Friday 21 June 2024

Clydebank Circular Walk. Forth and Clyde Canal. Titan Crane. New Swing Bridge.

                                                   ALL PHOTOS CLICK FULL SCREEN.

This is a walk I've not done for a while but I knew it would be good on a nice day in June with summer vegetation at it's peak. I was busy during the morning period so it was lunchtime when I was free and being a lovely sunny day I wanted to catch some of it. A walk of a few hours duration. Got the bus (or train) to Clydebank's Shopping Centre, (seen above) then walked along the Forth and Clyde Canal to West Dalmuir.

 This is a lovely stretch, part of the cycle route to Loch Lomond, but on this occasion I was only walking as far as West Dalmuir. You can also do this walk on a bike or extend it taking in Clydebank Public Park for the views, or start from Anniesland to Old Kilpatrick and back.


The weather forecasters and media recently seem to be obsessed with 'what happened to our summer?' and 'when will we get some decent heat?' but I'm very happy with the last couple of months up here. Not too warm for walking... 16c to 18c, fairly dry, just the odd heavy shower. I don't like it too warm. It can't be that cold as I'm typing this with just a thin tee shirt on and haven't put any heating on in the house since March. Just as well. My gas bill was £10 a month during the winter period yet it's jumped to £40 a month recently despite never putting it on.    ****!!!!! An old Sonny and Cher song springs to mind here and it's not 'I got you Babe.' But maybe that song is applicable as well. And bugger all you can do about it either.


Arriving at West Dalmuir where the Forth and Clyde Canal crosses Dumbarton Road then follows the canal on the other side of this to Old Kilpatrick. I cut off here however at Beardmore Street as I've not been down it for a few years and was curious to see if a continuation past the Golden Jubilee Hospital had been implemented, and to visit Beardmore Community Park.

 Beardmore Sculpture. (A long lane directly behind this sculpture running parallel to Dumbarton Road will be mentioned later.)

 I passed the Golden Jubilee Hospital... and Beardmore Park is just beside it. 

 It's only a small postage sized park with nothing much in it but it does have extensive views over the River Clyde.

 As seen here. The Titan Crane, seen in the distance, is where I was heading next. Alas, they had not built a walkway past the Golden Jubilee Hospital after all so I had to retrace my steps back to the sculpture. (So you can skip this community park extra bit of the walk out if desired.)

 Behind the sculpture is this lane. Not exactly scenic, but better than walking along Dumbarton Road with its traffic noise. At the end of this lane Cable Depot Road takes you to another straight section then a dog leg. Years ago there was a hole in a fence and a jump over a low wall there to get you into waste land beside the River Clyde again. This would be the best option for the semi agile as it keeps you at the waterfront on a rough grass path. This time however I turned up Agamemnon Street before that point then walked along Dumbarton Road. ( A recent similar short cut fence opening across the local golf course had been sealed off leading to a long detour so that probably swayed my judgement. If I'd looked at a map at that point I would have carried on to the hole as the road came back out onto Dumbarton Road again anyway at the far end but my memory of that street layout here failed me for once, thinking I'd have to backtrack again if it was no longer there, which wasn't the case.)

 No matter. I walked past the allotments on Dumbarton Road, Sweet Pea here, then cut across to the other side to pick up this green trail beside the railway line.

 This is it here and it got me away from the traffic. Because it was only an easy stone's throw from the busy Dumbarton Road it reminded me of a club hill-walking trip to Corsica decades ago to do the GR 20. Getting off at the airport in Nice we had a few miles to hike along an arrow straight and very busy road to our hotel for the night, the only one we would stay in, wild camping in the mountains for the rest of it. While my companions marched determinedly along the road in full 90 degree sun with dust and traffic noise a constant presence I found a trail like this one 30 feet away, sheltered by trees. I did shout "Hey, here's a trail here going the same way" but they were totally focused on reaching their destination. The trail only lasted a mile or so but when we met up again I'd seen a cute little gecko, several lizards, and a small blue bird... they'd seen trucks and cars zooming past at 50 miles an hour the whole time. A lot of hill walkers have no deep interest in nature anyway. It's all about the mountains for them. Which is fair enough. Everybody is different.


This was the same so when a bench appeared surrounded by June wild flowers I stopped for my lunch. A packet of crisps and a sandwich.


You are never really alone when nature is your friend. I've been reading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn that I picked up in a charity shop recently about walking the 630 mile South West Coast Path and the restorative power of the outdoors. In my early 20s I cherry picked the best sections of it during an extended holiday with my cousin in the South of England but we varied it by exploring some of the small hill groups down there as well. Happy memories.


Even though this was a solo walk I soon had company. A young crow here asking for a crisp... or a crust.


Soon joined by its pal.

The path ended at the railway bridge crossing over the road so I crossed as well over Dumbarton Road and took this path across waste ground to the River Clyde again. This used to be John Brown's Shipyard ... now a large rectangle of empty land... for the moment.


And it comes out here. If you skip over the low wall and through the hole in the fence it brings you out here as well.... after a grass path romp along the riverbank. ( this is why I thought this tarmac walkway might have been extended past the Golden Jubilee Hospital to link up as it's a dead end here but was only constructed a couple of years ago to this point.... giving the impression it was intended to go further onwards at some later date.


Titan Crane came next and a distant view of the new swing bridge being constructed between Renfrew and Yoker/Clydebank.

 Getting closer with a plane coming in to land at Glasgow Airport. This is one of only 11 massive cantilever cranes still existing around the world and four of them are on the River Clyde. Capable of moving extremely heavy loads like lifting huge boilers or steam railway engines into the hold of ships. It used to be open to the public and I've been up it when it took tour groups onto the structure but it's been closed for a while now. Either health and safety, falling tourist numbers, or more likely council cut backs as every public service now has been decimated through fifteen years of austerity with deep potholes left unfilled in nearly every road in the UK the last few years.

 New housing in Clydebank next to the crane. These look OK now that they are complete with the scaffolding away.

 West College. Clydebank. The walkway runs past here then ends at the Clydebank Docks so a back street has to be taken to link up with cycleway/ path again, running past the Renfrew Ferry, Yoker and the new Swing Bridge.

 Looking back at the Golden Jubilee Hospital and the route taken. Quite a distance for a walk of only a few hours duration and pretty varied throughout.

Signpost on the cycle route.

Night scented stock on the cycle path/walkway.

Cycle path / track near Yoker.

 Nearing the Yoker /Renfrew ferry with Renfrew Town Hall and new swing bridge access road being constructed. New houses being built here as well.

Community garden nearby.

Colour splurge...

A nice display.

And a view from the Renfrew Ferry of it's competition.... the new Swing Bridge.  The Renfrew / Yoker Ferry is the last year round ferry on the River Clyde so if you fancy crossing it this is the time to do it. Can't think of any other small passenger ferry that's stayed running financially with a road bridge so close to it but hopefully it will as I enjoy taking it. I still had several miles to walk after this back to my house but this is the main walk completed. The end.



Carol said...

Sounds like the Central Belt has, again, had a great summer so far while the rest of us have almost drowned (I think there have been around 10 dry days over May and June so far with June having hardly any - that was in the north of England and looked like it was also The Highlands too). It's also been very windy and cold and I've literally only just managed to turn my heating off this week! So that means I'll have to increase my direct debit yet again this year - it's already £200 per month! Everyone I've spoken to has had to put their heating back on for most of June or lit their fires in the evenings.

Oh, and the austerity we might have been having will be nothing to what we'll suffer come 5 July onwards! Especially us pensioners!

Rosemary said...

I think that you should question your gas bill £40 per month when it is not even on is outrageous.
The weather here is perfect for me currently 20c - 22c. Those spending their money holidaying on the Continent currently 40c or even hotter can't really be enjoying it.
Your countryside is looking green and lush and makes for a perfect picture.

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Carol, I'd guess I've had about 40 to 50 day's out during the last 15 years where it rained heavily but that's due to me only going out on dry days normally and mainly sticking to the Central Belt. It is definitely warmer and drier though here. Last two spring/summer/autumns I've went months just wearing T shirt and shorts around the house 16c to 28 c.. no heating required at all but I do remember feeling cold all summer in years past before that although still keeping dry outdoors.
I'll be voting SNP as usual. Six years of free bus rides and cheap ferry and train travel works for me :o)

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Rosemary, Standing charge plus 'green upgrades'. In other words I'm paying for the company to meet it's 'green emission targets' and 'improvement projects.' None of which I see myself.
Yes, the landscape is great at the moment with loads of wild flowers out.

Anabel Marsh said...

Nice walk. I’ve done most of that at different times, not sure I’ve ever strung it all together. I’ve just had my postal vote delivered and have filled it in. We are in agreement!

Carol said...

Strangely, I got a 'vote SNP' leaflet through my door in Cumbria today - apparently we have a Penrith MP who is SNP - I can't really see the point of the English voting for them though!

blueskyscotland said...

Hi Anabel. Yes. I'm not that keen on Labour, looks to me like Conservative light so I'll stick to SNP. Although I do like the saying' It doesn't matter who you vote for the Government gets in.' I see far more truth in that than 'We're all in this together.' Yeah right!

blueskyscotland said...

True enough Carol. You never know. Boris might make a comeback and a late surge of popularity.