. I was really struggling at this point, and was not impressed when a teenager overtook me and I couldn’t keep pace with him.

Strathclyde Loch and Country Park

I found a big Toby Carvery open for all-you-can-eat breakfast and all the coffee you can drink. Brilliant. It was nearly 11am and I hadn’t eaten anything all morning, so I impressed myself. What a bargain.

The route leaves the river Clyde for a short time, while crossing the M74 motorway. I do have to admit that I found the paths and bridges over these roads, well designed and quite interesting. It’s strange to be in all this noise and busyness after the quiet of the river walking.

Glasgow

The Clyde Walk path was really nice past the falls and visitors centre then wasn’t quite so good, passing through rough fields and tracks, but it got better and better the closer to Glasgow I got. Eventually it became a surfaced path and cycle way, which was a great way to enter Glasgow. I was impressed with the city from the start, Glasgow would be a good place for a rest day or two, to allow time to explore the city.

You can read the West Highland Way and Kelvin Walkway walks. Or the whole Lands End to John O’Groats+3 peaks challenge. Or Gear List.

My 11 wild camping rules.

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