Day 56: 18 May 2014; Strathclyde Country Park to Glasgow

Day 56: 18 May 2014; Strathclyde Country Park to Glasgow
Walk descriptor LEJOG2014 Day 56
Date Sun 18 May 2014 Start to end time 05h 28m
Start point Strathclyde Country Park End point Glasgow
Miles today 18.25 Cu miles 1,050.10
Ft today 1,074 Cu ft 139,380
Route miles left 441.79 Route ft left 59,568
Today’s weather Dry but overcast with occasional sun. Moderate South-Westerly wind. About 15C
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Today’s location
(the red cross in a circle shows where I am at the moment)
GPX based track of today’s walk
(click here to access to access downloadable file)

“As the crow flies, the journey from Strathclyde Country Park to central Glasgow is about nine miles. But my walk today was over twice that distance, as I followed the Clyde Walkway, once again, which sticks closely to the banks of the meandering river.

I’d got up early to hike into Glasgow, because the weather forecast was poor – heavy rain and a cold wind. So I was away by 7, which meant I arrived in central Glasgow (where I am staying in a hotel) by 1pm. I made very good time along the excellent Walkway and the promised rain never arrived. So much for weather forecasts. All they do is alarm you!

The walk was very straightforward, and once again the Walkway was generally well maintained and made for easy walking. But in a few places, it took diversions that weren’t shown on the OS map and I have to admit that at a couple of points, I missed the vital turn-off and so spent some time trying to locate the actual route. On the worst occasion, I think I missed a narrow trail leading off into the undergrowth, that I thought at the time was far too small to be the Walkway, but in fact probably was. As a result I spent half an hour wandering round a most unwelcoming chemical factory with razor wire surrounding me on all sides. In the end I gave up and followed a cycle path that eventually brought me back onto the route near the David Livingstone Centre.

I had a quick look round the David Livingstone Centre, and even though at the early hour I was passing through, it was all closed, I could see that it would make an interesting destination for a longer visit. Lots to see, and set in a spectacular setting above the river Clyde.

From there, I continued downstream, underneath the 13th century Bothwell Castle, imposing on a red sandstone cliff above the river.   I noticed that Giant Hogweed was making a very unwelcome appearance on the riverbanks. This noxious weed was introduced into the UK from the Caucasus in the 19th century as an ornamental garden plant. A big mistake, in my view, as the sap of this plant contains a chemical which binds with your skin and renders it sensitive to sunlight. This causes blistering and long-lasting scars. And I know all about it because when I took my ill-fated “shortcut” along the banks of the Wye near Rhayader a month ago, I think I inadvertently touched this plant. As a result, I got eleven burns on the back of my fingers, which have been extremely uncomfortable and are only just beginning to heal now. So if you see this plant, I’d give it a very wide berth!

I’ve got a relaxing afternoon now to look round Glasgow, then only a short walk up the Kelvin river to Milngavie tomorrow. From there I start the West Highland Way, where the hard walking starts again. So I’m looking forward to enjoying this last minute chance to recharge the batteries and do a bit of washing!”

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)
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Getting ready to do battle with the urban jungle on the outskirts of Gasgow this morning The David Livingstone Centre, in Blantyre. Now a museum operated by National trust for Scotland, it was the birthplace of explorer and missionary David Livingstone, born in 1813. At the time it was a tenement building shaered with 23 other families
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This monumental sculpture records the time Livingstone was attacked by a lion, which almost severed his arm From the ancient to the modern.. Large electricity substation in the semi-urban no-man’s land to the East of Glasgow
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Beware!!!! This is giant hogweed and the scars on the back of my hand were caused by and encounter with this noxious weed in Wales a month ago Large brewery with characteristic marmite smell. Near the Gorbals in Glasgow
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Panorama overlooking the Clyde as it approaches Glasgow
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