Last week, I wrote here about the Forth, the river that becomes a firth. I live pretty near another river, in fact three technically. The White Cart Water and the Levern Water, not to mention the Kelvin a wee bit further away. (Some time I need to walk by all of the various rivers in Glasgow, not to mention more of the Forth and Clyde Canal.) Our city is defined in many ways by its main river, the Clyde. Here in Glasgow, it is a river. It becomes a Firth and eventually joins the Atlantic Ocean but that’s not my domain. My favourite crossing of the Clyde comes just south of Glasgow Central Station, very often just heading home but sometimes on an adventure. Those invariably cross the Clyde again near Uddingston and I like to look up and down river at this point, chancing a glimpse of Bothwell Castle to the right. Bothwell is one of the finest castles in Scotland, a mighty keep with a curtain wall and tower. I’ve not been in a few years. It was a beautiful sunny May bank holiday the last time I was there and it was glorious. I usually like to take a walk through the woods after, again close to the Clyde. Hopefully I’ll get a trip down there this year. The first time I tried to get there by public transport led to me getting lost and ending up walking almost to Hamilton. That most definitely wasn’t the right way.
I particularly like the view of the Clyde at Govan. A ferry still crosses the Clyde there in the summer, going the few yards to the Riverside Museum on the northern side. There’s the city skyline, particularly the SEC complex of the Hydro, Armadillo and the SEC itself currently housing the NHS Louisa Jordan. There’s trains and a hint of a view of arches which have cool street art I want to see up close some time soon. It’s always a particular treat to get a few minutes to just look along the river at Govan. The last time I was nearby was in October or November last year and got the even better view from the Riverside which gets the town as well as the southern side of the city, which as many of us know is the best side.
The picture which graces the top of this post is upriver, at New Lanark at the Falls of Clyde. I’ve only ever been there once, two years ago at the height of the summer when the pollen was rampant too. There the Clyde is beautiful, harnessed once for mills, hydroelectricity generated now from the Falls. I was barely an hour from the city but it felt many, many miles away, even though linked by the river I stood by.
The Clyde stops being a river, or begins depending on your philosophical hue, roughly between Greenock and Dumbarton. That’s a particularly fine bit too – Dumbarton Castle stands on its rock dominating the landscape, the Kilpatrick Hills in the background. Proper mountains stand high in the distance and there’s towns and houses. Towards Glasgow there are parks and places to sit and look, though the landscape has changed much even in the last couple of decades, let alone the last couple of centuries. That’s for another time. I just fancied a blether about the Clyde, mainly castles and waterfalls but also the very urban, trying to encompass a bit of the river’s variety.