Cardross to Kirkpatrick. 9 Miles.

View of the Clyde from the Erskine Bridge

I caught the train to Cardross from Glasgow and walked as far as Kirkpatrick which lies just under the Erskine Bridge. This bridge is the first major bridge that crosses the river Clyde – the Clyde being Scotland’s major river system. Scotland’s biggest city lies further up river but I wasnt going to walk up as far as that; but I was excited at the prospect of crossing the river on my next walk as it would be a major milestone reached. Today however I followed the main road out of Cardross and walked east along the main road that leads towards Dumbarton. I was eager to find a way of the main road as it was so much busier than the roads that I had walked on not so many days back. What a difference a few miles make in Scotland.  It brought home how most of Scotland’s population are wedged into the central belt running along the Clyde and the Forth rivers. A few miles north of the Central belt there is the comparative remoteness of the highlands. If it’s quick accessibility to wilderness you are after, then Scotland has to be up there as one of the countries that gives this.

Not far from Dumbarton there lies a small village called Ardross with a signpost leading to a path that would take me off the main A812 and down, (I hoped) onto the shore. I followed it down and unfortunately soon had to hack my way through undergrowth next to a field. I dont think I went the wrong way and it made me more determined to push for a National Coastal Path that was clearly maintained and waymarked once the walk was over. I have already written to some of the Ministers in the Scottish Goverment to lobby for such a path to be created and it remains to be seen whether one day such a thing could exist.

Eventually the path opened up around the shoreline and headed back up the river Leven towards the bridge that crosses over into Dumbarton. Dumbarton was quite a run down place with the usual charity shops and a ubiquitous Greig’s (the bakers).  In Scotland, Greig’s seem to be everywhere, so much so that the phrase “is the pope a catholic?” has been replaced by “is there a queue at Greig’s?” to denote something that is obvious. I availed nyself of a jumbo sausage and a bridie, and strangely couldnt discern much difference in the taste of the “meat” within. I suspect at 80p a pop, there wasnt that much meat to be had, and the filling may have consisted of the reconstituted bits that had been sand blasted from the carcass of the animal instead.

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