Though Glasgow is arguably one of the UK’s friendliest cities, any city is nice to escape from. One of the great things about the city is that you can leave it behind with the minimum of effort. On this route, you’ll be amazed how quickly you leave the hustle and bustle behind.
The route, which is suitable for walkers and cyclists, follows a section of the National Cycle Network on a largely traffic-free path by the River Clyde. Downstream the river was integral to Glasgow’s development as the Second City of the Empire, where the tobacco lords traded. Later shipyards, stretching for mile upon mile, were world famous for building such iconic vessels as The Cutty Sark and great ocean liners such as the Lusitania.
From Glasgow Green follow the signs along one of the main avenues, to the People’s Palace. You can’t miss this museum as adjacent to it is a tall, elegant Victorian glasshouse.
1. ONE QUARTER OF A MILE
The People’s Palace, dedicated to Glasgow’s social history, details how the city has developed from the Industrial Revolution to the present day. Some of the more amusing artefacts include Billy Connolly’s banana boots.
After you’ve seen these and other gems, make your way down
to the Clyde to pick up the cycle path. Follow the National Cycle Network route 75 signs and keep following them until you near Uddingston.
The cycle path follows the pretty tree-lined banks where rowers enjoy the tranquil riverside environment. Where the route passes through Newton, it joins a mile long on-road section away from the river. Here there is a spacious feel with views to the Campsie Hills.
Further on, the route returns to the traffic-free cycle path and you'll cross the river for a final time, on a footbridge.
Ignore the route 75 cycle signs, which lead
to nearby Uddingston, and continue alongside the Clyde to reach Bothwell Castle.
2. TWELVE MILES
This strikingly red sandstone stronghold dates from the 13th century and is set in a charming position next to the river. If the weather is kind, the grassy banks below the castle make a perfect spot for a picnic.
Although visually impressive, the fortress (open from 1 April), was intended to be even grander than what you see today. It was built largely as a display of power by Walter of Moray.
Cycle on, through stands of mature oak and beech, to the falls
3. THIRTEEN AND A HALF MILES
A cantilevered footbridge spans the wide river here and you can get a sense of the power that drove countless mills in times past. The bridge is named after the explorer David Livingstone, whose national memorial, the David Livingstone Centre (open from 1 April), lies on the far side of the river.
Return by the same way, or you can catch the train back to the city from Blantyre or Uddingston station.
Level cyclepath on a largely traffic-free route.
HOW TO GET THERE
By car: You can easily reach central Glasgow from the south on the M74 and from Edinburgh on the M8.
By public transport:
Glasgow is well connected by both bus and rail. The nearest mainline train station to the start point is Glasgow
Winter Gardens Café
Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1BA
☎ 0141 554 0223
People’s Palace and
Glasgow, G40 1BA
☎ 0141 554 0223
Open all year, Mon-Thurs and Sat 10am-5pm, Fri and Sun 11am-5pm. Free admission.
Ordnance Survey Landranger Map 64.
Grid ref: NS 595 645
11 George Square,
Glasgow G2 1DY
☎ 0141 204 4400
Subscribe to BBC Countryfile Magazine today and you can enjoy generous savings from the shop price plus, free UK delivery and discounts off special editions and back issues.