New Lanark And The Falls Of Clyde
Type of walk
Free Parking, Off Lead Areas, On Lead Areas, Pathed Routes, Picnic Areas, Water On Route, Toilets, Refreshments Available, Wheelchair Friendly
About this walk
About an hour from Edinburgh and Glasgow alike, New Lanark is a gem.
The site itself is a recognised world heritage site, and is located at the base of the falls of Clyde. It was home to Robert Owen's mill, and was a beacon of enlightenment in education, workers rights and childcare. The project was a a bold social experiment, and the village was designed specifically by Owen not just to run a mill, but to build a community for the people who worked there. The visitors centre is not free, but is excellent value. A family of 6 gets access to everything (including the roof garden and the Various museums and activities) for about £35. There is also a hotel and conference centre. Disabled parking is available by going down the hill in your car, but other cars are not allowed in the village, which means you will have a steep hill down to start your walk. It feels much steeper on the way back, but it is a tarmac path, and easy walking.
Once you get to the bottom of the hill, cross over the small bridge next to the visitors centre, and turn left. You will pass next to one of the original water wheels. There should be a small gallery you'll see the river to your right. To your left is a picnic area. Head up the hill. Here starts the climb. It's actually a pretty gradual climb, but there are a couple of steep bits which might leave you out of breath. The view to the right is amazing after heavy rain or in the winter. In really cold weather you'll see stalactites and stalagmites on the gorge face opposite the path. You will climb until you reach a wooden walkway, which takes you right to the edge if the river. Don't let your dog in the deep bits as there are strong currents. There are a couple of beachy bits as you go along the dog can use instead.
About a half a mile in you'll come across and access road with a white cottage on the left. This is for the hydro electric plant which sits at the side of the river. Walk along the left edge of the plant building heading uphill. You'll see the hydro pipes to your left. In another few hundred feet you'll see exactly why you've come when you hit the first view point. There are places to stop on this path, some with benches, some just standing points, so keep going if you can till you hit them. Do not give up when you hit the first view point, because the best view of Cora Linn (the biggest if the waterfalls) are just up and round the corner. Take your camera, but when stopping at the view points, clip the lead on the dog, as there are some steep drops if they go under the fence. The views are stunning.
In the correct season, a bit further up the trail you may agin have to clip the lead to the dog for a couple of hundred metres as there are a pair of mating peregrine falcons who breed on the other side of the river, and there's an rspb viewpoint which is used to spot the birds and to monitor the nest against egg thieves. Stop and take a look if you can get someone to hold the dog! It's free.
The walk ends at the top of the hill when you reach the hydro power slipway. Turn around and go back the way you came. It's all downhill. Until that us, you have to get to the car, which is of course at the top of the gorge!
My advice is stop once you've done the walk for a picnic, or at the cafe in the visitors centre. Acces tot hat is free.
At christmas New Lanark hosts a barvarian style market, with loads of stalls, crafts and yummy fayre. If you'd rather avoid this sort of thing, I recommend driving back to the m74 via the Clyde valley tourist route. this will take you past all the garden centres (there are LOADS). If you get the chance,a top at Garrion Bridge. It has an indoor market, with a cheap and quality cafe attached with. Huge antiques centre hiding behind it. It also has a pet shop where you can buy your furry pals treats galore.
Heartily recommend this walk for a proper family day out, excellent social history and just plain gorgeous views. This is a side of the Glasgow's biggest river that most people never see and best of all you can take the dog.
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New Lanark And The Falls Of Clyde, Lanark
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