A figure of eight around Chatelherault

This walk starts by taking the train from Chatelherault to Uddingston (change at Cambuslang) and then following the River Clyde with beautiful views up and down an idyllically flowing river. Bothwell Castle perches dramatically above the path and the David Livingstone is well worth exploring. The Clyde walkway itself is currently closed, but it is possible to take a third train from Blantyre to Larkhall and walk back through Morgans Glen to Chatelherault Country Park. This can be combined walk with a second one from Larkhall to Chatelherault –So there we are  – three trains and two good walks. Check the trains from Chatelherault to Uddingston and Blantyre to Larkhall before you start.

 Park at the Park ‘n Ride Car Park at Chatelherault. The Satnav for Chatelherault Country Park is ML3 7UE. If you use the Satnav for the station (ML3 7UD) don’t turn into Valleyfield Road as directed. Go on for 100 yards and turn left into the car park.

Carlisle Rd, Ferniegair, Hamilton, South Lanarkshire ML3 7UE, UK

To get there

This is the easiest of journeys for most people. From Glasgow take the M8 (or the M74 if you prefer) going East towards Edinburgh. From the M8 at Junction 8 (Coatbridge) take the slip road to curl round on to the M73. Then take the inside lane(s) to automatically take the M74. Of course, if you’re already on the M74 you go straight through.

Once on the M74, go past the A725 Interchange for Strathclyde Park and continue on to Junction 6 where you take the slip road sign-posted A723 to Motherwell and Hamilton. Get into the right-hand lane on the slip road to curl round towards Hamilton and down onto the A723. At the first roundabout take the second exit (it seems like the first) more-or-less continuing on the A723 towards Larkhall, Strathaven etc. At the next junction, keep left in a designated lane to take the A72, Townhead Road, towards Larkhall etc. At the next small roundabout go straight on.

Just after the Ferniegair village sign you come to a set of traffic lights. If you wish to use the toilets at the Visitors’ Centre, turn right into Chatelherault Country Park and drive right up the carriageway, following the signs to the Visitors’ Centre. When the Hunting Lodge is in view turn left up a narrow road to reach the back.  Curve round to the left as directed. There are three disabled bays on your right; three ordinary bays just below on your left followed by a further three. Park for a few minutes and go back to the Visitors’ Centre. Once inside, the toilets are through the glass doors to the right. Return to the cars, follow the one-way system back to the carriageway and then back to the traffic lights. Turn right here, and then sharp left into the free Park ‘n Ride by the station.

 The walk

Take the train from Chatelherault to Uddingston. The first part of the walk begins by exiting the station at Uddingston, walking up to the main road, crossing the railway and turning left down the other side of the line. This comes out at Anne’s Pantry, where you cross over, go straight on for 100 yards and then take a path with an Information Board (The Miners’ path originally) to the left which leads down to the river. Here you turn left under the railway viaduct, ignore the Clyde walkway coming in from the right, go past the new Uddingston Grammar School, and very soon you are walking along a beautiful stretch of river. It is worth pausing at Bothwell  Castle to go up the little hill to look inside. If you go towards the castle and then take the right hand circuit, you’ll be between the castle and the lower path and can return easily to your route.  However, the best views are from below, on the path you’re taking anyway.

A little further on the route forks with the main path going left over a hump and a small path hugging the river on the right. Anyone young would have no problem and it is prettier. However, the main route goes over the hump to join up with the little path and then continue to the great iron bridge which takes you into the David Livingstone Memorial. Even if you don’t visit The David Livingstone Memorial the grounds are beautiful; there are seats and picnic tables; and you can get a good external view of the tenement in which he grew up in Blantyre.

From the memorial, turn back left and then cross the road to follow the Clyde walkway a little (a bit of urban grot here but not too bad) exiting at a green space where you turn right and sharp right again to come into the car park for Blantyre Station.

Here you have a choice of trains to take us straight to Larkhall. The train stops at Chatelherault so if you’ve had enough, you could get off.

 At Larkhall alight and take the pedestrian footpath at the end of the platform straight on to the cycle track running past the Leisure Centre on the left. Carry on along the track and, at a very muddy path to the left by a football pitch, go straight on. Then as the path straightens take a better track down to the left and then continue in the same direction.  Any of the local paths to the left will take you across a green open space or you can continue right to the end and turn left. This increasingly pleasant path takes you to the top of the 100 steps which you, go down! At the bottom you’re in Morgan’s Glen walking along the River Avon.

All of a sudden it’s it’s beautiful again. Coming out under the arch at Millheugh you’ll reach the attractive hamlet and the old bridge. Cross the bridge and turn immediately right along side the Avon. The path has been substantially upgraded with proper footways and bridges. It takes you to the end of the circuit above the Green Bridge in Chatelherault Country Park where you can turn left or right. If you go right, go down to Green Bridge, up the steps and along the edge of the ravine on the Claybank Braes Path. Continue to Claybank Steps where you go back down to the river side. Here we take the Hoolet Row Path along the river, under the Duke’s Bridge, pick up Mineral Rail Path along the river and then turn back along the Deep Park Path towards the footpath down the carriageway and down to the cars at the station. The walk is about 9 miles in two halves!

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