Lanark and the Mouse Water

New Lanark
New Lanark

This time last year, I wrote about New Lanark and the Falls of Clyde. The other Sunday we were back in New Lanark, but this time walking in the other direction. However, as before, we started with the exhibition in the Institute for the Formation of Character – followed by lunch, of course. No walking on an empty stomach!

Currently showing (till 31st March) is Keeping Glasgow in Stitches. This series of banners was made to celebrate Glasgow’s year as European Capital of Culture in 1990. Each of the 12 panels was made by a different group and represents one month of the year. When displayed in order, a representation of the River Clyde runs along the top and they spell out GLASGOW – 1990. It made me feel very nostalgic, especially when reading comments in the Visitors’ Book from embroiderers who had contributed to the work.

The first part of the walk was on pavement – climbing out of New Lanark’s valley, we reached the original town of Lanark and walked down its main street. The imposing church is St Nicholas with its statue of William Wallace.

After passing through the town, we took a small country road above the Mouse Water, dropping down to cross it by the bridge in the picture below.

Mouse Water
Mouse Water

From there, we climbed up the other side to Cartland Crags  and followed Mouse Water again, with good views back to Lanark, until it reached the Clyde at Kirkfieldbank.

Here, we crossed the Clyde twice, first on the 1950s road bridge which carries the A72, then we immediately went back over the much more picturesque Clydesholm Bridge which dates from the 1690s. This is now pedestrianised and forms part of the Clyde Walkway.

It was now a straightforward route along the Walkway to New Lanark, a nice cup of tea and the car – but it wasn’t exactly an easy riverside stroll. The banks of the Clyde here are steep and forested, and the path zigzags up and down several times. (My Fitbit told me I had achieved 145 floors that day, one floor being equivalent to about 10 feet.)

Our route on this walk came from a new purchase – The Clyde : 25 walks from source to sea by KR Fergus. It’s one of a great series published by PocketMountains which a) aren’t all about mountains but b) do fit into your pocket. Another series we like, which we first bought in the Lake District and have since added several Scottish titles to our collection, is Hallewell’s Pocket Walking Guides. If either of these series publishes guides to where you like to hike then I highly recommend them.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks. Head over there for worldwide cyber-hiking.



      • Good point! BTW: have you seen Rona Munro’s James plays? I saw ‘James I: The Key Will Keep the Lock’ last night — which had lots of references to Scottish weather! It was absolutely sensational’ some of the best theatre I’ve seen (and I see a lot these days). It’s a Scottish National Theatre production that’s here as part of the Auckland Arts Festival. I hadn’t booked for James II and III because I was a bit unsure if I’d enjoy them (they’re 2 and a half hours long), but now I’m scrambling to get tickets for the last performances.


          • You’d probably get more out of them than me too; certainly in terms of the history. I went in knowing nothing about that period of Scottish history and came home wanting to learn more. But apart from that; the staging is pretty spectacular and the performances really good.


            • I actually know very little about Scottish history, at least the pre-Union political history, because I grew up in England. That’s what’s been putting me off slightly, that I might not follow it! I’ll look into it now though.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Same here; we barely teach our own history in NZ, let alone anyone else’s (though you could argue, given the number of Scots here, that THAT is our history). Anyway, don’t let that put you off. The friend I went with had the same concerns, and she just loved the quality of the story-telling and the energy of the whole thing. That sounds more “hippy” than I meant it to!

                Liked by 1 person

  1. New Lanark and falls of clyde were the first stop of our road trip ! We love the exhibits and the little forest walk around. It was great ! But we didn’t go to Mouse Water. I’m glad to discover this new scenery through your pictures.


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