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About Dams To Darnley Walking Route
Although Dams to Darnley is Glasgow's newest park the history of the surrounding landscape travels back many centuries with evidence of farming having taken place in Barrhead and Darnley since the 16th century whilst coal mining and bleaching also played a major role in Darnley's development.
Heading further back into history the Darnley Sycamore, which the route visits, was where Mary, Queen of Scots allegedly nursed her cousin Henry Stewart, Lord Darnley, back to health. They married in 1565 but the subsequent tragic tale that ensued is another story.
The main section of the route passes the magnificent dams of Balgray, Ryat Linn and Waulkmill Glen which were built in the 18th century, utilising the Brock Burn, to provide clean water for Govan's residents. The walk then travels through Waulkmill Glen (a Site of Special Scientific Interest) which is home to splendid woodland and wildlife. This route is waymarked.
1. From car park on Balgraystone Road turn L onto path signposted for Waulkmill Glen. Follow the path anti-clockwise around Balgray Reservoir. The path travels through some beautiful scenery with a variety of woodland and birdlife to enjoy. As you walk towards Aurs Road cross over a footbridge passing the impressive house of Mains of Balgray whilst the draw off tower at the northern side of the reservoir is a Grade B listed building. Two more bridges are crossed to reach the busy Aurs Road.
2. Carefully cross Aurs Road, go through a gate, follow the path down by hedgerows then turn R at a signpost for Darnley Mill. Cross a footbridge beside a dramatic waterfall and follow the path beside Ryat Linn Reservoir and attractive woodland. The path then runs in-between stone walls to reach a fork. Bear L passing underneath the wonderful red brick railway viaduct and descend to Waulkmill Glen Reservoir. Continue along the path as it swings L to reach a fork.
3. Take the L fork and descend down into the woodland of Waulkmill Glen (where many of the trees are extremely old) passing another huge waterfall which helps the Brock Burn run its course all the way to join the White Cart at Pollok. The track descends past a cottage onto a single-track road which leads out of the woodland and travels through peaceful countryside towards Darnley. On the outskirts of Darnley a bridge crosses over the Brock Burn. Once over the bridge turn R off the road through 2 stone pillars and onto a good path which makes its way through more attractive woodland and then climbs L to meet another path. Turn R here and follow the path over a footbridge to reach a signpost for Darnley Mill. Turn L, then R back onto the single track road and continue past some houses and a restaurant to reach the A726. Carefully cross the A726 at traffic lights to reach the Darnley Sycamore.
4. To return to the start it is a simple matter of retracing footsteps climbing through Waulkmill Glen, passing by the three dams and back to Balgraystone Road.
Time: 3.5 Hours
Download the East Renfrewshire Council Walking Guide which features 10 family walks around East Renfrewshire
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