A walk at Whitelee
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.
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!
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.