Bothwell and Blantyre

River Clyde at Bothwell Castle
River Clyde at Bothwell Castle
The 13th century remains of Bothwell Castle are the starting point for this 3.5 circular walk. We’ve visited the castle many times, so didn’t go inside but dropped straight down onto the Clyde Walkway below. We followed the wooded banks until we could see Blantyre on the other side of the river.

Here, we made a detour over the Livingstone Memorial Bridge. What a beautiful house next to it!

Blantyre is the birthplace of David Livingstone – although the David Livingstone Centre wasn’t yet open for the season, we enjoyed the surrounding park and garden. The statue of Livingstone and the Lion is spectacular.

We also liked the fountain, even if it had no water in at the moment, and the giant stone frog in the pond.

Crossing back to the other side of the river we walked through Old Bothwell to Bothwell Bridge, scene of a battle in 1679 between the Covenanters and Charles II’s army (the Covenanters lost). A memorial to them was erected in 1903.

From the memorial, it was a steep climb up the road to the centre of Bothwell after which we definitely deserved lunch – which we ate outside. In Scotland, in March! We were amazed too (though I confess I did feel it a little nippy).

After lunch, we stopped to admire this lovely memorial outside the Parish Church. Joanna Baillie was a renowned poet and dramatist who was born in Bothwell in 1762.

Another garden next. The Gilchrist Garden was donated to the residents of Bothwell in 1940 by Marion Gilchrist who was born in Bothwellpark Farm in 1864. Despite the education of women then being considered a waste of time, she went on to qualify as a doctor becoming the University of Glasgow’s first female graduate in 1894. The memorial sculpture, by Adrian Wiszniewski, was added in 2013. The cut-out shapes represent organisms seen under a microscope, the black represents Marion’s inner strength and the pink her femininity and sensitivity.

Bothwell used to be a mining village, and our final stop was this replica coal hutch which has recently been placed on the way out of town by the local Historical Society to commemorate the miners of Castle Colliery.

Miners Memorial, Bothwell

From here, it was about a mile back to the castle where we had left our car. So – scenery, history and art! I hope you’ve enjoyed this stroll through Bothwell which I’m linking to Jo’s Monday Walks.

Scottish Snapshots: A quartet of castles

Scottish Snapshots is a series of short posts about places I visited in 2013 but didn’t write about at the time

Scotland is not short of an iconic ruined castle or two. Last autumn, we visited four, all run by Historic Scotland. Since these posts are called Snapshots, I’m going to restrict myself to a photo and a fact about each.

Doune Castle

Doune Castle
Doune Castle
Fact

If you take an audio-tour of the castle, you’ll find it’s narrated by Terry Jones. Monty Python and the Holy Grail was filmed at Doune.

Bothwell Castle

Bothwell Castle
Bothwell Castle
Fact

In 1301, Edward I of England, “Hammer of the Scots”, brought 6,800 soldiers to the castle. A huge siege engine was hauled from Glasgow and the garrison surrendered within the month. Boo!

Dumbarton Castle

Dumbarton Castle
Dumbarton Castle
Fact

This castle is built high above the Clyde on the twin peaks of a volcanic rock. There are a lot of stairs!

Castle Campbell

Castle Campbell
Castle Campbell
Fact

Castle Campbell used to be known as Castle Gloom or Glume. As you can see, it’s not at all gloomy on a bright autumn day – and it’s a lovely walk up the glen from the village of Dollar.