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Guest blog: A stroll around Lochwinnoch

Written by Fiona November 16 2010

My roving outdoors guest blogger Romy Beard and her partner Wes headed to Lochwinnoch in Renfrewshire for a fab winter walk.

Romy writes: November always seems so cold and rainy and so the minute I see a chink of blue sky I want to get outdoors.  A couple of weekends ago the rain in Glasgow had stopped for long enough to give me enough hope that the countryside might be dry enough for a walk. So we headed to the little village of Lochwinnoch, just half an hour’s drive away, and located between two beautiful lochs.

It was easy to find a parking spot at the RSPB Reserve, just before entering the village, and from here there was a choice of lovely walking routes. There are some nice paths to the south of the Castle Semple Loch,  however we decided to head north towards the village. Unfortunately, there had been so much rain that the path along the loch there had been flooded, so we settled for the cycling path. While this trail was covered in leaves it was easy-going and smooth and offered a great walking route.

(I also made a note to myself to come here with my bike sometime. The path goes all the way to Paisley, apparently.)

Romy inside the "curious" shelter

As we headed along the cycle path – on foot–  we reach a cross-roads. First, we head down to the right on a route that leads us back to the loch. There’s a little picnic area and a curious shelter made of branches.

Unfortunately, flooding here also halted us and so we headed back in the opposite direction – and chanced upon a lovely little path into the forest. It headed past the ruins of a stone house, and then around a little hill, with a gorgeous view of the loch. I just love it when an unplanned route comes up with such surprising finds. The scene was just amazing.

After the little loop (we had hoped it would lead somewhere), we headed back on the cycle path towards the village. Back at the loch, we checked out the visitors’ centre (where you can also rent bikes and kayaks) before heading into the village for lunch. “Cucina Minucci” on the Lochwinnoch Junction served us lovely soup and toasties.

Heading back to the car park near the RSPB, we made a visit into the reserve and discovered a bird lovers’ paradise. You could easily spend another few hours strolling around the reserve and it’s ideally suited to families.

All in all, Lochwinnoch is a very nice location if you want to get out in the country and don’t fancy driving for too long from Glasgow.

Where will Romy be heading next time?

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