Marie Curie Nurses fund-raiser Petra McMillan loves to do some training in the Old Kilpatrick Hills above Overtoun House in Dumbarton. Picture by Bill Heaney

Everybody’s doing it. Walking has become the new going to the pub for a drink. It’s the opium of the masses who traipse along to Levengrove Park to the extent that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has had to warn them about keeping that two metre social distance that comes with the Covid 19 restrictions.

We have all discovered in recent months and weeks that those boots really were made for walking and have with our pals and families headed for the hills. Dick Dickson who lives near the road up to Maryland Farm and Overtoun says he has never seen so many people in his life setting out on a trek to the Long Crags or Loch Humphrey. I have from the window of my office in Round Riding Road seen a steady line of folk with rucksacks on their backs going a wandering from Dumbarton Central Station towards Dumbuck Hill, the Camel’s Hump or even further on to Dumbarton Muir.

Out in the Vale everyone is testing their fitness on the Horseshoe up into the Auchencarroch Hills from Jamestown to Gartocharn. Never have we seen so many people venturing up The Dumpling. Tom Weir would be doffing his toorie until his arms got sore were the Wee Man still with us. And it’s the same at Glen Fruin and Ben Buie and at Ben Lomond and Conic Hill, Glen Douglas and the Cobbler at Arrochar. Some folk just go round the Shore to Havoc or walk to the Scottish Rocks, Ardoch and Cardross or Carman.

It’s quite remarkable really that so many of us are venturing out for some exercise which hopefully will inspire us to take to the great outdoors on a regular basis after we have seen off the dreaded Covid 19.

For the moment however we should all take a rain check, make our exercise periods a bit more realistic and stay in the house. The sooner we do that, the better for our friends and relatives who are vulnerable to being struck down by the cursed coronavirus.

Bill Heaney, Editor

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