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The Clyde Valley

This area lies south-east of Glasgow, following the River Clyde through Lanarkshire with many places of interest to visit. Flowing into the Firth of Clyde at Greenock, Glasgow’s famous river has its origins deep in the southern hills and flows through some lovely countryside on its way to the sea.

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Some Spectacular Scenery to Enjoy

The River Clyde wanders up to the pretty market town of Lanark, where its power was harnessed in the 18th century by Robert Owen to create New Lanark, his model village for the weavers at his mill. This is now a World Heritage Site offering the most fascinating insights into past industrial life, with something of interest for all ages.

The Impressive Falls of Clyde

    A short walk up the river from the mill are the spectacular 90 foot Falls of Clyde. Then northwest again towards Hamilton (with the Hamilton Mausoleum and Chatelherault), formerly the hunting lodge of the Dukes of Hamilton and now a superb country park open to the public.

    Travelling south east of Glasgow the M74 takes you to the Clyde Valley area and Lanarkshire, where there are many interesting places to visit. The first is at Blantyre where the David Livingstone Centre relates the life of this famous 19th century Scottish explorer who died seeking the source of the River Nile. Nearby are the ruins of the 13th century Bothwell Castle. Worth visiting are also the National Museum of Scottish Country Life in East Kilbride and the extensive Chatelherault Park in Hamilton, where there are many walks, a visitor centre and a birds of prey centre.

    Robert Owen's House in New Lanark

      The most popular attraction in the Clyde Valley is New Lanark, a village built by Robert Owen in the late 18th century to meet the social welfare needs of his cotton mill workers (including a nursery school, adult education classes and sick pay). There are exhibits of the millworker's house, a steam engine used for the mills, weaving looms, the school, the 1820 village store and an audiovisual presentation of the life of a 10-year old mill worker. The New Millennium Experience is a high-tec ride on a chairlift which relates the village's past and Owen's social vision for the future.

      About 10 miles south-east of Lanark, on the A72, is the attractive town of Biggar which adjoins the Scottish Borders. Biggar has many interesting museums and attractions, including the Moat Park Heritage Centre displaying the geology and architecture of the area, the 17th century Greenhill Covenanter's House, Gladstone Court museum, the 1839 Gasworks Museum and Biggar Puppet Theatre. A walk up the 711-metre Tinto Hill from Thankerton provides an excuse for a meal at Cornhill House in Coulter, La Capannina Restaurant in Biggar or the 18th century New Lanark Mill Hotel.

      The Clyde Estuary

      To reach the north bank of the Clyde estuary, you can take the A82 west out of Glasgow (at the busy Anniesland Cross in the West End) or continue along the M8 on the south of the river and take the M898 over Erskine Bridge. The A82 passes through Dumbarton, not a tourist venue except for Dumbarton Castle, and continues to Helensburgh, the latter being the birthplace of John Logie Baird the inventor of television.

      It is also the birthplace of Charles Rennie Mackintosh who designed the Art Nouveau Hill House in the town in 1902. It is now a popular visitor attraction that is still remarkably contemporary even to our modern tastes today. Both its exterior and interior are amazing and it is well worth making the trip from Glasgow.

      Paisley Abbey

        The airport is accessed from the M8 west of Glasgow on the south bank of the estuary and the motorway then takes you past Paisley, formerly a flourishing textile town and home of the 'Paisley Pattern'. The refurbishment of the 12th century Paisley Abbey was completed in 1928 and it features some of the best stained-glass windows and the 10th century Celtic St Barochan cross.

        Further along the M8 you reach Greenock which was once a flourishing shipbuilding town. The views from Greenock towards the lochs and mountains are stupendous and can be best appreciated by taking a cruise from Victoria harbour to Dunoon, Rothesay on Bute, Tighnabruiach on the Kyles of Bute, Tarbert on Loch Fyne and Lochranza on Arran. Ferries also run from Gourock (3 miles further west) to places such as Dunoon, Kilcreggan and Helensburgh. A few miles south lies Inverkip with its popular marina and south of that, Wemyss Bay from where the ferry sails to Rothesay on Bute.