Saturday, 22 February 2014

Statue in Langside Road, Glasgow

My fitness regime during my working day consists of going to the gym after work and walking during lunchtime.

I have the choice of some lovely walks in the area around my office including Queen's Park and Linn Park. On a walk around Queen's Park last week I noticed this beautiful statue on top of a building on Langside Avenue.


The statue looks like a Grecian one, with some further Grecian detail around the walls of the building. Glasgow City has some wonderful buildings.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Refreshments at the Caledonian Bicycle Company, Hamilton

Just before Christmas last year a new cycle shop opened at 42 Castle Street, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. This, however, is not only a cycle shop but a continental-type café selling tea, coffee and soft drinks. It also sells food including cakes, biscuits, baked potatoes, home made soup, baguettes and sandwiches.

Owned by Kenny and Lisa, it is a welcome addition to the facilities in the town.


The shop is lovely and clean and there are cycling books for visitors to browse through, while enjoying their meals and drinks.

Cycle gear
I have been in a few times now - on my own while passing the shop and with my friend EmmaThe coffee is real Italian and comes in various forms so there is a drink to suit everybody.

There is plenty of room for bicycles, prams and wheelchairs so it is possible to bring them into the shop for safe-keeping, while enjoying the refreshments.

The opening hours are:

Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 10am to 6pm
Wednesday – 10am to 8pm
Thursday – 10am to 6pm
Friday – 10am to 6pm
Saturday – 8am to 6pm
Sunday – 2pm to 6pm

The café is a great place to catch up with friends or to pop in for a drink or a bite to eat.

Further Information

Caledonian Bicycle Company

Tel 01698 207201

Volunteering at the Kingshill Local Nature Reserve, Allanton near Shotts

Today I was helping the volunteers from the Central Scotland Forest Trust with some conservation work at Kingshill Local Nature Reserve near Shotts in North Lanarkshire.

The day very wet when I left the house to catch a bus to Allanton, a journey which seemed to take forever, as the driver kept sitting at nearly all the bus stops on the way there!

When I eventually arrived at Allanton, Emilie from the Central Scotland Forest Trust met me at the bus stop and walked me up a path to the reserve, which took about 20 minutes. By the time we arrived to join the other volunteers, the rain had stopped and the sun was shining.

Kingshill Local Nature Reserve
The other volunteers were all busy sawing down small trees which were growing in the wetland area of the reserve. The reserve covers quite a large area and has 12 ponds, some meadows and woodland, so there is a diverse range of wildlife in the area.

In the distance could be seen Black Law Wind Farm, near the village of Forth, owned by ScottishPower.

There are almost 20 species of butterfly and other insects to be found living amongst the wildflowers in the reserve. There were not many birds when we were there today, but in summer, the meadows will attract many of our summer visitors.

Hard at work
Cutting down the trees was hard work and everyone was putting in a good effort. There was a brief stop for lunch and Emilie had brought a case with refreshments including hot water for making tea, coffee or hot chocolate and some biscuits. A gentleman offered some cakes which his wife had baked. These were very nice.

Lunch stop

After lunch we resumed the work and as it had got a bit warmer many of us were able to take off our fleeces and jackets. The progress we made was good and we covered a large area. 

Below are some photographs of the work which was done today.

Black Law Wind Farm in the distance

At 15.15 we started packing up and carried out a tool count to ensure that no tools were left in the area in case they injured wildlife. I walked back with the other volunteers and got a lift  in the Central Scotland Forest Trust van to the bus stop where, after a few minutes wait, I caught a bus back home. It had been an enjoyable day out and in March we can resume our work on the site.

Further Information

Central Scotland Forest Trust 

Kingshill Local Nature Reserve

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Lunchtime Walk - Linn Park 2

The weather on Friday was bright and sunny and quite mild for early February. We decided to walk again in Linn Park, but this time on the opposite side of White Cart, from the walk we had done a few days before.

As it would have taken a good 40 minutes to walk to the entrance of the park, we took a no. 6 bus along Clarkston Road to the entrance, which reduced the time to 7 minutes. We were starting and finishing at different points so could not take the car.

Commonwealth Games 2014

Arriving at the park we saw that it was a designated hub park for the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Hub Park
The entrance into the park is by a tarmac path so our shoes did not get as muddy as they had on the walk a few days previously.

Entrance to Linn Park
I was familiar with this part of the park, as I had been there in 2012.

Path in Linn Park
It was a lovely early Spring day, as the photographs above show.

Path in Linn Park
The advantage of walking early in the year is that there are better views of the river as they are not restricted by foliage.

Small footbridge
 A small footbridge takes visitors over the White Cart Water to the other side. Some dog walkers were there with a number of dogs, which were all very friendly.

View of the Park
Linn House

In the photograph above a mansion house can be seen in the top right. This is Linn House, which was built around 1811 for Rev. James Hall. A short time later he became bankrupt, resulting in the house and estate being put up for auction on behalf of the creditors.

Linn Waterfall
We were able to view the waterfall from the other side of the river and get closer than we had been on the other side of the river.

The park is well signposted and the above photograph shows how blue the sky was.

Countryside in Glasgow
In the photograph above, it is difficult to believe it was taken in one of the largest cities in Europe! It looks like it was taken in the Scottish countryside and not in an industrial city.

White Cart Water
Our walk through the park was coming to an end and we soon arrived at Snuffmill Bridge where we had started from on our walk a few days previously. It had been a great walk. We arrived back at the office for our last few hours of the working week before the weekend arrived.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Lunchtime Walk - Linn Park, Glasgow

One of the advantages of working in the South Side of Glasgow is the number of lovely parks within a short distance from my office. Last week I  had walked with a colleague through Queens Park and this week we went to Linn Park.
I had been on a walk in the Linn Park in August 2012 (which can be viewed here ) so I was familiar with many of the paths in the park.
Holmwood House

One of the first places we visited on the walk was Holmwood House which was designed by Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's and is regarded as his finest domestic design. It was built in 1857-8 for James Couper, a local businessman. The house is managed by the National Trust for Scotland and is only open from April to September. We were able to walk round the house and its grounds.
Holmwood House


After walking round the grounds of Holmwood House, we found a walk beside White Cart Water and arrived at Snuffmill Bridge. The original mill was built in the18th century as Cathcart Meal Mill and became a cardboard mill in 1812 for Solomon Lindsay of Penicuik. In 1814 a snuff mill was added. The River Cart was an important river for industrial use.
Snuffmill Bridge
The view from the bridge was very pleasant as the photographs below show.
View from Snuffmill Bridge
View from Snuffmill Bridge
The path along the river was quite muddy, but we had walking shoes on and not office ones! 

 In places there were steep steps, but they were easy to climb.
White Cart Water
Linn Park Waterfall

We came to a waterfall, which is the most popular feature in the park. When I were last in this area in August 2012 the waterfall was disappointing, but today it had plenty of water cascading over it. Linn is the Scottish word for waterfall.

Waterfall in Linn Park February, 2014
In August 2012 the waterfall was less spectacular.
Waterfall August 2012
We had time to admire the waterfall before making our way back to the office. It has been a pleasant walk.