Falls of Clyde

Snowdrops beside a streamToday was one of those grey pre-spring days when visibility is poor and so a woodland walk sounds good.  For reasons known only to my brain, out popped the idea of a circuit around the Falls of Clyde at New Lanark. We’ve done this a few times before and a winter walk is always great because the trees don’t obscure the river (too much) and the volume of water is usually higher and so the Falls more impressive.  And it was so.

Corra Linn, 2

Corra Linn

New Lanark

New Lanark

Corra Linn

Corra Linn

We parked at the Clydesholm Bridge , the first crossing downstream of New Lanark, and headed up the road until a path led us off into the woods on the west side of the Clyde.  This was a bit on the muddy side 1 so I’d suggest boots and gaiters next time.  This is the side less travelled by so you won’t get bothered by the tourists stuck on the other side.  The river looks very impressive as you pass New Lanark with its weirs to feed the old mills, and just keeps on getting better as you head upstream towards the first big waterfall: Corra Linn.  There are some viewpoints right at the top of the cliffs here and a thoughtful health&safety person has put in a solid railing that meant I could get close and see the fantastic falls from above.

Bonnington Linn

Bonnington Linn

Bonnington Linn

Bonnington Linn

We then continue upstream through very attractive woodland to the main feature: the Bonnington Linn, where I had reserved a table for lunch.  Here two arms of the river drop about 10m in a wonderful curtain of water.  It is not as high a drop as the lower falls, but the effect is more powerful. The noise is deafening and I wondered how the Dippers I saw could communicate.  This has been a visitor magnet for years, and even J.M.W. Turner, one of my favourite landscape painters got out his sketchbook back in 1834.  I bet he wasn’t distracted by a mad Springer Spaniel trying to break into his sandwiches though.

New Lanark, 2The hydro-electric power station is the top of the path and the end of the Clyde Walkway so we cross the river and head downstream.  The path goes through New Lanark and its tourist hordes. It’s a huge, impressive place but oddly soulless: I can just imagine how many school parties have been bored rigid here.  Many of the buildings are now private houses: it must be so much better when all the tourists have gone home with their “Gifts from Scotland” from the mill shop (sale now on).

The path continues down the river side before heading up into the outskirts of Lanark and a track back down to our starting point.  This was a lovely walk in spectacular scenery and one that will pay returning at the various seasons.  I heartily commend it to the house.

Notes:

  1. Luckily Jazz has just had a close trim and so kept reasonably clean.
Distance:11km
Effort:
Scenery:
Do It Again: