Pollok Country Park, Linn Falls and Whitelee Wind Farm
South West Scotland 2021: Part Seven
10 September 2021
After a good nights rest, a reset, and a gentle morning, I left Emily at mid day with a clearer plan of action.
I was hoping to finish Glasgow, but rather than take shots of the city proper, I turned to two country parks just on the city outskirts – still technically in the Glasgow City ‘county’ so these can be counted as valid locations in my county challenge! My first port of call was Pollok country park, recommended by Emily’s flatmate. Parking was easy to find, and free, so I got there quickly, and walked towards the river, gauging a couple of extra shots as I walked along. It was as lovely as I hoped here. The most surprising discovery of all though, was the fact that THIS was the exact spot that I had actually tried to find two days ago!! The river I followed along here was White Cart Water (this river was clearly longer than I checked!), and the spot I had seen in the photo was the weir and old saw mill along the river right here! Clearly the original photo I used for reference had been slightly mis labelled as Renfrew when it wasn’t, or the poster thought that this spot was within the Renfrew boarder. Either way, I was overjoyed, and took no time at all setting up and taking multiple images of this beautiful location. It was still very cloudy, but it didn’t rain so I was really happy. I am determined to come back here at some point, and capture this image in prettier weather. I bet it will look really lovely with a bit of sun to bring this scene alive!
River entertained herself around me, and decided to rub herself in … muuuddd???. It could have been anything actually, so I didn’t take any chances and took her down to the water to wash it all back off again (much to her annoyance – she’d worked hard at getting that all in there!!) As I did this, I saw a chap taking photos of some bottles with the weir as a backdrop. I had a brief chat with him, and he explained that he was trying to take some advertising shots with his mobile. I asked how they were coming out and he said he was just an amateur and that the photographer he had hired couldn’t do it until October, adding softly ‘are you interested?’ Now, somehow I missed this question, only hearing it later, but I continued the chat, mentioning that I had seen shots like these before, that I bet the box was heavy, and further random conversations. It was only when I walked away a few minutes later, that I heard the question and I wondered if he had been serious, and whether I had missed a chance to earn a few pennies, and try my hand at still life and promo photography. Ahh, when you hear things back in your head after the event right?!
I went on my way, stopping to photograph the weir and old buildings from under the bridge (see header) then looked at Pollok House from the path. It was closed for the day due to covid restrictions, but the view from here was really nice and super symetrical which appealed to my sense of order… well apart from the gate being slightly oddly opened. I darted up the steps and evened the opening out before running back down to grab a quick shot with my phone. The lands here were the family seat of the Stirling-Maxwell family, and they lived here for 700 years in various castles before this house was built in 1752 (with a few extensions since then) In 1931 it was here that the first discussions were had to form a new National Trust for Scotland with the then owner, Sir John Stirling Maxwell 10th Baron of Pollok. He died in 1957, and the property was handed to the City of Glasgow by his daughter Dame Anne Maxwell MacDonald in 1966, and then to the National Trust for Scotland to care for in 1998. The family have retained the rights to still reside in parts of the house when they visit Glasgow, which I was really pleased to hear -it means that its still a living residence for this long line of lords and barons.
Satisfied with what I could get with my limited light for now, I marked Pollok Park as one to come back to at another time of the year or when I am next up here, and I then left and went to Linn Park, not terribly far from here. This was recommended by Emily herself, ‘its gorgeous there Mum, we went last summer, and you’ll love the waterfall…’ I duly listed this, and headed over with some hope that perhaps this waterfall might be as impressive as she suggested… but no, the water here was a fraction of the flow as I had secretly assumed. I sent her a jokey text with a photo, asking if there was more water when she was here (knowing full well there was) and she replied with a shocked face at seeing the levels. I wasn’t put off however. I did what I could, and actually really liked just focusing on one part only. The water that was falling here, had gathered to one side and formed a smaller section of falls that was in its own right, still fairly pretty. I really enjoyed this shoot. The low river levels allowed me to step a little further out into the water so I could get a better view. Photos online I have seen since, suggest that this isnt normally possible! Once this was done, I was pleased to be able to mark yet another county off my list.
From here I decided to go to East Renfrew. I wasn’t sure about doing another park, a waterfall, nor long walk, so decided to go to Whitelee windfarm instead. This was going to be an unusual one to do, and I was very uncertain as to what I could expect here – but as the prediction was for 24% cloud at sunset, I considered that maybe a turbine silhouetted and reflected in some water would look nice…? That was the thinking anyway. I arrived, saw a few spots to park up and then went for a brief walk to guage the place. I totally surprised myself by really enjoying it here. It truly was far more fascinating than I was banking on. Where I was expecting a bit of an eyesore location, with some interesting/different features to possibly photograph, I found myself in a very well thought out location, designed to be practical, preserving of nature, AND a pleasant place to spend some time walking or learning about these rather awesome structures. This place genuinely had it all worked out really well! I only did a short walk to begin with, just to guage the lay of the land… wandering around past turbines 40, 41, 54, 55 and around to turbine 43 (see map below) I spotted a possible sunset spot, and headed back to the van for some supper to wait the cloud’s departure before I aimed to go out a little later.
The sky however, hadn’t read the same forecast as me, and I watched as the cloud got heavier and heavier until it was clear there wasn’t going to be any sunset, and that instead heavy mizzle would be the order for tonight! I moved the van to a safer spot, after seeing another motorhome move, and spotting a sign mentioning gates being locked. With miserable weather here now, I decided that I would stop for the night , and have a full and proper look at this site tomorrow… this was WAY more interesting than I initially expected it to be, and you never know, perhaps the sunset sky was slightly off by a few hours and the sunRISE would be the glorious chance I hoped for.