The Clyde Walkway | Day 1
New day, new trail and for this Scottish Great Trail we are walking the Clyde Walkway. The Clyde Walkway extends from the centre of Glasgow to UNESCO World Heritage site at New Lanark in South Lanarkshire
The Clyde Walkway feels very, very different to any other trail we have hiked before. The drive to the start location alone felt bizarre. We normally drive away from big urban settlements, not into the largest city in Scotland and one of the largest in the UK.
I have to be frank with you that we we were not looking forward to this one, and after completing the first 9 miles we don’t feel any impulse to repeat those 9 miles. However it is all relative, and what we don’t like somebody else might love. Our opinion is just that, our opinion.
Where the trail ends at New Lanark is wonderful (we used to live near Lanark) so I have no doubt that the trail will improve.
Selecting a start location was the first challenge of this trail before we even set one foot on the trail itself. There is lots of conflicting evidence and opinions as to where to actually start the Clyde Walkway. Different online resources state different locations and there is no formal website or primary resource to go to for a final absolute answer. Our decision therefore was to start at the furthest point to make sure we walked through every other start point along the trail to ensure we will have hiked it in its entirety.
We started at the Glasgow Riverside Museum and the Tall Ship.
It was not very busy this morning when we arrived with just a few works vans moving about, people running in very bright clothing and a few other people looking like they were walking to work. It was however very noisy, smelly and had a very different feel that put us all on edge. The only city that we ‘enjoy’ in the loosest sense of the word is Edinburgh and very small select places in London (the museums for example).
After saying goodbye to Sarah, Eve and I decided to walk around the back of the Riverside museum to have a look at the tall ship. We could see it’s masts over the roof of the museum. The whole area was fenced off so we had to retrace our steps to go back around the front. We got relatively close and took a few photographs.
The Clyde Walkway follows the River Clyde but we immediately got diverted away from the trail and onto some busy urban streets. Eve and I held hands and walked.
Thinking back I can’t even remember exactly where it was I did our first Facebook post this morning, as it all blended into one. This is the link of your interested https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=pfbid0uxyARPUXErju8yUikQVynFUQK8CpShzAyd8zdDRi8xdrako3djHvQpvyJnfbVFd5l&id=100057582603781
It wasn’t all bad to be honest, and there were some highlights. The historic bridges over the river looked like engineering marvels and so much more ornate and impressive than the modern ones. We also liked seeing some of the huge buildings such as BBC Scotland and STV. We tried to look through the windows hoping to see the news set but I think that was wishful thinking.
The trail is easy to follow. Just keep the river on your right and keep going.
We only saw one sign for the Clyde Walkway that looked like it had been erected a long time ago, but there really isn’t any need for much signage.
We did have one thing to do, and that was to meet up with a lovely young lady who is doing a degree and asked if she could interview us for her dissertation. We obviously agreed as trying to help people is exactly what we are trying to do. It felt like a honour to be asked and we arranged to meet up at a coffee shop on-route.
We got to the coffee shop earlier than planned as Eve and I hiked a lot faster than we normally as we felt uncomfortable. At the coffee shop we both had a hot chocolate and sat cuddling up. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated to our Buy Me a Coffee fund, it’s times like this that this is invaluable to us and our morale. It gave us both a lift to carry on the day. Thank you all 😊
We sat in the cafe watching the office workers coming and going collecting coffee and overhearing conversations about law and what their colleagues were having to do! It was actually quite interesting listening to people and what they were up to.
Anyway, we met Tayah and had a long chat, answering her questions and having it all recorded. She is making it into a radio style broadcast. It was really nice to talk to her as she is from the US but with family living in Mexico
Afterwards we carried on walking along a wide path with benches that we used for a small break and snack.
Whilst sitting we got approached by a man and his wife to ask us about what we were doing (he had read our posters that are on our backpacks) and we gave him a business card. It’s nice to think the posters are working.
After our small break we started walking again and this time we didn’t stop until the end. We were virtually ‘heads down, arse up’ all the way to Morrisons at Camberslang.
The trail we walked was flat with a mixture of tarmac and muddy gravel. We kept passing an elderly man riding a bike with a trailer who would stop and dig trenches to try and filter the water away as well as dig some of the mud off the bridges and other places.
We shared the trail with a lot of cyclists who would ring their bells at us with enthusiasm before flying passed us on electric bikes.
One thing that we both commented on was the amount of rubbish that was on the river banks. At one point rather tragically we were counting the shopping trolleys and discussing if we thought the graffiti was ‘art’. What are your thoughts on this?
I am acutely aware that this post sounds negative. The first 9 miles isn't a trail that I would suggest as there are many alternatives so close by. It’s just not our ‘cup of tea’. What I would say is that Great Trails don't have to always go through the wild and remote places, and the river Cylde has so much history attached to it and the impact it’s had on Glasgow and inhabitants can’t be overstated. The shipyards of Glasgow from years ago created so much wealth and have secured jobs to people, with evidence everywhere if you know what to look for.
Anyway, we arrived at Morrisons with about 1:30 hours until Sarah could pick us up after she finished work and get Eve to Brownies.
We had a cup of tea in the cafe and sat watching Netflix on my phone. We were approached by a lovely family who had read the posters on our backpacks and gave us a £20 donation for Scottish Autism. They were even apologetic for disturbing us to give us the donation! If you are reading this you really didn’t need to be sorry and thank you for stopping to talk and give us your kind donation. Thank you.
Sarah arrived and picked us up. We got Eve to Brownies with about 10 minutes to spare.
We will be hiking again tomorrow and staying away overnight as Sarah is working again.
Sleep well and we will see you all tomorrow morning back on the trail
Ian, Sarah and Eve