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Outdoor activities


Learn to love our hills and you will be rewarded with fine views.

The plans show where you can find core paths

Exploring Scotland's best kept secret - by bike

There is no denying East Renfrewshire has its fair share of  hills, its all part of  of  the areas charm and beauty. For a cyclist it may look  a bit daunting but remember that for every up hill pedal there is an exhilarating downhill blast to be enjoyed. 

We have put together 10 fantastic routes for cyclists of all abilities in our cycling  guide:

You can download individual route maps at Cycling in East Renfrewshire and Cycling at Whitelee.

Whitelee Windfarm also has dedicated mountain bike trails: Mountain biking at Whitelee.

A bike ride through Dams to Darnley Country Park

This is a quiet cycle ride along the banks of the reservoirs of Dams to Darnley Country Park- yes there is a hill - but only one!

  • Distance: 9 miles
  • Surface: tarmac track, hard surfaced paths
  • Traffic: one short  section on quiet country road (no through traffic), one road crossing on busier road
  • Hills: 1 short hill, 1 long climb

Start in  Barrhead opposite Springfield Grove next to  St Luke's High School.  A path leads between the low stone walls up and across the railway line. The path drops down towards Balgray Reservoir.  The going is easy  around the reservoir on a wide and flat path. There are waterside benches if you want to stop. The path loops around the waters edge to Aurs Road. This road can be busy and cyclists may prefer to dismount while taking  great care crossing.

The path turns to a wide tarmac track and continues downhill past a waterfall to Ryat Linn Reservoir. Cycle the flat track beneath the avenue of tall lime trees and between the  hedgerows towards the impressive Victorian Railway viaduct. The track goes under this viaduct bringing you to Waulkmill Glen Reservoir. Pedal past the reservoir banks to where the track starts to steepen at the top of the wooded glen. If you don't  fancy peddling  back up this hill this is the ideal place to return to the start. From here the track twists and turns downhill through the woodland past an impressive waterfall emerging onto the public road. This road  is a no a through route to cars and is pleasantly quiet if a little bumpy in places.

Continue down this road until you see one of the park's large black and white finger posts pointing to a path into the woodland. The finger post points to Darnley Mill. Follow this path beside the burn until you see another large black and white sign post pointing to Waulkmill Glen. Follow this path which takes you back up the Glen to re-join the quiet road. There is a long climb back up the Glen through the woods but the absence of any  traffic and good surface take the sting out of the slope. Retrace your cycle tracks alongside the quiet banks of the 3 reservoirs, remembering to take care at Aurs Road crossing.

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