- Distance: 7km/4.25 miles
- Time: 45 mins
- Grade: Easy
- Ordnance Survey Explorer OL342; Landranger 64
- Start at The Bank GR NS478572
A simple cycle around Neilston that visits several of the village’s historic sites as well as showing off the gorgeous surrounding landscape. One part of the cycle is off-road while another short section means bikes must be dismounted. The climb up Holehouse Brae is steep but can be walked on pavement if necessary.
From The Bank go left along Main Street passing the Neilston War Memorial.
The memorial was erected in 2015 to commemorate the 216 Neilston men who died in World War I and II, an enormous number from a village that, at the time, had a population of roughly 3000. Adjacent to the memorial is St Thomas Church, which dates from 1862.
Continue on to Neilston Parish Church where a left turn is made onto Broadlie Road.
It is thought a site of Christian worship may have existed here since the 12th century when Robert de Croc, who held the lands of Crookston, Darnley and Neilston, provided the ground necessary to support a church at Neilston. During the late 18th century Neilston Parish Church was enlarged due to the influx of people moving to the area as the Industrial Revolution progressed and the distinctive tower dates from this time. There is also a burial vault underneath the north wall that belongs to the ancient Mure Family of Caldwell. It was last opened in 1912.
Broadlie Road narrows to a single lane outside St Thomas’ Primary School and then widens as it descends onto Low Broadlie Road. At a junction turn right and follow Gleniffer View, a fine vantage point to look along Fereneze Braes. Keep right onto Barr Avenue then at Manse Road turn left and ascend to Neilston Road.
Turn right then left onto Kirktonfield Road where the road narrows – cyclists must give way to oncoming traffic. A speedy descent along Kirktonfield Road reaches a roundabout.
Bear left, continue through traffic lights onto Sykes Terrace where there is an exceptional view across Glasgow. Take the next right onto Kirktonfield Crescent then at Kirktonfield Drive turn right again.
Cycle to its end, bear left at a roundabout and climb Kirktonfield Road. At Glen Avenue go left and then right onto Madras Place. At its far end dismount and take the footpath to Neilston Leisure Centre. Turn right, cycle through its car park then exit left onto Main Street. Make a left again onto High Street where stands the Robertson Monument.
Born in Neilston in 1782, John Robertson designed a steam engine that was used to power Henry Bell’s The Comet (regarded as first steamship to sail commercially in Europe), which began the revolution of steam-powered ships along the River Clyde. Robertson died in 1868 and is buried in the Southern Necropolis in the Gorbals. The memorial was unveiled in 1912, 100 years after The Comet set sail.
Cycle along past Neilston Railway Station then go left onto Kirkton Road. After a short rise make a right onto Maclellan Road then left into Craig Road Quadrant. Another left leads along Craig Road, which swings right to gain Kingston Road.
Go left then right onto Glen Shee Avenue and follow this as it winds its way through what is known locally as the Bovis Estate. This road is on the main Neilston bus route so be aware of buses approaching from either direction.
Drop down to Glen Doll Road and go right. At the busier Uplawmoor Road carefully turn right where a steady rise heads back towards the village centre.
However, after 0.15 miles turn left onto a rough road (still Uplawmoor Road) and descend, through lovely open countryside, across a bridge over the Levern Water to reach a t-junction beside High Crofthead House.
Turn right around a gate and follow a pleasant track along the edge of Cowden Hall Estate (see Cycle 1).
At its end continue straight on and descend Crofthead Road to reach Holehouse Brae, beside the historic Crofthead Mill, another of Neilston’s historic landmarks – for more info again see Cycle 1.
It is a steep pull up Holehouse Brae (a pavement means it can be walked) and near the top turn left onto Hillside Road. Cycle along here until it sweeps right onto Bank Street and back to the start.