It was some time last year that I wrote about the trials and tribulations of finding new places to walk the dog. Then I made a reasonably hollow promise to get back into my quest to discover dog walking heaven or the dog walking holy grail or something to that effect. And quite frankly I failed.
Well, I didn’t entirely fail, but I certainly didn’t get the dog walking mojo that I was hoping for. This is not down to a lack of interest, I promise, but merely the rather unappealing prospect of dragging the kids to a horrible bit of wasteland and having to put up with the moaning that would inevitably accompany it.
Bless The Big One, but she is a moaner. And, yeah, I think the little one may be getting her moan on too. So, you see: not appealing.
Fortunately, now we’re back into the summer holidays, the sheer pressure of filling all that time with the under-5s has made me a little less tardy, and I’m pleased to announce that I have discovered a whole two dog walks that I would highly recommend. And they are different enough that one of them at the very least is bound to appeal to you (assuming I am talking to a dog walker and someone who, well, is looking up something else dog-related. Ahem).
Firstly Ruchill Park, located North-West of Glasgow, is a Queens Park-esque bit of dog walking pleasure that – wait for it- has stuff for kids too. It has two whole play parks (options always good) and a daffodil nature reserve. It is a city park, so yeah, there is the odd bit of rubbish, but as it’s not an obvious through route, it doesn’t seem to suffer like some others do.
Ruchill Park is hilly, so it has fabulous views at the top and it’s big enough to give the dog a really good run. The only real downside is finding a good place to park. The Biggest One (my partner) did a bit of a crazy parallel park on a hill, but there are spaces on some of the side streets. Personally I think he was just showing off (‘ooh, look at me, I can do a parallel park on a vertical hill without using the handbrake.’ WHATEVS! He’s currently watching University Challenge, so, y’know…).
The other, more attractive option, is Bothwell Castle – located just past Uddingston. The castle aside (beautiful of course, but you need to pay to get in), there are long wooded walks down by the river and a fantastic fairy trail (see previous blog post: the kids LOVE a fairy). We got caught in a torrential downpour and didn’t even get wet because the tree cover was so good. Superb. I imagine the other benefit of this is not having to slather the under-5s with sun cream on a hot day.
Another favourite that I’ve revisited many times this summer, is Cuningar Loop, located just past Rutherglen. While it is a bit of a ‘project’ (clearly unfinished and still a bit of a building site), it offers good long dog walks and plenty of entertainment for the kids: sandy play parks, outdoor mosaic, big furniture etc. Plus it has a cafe with dog bowls, should you have forgotten your own dog paraphernalia. This one should have gone on the website ages ago and it’s sheer tardiness that has prevented me from adding it thus far. Soon, I promise!!
Well that should be enough to get on with for now. I have kids to dress and a dog crying out to get soggy in Pollok Park. Laters.