White Loch is located in East Renfrewshire, just beyond Newton Mearns on Stewarton Road. It’s convenient for paddleboarders on the south side of Glasgow and also a popular spot with the local wild swimmers.
The Loch is in a ‘bowl’ so is sheltered from strong winds, but it’s at the top of a hill and Middleton Windfarm next to it does give a clue that the water can get choppy. On the plus side if you have the wind behind you on that choppy water you can get a pretty fast downwind paddle across some of the white capped water!
I feel quite safe here, it’s just under a 1km circuit so not one of the larger lochs and you can stay close to the edge where there are a lot of soft reeds. It’s a good spot if you’re short of time or just learning to SUP. With the lighter mornings I’ve even managed to get a quick paddle in before starting work and that seems to be a popular time of day with swimmers so it’s nice to get the occasional wave or ‘good morning’ as you paddle past. Be careful with your leash choice here. Coiled leash with a quick release harness is always going to be best if there is lots of weed or tangled plants underneath you.
Middleton Windfarm looks down over the loch, several turbines stand gracefully tall on the surrounding hills providing a beautiful back drop to the spectacular sunrises and sunsets over the Loch. With the recent cold snap, White Loch has lived up to its name and has been frozen over sometimes with a topping of snow. A beautiful winter wonderland but not if you’re wanting to paddleboard! Fortunately the windfarm provides a great alternative for a lovely walk should you find yourself faced with a frozen body of water. Be careful to paddle in the right gear in the winter. Cold water shock is a very real and dangerous thing.
Check out the advice from Cal Major in this video about kit to wear in winter. Palm Equipment is our go to for dry equipment and buoyancy aids. The Rooster kit is great too.
There is a small lay-by for parking and sometimes the gate on the opposite side of the road is open giving access to a small area to park in. It is a very popular spot in the warmer months with swimmers and paddle boarders so plan your visit outside of peak times to increase the chance of parking.
There is easy shallow access to the water and soft reeds making a comfortable entry for you and the board. You really get a sense of being away from the city and in a beautiful space here, and the Loch seems to be in a prime position to catch the beautiful skies at dawn and dusk. All this and it's only 15 minutes from the centre of Glasgow.