Walking routes in East Renfrewshire

Find out our top walking routes in East Renfrewshire.

We've compiled a selection of walking routes within East Renfrewshire to inspire you to explore and discover some of the great scenery on offer.

Balgray Reservoir sunset, Dams to Darnley

Located between Darnley, Barrhead and Newton Mearns, Dams to Darnley Country Park provides a range of walking routes to suit different abilities with stunning views of the reservoirs and over to the Campsie Fells. This leisurely walk follows the path along Balgray reservoir.

Distance2.5 miles - out and back 
Time1 hour
Start / FinishBalgraystone Road car park, Barrhead


  1. Exit the car park on Balgraystone Road by turning left onto a path signposted for Balgray Reservoir.
  2. Follow the path anti-clockwise around Balgray Reservoir along a firm track and over 3 bridges, for just over 1 mile.
  3. As you approach Aurs Road, the draw off tower at the northern side of the reservoir, which is a Grade B listed building, is particularly prominent.
  4. Return following the same route. 

At 260m above sea level, views from 'The Pad' extend as far as Tinto Hill, Ben Lomond and Arran. 

Distance4 miles - circular route
Time2.5 hours
Start / FinishNeilston train station


  1. From Neilston train station turn right onto High Street (Kingston Road) and walk past a park, cross over Kingston Avenue and Glen Shee Avenue.
  2. Walk to the left hand side of Kingston Road, then turn left onto a farm track.
  3. Follow the track as it curves away from Neilston with the countryside immediately opening out to reach Craig of Neilston Farm. Bear right to reach a gate.
  4. Go through the gate and climb gently beside a wood, passing a track on the right to reach a wall and the track turns left, making its way over a field to reach a gate.
  5. After the gate, turn right from the main track climbing onto the lower slopes of Neilston Pad. At a wooden post turn left and travel across the slopes along a narrow path through woodland with great views across Snypes Dam towards Dod Hill.
  6. The path continues through the woodland and then climbs quite steeply to reach a broader path. Turn right and follow the path to a fence and a makeshift stile. Cross and follow the path onto Neilston Pad, which has views of Arran and Ben Lomond.
  7. Retrace your steps back to the fence, cross over onto the path and descend past some conifers.
  8. The path narrows as it turns left then right at a seat. Follow the path, which can be boggy, down to a wide track.
  9. Turn right then right again onto another track, follow this for a few hundred metres, passing a rough path on the left and follow the main track.
  10. Turn left and follow the track alongside conifers to a gate. Go through the gate and descend to a wood.
  11. Go through 2 gates, then bear left onto the farm road leading down. Go through the last gate to Craig of Neilston Farm.
  12. Follow this back to Kingston Road, turn right and walk back to Neilston train station.

Rouken Glen Park is a great place to visit for a walk. The main paths allow visitors to explore the waterfall, boating pond and walled garden. Beyond the main paths, the Glen Walks are well worth discovering.

Distance1 mile
Time30 minutes
StartSignposted from the main Rouken Glen park entrance before you come to the car park.
FinishVarious, Rouken Glen park
GradeEasy to moderate


The Glen River Walk has 2 parallel paths that sit higher up on the edge of the gorge either side of the Auldhouse Burn. Both paths are relatively easy walks. All the Glen Walks are interconnected to each other by bridges, paths and stepped areas throughout. 

For a more challenging walk, try the 'Devil's Staircase' with its 100 steps. At the rear of the walled garden, go down the steep steps, cross over the bridge and follow the path along the Auldhouse Burn. This path curves through the glen leading to the Devil's Staircase. As you climb the steps, stop on the 50th step and you'll see the carved face of a devil on your right hand side.

A peaceful woodland walk along the banks of Pollick Glen with views down to Pollick Burn.

Distance1 mile
Time30 minutes, circular route
Start / FinishMure Hall, Tannoch, G78 4AD


Visit the Woodland Trust website for more information on this route.

Whitelee is the UK's largest onshore windfarm and is a great place for the whole family to enjoy the outdoors. There are over 130 kilometres of trails to explore on foot or by bike with options to suit beginners and advanced levels.

DistanceVarious up to 130km
Start / FinishWhitelee Visitor Centre


Visit our 'Walking at Whitelee' web page for more information.

A historical walk through Neilston and Barrhead, which visits Duncarnock (known locally as The Craigie). Visible remains of an iron-age fort lie near the 204 metre summit and its history goes back to prehistoric times. Mary, Queen of Scots was rumoured to enjoy the view from the top.

Distance5 miles - out and back
Time2.5 hours
Start / FinishNeilston train station


  1. From Neilston train station turn right, then left into Kirkton Road. Pass the field and continue along the single-track road. The road bears left past Loanfoot Farm to reach the junction with Springhill Road.
  2. Cross Springhill Road, go through a gate into a field. Bear right to cross the field to a wood, turn left following a fence down to a gate. Go through the gate and down to a fisherman's bothy beside Glanderston Dam with The Craigie. Turn left and walk along a track. Before reaching a gate turn right over a stile, follow a grass embankment above the dam and cross over a low fence beside 4 trees. At the end of the embankment go down left, cross a stile, a wooden footbridge then turn right, walk alongside a row of trees keeping them on the right. After the last tree bear right. Walk towards a wooden stile at a wall, cross the stile and turn left following an uneven path below The Craigie. As the path begins to climb turn right at a fork and climb to reach the summit.
  3. Follow back down to Glanderston Dam and after the third stile turn right to reach a gate. Go over the gate, turn left, walk along a farm track then bear left onto Glanderston Road. Continue alongside woodland then turn right onto Springhill Road to reach Five-Ways junction.
  4. Turn left onto Springfield Road (Johnny Blue's Well Road), go round a tight bend, and continue into Neilston at Sykes Terrace. Walk past a row of houses to traffic lights. Follow the narrow road across a bridge to reach a roundabout. Turn right onto Kirktonfield Road, follow this to Neilston Main Street, turn left, pass the Leisure Centre and Neilston Library, turn left onto High Street and walk back to the train station.

Fereneze Braes has views across Neilston to Eaglesham moors and over to Glasgow and also visits Killoch Glen.

Distance5 miles - out and back
Time2.5 hours
Start / FinishBarrhead train station


  1. From Barrhead train station cross Paisley Road into Graham Street. Walk along the pavement, cross Laurel Way then at a signpost for Killoch Glen, bear right. Climb path then climb through woodland where views across East Renfrewshire open out. Continue along the path beside Fereneze golf course to reach a signpost for Killoch Glen. Turn right and climb gradually beside the golf course to reach the top of the slope.
  2. Go down to a signpost and turn left onto a track which continues above Harelaw Reservoir. At a wooden post bear left onto a narrow path, cross a footbridge then as the path forks at another wooden post bear left. Go through a gate, then turn right onto a single track road. Walk along to a signpost for Killoch Glen and turn left. Go through a gate onto a grassy path and follow this between a wall and fence through another gate and go straight on at a signpost for Paisley/Glenburn. After another gate follow the path over a footbridge to climb gradually to the viewpoint.
  3. Follow back to Paisley/Glenburn sign then turn right through a gate signposted for Killoch Glen. Walk along a path, go through a gate, follow the path over 2 footbridges passing through another gate. Climb for a view of Neilston then walk along the path to reach a fence. Turn left, go down the steps then turn right through a gate. Walk along the path, go straight through another gate then go down into Killoch Glen. The path continues to reach a signpost.
  4. Turn right down some steps, go through a gate then turn left into woodland above waterfalls. As the path continues bear right and continue above steep slopes through the glen down steps and over 2 footbridges. As the path continues go right and walk down to a road. Turn left and follow through Gateside back to Barrhead train station.

Last modified on 22 July 2021

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