Loch Ardinning

How often over the years have we driven north from Glasgow on the A81, noticed the little sign for Loch Ardinning Wildlife Reserve and failed to stop? Countless times – until Easter Sunday dawned bright and sunny and we were looking for a short walk not too far from home. Now we just can’t understand why we were so negligent for so long.

We started at the loch which has plenty of spots for contemplation. (I’ve also been very negligent about writing the walk up. You will spot several benches which were originally intended for Jude’s Bench with a View Challenge in April. Oops…)

After leaving the loch, the walk rises onto moorland with good views towards Ben Lomond, then there’s a really boggy part around Black Linn.

At the highest point (172m) of Muirhouse Muir there’s a cairn and a bench, then another bench at the point where you start dropping back down to the loch. We spent time on both of these, admiring Ben Lomond and the Campsie Fells.

Muirhouse Muir
Muirhouse Muir
Campsie view
Campsie view

See that lumpy little hill on the right above? That’s Dumgoyne. I’ve climbed it several times, but after the last ascent swore never to do it again. It’s small but painfully steep and my knees just won’t stand it these days. However John misses it and, inspired by seeing it on this walk, he’s since done it twice on his own. As a bonus, here are some of his pictures. The little black dots by the path in the third one (click to enlarge) are people on their hands and knees. See my objection?

The walk starts behind the Glengoyne Distillery which is also worth a visit – AFTER the walk, unless you also want to go up on your knees.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks – I wonder where everyone else has been this week?


44 thoughts on “Loch Ardinning

  1. lovetotrav June 22, 2015 / 11:28

    I have to agree about the hands and knees part being less thrilling when it comes to walking. I like my walks a tad rolling or more or less flat. The best ones are flat with beautiful views…yes, I know rare to come by.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Anabel Marsh June 22, 2015 / 11:39

      Not that hard round Scotland – though unfortunately John likes to climb and I like to look up and admire the mountains!

      Liked by 1 person

      • lovetotrav June 22, 2015 / 11:41

        I know that I am a “look up and see” kind of hiker then myself.


        • Anabel Marsh June 22, 2015 / 11:43

          I admit it’s not always QUITE as beautiful – but almost, and that’s good enough for me.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. restlessjo June 22, 2015 / 13:05

    Heck, that IS a bit steep! Coming down would be worse. Parachute job! 🙂
    Love the wide open spaces. Doesn’t it make you feel good to be alive? Thanks for sharing, Anabel.


    • Anabel Marsh June 22, 2015 / 13:09

      Parachute, or skidding on your behind! But yes, the views are life-enhancing, even from below.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. vannillarock June 22, 2015 / 13:17

    Nice shot of Ben Lomand in distance. Oh, knees, yes, least said….. ( I would say it’s all that praying, but you’d have to know me to know how hilarious that is) enjoyed the post..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Heyjude June 22, 2015 / 13:31

    Oh what gorgeous views Anabel! And lots of lovely benches, though I prefer them with a backrest these days 😉
    I almost had to descend a hill in Cornwall on my behind, I should have taken a walking pole with me, but it gets in the way of the camera, so I didn’t. Going up wasn’t so bad, but when I reached the top and saw the descent, I froze. From now on I shall stay at the bottom, rather than ON my bottom 😕


    • Anabel Marsh June 22, 2015 / 13:52

      Good idea. I definitely think going down is worse and have made a few undignified descents in my time. Knees of, ahem, a certain age aren’t as nifty at hill climbing as they were.


      • Heyjude June 22, 2015 / 14:02

        You’re not kidding! I can’t even climb over stiles now unless they have a pole to grab hold of to propel myself upwards!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Jemima Pett June 22, 2015 / 16:23

    I don’t think I’ve been past the sign to Loch Ardinning. I probably don’t go up there as often as you, and in fact I think I’ve only done the A81 between Aberfoyle and Callander. I usually go into the Trossachs from the east, or bypass them to go past Loch Lomond 🙂

    Lovely pictures. My knees aren’t up to it now, either.


    • Anabel Marsh June 25, 2015 / 13:11

      Very sorry not to have replied to your last two comments – I’ve just discovered them in spam! I don’t know why WordPress has suddenly taken against you. This is on the way to Aberfoyle from Glasgow so you probably haven’t passed it.


      • Jemima Pett June 26, 2015 / 10:46

        For some reason WordPress is putting my comments on my own blog into moderation! I’ve no idea…. I’ve just virus-checked my blog, so maybe that’ll sort things out.


    • Anabel Marsh June 22, 2015 / 23:04

      I would fear for your safety if you did that, Nadine. A nice afternoon in the distillery is the best idea, especially if you have a willing chauffeur.


  6. Birgit June 23, 2015 / 02:20

    These are beautiful pictures of this area-I love the running brook. The people on their hands and knees I think I would skip as well


  7. lostforwords101 June 23, 2015 / 07:52

    Hello Anabel! This is great with nature around you! I was in Universal Studios this weekend. Oh man! I had both the adventure and fright of a lifetime being in a rollercoaster called the “cyclone” — that was definitely the total opposite of how serene those two photos on top of this post looks like!


    • Anabel Marsh June 23, 2015 / 08:01

      Eek! Rollercoasters are another thing I swore off years ago. Terrifying.


  8. clicksclan June 23, 2015 / 17:26

    It looks beautiful but I imagine it could be a bit of a tiring walk. I would love to get off the island and try doing some walks around Scotland. Those are some great photos. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh June 23, 2015 / 17:52

      Dumgoyne is a killer (in my opinion) but the Loch Ardinning one is pretty easy with great views.


  9. Sherri Lackey June 23, 2015 / 20:58

    Some of the pictures remind me of Montana landscapes. 🙂


  10. Kern Windwraith June 24, 2015 / 05:59

    So beautiful, Anabel. I’m with you (and apparently many others) on not fancying that steep climb. My knees raise the same objections as yours. The place names are so lovely. Muirhouse Muir, Campsie Fells, Dumgoyne–they make me want to hie myself over to YouTube and start listening to someone with a Scottish accent read an atlas. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh June 24, 2015 / 07:56

      Great idea! Perhaps some day I’ll do a feature on Scottish place names and their (sometimes weird) pronunciations. Try Milngavie (Mul-guy) or Dumyat (Doom-eye-at) for starters.


  11. Lori L MacLaughlin June 25, 2015 / 04:14

    What a lovely hike! Such beautiful views. I’d have to give some thought to that hands and knees climb. I guess it would depend on how badly I wanted to see the top.


  12. cassam101 June 25, 2015 / 17:07

    Lovely photos and I don’t blame you for not climbing the hill it looks so steep.


  13. Celine Jeanjean June 26, 2015 / 03:29

    Wow no wonder you stopped doing that hill! Climbing up on your hands and knees just doesn’t sound like fun! the views are beautiful though — I do especially like that photo of the bench looking out on it all. I looks so peaceful….


    • Anabel Marsh June 26, 2015 / 08:00

      It was peaceful. Such a beautiful place, very close to the city and yet we saw only a handful of people.


  14. Alex Hurst June 26, 2015 / 03:43

    A student of mine was just in Ireland and said the weather there was wonderful during her trip. But she was also talking about how low the mountains are — your pictures certainly prove it!


    • Anabel Marsh June 26, 2015 / 08:02

      She was lucky! Yes, that’s just a wee hill. Ben Lomond is 3000+ feet and the highest mountain in the UK is Ben Nevis at 4000+ so low by most standards.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. jazzfeathers June 28, 2015 / 06:40

    Beautiful place. I envy you for all the fantastic walks you do 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh June 28, 2015 / 08:29

      Thank you – I love living here, in the city but very close to beautiful countryside.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. travelerlynne July 1, 2015 / 16:51

    Have never been to Scotland but I think the views are vast and far reaching and something to behold. I would probably pass doing the steep climbs, too. Those days are in my past. I enjoy the participants in Jo’s walks. They take me to places I’ve never been.


    • Anabel Marsh July 1, 2015 / 16:58

      Yes, I enjoy Jo’s walks too. So glad to have discovered them.


  17. Su Leslie July 8, 2015 / 23:43

    This looks so lovely. I regret a bit that when I lived in the UK I never got out into the Scottish countryside on foot. Now my trips back are so fleeting that I’m lucky to see anything at all — even from the car.


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