Shortly after the Drumchapel walk I had to put my car into the garage at Clydebank for a few repairs. As this would take a good few hours and I had the rest of the day off anyway I decided to walk along part of the Antonine Wall which starts on the west at Old Kilpatrick then runs through Duntocher via Goldenhill Park then skirts high Drumchapel taking in Hutcheson Hill and Castle Hill. Although not much remains here of the actual wall (in reality a deep trench and earth raised banks beside it) it does run through some nice farmland scenery, most of which was new to me and I'm always on the lookout for new walks, especially now I have a pet project on the go, part of which involves finding the best underrated or little known walks in my local area.
A link for those who like nice interiors. http://www.booking.com/hotel/gb/the-boulevard-complex.en-gb.html
Above is the Titan Hotel Complex and next to it, in the grounds of Clydebank's new catholic secondary school, are several large circles of wild flowers. Poppies are the most obvious, but daisies and several other varieties are present too. This is what gave me the idea of wild flower meadows in the vacant brown site plots of the big estates. Many of these areas have been lying vacant for over a decade and they could be used as wildlife havens in the meantime until new housing or other plans are forthcoming. I'm not suggesting such concentrated formal circles for Drumchapel and the other empty plots in the big estates but a lighter sprinkling of various wild flowers and the odd scattered shrub (like fushia bushes which flower from May/ June right through to early November) would help birds, bees and butterflies and give these drab, almost forgotten, blank areas some colour and life. Yes, you will get some damage and children already seem to have run through the middle of these poppy circles but that's to be expected as its directly on a school route and hopefully they will survive once the novelty has worn off this new addition to the landscape.
Even today you can see the mountains squeeze down close to the coast at Old Kilpatrick, and Dumbarton Rock with its formidable defensive properties is not far away. The photograph above of the Duntocher Burn Path is the route I followed between Dalmuir Park and Goldenhill Park, which is a pleasant walk through mature woodland then runs beside the stream. Interesting history and scenery. It is signposted where it crosses the main roads and is fairly easy to follow once you see the route here. Parts of this were new to me yet I've been in Duntocher many times but usually for work purposes. The might of Rome stopped at Old Kilpatrick although the Romans were able to penetrate further north up the easier and flatter east coast before meeting strong resistance.
This full route can also be done by bike as it is mainly on good paths, minor country roads and lanes over undulating but not too taxing terrain. Any rough sections can be walked rolling the bike beside you for short distances. An enjoyable outing in an area I've largely taken for granted... or ignored...until now. The things closest to you are often hidden in plain sight and that goes for relationships as well.
I wasn't enough of a fan to have more than a greatest hits Lynyrd Skynyrd album in my collection but two of their songs are classic anthems that are right up there with the best. I learned all the words to Sweet Home Alabama years ago but if you were an aspiring hot shot rock guitarist in the mid 1970s and 1980s this was the one guitar solo you really wanted to master.
It's years since I've seen this but one thing is still obvious. These southern boys really know how to play their instruments. Spank that plank son! Many young guitarists in bedrooms tried hopefully but few succeeded to reach these heights. Apart from a great evocative song its one of the finest guitar combinations of all time at the end and the piano and drums are not too shabby either.