A Milngavie Morning: Walking From Glasgow to Milngavie.
Glasgow to Milngavie. The 10 mile (16km) route is pretty simple and can be achieved in a morning or afternoon. Navigation wise, as long as you can see the river, you’re probably fine. You basically follow the river Kelvin and then cut left onto Allander water near the end which leads you right into the centre of Milngavie. Not that the centre is hard to find, or particularly centre like really. There are a couple of shops and cafes and a sign marking the beginning of the West Highland Way. On a rainy winter Sunday, it’s pretty dead.
Admittedly I’ve actually tried to cycle to Milngavie along the Kelvin Walkway before and got too lost and cold, and ended up giving up. But this time I walked it. And I’ll be honest with you, I’m bloody glad I wore walking boots. It was rainy, muddy, slippery and I had to wade through a fair few questionable puddles. I also fell over, which if you know me probably doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The walk from Glasgow to Milngavie is pretty much flat, but that doesn’t stop you from slipping and slopping around in the mud next to the imminent threat of sliding down the sharp river bank and emerging soaking, bedraggled and cold. Then again, maybe it’s just me. Predisposed to fall over that is. I mean, for all my preaching about the simplicity of the route, I also managed to get lost. Just the once though. And the fact that I (almost seamlessly) was able to read a map and get myself from A to B, without the help of direction asking or GPS… well I’m proud of that anyway. It gives me faith that my plans to long distance walk alone this summer are not so far fetched.
“Everything seems a bit more beautiful and you start to appreciate nature more.”
The route starts in Glasgow and takes you out along the river towards Maryhill and then on to Milngavie. It’s funny, I’ve walked the first part of the route before, actually run it a number of times, and somehow when you set out to walk somewhere, just for the sake of it, be it in a morning or over the course of a longer hike, you start taking in your surroundings more. Everything seems a bit more beautiful and you start to appreciate nature more. Little things, things like the walls slathered with paintings as you leave Kelvingrove Park along the Kelvin Walkway, grab your interest. You have the time to stop and appreciate. Nature itself becomes like art, it’s only purpose is to be admired.
On my way out of Glasgow I passed loads of people, mainly runners and dog walkers. Which got me thinking I need a dog. Well need is the wrong word, I want a dog. And anyway a dog would give me an excuse to walk aimlessly more often. As I got further away though and passed a ‘You are now leaving Glasgow’ sign, other humans were fewer and further in between. And as a result I found myself singing at the top of my voice, dancing like a loon as I walked, and generally acting like a crazy. Weird how as soon as I’m by myself any etiquette of normal behaviour just goes out the window. Acting normally; it’s so socially ingrained. And this was just a morning, imagine a whole month without any human contact. I feel like I would become gleefully in touch with my inner insanity. It’s definitely something I want to try out at some point.
Even with getting lost, the walk to Milngavie only takes about 3 hours. Although I started from Kelvingrove park whilst the actual route begins on the banks of the Clyde by the New Riverside Museum. I couldn’t really see the point in walking away from my destination for the sake of an official start point a mere 15 minutes walk away.
So to sum up, though cold and drizzly, my morning hike to Milngavie was a great success. The route is accessible, simple, and above all a bit of fun. I think it’s easy to forget how mornings spent like this are so easy to come by. So near to home, the Kelvin Walkway can be a spontaneous way to spend an afternoon, rather than the meticulous planning required for longer trips and adventures.
So, if you’re bored one Sunday, sick of your Facebook feed and repeat watching series on Netflix, why not take a walk?