Major-General William Roy

Starting Point for the Walk:

The car park off Smuggler’s Brig Road, Crossford, South Lanarkshire – OS Reference NS 825 467.

Getting there: 25 miles/35 minutes

Take your favourite route onto the M8 (Edinburgh).  Leave the M8 at Junction 8 onto the M73 and head south for the M74 (Carlisle).  Exit the M74 at Junction 7 and turn left at the T junction onto the A72 (Lanark Road).  At the roundabout take the first exit (A71) towards the Garrion Bridge Roundabout.  At the roundabout take the third exit (second is into a private property!) onto the A72 (Lanark Road) and continue past many garden centres.  On entering Crossford the road crosses the River Nethan.  Turn left just before the Village Hall into Smuggler’s Brig Road and immediately right into a small parking area behind the Village Hall.  Parking is free.

The Walk:  Major-General William Roy – 7.8 miles (13 km)

From the car park return to the main road and turn left keeping to the narrow pavement on the left side of the road.

Turn left over the bridge (a single-track road) over the River Clyde.  There is a narrow pavement on the right side of the bridge.  Once the bridge has been crossed, re-cross the road opposite an information board and take the path down to the river to join the Clyde Walkway.

The Clyde Walkway changes elevation several times via a series of wooden steps.  Continue following the Clyde Walkway until the outskirts of the Milton-Lockhart estate.  The path then turns right through an area of woodland and rises to join the rear access road to the estate.

At Milton-Lockhart Estate the Clyde Walkway deviates inland to avoid the main house. There has been an estate here since the 14th century. In 1828 William Lockhart demolished the existing house. Sir Walter Scott gave him advice as to the best location for the new house. It was built in the Scottish Baronial Style as was the bridge which provides the main visitor entrance to the estate. In 1989 the house was purchased and moved to Japan! A new house has subsequently been built but the old bridge remains. The eagle-eyed will notice this on the way down to Crossford.

At the road turn right and leave the Clyde Walkway, and at the next junction go left.  Pass the monument to William Roy and shortly afterwards turn left onto a farm track (Raes Road).  This continues onto a well-defined track.  At an obvious junction turn right and follow a winding (often narrow) path through the tranquil Jock’s Gill.  The path criss-crosses Jock’s Burn and exits onto Station Road (Carluke) at Glenburn.  Turn right, be attentive to the traffic and keep to the right-hand side of the road.  The road rises gently before descending again.  Cross the road to the left to take a path through a stone wall into some natural wetland and follow the path to the right.  Keep taking the right turn where there is a choice, and the path emerges back onto Station Road close to its junction with Milton Road.

Turn right and then take the first left onto a quiet road which passes several farms as it descends back to Crossford.  After passing a 90° left turn, turn right and continue downwards to pass Waygateshawhead.  The road narrows near Gills as it descends more steeply.  Although the road is quiet particular care should be taken.  There is much to look at on the route, but do not be too distracted!  At Poplarglen take the path off to the right of the road.   This is, initially, a farm track providing access to some fields.  Look out for and take the protected walkway to the left of the farm track.  At this point it passes what appears to be a fortified hill.  The path then continues onto a little used track which leads back to the Clyde Walkway.  Turn left at the river and retrace your outbound steps to the car park.

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