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The Clyde Walkway

The Clyde Walkway

Postby janeysdey » Wed Mar 31, 2010 5:40 pm

Route description: Clyde Walkway

Date walked: 01/10/2008

Distance: 65 km

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The Clyde Walkway, some 40miles/65 km. long, runs between Partick in Glasgow and New Lanark in South Lanarkshire and came about as a joint enterprise by the Glasgow City, South Lanarkshire, and North Lanarkshire Councils. Unlike other long distance paths such as the West Highland Way or the Southern Upland Way, it is an urban walk with easy access to public transport, but even so good walking boots and suitable clothing is recommended. There are no long steep slopes to be climbed, much of it is wheelchair friendly, and it lends itself to being covered in weekly stages, even by those of moderate fitness. It starts in busy city streets and ends in a spectacular gorge complete with waterfalls. Its western terminus was once one of the busiest ports in the British Empire and its second city. Its eastern terminus is a World Heritage Site, and there is much to explore along the way.

Barely any effort seems to have been made to publicise the Walkway and there are no leaflets currently available although some information on individual stretches of the walkway can be found on the Internet. The Walkway is underused in comparison with other long distance paths and I hope this report will encourage more walkers to use it

The walkway runs close to the river so route finding is easy and maps available on line from the Ordnance Survey website are quite adequate, the line of march being marked by green diamonds. Most of the walkway is metalled, or gravel path, but in some parts, the route is best described as “informal”, non-existent. In the suggested second stage, that part between Carmyle Viaduct and the Rotten Calderis exactly that and can be difficult, particularly after a prolonged spell of wet weather. There is an alternative route via Westburn but the riverside route is less than two miles and is well worth the effort because of the huge variety of wildlife which may be seen, including cormorants buzzards and deer, as well as the more usual waterfowl. Further up the same stage a “temporary?” diversion is necessary at Blantyre due to construction work at nearby Craighead, but provision for the Walkway is included in the work. Further yet upriver, some parts between Adders Gill and Upper Carbarns Farm, and Mauldslie Bridge and Crossford are also “informal” .

Because there are many places of interest close to the walkway, and to allow some time for exploration, the guide has been broken down into stages shorter than those experienced walkers may be accustomed to.

Stage One...

This start of this stage may best be reached by train to Partick station. The Walkway starts beside the A814 Clydeside Expressway near to the station, and this first stage is easy to follow for its entire length by simply always staying on the path closest to the river. Cross the Expressway at the pedestrian bridge, pass the Tall Ship and the heliport before reaching the Clyde near the SECC and the Clyde Auditorium, aka the Armadillo.
02 P.S.Waverly @ Science Centre report.JPG
These, and the Glasgow Science Centre on the opposite bank, as well as hotels, office, and residential accomodation are indicative of the continuing redevelopment of the former docks. The Walkway continues past the Finniestion Crane, one of Glasgow's tallest landmarks,
07 Finnieston Crane report.JPG
under the Kingston Bridge, on to the Broomielaw and Glasgow Green
17 People's Palace report.JPG
. From here the route passes Polmadie and Dalmarnock and on to Cambuslang, giving little indication now of the heavy industry once concentrated in the area. Cross the river at Cambuslang Bridge and follow the path along the south bank to Clydeford Bridge and the A763, and take this road into the town centre for trains and buses.

Stage Two...

From Clydeford Bridge follow the path along the south bank to Carmyle viaduct
03 Carmyle viaduct report.JPG
, cross the burn before you, and continue along the river bank to the junction with the Rotten Calder. Follow this river upstream, cross the footbridge, and follow the path uphill, under the railway, to the B758 Blantyreferme Road. As mentioned above, this part of the Walkway can be difficult but rewarding; an alternative to this route, via Westburn, is shown on the the map available at the Ordnance Survey website.
Cross the road and follow the path through the woods which will take you to the Green Bridge beside Uddingston Viaduct and the Clyde. Cross the bridge and follow the path along the north bank past Bothwell Castle
19 Bothwell Castle report.JPG
to the David Livingstone Memorial Bridge at Blantyre. Cross the bridge and turn right, up the steps, to visit the David livingstone Memorial Centre
30 David Livingstone Centre report.JPG
, or left to continue the route through woodland till you reach a clearing, where the (hopefully) temporary diversion begins. To follow the diversion, turn right, pass under the railway into John Street, continuing along until you meet Glasgow Road. Turn left and continue along Glasgow Road, under the A725 East Kilbride Expressway, and at the roundabout take the exit onto the A724 Whistleberry Road. Turn left after the railway bridge, pass under the A725 again, and a footpath on your right takes you alongside the A725 to Bothwell Bridge. Cross the bridge and a path beside the monument commerating the Battle of Bothwell Bridge takes you down to the riverbank, under the A725 yet again, and skirting the edge of the Raith Haugh Nature Reserve, leads to the Raith Interchange (Junction 5) on the M74 Motorway. Follow the footpath under the Motorway, cross the southbound on ramp onto the Motorway at the traffic lights, to enter the hotel car park and continue round behind the hotel where paths on either side of the Loch lead to the Watersports Centre in Strathclyde Park
Strathclyde Loch report.JPG
and the end of this stage of the Walkway.
There are bus stops at the entrance to the Park, and Motherwell railway station is about a mile away in the town centre. Alternative transport links in Hamilton on the other side of the motorway can be reached by crossing the footbridge behind the Watersports Centre, through the underpass, past the Mausoleum and retail park, and on to the town centre.

Stage Three...

From the Watersports Centre follow the path under the bridge carrying the A723 Motherwell/Hamilton road over the Clyde near its junction with the Avon. The path continues along the north bank, under the Ross Viaduct which carries the Motherwell /Hamilton railway over the river, and on to Baron's Haugh Nature Reserve
05 Barons Haugh report.JPG
where the path follows the riverbank round the edge of the reserve, giving access to hides from where wildlife may be observed. Beyond the Reserve, the path enters an avenue of mature trees leading to Adders' Gill, where water was extracted from the river to supply some of Motherwell's former steelworks.
09 Adders Gill report.JPG
There is next a short “informal” stretch along the river bank until just past Lower Carbarns Farm, where the walk meets a concrete farm road which it follows, giving views of the now derelict Cambusnethan House, built in 1820 on the site of the former summer residence of the Bishops of Glasgow.
12 Cambusnethan House report.JPG
The farm road continues to Highmainshead Wood. Follow the path by the burn and through the wood then turn right onto a track which takes you to the A71 above Garrion. Turn downhill and take the B7011 on the left, a short distance to Cardies Bridge where the Walkway is again signposted to take you through Mauldslie Wood
20 Mauldslie Wood report.JPG
and down to Mauldslie bridge at the A72. and the Hamilton/Lanark bus service

Stage Four...

This stage of the walkway passes through what was once the horticultural centre of Scotland, but the smallholdings on which the industry was based were unable to compete when it became financially viable to import fruit and flowers into the UK. from the Mediteranean, and the glasshouses have since been replaced by garden centres.
01 Mauldslie Bridge report.JPG

From Mauldslie Bridge the path holds to the north bank of the river, and there are views across to the pretty villages by the A72 on the opposite bank, of which Rosebank is the first to be met. The gravel path ends just beyond the village, but the route follows the river bank, past the bridge at Milton Lockhart,
06 Milton Lockhart Br report.JPG
then the formal path is met again just before passing Waygateshaw House, and after about two miles reaches
Walkway @ Crossford report.JPG
Crossford at the bridge carrying the B7056 over the river. A short diversion from the walk at this point takes you to Craignethan Castle

10 Crossford Bridge report.JPG
Cross the B7056 road and rejoin the Walkway, and Hazelbank is the next village seen across the river.
16 Opp. Linnbank report.JPG
The valley becomes narrower and its sides steeper from here, and the Walkway passes the lower of the two hydro electric generating stations on the river, at Stonebyres Linn, just below Kirkfieldbank,and the end of this stage.
21 Stonebyres Linn report.JPG

The Hamilton/Lanark bus route passes through the village

Stage Five...

The flow of the river above New Lanark is controlled by a weir and flume to power the Bonnington hydro electric station, and the famous Falls of Clyde are usually reduced to a relative trickle. The station is closed periodically for maintainance, usually on Bank Holidays, and on these occasion the water is allowed to follow its natural course. Notification of closure is usually published in local newspapers. and may also be obtained from the Visitor Centre in New Lanark ph. (01555 661345). If the closure coincides with a period of heavy rainfall, the Falls are quite spectacular.

This stage commences at the ancient Clydesholm Bridge in Kirkfieldbank
01a Clydeholme Bridge report.JPG
. Go through the gate beside the houses on the north bank and follow the path which soon rises fairly steeply onto St Patrick's Road. The route the enters Castlebank Park on the right, where in 1297 William Wallace killed the English Sheriff of Lanark to avenge the murder of his wife, and began his fight against king Edward. From the park a steep zigzag descent leads to the river bank, and after about half a mile the Walkway reaches New Lanark. Make time to explore the village and learn the story of Robert Owen.
21 New Lanark report.JPG
19 New Lanark Robt. Owens House report.JPG
20 New Lanark Robt. Owens School report.JPG

Leaving the village, the Walkway passes Dundaff Linn,
19a Dundaff Linn report.JPG
the lowest of the three Falls of Clyde and after a section of boardwalk then passes a cottage and the Bonnington power station. Beyond this point the path climbs to give views of the Corra Linn, at around 90ft. the highest of the Falls, with a deep basin carved from the cliffs by the force of the water.
31 Corra Linn report.JPG
Upstream of the Corra Linn a viewing station has been set up where, in season, peregrines can be observed at their nesting site on the opposite cliff. The path continues a gentle climb to the third waterfall at Bonnington Linn. Although not as high as Corra Linn, this is arguably more spectacular, and is best seen from the south bank which can be reached by crossing the river at the weir further upstream.
39 Bonnington Linn report.JPG
40 Bonnington Linn.JPG
The path on the south bank continues downstream and back to Kirkfieldbank, past the ruins of Corra Castle perched on the cliff edge overlooking the river, then Corra Linn again, this time viewed from the edge of the Fall, down into the basin. The path passes opposite the power station and New Lanark then joins a former coach road, emerging onto Kirkfield Road in Kirkfieldbank. Follow the road downhill to Clydesholm Bridge.
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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby warbietoo » Wed Mar 31, 2010 8:24 pm

A great informitive report on a little known walk.
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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby MrsMac » Tue Jul 06, 2010 1:58 pm

Official info and maps can be found here

There is an ultra marathon being run on the route on the 17th of July. Hopefully that will help raise the profile of the route.

Nice report and good pictures.
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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby SoothSinger » Thu Sep 23, 2010 12:44 pm

Me and some buddies are doing it this weekend, but in the reverse direction that suggested (we live in Carluke, just next to Lanark).

Planning on walking from New Lanark to Strathclyde park on the Saturday, camping at their very cheap campsite on the Saturday night, then walking into Glasgow on the Sunday.

I have walked most of it before in smaller sections and at different times, this will be my first time doing the whole thing at once.

Our main worry was what would happen at the position of the extended M74. Luckily we had a look on google maps, and people have posted a picture to say that a walkway is still in place.

We are doing this as part of our training for the West Highland Way.

If anyone has any questions or whatever, feel free to get in touch. I am hoping to carry a GPS device with me and track our route, which I will then post on the internet. I will also be taking plenty of pictures throughout the weekend.
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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby flipside » Thu Sep 23, 2010 3:17 pm

this looks amazing, never new it existed :D, stored for a future plan
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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby robertian » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:37 pm

flipside wrote:this looks amazing, never new it existed :D, stored for a future plan

And you live in Hamilton ! tut,tut,tut :D

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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby PhilTurner » Thu Sep 23, 2010 5:43 pm

It's worth noting that this superb walk report has been formatted Walkhighlands-stylee at:


...though I've just noticed a fault with one of the links.....

The nature of the diversion around the M74 extension varies a little depending upon the stage of construction, recently I had to take a substantial detour whilst they installed the bridge.
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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby alfredo143 » Sun Jul 17, 2011 8:00 pm

I am another who did not know anything about this route, Thanks for posting. :)
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Re: The Clyde Walkway

Postby CambusnethanPriory » Sun Apr 26, 2015 12:36 pm

Wonderful post! We at the Friends of Cambusnethan Priory are running a campaign to rescue the Priory and convert part of it into a multi-purpose visitor centre for the Clyde Walkway and a new Cambusnethan Priory Community Park. I'd love to know what you think of this plan! To find out more see our FB page "Friends of Cambusnethan Priory"
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