1 Start at Fox and Hounds Pub. Turn right along South Street passing the Mercat Cross. Turn left onto Bogstonhill Road and continue over the Houston Burn.
2 Turn left up North Street to the junction at the Houston Inn and turn right up hill towards the war memorial. Continue along the road, passing Greenhill Farm on your right. Take the next road on your right – this is one of the “Leisure Lanes in Renfrewshire” with signs to warn motorists that they may encounter walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
3 At the next junction turn right. In the field on your right is a small stone structure. This is a covered well known as St Peter’s Well. (For those in the know there is a geocache somewhere near the well!) Peter’s Well is a rare example of a surviving ‘holy well’ The water from which was said to protect travellers against misadventure and ensure their safe return!
4 At the end of the road turn left into Kirk Road and continue past Houston and Killellan Kirk which sits at the bend in the road. You will cross over the Houston burn again. At the junction by Lonend Cottage turn to the right, cross the road and take the narrow lane almost opposite. This eventually leads down via a twisty steeper section to the bus stop on the B790 Bridge of Weir Road. Cross over the road carefully.
5 To go to the Craigends Yew turn left and follow the path running parallel to the road. Continue straight on into the wooded area beyond Leeburn Gardens. After about 350m a tarmac lane crosses your route. Turn right along this lane and over a metal bridge across the River Gryffe. Fork left immediately after the bridge along a gravel path. After continuing straight on for about 300m you will see a stone information point on the left hand side of the path. It is thought that the tree is about 600 years old although some experts suggest it may be as much as 1000 years old. The Yew came to symbolise death and resurrection in Celtic culture. Their toxicity coupled with their ability to regenerate and their longevity were powerful symbols within these cultures.
Return the same way as you came to the point where you crossed over Bridge of Weir Road. Just before you reach the bus stop turn left along a path adjacent to a stone wall. Continue past the rear gardens of the houses until you come to where the path splits. Walk towards the shops, pass through the underpass and continue up the steps to the hairpin bend in the road. Take the road to the right signposted Whirlie Road and continue until you get to the T junction.
6 Crosslee Mill used to stand opposite this junction. Established in 1793 it was the biggest mill on the River Gryffe. During its heyday it employed 300. Velvet from the mill was used on the seats of the House of Lords. Water was fed to the mill along a lade which follows the river almost from Bridge of Weir. The mill was demolished in the 20th century.
7 Turn right cross the road and take a grassy path down the slope towards the river, take the faint grassy path that skirts along the edge of the hill side. Just before you meet the road again turn along another narrow grassy path to your right and continue straight on until you join a muddy earth path near an old ivy covered metal gate. The lade appears on your right with the river on your left. Continue on the narrow path to a stone bridge, locally known as the Fairy Bridge. Turn right over the bridge and follow the path, and then road, past Goldenlea Farm to the Main Road. The woodland to your right is the location of an ancient bronze age burial site, South Mound. Continue past Gryffe High School to the roundabout and turn left to return to the pub where you can partake in some much needed refreshment!