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Kelvin valley and Allander walk

posted 12 Apr 2010, 14:26 by Andrew Conway   [ updated 14 Apr 2010, 14:10 ]
It was a warm, sunny day today - more like summer than spring and especially welcome given the long, cold winter we've just had. I happened to be off work today, so took the opportunity to take a walk through the countryside to the north of Glasgow. Courtesy of Google's Picasa (photos) and maps, I'm able to show you the route with some embedded pics I took along the way:
View Kelvin Valley Allander in a larger map

The first part of the walk goes the short distance from Maryhill Park through Summerston and out of the northern city limits of Glasgow. From there I joined the track bed of the Kelvin Valley Railway. This railway was built in the late 1870s mainly for the purposes of transporting coal into the city. Once coal became less crucial in the North Sea gas, post-industrial age, the negligible passenger usage of the line led to its closure in 1967.

The track bed is still quite obvious in many places but is completely obliterated where it runs through a large, landfill site at Blackhill. There is no more land being filled there now, but there remains an odd assortment of pipes and rusting machinery locked inside heavily-secured enclosures, as you can see in some of the photos. There is absolutely no smell in the area and it has been pleasantly landscaped with a silver birch wood lining the banks of the Kelvin.

From Blackhill I followed the relatively new footpath up to the Balmuildy bridge which takes the Balmore Road across the river Kelvin. Just to the west of the bridge, on the north bank of the river, was the original Summerston station. The associated cottage still remains, but no trace of the single bow-string railway bridge over the Kelvin can be found.

From there I followed the line of railway until it met the Allander water. On this stretch some interesting, very large heaps of masonry can be found. On closer inspection I realised that these were probably older landfill sites, or rather land-pile sites, as they seemingly didn't bother to dig a hole in the ground first.

From this point I followed the Allander water (smallish river) along a well-maintained stretch of footpath. The Antonine wall lies uphill to the south and runs roughly parallel to my route. Sections of the wall can still be discerned in the google maps satellite imagery if you look closely enough. The path then took me into Milngavie where I caught a bus home.

Beautiful day, great walk. The map and photos don't quite do it justice.