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One of the most important geological sites in Scotland, the 143 acre Rouken Glen Park has some lovely walks, this one taking you through it’s famous gorge along the banks of Auldhouse Burn. See the boating pond “Swan Lake”, wander through the glen with it’s impressive waterfalls, try out the new boardwalk built along the historical “lover’s walk”, let the kids burn off steam at the massive play area and then try your hand at the outdoor gym before having a well-earned coffee at The Boathouse café. There is a reason Rouken Glen was voted the UK’s Best Park 2016!
Car parking available on Davieland Road, Giffnock. Bus stop on Ayr Road, a few minutes walk away from the park entrance. Closest train station is Whitecraigs, approx 10 minutes walk away.
Route: Start at The Boathouse café. Walk left from the cafe entrance to head around the edge of the boating pond. Once you are at the opposite end of the pond from The Boathouse, leave the water’s edge taking the footpath straight ahead to cross a bridge with a stunning waterfall beside it. Immediately after crossing the bridge turn right to follow the burn down past a second waterfall and into the heart of the gorge. The path winds through the glen, crossing 3 bridges before turning left at a fork (ignore the stairs to the right) onto higher ground. Continue straight until you reach a gate (closed during my visit). Turn left here down some stairs and onto a boardwalk path. After some time the boardwalk stops and changes to a narrow earth footpath. A bridge takes you across the burn and to the right and out onto the garden centre car park. Go past the main entrance to the garden centre and continue straight ahead at 2 forks to reach the children’s play area. Turn right at the other end of the play area and follow the footpath past the outdoor gym. The path soon begins to run parallel to Davieland Road and leads you back to The Boathouse café.
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WALK REPORT: 2nd January 2017
This week I have been taking advantage of the crisp sunny weather and the school holidays to check out some local country parks which have been on my radar for a while! My one and only prior visit to Rouken Glen was in the dark almost exactly a year ago when we came for the Electric Glen light show. Since then I have said many times “I’ll need to go back there in the daylight”, and today I was finally getting around to it! A special thank you to the Steel family, my tour guides for the afternoon!
The first sight we came across on entering the park from Davieland Road was the boating pond, and hundreds of people walking around it! Rouken Glen was quite clearly the place to be on this fine sunny day! The kids were delighted that one of the locals had decided to bring his remote controlled boats along and give them an impromptu demonstration. Cue calls of “Mum, see for my birthday, please could I get one of those?!” Jeezo son, Santa has only just been!
The path wound it’s way through the glen, criss-crossing over the burn in several places via modern wooden bridges. We stopped to look in wonder at the sandstone and limestone rock formations along the way, protected due to the gorge’s status as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Leaving the gorge behind, we came down some steps and onto a newly built boardwalk, a part of the park steeped in history and previously inaccessible. It was around this point when I finally gave in to my 5 year old’s requests for his snack. Honestly, as long as he knows there is food in the backpack he is not content until he has eaten it all! He was also complaining about cold feet which I had expected at some point: It’s what happens when mummy forgets to take the snow boots out of daddy’s car before he leaves for work in the morning, the only option therefore being to wear wellies in the -2 degrees temperatures… I gave his feet a quick rub to heat them up and on we strolled.
At the end of the boardwalk the path turned to the right but first I wanted to explore the area straight ahead which seemed to lead across the burn. I didn’t get far before the path ended but what I found was that I was standing directly on top of a waterfall! I have since learned that this is a man-made waterfall, built by the Victorians who re-routed the burn to control the flow of water used to power the mill.
After their long walk and the promise of a play park for the past 2 hours, the kids finally got their wish! Never in my life have I seen a busier play area, a nightmare for the lone parent trying to keep track of 2 children running in opposite directions!! I was relieved when the sun started to set and we made our excuses to head back to the car. A brilliant afternoon :-)