Walk 167 – Uplawmoor Hillside Trail – 4.8 miles


An easy and very rewarding hike across the hillside, starting in the pretty village of Uplawmoor, East Renfrewshire. Pass the 16th century Caldwell Tower, enjoy views of Loch Libo, Ayrshire, Greater Glasgow and the Largs/Lochwinnoch hills. A mixture of good solid surfaces and boggy moorland with several gates and stiles to climb. 

Print  Dog-friendly walk (there may be livestock on hillside, please be a responsible dog owner and follow the Scottish Outdoor Access Code)


Viewranger logo - new - Aug 17  Download a route map HERE (Viewranger app required)

parking available icon  Ample on-street parking in Uplawmoor (G78 4AF)

route image  Route: Walk begins at the Uplawmoor Hotel. An excellent route description is given on the ‘Walking in East Renfrewshire‘ leaflet (Walk 1). One amendment I would add is under point number 3 where it states “…go through two gates onto the Lochliboside Hills. Keeping a fence to the R follow a rough, boggy track…” >> After you pass through the second gate there are two fences and in fact it is referring to the one on your left (cross it using the stile in the corner so that the fence is on your right). 



Who even knew that a village called Uplawmoor existed?! Tucked away in the south western extremity of East Ren, this pretty, rural little place just makes it out of Ayrshire. All the more surprising that I had never come across it before! In any case, that’s where I was meeting my friend Nicola today. Google maps took me on the 34 minute drive along the A736 from Kilmarnock. En route I was surprised to pass two restaurants I had been to – The Blair and The Canny Man. Isn’t is great when the map in your head suddenly all comes together! A sharp right-hand turn into Uplawmoor almost resulted in a coach smashing into the back of me….. hadn’t the driver seen me indicating for the past mile??? Sake!

Blessed with a beautiful crisp sunny day, Nicola and I set off to discover the Lochliboside Hills. The leaflet promised fine views and boggy tracks. Perfect 😀 Before starting to head uphill, we were surprised by the sound of bagpipes. A wedding?? No, just a piper – dressed in normal everyday clothes – out in his garden practicing! It was very surreal.

The route took us almost full-circle around 16th century Caldwell Tower, sitting majestically on the hillside. It is thought that it was once part of a larger courtyard-style castle. Unfortunately when seen from the back, this eye-catching building reveals a rather (in my opinion) ugly pale blue wooden extension….. not at all in keeping with the original stonework.

Caldwell Tower
Easy walk up to the hillside

From here the footwork became more challenging with boggy conditions underfoot as we crossed the hillside. There was slight confusion at one point about which fence we were supposed to be following but we eventually worked it out. We were treated to lovely views in all directions:  East across Glasgow’s southside; South to Loch Libo and Ayrshire; and West to the rolling hills above Largs and Lochwinnoch.  It was then a straightforward walk along minor roads back to Uplawmoor village. We crossed over the former Lanarkshire and Ayrshire railway, opened in sections between 1888-1904 to provide a shorter route for mineral traffic heading to Ardrossan Harbour. These always fascinate me and I loved that this one looked to be in a good walkable condition (rather than having been covered in tarmac and converted into a cycle track as so often happens with dismantled railways). I will have to do some research into what the rest of it is like!

Boggy hill ‘path’
Loch Libo and Uplawmoor



Some other walks in this area which you might enjoy: 

Duncarnock Fort (The Craigie) – 5 miles

Dams to Darnley Country Park – 4 miles

Gorge Walk, Rouken Glen – 1.75 miles

Lochgoin Circuit, Whitelee – 7 miles

Blackwood Hill Viewpoint, Whitelee – 3.5 miles

Around Brown Hill, Whitelee – 2 miles

Picnic Huts, Whitelee – 1 mile

The White Cart Walkway – 7.7 miles

Pollok Country Park – 2.6 miles


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