Across Scotland – Glasgow to New Lanark

Glasgow - back to Milngavie - onward up the Clyde Valley

Glasgow – back to Milngavie – onward up the Clyde Valley

When this post is published, I hope to be in New Hampshire’s White Mountains; 3,288 feet high, and asleep too. I am programing WordPress to publish in the wee hours of October 8th. If all goes well, I will be snoring in Carter Notch Hut at that time. The post is the fifth of the “map, notes and photos” series recalling my hike the length of Scotland exactly 3 years ago.

In a sense, Week Five was a series of day-hikes. I walked from Glasgow City Centre back to Milngavie, where I had ended the West Highland Way. I walked 12 miles up the urban Clyde, visited relatives in Bellshill, and then took the train back to Glasgow. The next day I actually carried my big pack – from Uddingston to Wishaw – but then rode the train on to Lanark, where I stayed at the nearby New Lanark youth hostel. I returned to Wishaw the next morning, and then walked the banks of the river back up to New Lanark.

I took all these rides – rattling back and forth to the SYHA hostels in Glasgow and New Lanark – because I was unsure if I’d find suitable accommodation in the industrial towns that line the Clyde upstream from Glasgow. It was a short week too, but it took me from the city center to the tight, rural valley of the Falls of Clyde.

START: Glasgow, Monday October 3rd.
FINISH: New Lanark, Thursday 6th.
DISTANCE: 43 miles.

TERRAIN: City and suburban streets; paved riverside track; footpaths from the broad and fine to the thin and slimy.
BEST WEATHER: The solitary sunny day, Friday – a day off in Lanark.
WORST WEATHER: If the sun came out at all from Saturday to Wednesday, I do not remember it; and I think I would have.
WILDLIFE HIGHLIGHT: A fox darting across a footpath near Cambuslang.
MOST IMPRESSIVE HILL: Tinto, seen to the south from the train from Lanark to Wishaw on my way to start Thursday’s hike – at 2,333 feet the highest hill since Loch Lomond.

The Arlington bar, Woodlands Road, Glasgow's West End.

The Arlington bar, Woodlands Road, Glasgow’s West End.

BEST COMPANY: Visits with relatives in Glasgow and Bellshill, no doubt about that.
BEST “CRAIC”: I made the friendly, no-frills Arlington bar my Glasgow local (seen right on sunnier visit).
BEST LODGING: The spacious SYHA hostel at New Lanark, where I stayed 3 nights. I stayed 5 nights in total at its Glasgow equivalent. Its only negative was a dormitory overcrowded with Glasgow University students who had not yet found permanent digs.

HIGHEST HIGH: Probably the convenience store worker in Uddingston who, when I said I had walked out from Glasgow (12 miles), said with total sincerity “From Glasgow? That’s amazing! I didn’t know you could do that.”
LOWEST LOW
: A generalized low in Glasgow whenever I was not in company or otherwise entertained. It may have been city rain, or the dormitory, or a yearning for home.

HISTORY NOTE: My walk took me along the edge of Glasgow Green – the city’s first public open space, and scene of the “great proletarian celebration”. Glasgow had held a summer fair since 1190, at first a place to trade but, by the 1800s, the venue for a week of “Bachannalian bad behavior”. By 1870, the city fathers had had enough of it and banished the fair from the Green. “Glasgow Fair” is still the name of a July public holiday in the city.

Day 34 - Sunshine and coming squall, the River Clyde in South Lanarkshire near Crossford.

Day 34 – Sunshine and coming squall, the River Clyde in South Lanarkshire near Crossford.

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