Walk: Simple Semple

[Castle Semple Collegiate Church]

Tracing the Black Cart Water upstream from Clydebank leads to an attractive set of large lochs sandwiched between the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park and lower hills to the east. A straightforward walk from the outskirts of Lochwinnoch reaches the view over the lochs from Park Hill and the late Gothic ruins of a Collegiate Church. Dogs and cyclists can outnumber walkers on the lochside section. RSPB Lochwinnoch lies at the southern end of the loch.

[Map sculpture at Park Hill summit]

Name: Walk: Simple Semple ★☆☆
Length: 6 km / 4 miles
Ascent: 90 metres
Main summits: Park Hill (90 metres)
Points of interest: Castle Semple Loch; Castle Semple Collegiate Church
Start / finish: Castle Semple Visitor Centre, G.R.: NS 358591 / rudder canoe classic

Route: Car park - Park Hill via lochside - Castle Semple Collegiate Church - start via disused railway line
Terrain: Wide dirt or gravel paths, occasionally muddy, then tarmac cycleway for return.
Wildlife today: Swans and ducks on the loch, several caterpillars by / on the cycle path.
Weather today: Plenty of hazy sunshine, but breezy. Well above freezing.
Anything else? The ascent of Park Hill and descent to the church is waymarked by red arrows on boulders. Several other shorter and longer trails start from the visitor centre.

Name: Castle Semple Collegiate Church ☆☆☆
Description: Late Gothic place of worship founded in 1504 by John, Lord Sempill - now roofless.
Location: Near the north bank of Castle Semple Loch at its east end, G.R.: NS 376601 / answer proudest indeed
Open: Always
Cost: Free
Anything else? If not visiting as part of the walk, the nearest parking is where a minor road crosses a disused railway a mile west of Howwood at G.R.: NS 387608 / foggy spoon walled. From here it's a 20-min walk to the church: descend to the old railway bed and follow it west until you see the church on your right.

[Four lochs are easily visible looking south from Park Hill summit]


Route credit: Walkhighlands

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