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Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway


Postby snodland » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:40 am

Route description: Clyde Walkway

Date walked: 25/03/2010

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So do flat walks count for a WalkHighlands walk report?
Well I only ask.
You see, I love my mountains. Oh yes I do. It’s for the photos you see. I am not one of these types who read Trail mag and pretend that they enjoyed an “exhilarating” knife edge ridge or a “brilliant” Grade 1 scramble (for the record Knife edge ridges and Grade 1 scrambles are merely another bit of the mountain on the way to the top – in most cases I suspect these macho climbers only found the ridge/scramble exhilarating after they finished, whilst before and during they filled their pants and cried). I am quite blasé and have no problem going over razor edge ridges or any scrambling – but frankly if you can’t take a camera and photo the scene, well then there is no point.
Anyway I only had the one day off – so I set off to make up for 2 unsuccessful attempts on the Clyde Walkway from Motherwell down to Lanark.
Attempt 1 – Had floundered in Sept 08, when the signpost at Horsleyhead Brae showed the walkway going down the Main road towards Garrion Bridge, and not straight across the road towards Cardies Bridge.

Attempt 2, a mere fortnight later floundered on…..well I ‘ll come onto the Milton Lockhart estate later. Suffice to say I ended up shuttling between Milton Lockhart and Miltonhead farm trying to find a way out of the trap I found myself in.

Normally from Horsleyhead Brae near Overtown there is a fine view of Tinto Hill. Today the closest to a view was:-
P1110325_edited-1.jpg

So down the Brae, turn left along to Cardies Bridge – ignoring the offending sign that had scuppered attempt 1, and then onto the walkway. For much of the time that the walkway is beside the Clyde it is devoid of clear views.
P1110340_edited-1.jpg
Halfway Clear View


Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that the trees are there and wouldn’t advocate cutting them down. However clear photo opportunities are at a premium. Think of the duller bits of the West Highland Way, as you stride along towards Inversnaid or Inverarnan. You know that there is a fantastic view across to the other bank of Loch Lomond but the trees you are walking through preclude it. Well on the Clyde Walkway the woods are rather denser.

After about a mile you break out onto a clear piece of flood plain.This is the first part of the walkway from where you get a clear view of the Clyde, on this section at least.
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The river bends around to the first of several villages on the opposite bank. Later on I shall mention the bridges on the Walkway, but the one linking the east bank to Mauldslie is an absolute gem. Sitting beside it, in the old West Lodge is what must be one of the most photographed private homes in Scotland.
P1110356_edited-1.jpg

Half a mile further on the newest part of the Clyde Walkway (I think I should better starting calling it CW) starts at a ruined old estate cottage, on the map as Burnetholm.
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Now you think I must be an absolute mine of info to know all this detail. Well let me confess to some help. All along the way, there are Clyde Walkway Posts marked with an ‘I’, and if you push the loose bit of wood in the middle of them, out swings an arm with all this detail, aswell as stuff about the flora, fauna nearby. So anyway Burnetholm and the path zigzags steeply uphill away from the river, down to a small valley and up again to the track between Milton Lockhart Farm (hereafter abbreviated to ML Farm where the farmer was very polite and helped with directions to regain my route) and Miltonhead Farm (hereafter abbreviated to A**EHO*E farm- whose tenant had placed an enormous locked gate and barbed wire blocking perfectly legitimate public access to the nearby General Roy monument ) before finally descending again to the following sign ….
P1110368.JPG


And this is where attempt number 2 had scuppered. I remember the sign well. It looked as though a perfectly good track rejoined the riverbank, but no the sign was pretty clear – this was not the route of the CW. If you look in the background you can see the CW Sign, showing just what a load of b****k* this is. In Sept 08 the CW wasn’t shown on Ordnance Survey maps so then I had regretfully had to turn back thinking that my own capability to follow a route had been found wanting.
If you are doing the walk –IGNORE THE MILTON-LOCKHART ESTATE SIGN! FOLLOW THE CLYDE WALKWAY ALONG THE RIVERBANK
I wondered if access at the other end of the field was any more welcome but:-
P1110398_edited-1.jpg

A**EHO*E farm had set up more barbed wire for people coming the other way. I notice the gate to the field had been ripped away – wonder if that was an attempt to make it look as though militant ramblers had vandalised it and thus the whole CW should be closed to protect the 200metres of field/countryside – which would scupper the entire walkway.

And now I was in new, unseen territory. Oh – with all that ranting I nearly forgot, there are a couple of clear views of the river.
P1110396.JPG
The route is plainly laid out from now, with river to the right and the obligatory barbed wire – there is an awful, awful lot of it – to the left.
P1110401_edited-1.jpg

On the plus side I finally caught a clear shot of the lovely underwing markings of a buzzard.
P1110132_edited-1.jpg
I’ve been trying to get something like that for years now but the rotters just wouldn’t ever keep still
Presently you arrive at Crossford – at which point the river looks like this.
P1110417_edited-1.jpg

One thing in life that really makes my blood boil is that people cannot understand the great pleasure to be had from standing up to your waist in a cold fast flowing river, fruitlessly throwing a rod about trying to catch fish that generally don’t want to be caught. (memo to editor – I am joking. I think it is bloody silly really – but I suppose it makes for an OK picture.)
On the way out of Crossford, do note the jolly nice suspension bridge. But get there before 5 o’clock as it closes.
P1110421_edited-1.jpg

In fact the variety of fine bridges (suspension, big stone and gigantic railway viaducts) on the whole Clyde Walkway are a very nice feature of the trek.
On the left – sorry walking website -, on the East hand side as you leave Crossford is what seems to be an adventure park. Being Lanarkshire the quality being of the sort that parents can use as a threat (“If you don’t behave, we’re going to Happy Valley Park for your holidays. I don’t care if you are 18, you will go on the miniature railway)…and indeed there is a mini railway to entertain the little kiddiewinks.
Now as I am a fully grown adult – my passport says so anyway - how embarrassing would it be to be seen taking a photograph of a little mini railway engine…….So I waited until it had gone past me.
P1110424_edited-1.jpg


The river is still shrouded in trees.
Oh and the flipping engine came back again.
P1110428_edited-1.jpg

The CW now undulates through woodland, breaks out into open farmland, and you even get to see a bit of hillside. At no point from now on is it hard to follow.
P1110439_edited-1.jpg

The most common animal to be seen on the walk is the cow, however it is lambing time and when you come across a sheep there are some nice pics to be had.
P1110214_edited-1.jpg

Oh yeah, now you think he is cute, but don’t forget those little wotsits grow up to be absolute killers – don’t they?

You pass high above the Stonebyres Falls. You can’t actually see them, because of all the trees but I believe they are down there. They can be seen from behind when you cross the weir just a couple of hundred yards upstream.
P1110445_edited-1.jpg


Follow the now tarmac track out to the Lanark Road and turn left. After about 15-20 minutes of walking along the roadside and through Kirkfieldbank, cross over and you get to the old Kirkfieldbank Bridge.
P1110449_edited-1.jpg

But never mind. One last look at the Clyde without trees blocking the view
P1110450_edited-1.jpg

Rejoin the main road for about 50 yards then a tarmac road leads down towards a water treatment plant – it is all industrial on this walk, and the CW swings left….up a steep slope. Take about the 3rd or 4th turning on the right into a red blaze driveway. Don’t do what I do every time I walk this and mistakenly go down into some poor family’s drive – cracking house – big white coloured one - and gardens though.
There is a sign that directs you onto the Clyde Walkway again, it zig zags down the steep slope and then follows along the side of the river – still far too many trees.
Because you have come down to the bottom of the slope – walking lore and pure blooming fate dictates that you have to climb all the way back up. On the plus side the vegetation does eventually clear at a rather nice viewing platform and the end goal of New Lanark is set before you.
P1110459_edited-1.jpg
For those unaware of the village. It is an old weaving/mill town set up as a supposed socialist utopia by Co-operative founder Robert Owen. The buildings are maintained in their original style like something pickled in aspic for 200 year – similar to my wardrobe and WalkHighlands member “Walkaboots” music tastes. There is a museum and visitor centre there. A Youth Hostel.
P1110461_edited-1.jpg

An obligatory Olde Worlde Gifte Shoppe, and more importantly, it being the end of my trek –
P1110462.JPG
a café with steaming good home made soup.

Buses run back up to Lanark from where you can get a train or bus to Glasgow. They leave at 40minutes past the hour. I know you are asking if I extended my trek up the hill as any good rambler would or if I cheated and took the bus……… Don’t be daft – I’d already done 14 flamin’ miles for gawd’s sake!
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snodland
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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby walk aboot » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:35 am

Nice report snodland (but you forgot to mention the very fine chip butties for breakfast you can get at Valerio's in Lanark :) ).

I took one of my nices to New Lanark for the day last month...walking along unfenced parts of a sudden death gorge is not a good idea when you are with a 10-year old who runs and jumps everywhere! (My heart was in my mouth the whole time :? )

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Running...


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And climbing...


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Fancy footwork (showing Auntie Walk Aboot how to do it)


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New Lanark
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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby allansmitchell » Fri Mar 26, 2010 2:31 pm

Great pics, used to patrol there on behalf of the Scottish Wildlife Trust many moons ago, nice trip down memory lane, realy should re-visit the area
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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby gaffr » Fri Mar 26, 2010 3:01 pm

When I was at school I was a bit of a angler and caught one of my best ever trout under that old bridge. The Robert Owen buildings in those days, 55 years ago, were near derelict...its good to see that they now have a new life...a bit quieter now than the clacking of the old looms. What's wrong with flat walks....I'll be doing them soon :lol:
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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby kevsbald » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:17 pm

Tiger Woods may be put off by the lack of up and down action but most will disagree - nice report.
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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby bazer100 » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:21 pm

lovely report and a nice part of the world, i have cycled a good part of that from bothwell through to hamilton and out to lanark, really nice and amazing 2 mins from council estates and shops, thanks for sharing the pictures!!

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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby warbietoo » Fri Mar 26, 2010 7:56 pm

Great report. Really fortunate that i live only 10 min away from this little gem of an area. Excellent for a quick walk with the dog. The Clyde was frozen over during the winter so much so that i saw someone's footprints crossing over it :shock:
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New Lanark Jan 2010
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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby bobzilla » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:18 pm

That parks not to bad actually although almost everything in it is shut unless your there during high season.
My kid loved the train by the way..or at least I think he did.

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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby snodland » Fri Mar 26, 2010 10:03 pm

Sorry I couldn't respond earlier. I can never remember my password to log in from the Work computer. Your work as a ranger for SWT sounds like a prime job, allansmitchell. (after perhaps the 2 guys who go up and down on the mini railway at Valley International Park all day)Though I suppose I am imaginign it is a lot easier than it really is.
Because I rely on public transport it is good to know there are these walks just a handful of minutes walk away from main roads and the like. I highly recommend the Strathblane to Kirkintilloch Railway walk too, cracking views on a good day, walking along the foot of the Campsies and lets face it all over the place you can fashion a good walk out of looking at an OS map and wondering if 2 tracks link up
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Re: Does a Flat walk count? Clyde Walkway

Postby allano937 » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:40 pm

I walk these routes regular but usally from Cardies Bridge to New Lanark then New Lanark round trip via Bonnington linn wier as a seperate days walk. Both routes are beautiful in good weather and very muddy in bad. I had the pleasure of viewing the Perigrine Falcon chicks in May from the hide which is on the Clydewalk way on the opposite bank from thier nest. I do the Cardies bridge to New Lanark section as a return walk and the section which skirts round Milton Lockhart Fram is a real killer on the way back. This detour around the farm is not shown on OS 2008 maps. Landranger shows the path continuing along the river bank where as Explorer shows the route stop at the farm them restart further along. The route around the farm is clearly marked however. We normally encounter the same walkers/ joggers and fishermen here each week. Doing this walk again in a couple days and plan on doing the whole 40 mile of clydewalk way in the summer in 2 or 3 stages.
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