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.


58 thoughts on “A walk at Whitelee

  1. Pit November 12, 2015 / 14:51

    Hi Anabel,
    Thanks for taking me on that walk.
    As to wind turbines: I’m not against them, eiter, but I don’t think they’ll be a solution to the world’s energy demands, for various reasons. They certainly help, though.
    Have a great time,


    • Anabel Marsh November 12, 2015 / 22:36

      Thanks, Pit. Yes, they can only be part of the solution but having a variety of energy sources must be good.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TanGental November 12, 2015 / 15:39

    I’m pro wind farms both for the clean power and the impact on the view. Good weather too. Not much longer if the El Nino threats come to fruition


      • TanGental November 13, 2015 / 00:33

        They never are, are they? They even manage to leave us on a knife edge with power at risk and paying large users bribes to keep the kettles on. Incompetent or what?

        Liked by 1 person

  3. jazzfeathers November 12, 2015 / 17:09

    Great pictures as always.
    I’m not agaist the wind turbines either. In fact I quite like them, they have a nice desing, and I ofen think that they are so obviously a human contruct that they don’t even interfere with their surrounding all that much.


    • Anabel Marsh November 12, 2015 / 22:14

      Thanks. I like them much better than pylons – although people object to those too.


  4. Birgit November 12, 2015 / 19:30

    I just don’t think people can be pleased about anything. First they complain about what man does to damage things, then when wind turbines come in to help with being efficient and healthier actually, they complain about the looks. I think they look just fine and I( think they do more good than harm


    • Anabel Marsh November 12, 2015 / 22:15

      We have to get our power from somewhere and the cleaner the better, I think. You’re right, some people will always object to everything.


  5. helenmackinven November 12, 2015 / 20:33

    Another place I’ve yet to visit and hope to one day. Great pics as always.


  6. Heyjude November 12, 2015 / 20:53

    Not my first choice for a walk (though like you I am not against a wind farm) and to be honest your walk looks pretty good in that gorgeous September weather. Happy to join you for a spot of lunch though 😉


    • Anabel Marsh November 12, 2015 / 22:17

      Not mine either really, but I was curious to see it and it does have a certain grandeur. And the lunch!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Fife Photos and Art November 12, 2015 / 23:04

    Great post Anabel, with some stunning photos 🙂 And I agree totally with you about the wind farms!!! I wish I could really ‘threaten’ people, who complain about them, with a nuclear power station in their back yards. Or a massive coal fired power station. Wind energy in Scotland is such an obvious source of power!


  8. restlessjo November 13, 2015 / 07:43

    We have a power station on our doorstep and a wind farm out in the North Sea, Anabel, so we should be spoilt for electricity, shouldn’t we? Up here we need all the jobs we can get with the closure of the steel industry. Whereas I find the power station to be an extremely menacing presence I rather like the wind turbines. I can’t take you for a walk around our North Sea ones so I shall accept this with gratitude. 🙂 🙂
    You can get some lovely shots of the angles of the blades, can’t you, but I especially like the shot with the shadow. 🙂


    • Anabel Marsh November 13, 2015 / 12:09

      Yes, I find power stations, nuclear or coal-fired, looming and menacing, though we have a family connection in that my late father-in-law was Chief Engineer with Scottish Power in the 60s and commissioned some of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Su Leslie November 13, 2015 / 11:45

    Yay for wind farms; and for a lovely post with great pics.


    • Anabel Marsh November 13, 2015 / 21:08

      Thanks. It’s a different sort of walk – I enjoyed the landscape but wouldn’t want to visit too often.


  10. Silvia Writes November 13, 2015 / 18:39

    I am definitely in favor of wind farms. As you said, it’s not *the* solution, as there is not one single thing that could be the solution to any problem, but it certainly is part of the larger solution, and I hope we move in that direction more and more over the years. We have a few good wind farms here in California, in the Tehachapi area (the windiest part of CA). Beautiful pictures. Thank you, Anabel.


    • Anabel Marsh November 13, 2015 / 21:09

      Thanks Silvia. The consensus so far amongst commenters seems to be in favour of wind farms. We are a green lot!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Corinne November 14, 2015 / 09:20

    Anabel, I don’t mind wind turbines at all. However, I don’t like having to pass them at night on small roads. They are huge! Your walk sounds relaxing, and I love the photo of you by the pond!


    • Anabel Marsh November 14, 2015 / 10:52

      Thanks, Corinne – I can imagine they might be quite sinister at night!


  12. Scott November 14, 2015 / 11:59

    Whitelee is definitely a place to visit in all the seasons.Then once you’ve done the seasons you then want to do am and pm walks/ cycles.. Lochgoin is what most folk end up doing. It’s nice but there plenty more to see when you go deeper into the forest trails. There’s also cairns, monuments and even a crashed (site of) hurricane from ww2.


    • Anabel Marsh November 14, 2015 / 12:12

      Sounds as though you know it very well! Sure we’ll be back.


  13. Alex Hurst November 15, 2015 / 07:01

    I love windmills! I think they’re beautiful, and elegant in their power. 🙂 It looks like you got a lovely day indeed! Fantastic!


  14. Lucid Gypsy November 16, 2015 / 20:03

    I rather like wind turbines, they’re sleek and elegant!


  15. lisadorenfest November 17, 2015 / 08:41

    I think that the wind farmkind of add to the landscape! I know, I am odd. I like photographing them but don’t like sailing past them because in my experience, they slow the boat down. Not sure why. And while you say that the terrain isn’t varied, I thought the images here offered plenty of variety.


    • Anabel Marsh November 17, 2015 / 09:06

      Finding lots of wind farm fans! We did the “official” trail which has the viewpoint, the reservoir and the monument, but there’s miles more which is just turbines. Would look good in the snow though so hoping to go back in winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Denzil November 17, 2015 / 11:52

    I’m also (another!) fan of wind farms Anabel and was disappointed to read elsewhere of certain nature conservation organisations coming out against them. Nice blog post, as always.


    • Anabel Marsh November 17, 2015 / 13:22

      Thanks, Denzil. I thought it might be controversial to like them, but it seems not – amongst WordPress readers anyway!


  17. 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.


    • Anabel Marsh November 17, 2015 / 23:21

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


      • 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!


  18. 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.


  19. 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.


    • 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.


          • 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.


            • 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

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