Glasgow Gallivanting: July 2020

Strathkelvin Railway Path and Billy the Train

In early July, John took a week off work. This coincided with the time when restrictions on how far you could travel for leisure in Scotland eased slightly, and we ventured into the countryside for the first time since lockdown. Not too far, just over the city boundary to East Dunbartonshire where we discovered a network of trails on and around the old Strathkelvin railway path, several of which we followed. I’ve written a post about that week which will follow shortly, but since then we’ve covered another couple of the trails. The first started in Milton of Campsie where we came across this cute display in the old station.

The second took us to Lennox Castle. I always thought this had originated as a Victorian “lunatic asylum” but, although the house was built between 1837 and 1841, it didn’t become a hospital until 1936 as a “mental deficiency institution” – such terrible terms to modern ears. The castle itself became the nurses’ home, and patients’ accommodation was built in the grounds: this was demolished after the last parts of the hospital finally closed in 2002, but the castle itself remains as a sad ruin and a reminder of all the suffering souls who lived there.

I did another Twitter walk for the Women’s Library this month, this time in Garnethill, and my fellow volunteer Melody has made a trailer for the same walk. Both are below for anyone interested. On the trailer, my voice is the one that starts by telling you the walk is available to download. It has been great fun doing these, and we hope to do more.

Garnethill Women’s Heritage Walk Trailer from Glasgow Women’s Library on Vimeo.

As lockdown eases, the growth of my collection of photographs of rainbows and teddy bears is diminishing. Indeed, many of the old displays have been taken down. We’ve seen more painted stones this month though, mostly in the small towns in East Dunbartonshire that we visited. People have been very artistic in lockdown!

So it’s been a month of easing restrictions with two major events: I’ve had a haircut and a birthday! Unfortunately not in that order. My birthday was the day after restaurants were allowed to re-open, so we had dinner out for the first time in four months. It felt strange and rather lacking in atmosphere, but it’s progress. What will next month bring?


  1. It was interesting to hear your voice. And what an informative piece Melody, you, and the others created.

    Our restaurants here in BC have been open for dining in since the last week of May, and many were reopened in mid April for takeout.



  2. I’m glad you’ve gotten out and about a bit. Happy belated birthday and congrats on the haircut (I’ve had two plus a hair straightening since June!). What a sad place is the “mental deficiency institution.” And I love all the painted stones and rainbows. 🙂


  3. A couple of lovely walks and a haircut and a birthday? Does the fun never end? Great photos, so much history at every turn in Scotland.


  4. Lovely walks. It’s always interesting to find out about the history of a building, although yes, certain names and terms from back then are not suitable in today’s society.


  5. I’m glad you’re able to get out and walk again. That castle looked interesting, but knowing what it was used for sort of ruins the attraction. So sad…. As for eating in a restaurant, I know what you mean. We’ve only eaten at outdoor patios, although I’ve seen people eating inside. I think it takes a while before people feel comfortable and actually enjoy doing it.


  6. Hi Anabel – love the Twitter walks – good for you … that red coat looks so cheerful. Lots to see in your part of the world … and I agree ‘mental deficiencies’ sounds awful doesn’t it. Happy Birthday … and I’m waiting for my haircut – a fortnight to go … take care – Hilary


    • Thanks Hilary! I put the red coat on especially for the photograph so that I stood out – it was actually quite a warm day. I wore a green coat for the last one for the same reason. Two weeks now since the haircut, and it’s already looking a bit ragged – though nothing like as bad as it was before.