As lockdown eases, the weather is warm and the nights are light and long, we made the decision to try and have more short evening adventures with the kids. We added to the brood late last year, so this is the perfect time to take the entire family out and into nature. It’s a great break from homework, screen time and brings us all closer to nature and to each other.
The target this evening was to take a walk near the Carron Valley Reservoir, in the middle of the Campsie’s, just to the west of Denny. The kids were excited to take our first real adventure with the new baby carrier, as it meant we were not stuck to the paths and where the pram could get to.
After a short drive up through Kilsyth, past the start of a previous walk up Tomtain, we parked up at the carpark to the eastern end of the reservoir, near the dam. Which charges £2 for 3 hours of parking. I didn’t see any way of anyone checking who had paid and who had not, however, I don’t mind paying a little to support the conservation of the wildlife and local flora. After the usual faffing about getting organised, as well as organising 3 kids and a dog (4 times the usual faff) we headed off into the trees towards the dam looming through the trees.
We even had Charlie along for this excursion, who was sitting comfy in his new carrier. After a short walk through the woodland, the trees got a bit denser and the air a little cooler. We let the dog off the lead and the kids away off the path to explore and see what they could find. Loosely following the winding path up towards the access road for the dam itself.
Right at the base of the dam the trees are much closer together, giving this short section of the walk a different feel to the rest. We could have been anywhere, but we’re in reality only 10 minutes from the car park. The kids thought it was great, space to explore, but we could keep them in sight so they wouldn’t feel lost.
A short climb up to the height of the dam and we joined the dam access road for a short stretch before keeping right and following the obvious footpath between the road and the edge of the reservoir. On looking closer at a map later on, the road actually goes all the way to the other end of the reservoir to Todholes car park. I’ve got my eye on that spot for the start of another walk in the coming weeks.
A few meters along the path and the view across the reservoir opens up for the first time. Looking ahead you can see Miekle Bin, the highest point in the Campsies, and across the reservoir to Cairnoch Hill and Craigannet Hill. Both of which are now firmly on the list to explore with the family. They aren’t big high hills, but they looked great in the evening sunlight across the water.
We followed the footpath, stopping often to take in the views along the southern shore of the reservoir. It was not too busy, a few walkers out with their dogs or just enjoying the evening sunshine.
After a couple of kilometres, we reached the end of our walk, to a picnic bench situated on top of a small rise on a bluff out into the reservoir. We headed down to the stony beach to sit, let the dog have a swim and skim some stones, one of the kids (and my) favourite activities. As a kid is there anything better than the making the biggest splash you can with a stone?
After about 15 minutes the midges started to congregate around us and we decided to pack up and make our way back to the car following the same route, but in reverse. Of course, we couldn’t help but stop at a few smaller beaches on the way to chuck a few more stones in, at least before the cloud of midges caught up with us.
All in, it took just under 2 hours for the whole walk. The perfect way to unwind after work, school and a day in the life of a busy family. We all enjoyed it so much, plans are already underway for our next adventure!