A walk at Whitelee

Whitelee Windfarm
Whitelee Windfarm

Many people object to wind farms on principle. I’m not one of them. The biggest onshore windfarm in the UK is just 20 minutes from the centre of Glasgow on a hilltop site ideal for harnessing the wind (of which we get a lot!) I’ll leave you to look up the technical stuff if you wish, but I will say that the landscape has by no means been spoiled. It has been man-made for centuries, as grouse moors, as grazing for sheep and, in the 1960s, as a commercial forest. The turbines are just the latest chapter and the design of the windfarm preserves the most important habitats and historical sites. It has miles of trails for walking, cycling, horse-riding and other outdoor activities. It’s amazing!

Ok, having got that off my chest, on with the walk. Or, at least, lunch first – you didn’t think we’d miss that out, did you? The visitor centre at Whitelee has a small café with big windows and a viewing terrace.

Whitelee Visitor Centre
Whitelee Visitor Centre

We decided to follow the Lochgoin Circuit which, at 8 miles, occupies one small corner of the windfarm. It’s huge! As are the turbines – and they’re not white, they’re pale grey which blends into the sky better. However, as you can see, they would have had to be bright blue to blend in the day we visited!

After a short while, we took a detour up Blackwood Hill with views over Dunwan Dam.

Then we carried on round the loop till we reached Lochgoin Reservoir. I loved the green boats!

Lochgoin Reservoir
Lochgoin Reservoir

Another detour took us to the Lochgoin Monument. This was erected in 1896 for John Howie. The base records the names of some of the 18000 Covenanters who died in the “Killing Time” of 1638-88. (Covenanters were Presbyterians who signed the ‘National Covenant’ in 1638, renouncing the Roman Catholic Church and opposing the interference of the Stuart Kings in the Church of Scotland.)

Once back onto the main path, we headed up the other side of Lochgoin back to the visitor centre (not forgetting to stop for a rest along the way).

Whitelee was a great afternoon out. I’m not sure I’d want to do the trail again any time soon – the terrain isn’t varied enough – but it would be great to see it in a different season (this was September), maybe in the snow.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks – check out her trip to Aira Force.

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58 thoughts on “A walk at Whitelee

  1. Donna November 22, 2015 / 15:29

    Beautiful pictures. I have never heard any opposition to wind turbines. In Minnesota, I think they are mostly in the southern Prarie along with fields and fields of corn. Beautiful pictures.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh November 22, 2015 / 18:54

      There are quite a lot of people here who hate them – I can never understand it. (One is Donald Trump who objects to plans for a wind farm at sea which can be seen from his golf course. If that’s not enough to to turn anyone in favour, I don’t know what is!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Donna November 23, 2015 / 00:46

        I try very hard to ignore Donald Trump, I probably shouldn’t, but I do.

        Like

          • Donna November 23, 2015 / 14:21

            Very scary. It’s been very nice having an intelligent, sane, rational president for the past 7 years. Not that I agree with everything this administration has done, but I think all in all we are all in a better place when there is a Democrat in the White House.

            Like

            • Anabel Marsh November 23, 2015 / 14:24

              Undoubtedly! A Republican frontrunner who isn’t also a racist buffoon would almost seem like a bonus at the moment.

              Liked by 1 person

  2. Jessica (Diverting Journeys) November 18, 2015 / 14:38

    I’m not against the idea of wind farms, but something about turbines just freaks me out. They’re very dystopian looking somehow, and I’m not sure I’d be brave enough to walk through a field full of them! An odd phobia, I know.

    Like

  3. abitofculture November 17, 2015 / 23:15

    I bet plenty of power is being generated right now! There are loads of these in Cornwall, and I’ve always fancied getting up close to them so thanks for letting me walk with you.

    Like

    • Anabel Marsh November 17, 2015 / 23:21

      Actually it is very still here – this time, the storm is bypassing Scotland!

      Like

      • abitofculture November 17, 2015 / 23:24

        It’s crazy here – I’m dreading looking at the back garden in the morning, pretty sure it’ll be full of roof tiles and uprooted trees!

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