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Issue 64 - 10 Best Urban Walks

Scotland Magazine Issue 64
August 2012


This article is 6 years old and some information provided may be time sensitive. Please check all details of events, tours, opening times and other information before travelling or making arrangements.

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10 Best Urban Walks

Keith Fergus looks at some wonderful walks round town

1. Robert Burns Trail
Beginning from the historic Devorgilla Bridge, this walk visits a number of landmarks associated with Burns’ time in Dumfries. Cross the Devorgilla Bridge, spanning the River Nith, turn left onto Whitesands, then right onto Buccleuch Street. Walk by Greyfriars Kirk, bearing right onto the pedestrianised High Street at the wonderful Robert Burns statue. Continue along passing Mid Steeple and a fountain then turn left into a lane signposted for the Globe Inn, which was Robert Burns’ favourite pub. Follow the lane to Shakespeare Street, turn right then left onto Burns Street. Follow this by Burn’s House and then the statue of Jean Armour (Burns’ wife) to Broom Road. Ahead are St Michael’s Church and the Burns Mausoleum. Turn right and descend St Michael’s Street into attractive Dock Park. Follow the path to the Kirkpatrick MacMillan Bridge. Cross the bridge, turn right and follow the riverside path to the Robert Burns Centre beside the Devorgilla Bridge.

2. Town Trail
Ayr is home to some magnificent buildings and an intriguing history and offers some very pleasant walking. From the esplanade car park on Seafield Drive turn right onto Blackburn Drive then left and walk along a path through Low Green. Follow a pavement by Wellington Square and the striking Sheriff Court buildings onto Cassillis Street and then Bath Street to pass St John’s Tower, where Robert the Bruce held the first meeting of the Scottish Parliament in 1315. Montgomery Terrace proceeds back to the esplanade. Turn right and walk by the remains of Cromwell’s Citadel and onto South Harbour Street, which leads onto Boat Vennel, home to Loudoun Hall, Ayr’s oldest building. Cross the New Bridge (built in 1878), turn right then right again to cross the Auld Brig (built 1470). Another right then left leads onto the bustling Sandgate. A right turn onto Pavilion Road travels back to Esplanade and the beach, which is followed back to the start.

3. Dear Green Place
Scotland’s biggest city has more than 70 parks within its confines, contrasting nicely with the industrial backdrop of the River Clyde and some exceptional architecture. Facing Kelvingrove Art Galleries, turn right and walk along Argyll Street to Finnieston Street. Turn right and continue to Lancefield Quay beside the River Clyde. Go left again onto the Clyde Walkway, which is followed under the Kingston Bridge and along Broomielaw. This in turn leads onto Clyde Street and then through the Maclennan Archway into the peaceful surrounds of Glasgow Green. Follow park paths to the People’s Palace and around the Doulton Fountain and continue back to the Maclennan Archway. Turn right onto Saltmarket and follow this onto High Street. A left turn onto Cathedral Street leads to Bath Street. Turn right onto Hope Street and then left onto Sauchiehall Street. Climb to Rose Street, turn left then right onto Renfrew Street and walk by the Glasgow School of Art then cross a walkway over St George’s Road. Follow Woodside Terrace into Kelvingrove Park and continue back to Kelvingrove Art Galleries.

4. Stirling and its monuments
From the wonderful cobble-stoned Stirling Bridge turn left, follow a cyclepath through two underpasses then right onto Wallace Street. Follow this onto Union Street then Lower Bridge Street. Take first right and climb Upper Bridge Street onto St Mary’s Wynd then Broad Street. Walk right and climb to reach Stirling Castle, and its wonderful views to the Wallace Monument. Retrace steps to The Portcullis, go right onto a path, which passes Old Town Cemetery. At a fork go left then right where a woodland path descends to the A811. Bear left, follow a pavement underneath the castle then swing left and walk through Kings Knot onto Dumbarton Road. Bear left onto Corn Exchange Road then left onto King Street. Follow Baker Street and Bow Street back to St Mary’s Wynd. Retrace steps to the River Forth and the celebrated Stirling Bridge

5. Edinburgh Old Town
From Waverley Station, walk through Princes Street Gardens by the Scott Monument and the Scottish National Gallery onto The Mound. Turn right and walk along The Mound, climbing North Bank Street to gain The Royal Mile beside the magnificent St Giles Cathedral. Turn right and ascend The Royal Mile, by the old closes and tenements, culminating at Edinburgh Castle, the esplanade holding some exceptional views across the city. Retrace steps along The Royal Mile and swing right onto Johnston Terrace then right again onto King’s Stables Road and down to the historic Grassmarket. Continue along Grassmarket and then turn left onto West Bow, which leads onto the charming Victoria Street. Turn right at George IV Bridge and then left into Chambers Street (near to Greyfriar’s Bobby Statue), which leads to the National Museum of Scotland. A left turn onto South Bridge and left onto Cockburn Street leads back to Waverley Station.

6. St Andrews Streets
St Andrews
From the car park beside the British Golf Museum walk along Golf Place, passing by the Royal & Ancient Golf Course Clubhouse and then turn left onto The Scores. Follow the pavement by a line of fine stone villas to attain the spectacular remains of St Andrews Castle, where the views along the Fife coast are exemplary. Continue along East Scores and then turn right onto Gregory’s Lane. Once by North Street the remains of Scotland’s largest church, St Andrew’s Cathedral, is reached. The grounds also house St Rule’s Tower, and a climb to the top grants another spectacular view. Go straight on from the Cathedral grounds onto South Street and follow the pavement through the town centre and by a selection of shops and cafes. Turn right onto Church Street (by the striking Holy Trinity Church), cross Market Street and follow College Street to North Street. Turn left passing the University of St Andrews and return to Golf Place. Go right and walk back to the start.

7. The Fair City of Perth
From the Fergusson Gallery (housed in the renowned industrial Water Works Building), turn right, walk along Tay Street and then left onto Canal Street, walking by the historic Greyfriar’s Burial Ground and Greyfriar’s Kirk. A left turn down Ropemakers Close crosses South Street onto King Edward Street then right, onto St John’s Place, where St John’s Kirk, the oldest standing building in Perth sits. It was here that John Knox preached his sermon against idolatry in 1559. Walk left around the church, back to King Edward Street then turn right, cross High Street onto another lane, which is followed to Mill Street. Turn left then right onto a walkway, bear right onto North Port Lane and walk by Perth Concert Hall. At Charlotte Street turn right, cross the River Tay via Smeaton’s Bridge then right onto Commercial Street. Follow the riverside path all the way through Bellwood Park to a footbridge. Recross the river by the bridge, which runs right next to the railway line, back to the Fergusson Gallery.

8. Discovering Dundee
From Discovery Point, beside HMS Discovery, cross the walkway over the A991 and follow Whitehall Crescent onto Crichton Street, which is followed by the famous Caird Hall. Once on High Street, walk by the Desperate Dan statue and then continue along Reform Street. After the splendid Dundee Art Gallery & Museum a left turn onto Euclid Street culminates at Constitution Road. Turn right and walk along the length of Constitution Road and then Upper Constitution Street reaching Kinghorne Road. Follow this right and then left onto Law Road. Follow ‘The Law’ signposts up steps and along paths onto the summit of Dundee Law, a superb spot to relax and enjoy the expansive views. Descend west then south from Dundee Law and follow a variety of paths into Dudhope Park. Walk through the park, exiting right onto Infirmary Brae, swing left onto Barrack Road and walk back to Constitution Road. From here steps are retraced to return to Discovery Point.

9. Around the Granite City
Aberdeen has some of the finest architecture of any city in Britain and its New Town has several extraordinary examples. From Aberdeen Railway Station turn left onto Guild Street then right onto Bridge Street. Cross Union Street, and drop down into Union Terrace Gardens then climb steps onto Rosemount Terrace opposite His Majesty’s Theatre and a statue to William Wallace. Turn right, cross a road bridge onto Schoolhill then turn left, beside Aberdeen Art Gallery and Robert Gordon College, onto Blackfriars Street. Follow this right onto St Andrews Street and once over Crooked Lane and George Street turn right onto Loch Street. Bear left onto Berry Street to Gallowgate and walk by the incredible façade of Marischal College and return to Union Street. Turn left by the imposing Town House, then right onto Exchequer Road. The road swings right then left onto Shiprow, by the excellent Aberdeen Maritime Museum. At a fork go right to reach Market Street. Turn left then right back onto Guild Street.

10. The Highland Capital
Built on the banks of the River Ness, a mixture of riverbank paths and pavement make their way around Inverness. From the Tourist Information Centre on Bridge Street, climb Castle Wynd and up steps to pass by Inverness Castle, granting a fine panorama of Inverness. Descend by the statue of Flora McDonald onto View Place then turn right over Castle Road to Ness Bank. Turn left and follow the pavement above the River Ness, pass by a footbridge and then walk through the wooded Ness Islands to a second footbridge. Turn right, cross the river and turn right again and walk along Bught Road, eventually reaching Ness Walk, which travels by some fine houses, Eden Court Theatre and St Andrew’s Cathedral. Cross Young Street and then re-cross the River Ness by the next footbridge. Turn left then right onto Friar’s Lane to reach Academy Street. Go right and follow Academy Street by Inverness Railway Station then bear right onto Hamilton Place by Eastgate Shopping Centre. Turn right onto the High Street and walk back to Bridge Street.

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