Luggiebank & Palacerigg
Start/Finish: Greenfaulds railway station (with the option to end at Cumbernauld railway station)
Transport: Train at start/finish; bus at Cumbernauld town centre
Refreshment:Palacerigg Country Park, visitor centre cafe
Distance: 7 1/2 miles (6 1/2 miles to Cumbernauld station)
Time: 4-6 hours
Difficulty: Gravel paths, pavements, tarred lanes and rough tracks
While in Palacerigg Country Park, take time to view the collection of rare-breed animals and poultry, or take the treetops walkway for a bird’s-eye view. Towards the end of the route, look out for evidence of the old Glencryan clay mines. Palacerigg Country Park: 01236 720047 www.northlanarkshire.gov.uk
Points of Interest
1. Luggiebank Nature Reserve
is an area of birch and alder woodland close to the centre of Cumbernauld. Look out for water voles, kingfishers and even otters. Come in the spring for the bluebell display.
2. Palacerigg Country Park
visitor centre offers an excellent introduction to the park’s wildlife and conservation programmes. Near the visitor centre are the rare-breed pens with Tamworth pigs, White Park cattle and, slightly further out, Eriskay ponies and Boreray sheep.
3. Fannyside Muir
is an expanse of valuable raised bog. Up to 12m deep and laid down over thousands of years, the bogs are rich in life. Try to spot sphagnum moss, grouse and dragonflies.
firebrick clay mines – although they closed more than 50 years ago, evidence of their existence remains. Half-hidden by the advance of nature, it is still possible to spy the entrances to the mines and the cables that pulled the wagons.
At Greenfaulds station, from the platform 1 side, travel in the direction of the footbridge over the railway line and go right along the footpath from the bridge, by the edge of a large car park towards the main road, then turn left. As you reach a red postbox, the road will begin to go uphill. A short distance beyond the postbox, cross the road to Luggiebank Wood wildlife reserve.
Go downhill towards a footbridge. Before you reach it, take a path to the left up a steep but very short hill. Follow a gravel path through the woodland then follow Luggie Water upstream. The path then goes under a bridge and climbs to a road. Emerge from the reserve at a narrow lane closed to traffic. Turn left and follow the lane uphill until it meets a road. Cross, turn right and follow the road for a while before crossing back.
Cross a minor road that appears from the right and turn right uphill to follow a footpath in the direction of Palacerigg Country Park. Continue along the footpath next to a minor road for about one mile, looking out for a road on the left near the top of the hill signed ‘Country Park service vehicles only’. Turn left to follow the service road.
Continue past a footpath for Glencryan Woodlands to the park’s café and play park. At a T-junction of park roads, go straight across to a footpath that goes via the the animal pens. At the end of path, cross the park road to a footpath that takes you past the café again, this time on the opposite side. At the visitor centre, turn left in direction of the treetop walkway to the main entrance road.
Turn right in direction of the walkway – the animal pens should be on your right. After a short distance, turn left to cross the access road – again in the direction of the treetop walkway. Go around the gate and follow a broad path. Turn left to take up treetops walkway or Laverock trail. At the end of the walkway, go down the steps on the right and turn left.
Follow a red track uphill past the Eriskay ponies stables (following the red arrows of the Laverock trail). Continue into conifers, staying on the unsurfaced track. At a junction of estate tracks, turn right. The golf course should be on your left. Look for the Boreray sheep pen on the right.
At a wooden bench at the most easterly edge of golf course, turn left. Fannyside Loch should be visible on your right. Follow the track to the left at Fannyside Muir for about 250 yards. When you have the option to cross the fairway, turn right and stay on the track.
After about 500 yards you will arrive at a T-junction. Turn left for good views of the Campsies, Southern Highlands and moorland. Continue straight on at the limekilns pond, in the direction of the park centre. At the next junction of paths (by the cattle and deer pens) continue straight on in the direction of Glencryan.
At the next junction, enter the Glencryan woodland, where the path goes downhill, first to the right, then left. Keep right until just beyond the mining information board. When the path splits after a short rise, turn left in the direction of a blue arrow. A gorge with small rocky waterfalls will be on your left.
Continue on the path which descends gently for most of the way, then more steeply as you near the main road. Cross the road carefully to join a footpath that emerges from an underpass. Follow this away from the underpass and under the road bridge, then cycle downhill. Take the steps to the right and cross a bridge over the railway line. Follow a tarred path to the left and continue to a small industrial estate.
Turn left and follow the pavement to Cumbernauld station (you can end your walk here if you like). If not, climb the ramp beyond the station to Micawber’s store. Turn left over a green bridge, then downhill away from the railway line. Emerge on to Kelvin Road North with a car park on the left and travel a short distance uphill to the main road.
Turn right and past the end of Palacerigg Road (on the left) then, before reaching a roundabout, cross the main road to take up a tarred lane. Follow this downhill and, before the bottom of the dip, turn right and enter the Luggiebank reserve, following a gravel path to a junction with a tarred path. Turn right and continue to the main road.
Cross and turn left to return to Greenfaulds station by retracing your outbound route.
Tel: 01236 632625