Whether you're after a quiet walk along country trails or a ramble up a hill there is a walk for you in Lanarkshire. For nature enthusiasts there is the Falls of Clyde East Walk which leaves from the World Heritage Village of New Lanark and covers part of the Clyde Walkway. This delightful, circular walk leads you through the more quiet areas of the reserve. There are several walks available and be sure to keep your eyes open for signs of owls, badgers and peregrine falcons just some of the wildlife to be enjoyed as you walk towards the majestic 27-metre cascade waterfall, Corra Linn.
A short walk around Wanlockhead takes in the preserved industrial buildings of the highest village in Scotland inlcuding the smelt mills, Loch Nell mine, the Beam Engine and the Lead Miners' Library. Although contained within small village the terrain is quite hilly.
One of Lanarkshire's landmarks is Tinto Hill a popular destination for walkers. The 'Tinto Hills' are an outlying part of the Southern Uplands, comprising little more than this one hill, which stands on the west bank of the River Clyde, some eight kilometres west of Biggar.
Cycling is a great way to get out and explore all that Lanarkshire has to offer. From easy trails on minor roads to more challenging forest trails there's something for every type of cyclist in Lanarkshire.
Here are some good Lanarkshire routes:
The Clyde Walkway is a 40 mile foot and mountain bike route from Glasgow City Centre to the UNESCO world heritage site of New Lanark.
Glasgow to Cambuslang Bridge [9.5 miles/15 kilometres] - this section starts at Partick Railway Station [which is on a line from Glasgow Central Station] and proceeds on the north bank of the River Clyde to Cambuslang Bridge. The bridge is a short distance from Cambuslang Station; which is on the line from Glasgow to Lanark [Lanark Station is approximately 1.5 miles from New Lanark]. The path passes by a number of other long distance paths, including the Glasgow to Inverness National Cycle Route, the Kelvin Walkway and paths to Edinburgh, Irvine and Greenock. The path passes a number of sites of interest.
Cambuslang Bridge to Strathclyde Country Park [8.75 miles/14 kilometres] - for most of this section the path stays close to the River Clyde. It passes Bothwell Castle, the David Livingstone Centre and Raith Haugh Nature Reserve. This section of the path ends at the Watersports Centre in Strathclyde Country Park. The nearest railway station is just over one mile away in Motherwell. The station is on the Glasgow-Lanark line.
Strathclyde Country Park to Cardies Bridge [8.75 miles/14 kilometres] - this section follows the north bank of the River Clyde [apart from a short section at the end] through open country. It passes the Avon Walkway which can be followed to Chatelherault Country Park. The section ends at Cardies Bride, which is not close to any railway station, or other public transport.
Cardies Bride to Crossford [6.25 miles/10 kilometres] - this section runs through attractive open countryside, but is only close to the River Clyde for about one third of its length. This part of the Clyde Valley was famous for its orchards and greenhouses. Many still remain, though few of the orchards are still in commercial production. The path passes the well preserved 16th century Craignethan Castle. This section ends at the village of Crossford. There are bus services to Lanark, and to Hamilton and Motherwell. The nearest railway station is an approximately 3.5 miles walk [most of it uphill] away in Carluke. The station is on the Glasgow-Lanark line.
Crossford to New Lanark [6.75 miles/11 kilometres] - this is probably the most attractive section of the path. The path proceeds through open country along the banks of the River Clyde. It first passes Stonybyres Hydroelectric Station. This was built in 1927. The falls here are 21 metres high and migrating salmon and sea trout cannot get any higher up the river. After passing Lanark [founded 1180] the path enters the UNESCO World Heritage village of New Lanark. The village and mills were built in the 18th century to harness the power of the River Clyde to process cotton. It is now a beautifully restored industrial village in a stunning setting. Beyond the village the path enters the Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve and passes the Bonnington Hydroelectric Station, and the remaining three Falls of Clyde. The most spectacular of these is the 28 metre high Corra Linn.
The path ends in open countryside at the top fall, Bonnington Linn, where there is a dam to divert water to the power station. Walkers who wish to return to Glasgow should follow the path back to New Lanark, where they can either catch a bus to Lanark, or walk approximately 1.5 miles to Lanark Station for a direct train to Glasgow. New Lanark has a three star hotel hotel New Lanark Mill Hotel and a youth hostel operated by Scottish Youth Hostels.
Biggar - Broughton route which is a lovely little circular route of just twelve miles, skirting Goseland Hill, perhaps just enough to give you an appetite for a snack in Biggar or Broughton. The indicated route takes you round the north side of Goseland Hill so avoiding a climb of 80 metres.
For the more adventurous there are the Carron Valley Trails. These are over 9km of trails catering for all abilities of rider. These trails offer something for everyone - links provide a short fun route or something longer and more challenging. Available trails are:
Pipe Dream - The 'Pipe Dream' provides an ideal warm up before ascending to Eas Dubh. Moderate, swoopy singletrack breaks up the gentle climb with superb views across the valley from the viewpoint. All good things must come to an end though, and the fast exit into the quarry through 'Stoney Broke' sets you up for the climb!
Eas Dubh - Or 'Black Water' will test the skills of an intermediate rider. Catch your breath at the top and admire the stunning views before descending the 'Kelpies Staircase' - a steep stone pitched section of that's not for the faint hearted! Glimpse the waterfall on your left as you dance through the tight switchbacks of the 'Birlin' Bogills'. Just don't hang around too long ...
Cannonball Run - Shoot down the fast flowing, swoopy singletrack of the 'Cannonball Run'. Keep your sights on the exit as you gun it round 'Recoil' - a huge bermed corner that is guaranteed to raise smiles all round!
Fun Park - The Runway - When it's time to land, head for 'The Runway'. This feature-packed, fast flowing fun park style descent is designed so beginners can roll the jumps and experienced riders can take off! Experience turbulence as you drop in, feel the speed through the corkscrew and explode out of the bomb hole before lining up for the final approach. Littered with berms, jumps and tabletops it's guaranteed to satisfy those who prefer airtime! The Fun Park is located near the eastern car park of the Carron Valley Forest.
So whether it's sight-seeing or trail blazing have fun cycling in Lanarkshire!