Bridge of Weir isn’t a tourist destination, but it probably should be. This beautiful village is well-known for manufacturing quality leather, but it’s also home to cosy cafes, tranquil walking trails and historic sites. Visiting Bridge of Weir with dogs is highly recommended!
Getting to Bridge of Weir
If you’re travelling by public transport, take the X7 bus from Glasgow (to Kilmacolm). Alternatively, get the train to Johnstone, where you can get the 1, 1A to Kilmacolm 2 or 2A bus to Bridge of Weir from outside the station building. These bus routes offer pleasant rural views and you’ll also pass by Houstonhead Dam.
The village once had its own railway line, the Bridge of Weir Railway. Unfortunately, Bridge of Weir hasn’t had its own train station since 1983. But the village is well served by local buses.
In the Village
The village has a very pleasant feel to it. It is peaceful and lined with shops, pubs, and cafes. There are also a lot of community facilities and pleasant churches. Overall, it’s a quiet place that strikes a good balance between pleasantly quiet but with enough going on to keep your interest.
Our vet surgery, Kerr Vet’s, is also located in the village. We’ve had a lot of opportunities to explore the village and visit different spots during the dogs’ various appointments.
The village is surrounded by a wealth of walking routes. It will take you several visits to explore all of them, but there is something for all abilities. Although signs in the village claim a walking leaflet is available at the village library and local shops, we couldn’t find the leaflet anywhere. No matter, Google Maps should have you covered!
Pow Burn Loop
The best is the short loop that takes you through the woods, along the banks of a small stream called Pow Burn. The access point is opposite Main Street, accessed just by Amaretto Italian Kitchen & Bar.
The path winds by a stunning waterfall. If you’re sure of foot, you can leave the path and draw very close to the Cascade. Watch out though, these paths can get a little muddy in wet weather and there is some elevation on the route.
Our lads love to walk on this trail. There is plenty for them to smell and they often meet other dogs on the path.
Mill Lade Path
Another great route is Mill Lade Path, running by the River Gryffe. Find the access point by turning off Main Street onto Mill Brae. This path can be a little narrow and rocky at points, but the views are superb.
This is an ideal route for wildlife lovers. You can spot grey herons fishing on the water and a variety of other birds and mammals. Following the path to its conclusion will take you to the village of Crosslee.
National Cycle Route 75
National Cycle Route 75 is a cycling and walking route that runs through Bridge of Weir. For those looking for a smooth, flat path to walk on, this is your best bet. The route runs from Edinburgh to Gourock and you can find access to the trail on Bridge of Weir Main Street.
This route offers views of fields, farms, and fisheries. If you’re feeling ambitious, you could walk to the town of Kilmacolm, about an hour northwest of Bridge of Weir, and take a bus home from there. The path is well-signed and is decorated with models of historic trains.
To Ranfurly Castle
You can also walk to one of the local historic monuments like Ranfurly Castle. The remains of this castle are located on a golf course. You can climb to the top of the old castle motte and enjoy good views of the town and surroundings. Some ancient stone remains are apparently in place too, but we couldn’t spot them.
We don’t recommend this walk unless you’re a big medieval history enthusiast. Most of the walk will take you through residential areas and although these are very pleasant, the other walks in town are easier and offer better views.
Eat and Drink
Bridge of Weir’s Main Street is packed with dog-friendly spots. Our favourite place to eat is Bernie’s, a café featuring local art and comfortable seating. Or on a pleasant day, you can choose to sit outside and enjoy the village atmosphere. If all the outdoor seating is taken, ask the staff if they can bring another table outdoors.
We like the breakfasts at Bernie’s. We also ordered sausages for the lads, and these were brought out in special bowls that the dogs could eat from. Bernie’s doesn’t offer a specific dog menu, but just let the staff know if you’re ordering for a four-legged friend. They can also provide water for your pups.
Another good place to eat is Lochnager Cafe. It is housed in an old cottage and has a seating area filled with comfortable sofas. There’s plenty of space for dogs to spread out and relax. It feels a little bit like an old-school hunting lodge and is very comfortable. The menu isn’t the most varied, but the food is great quality and the staff are friendly.
Renfrewshire as a whole is a hugely underrated county, and Bridge of Weir is possibly its most appealing settlement. The village is packed with interesting things to see and do, but it’s mostly just a great place to relax. Visit Bridge of Weir with your dogs and you won’t be disappointed.
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