A stroll round Lanark

Wellgate, Lanark

After our recent visit to the textiles exhibition at New Lanark, we walked up to the original town of Lanark and onwards to Lanark Loch.

Below are the clock tower of St Nicholas Church (1774) and the Provost’s Lamp (1890s). At one time, this ceremonial lamp-post would have stood outside the house of the current Provost (Mayor), but these days it is a permanent fixture outside the Tollbooth. The dog sits on the roof of a house in Castlegate. Sometime in the 1800s, a Miss Inglis lived opposite. She complained so much about her neighbour’s dog that it had to be put down, and in revenge its owner erected this statue so that she would see it every time she looked out her window! It’s called the “Girnin’ Dug” (the “Crying Dog”).

Lanark is one of the few Scottish towns with direct links to William Wallace, whom you possibly know from the film Braveheart in which he was played by Mel Gibson. St Kentigern’s Church (pre-1140s) at the entrance to the cemetery is where Wallace married Marion Braidfute – unfortunately, it’s fenced off so you can’t get inside. I loved the little skull and crossbones on this gravestone next to it – sweet rather than scary.

Nearby is the Murray Chapel, bequeathed to the community in 1912 by Helen Martin Murray in memory of her parents and siblings. It’s not possible to go in here either. The doorway is finely carved – if you can’t read it, the inscription says Thou wilt not leave us in the dust : Thou hast made us, thou art just.

Finally, we had a walk round Lanark Loch. The sculpture at the entrance, Spirit of Flight, commemorates the Lanark Airshow of 1910.

We made our way back to New Lanark along a lovely path called The Beeches – all downhill. What goes down, of course, must come up so we climbed the very steep steps to the carpark and headed for home.

Linked to Jo’s Monday Walks – this week, she’s camellia hunting. As for me, next week I’ll be back to writing about Amsterdam – there’s still more to tell!

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.