Review of the week: Renfrew — Glasgow (Rengla two) by Jane Taylor


Each week our Stories Editor highlights a unique review left by a volunteer that speaks to the spirit of Slow Ways

Editors note: We are often checking routes and the progress made in different areas. Whilst doing so we come across great reviews, which come in all shapes and sizes, by our volunteers — some are short and to the point, others are humorous, historical or personal. Together they provide a full picture of a route for the next walker.

This week I was drawn to a review of Renfrew — Glasgow (Rengla two) by Jane Taylor. Rengla two, is a colourful adaption of Rengla one, drawn by the reviewer Jane. There are many things to love about this review: it’s light, fun, entertaining and informative. Jane’s journey (and review) captures the freeness that comes with urban wandering together with the intentionality of route checking. I really appreciated the additional information on local gems (from The Hidden Lane to the old-fashioned kilt shop) as well as the interesting and odd facts that bring the route to life (on pigeon lofts and ‘the bridge that goes nowhere’). Thank you Jane! This is one for my waylist.

Rengla two review
Jane Taylor

I was walking Rengla one from Renfrew to Glasgow, and got a bit fed up with the road slog along South Street; I could see the cafes and shops on Dumbarton Road through the A814 underpass and thought ‘why not? maybe a better route option over there?’. Well I was right!
This is now a full on funky five star route! Here’s what happened.

Getting the ferry

From Renfrew to the ferry, 10 minutes. The ferry is a tiny passenger walk on boat, it cost £2 cash only. The ferryman runs on demand, it’s daytime only, and before you set off check he’s running, just in case!

The north side of the Clyde is Yoker. There is a good row of local shops, especially noteworthy is the wonderful old-fashioned kilt shop on the corner, MacGregor and MacDuff, Kings of Kilts. Buy your new walking kilt here!

Before long, the route turns into a long, off-road cycle and pedestrian path for about 4km directly towards Glasgow.

A path of pigeon lofts

There are a number of pigeon lofts along this path. The lofts are known as ‘dookits’ and the pigeon fanciers are ‘doomen’. It’s a competitive hobby, which involves luring your rival’s pigeon into your loft, and it is on the wane, which is good news for the pigeons, less good for local tradition.

At around the 5km mark the route drops out onto the main road. But not for long as soon I turned off to greet the shops, cafes and pubs of the Dumbarton Road, which is the main strip through Partick. I really enjoyed walking along this road, lots of variety and a buzzy feeling. I ate my picnic at Mansfield Park which is nothing to do with Jane Austen.

A brief detour down The Hidden Lane

Before long I was crossing the river Kelvin, and then I couldn’t resist a visit to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, free entry, cafe, toilets, and lots to see.

The walk into central Glasgow passes through Finnieston which has a lively arts and crafts community. I passed an alleyway with a sign ‘The Hidden Lane’, so of course I had to walk down to see what is there, it is well worth a detour for the various studios, a brewery, and cafe, all in a courtyard warren of tiny houses behind the main street.

I am starting to think that no walk into central Glasgow is complete without at least one elaborate motorway crossing point, this time it is the Anderston Bridge across the M8. The Anderston Bridge was for many years infamous as the ‘bridge that goes nowhere’, because when the M8 was built the bridge was started but not finished, leaving the community in Anderston cut off from central Glasgow by the motorway. Eventually campaigns to complete the bridge succeeded, and it now provides an efficient walking and cycling route into central Glasgow from the west.

I really enjoyed this route and would definitely walk it again.

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Slow Ways
Slow Ways is an initiative to create a national network of walking routes connecting all of Great Britain’s towns and cities as well as thousands of villages. It’s designed to make it easier for people to imagine, plan and go on walking journeys, walking further and for more purposes.