Loch Humphrey

Today I walked up the service road to Loch Humphrey in West Dunbartonshire despite my badly swollen right knee. I was with a group of friends and I didn’t want to miss the walk, as the weather was warm and sunny and days like these are quite rare in Scotland. Whether my doctor would approve is a discussion for another time!

Sunny and Warm

It was also the first day when I was applying large amounts of sun screen to avoid burning. The weather up to now has been cold and wet, so there has been little chance for getting sunburn.

Loch Humphrey is easy to get to by train as the station (Kilpatrick) is just a short distance from start of the walk.

The walk is also a good one for winter, as the service road up to the loch is well maintained by the Forestry Commission. You cannot get lost unless you decide to follow the other paths near the loch, when a map and compass could be required. 

Start of the climb

Steep Path

The road to the loch is quite steep at the start, then levels off before a more gentle climb until the loch comes into view. From there it is downhill until the loch is reached.

Great Views

On the way up there were great views of the River Clyde, Old Kilpatrick and Erskine. The Erskine bridge, which connects Dunbartonshire with Renfrewshire, was also in view.

Erskine Bridge.

On the walk up a Cuckoo could be heard quite nearby. Cuckoos are in decline in the UK and are rarely ever heard.

River Clyde in the Distance
The Waverley Paddle Steamer on the Clyde

Paddle Steamer – the Waverley

In the above picture the paddle steamer, the Waverley, can be seen in the distance. This is the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world and it is possible to take a cruise on it during the summer.

At the Top

Near the top the path levelled out and Loch Humphrey could be seen in the distance. 

Near the top

After all the climbing, the final part of the walk was fairly easy.

Loch Humphrey
Loch Humphrey

Nice Lunch Spot

At Loch Humphrey we had lunch before walking back down the hill and back to Old Kilpatrick.  

Information Board
Historical Area

The sign above says “Antonine Wall 140 AD. The Roman Empire Northwest Frontier” in the circle at the top. Below it says Erskine Bridge 1971. This sign was just after the railway station and a reminder to everyone of this historical area.

It was a good day out.  

 Further Information

Train for Kilpatrick are on the Airdrie – Balloch line. If travelling from Motherwell there is a change of trains at Partick to get onto the correct line.

Pedal on Parliament 4

Today I went to Edinburgh to meet up with friends and to participate in the fourth Pedal on Parliament ride from the Meadows in the south of the city to the Scottish Parliament. 

Although it was a cycling event, those without bicycles could walk the route instead. I didn’t take my bicycle as it would have meant having to leave it while visiting some of the sights after the ride.

I travelled on the Cross Country Glasgow to Penzance train from Motherwell to Edinburgh Waverley. This only takes about 50 minutes and is through pleasant countryside.

After arriving, I walked to the Meadows via the George V Bridge, Royal Mile and Forrest Road to the Middle Middle Walk entrance and met my friends there. I had also pre-ordered a lovely teeshirt which I collected when I arrived. It was too cold to wear it so I put it in my bag to proudly wear on a warmer day.

At the Meadows

Making the Roads Safer

The Pedal on Parliament movement aims to make the roads safer for cyclists and get the Scottish Government to invest in making the roads safer in Scotland for cyclists.

The group and supporters would like the Scottish Government to to commit a minimum of 5% of its transport budget – revenue and capital – to cycling within an overall commitment of 10% of the transport budget to active travel.

Middle Meadow Walk

Start of the Ride

The ride started at 12.00 noon and travelled from the Meadows at Middle Meadow Walk, down Forrest Road to George IV Bridge then onto the Royal Mile. The Royal Mile is mainly a cobbled road and this was another reason I left my bike at home. The Scottish Parliament is at the foot of the Royal Mile. 

Forrest Road
Forrest Road
Greyfriars Bobby looks out at the cyclists

Sunny Weather
The weather forecast was for heavy rain, but it was dry when I arrived in Edinburgh and the sun eventually came out at 11.30,  just before the ride began. It was quite cold though and I had my woolly hat and fingerless gloves on to keep warm.  

Royal Mile
Youngest rider?
Royal Mile

 

Royal Mile

Arriving at the Parliament
After arriving outside the Parliament there was a minutes silence for those killed on the roads and a number of speakers addressed the crowds including Briana Pegado, President of the Edinburgh Student’s Union, Emilia Hanna of Friends of the Earth, Transport Minister Derek Mackay, Cameron Buchanan (Conservatives), Sarah Boyack (Labour), Green MSP Alison Johnstone and Bruce Whitehead Left Unity candidate.   

Speakers outside Parliament

Transport Minister Derek Mackay 
Transport Minister Derek Mackay he would do everything to support cycling and committed the government to spending more on cycling in for 15/16 than in 14/15.
 

Crowds outside the Scottish Parliament
Penny farthing

It was a great day out and the ride got a lot of coverage in the media which was a measure of how successful it had been. 

I look forward to the improvements for cyclists on the roads.

Further Information
Pedal on Parliament
Scottish Parliament