Nov 192014
 

We’ve only lived in Neilston for just over a year and one of the reasons that we moved there was the fact that’s on the edge of some very nice countryside with a wealth of walking opportunities nearby. So, it was an early Autumn Sunday and dry for once so we took a wander south through the town and then west along Kingston Road for a bit of an explore.

Craighall DamCraighall Dam

It wasn’t long before we spotted Craighall Dam through a break in the trees on the left on the western slopes of Neilston Pad, the highest point in the area and reputedly the remnants of an extinct volcano, so off-road we went. It was a wee bit squelchy underfoot but that soon cleared onto a reasonably decent path circumnavigating the reservoir. I recorded the walk using the Endomondo mobile app so that’s available here and comes with a location map and lots of walking statistics like distance, duration, speed, altitude, ascent, etc.

Going by the number of damp dogs and their owners that we encountered, it’s a popular spot with dog walkers and there’s a reasonable number of parking spots nearby if it’s too far to walk to. If you’re interested in birdwatching, then there’s a fair number of wildfowl on the water – there was a family of mute swans, some mallards and I think I spotted a little moorhen as well but the light wasn’t great.

Craighall DamCraighall Dam

Sadly, I only had my mobile phone camera with me but I managed to get a few decent shots (all viewable on my Flickr photostream).

There’s not a lot to say about Craighall Dam itself. It’s one of many little reservoirs dotted around the area and the only feature on it worth mentioning is the ruin of an old boathouse and jetty, which is listed on the RCAHMS Canmore archaeological site.

Definitely somewhere to go back to. It’s an easy stroll and there are other dams nearby worth checking out.

Nov 182014
 

While searching for some background information about where I live now, I came across a very useful site for researching where you live in Scotland:

The Gazetteer for Scotland

This is a Scottish geographical encyclopaedia featuring details and maps of towns, villages, bens and glens from the Scottish Borders to the Northern Isles.

It’s supported by the Edinburgh University School of GeoSciences and The Royal Scottish Geographical Society and bills itself as the first comprehensive gazetteer produced for Scotland since 1885. It includes tourist attractions, industries and historical sites together with histories of family names and clans, biographies of famous Scots and descriptions of historical events associated with Scotland. It also contains the text of Groome’s 19th Century Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland to provide a historical perspective on many of the places described.

With over 22,000 detailed entries, the Gazetteer boasts of being the largest dedicated Scottish resource created for the web and is growing constantly. It may look a bit outdated by today’s web site standards but you can easily browse the data by maps and places, including the pre-1974 county names as well as the modern council names, by historical time-line or you can just search for any word or group of words.

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