The Clyde Walkway Stage 5: Crossford to Falls of Clyde, New Lanark

Orchard country, spectacular wooded gorges and New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Village

Filed under Trails
Difficulty (out of 3): 2

Terrain: Distance: 8 miles

From Crossford village in the heart of the Clyde Valley, the Clyde Walkway runs for 8 miles, through orchard country and spectacular wooded gorges, to New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Village and the natural wonder of the Falls of Clyde.

Start / park: You can park in the car park just off Smuggler’s Brig Road – turn left past the Clyde Valley Dental Practice and public toilets if following Lanark Road towards Lanark. If arriving by bus, the bus stops on the main Lanark Road, close to the car park, near the post office.

Public Transport: Take the 317 bus departing from Hamilton / Lanark and get off at Crossford. Check the Traveline Scotland widget on the right for details on the frequency of services.

The Clyde Walkway Stage 5: Crossford to Falls of Clyde, New Lanark

38. Crossford Village

If you are joining the Clyde Walkway at Crossford village, the route starts at the entrance to the Valley International Park visitor and garden centre, access to which is on the right-hand side of the B7056 Braidwood Road, immediately adjacent to Crossford Bridge.

39. Crossford Bridge

The path follows the riverbank through woodland to the Carfin Estate suspension footbridge across the river.

40. Detour: Roy's Monument

An alternative detour from Crossford is a visit to the birthplace of surveyor and cartographer Major General William Roy (1726 - 1790).

Following the Jacobite rebellion, Major Roy was directed to produce a map of Scotland to enable more effective policing of the country. The hand drawn map that he produced between 1747 and 1755 can still be seen in the British Library.

Roy was later commissioned to set up the network on which all subsequent map surveying was based. It was his vision of an organisation responsible for mapping and surveying in the United Kingdom which resulted in the establishment of the Ordnance Survey a year after his death. From the Clyde Walkway at Poplarglen, continue uphill on the minor road past Waygateshawhead Farm, turn left at the T-junction and continue past Meadowhead Farm to Milton Road Turn left at the junction and continue along the road for approximately ½ mile. An ordnance survey triangulation pillar on the right-hand side of the road marks the site of General Roy’s birthplace.

*To take a direct route to Carluke railway station from this point retrace your steps along Milton Road, taking the first left onto Station Road continue on past Glenburn to the station.

Alternatively, 400 yards along Milton Road from the memorial turn left through the gate onto the waymarked right of way to Jock’s Gill Wood continue through the woodland following the course of Jock’s Burn upstream back onto Station Road at Glenburn.

41. Carfin Footbridge

The Victorian wrought iron suspension footbridge was built as part of the Carfin Estate which once occupied the northern bank of the river at this point.

Little now remains of the estate buildings other than the stables and walled garden centre.

42. Stonebyres Hydro-Power Station

From the footbridge, the route continues upstream on a well defined path through woodland and alongside fields to Stonebyres Hydro-Power Station, the first of two electricity generating power stations built in 1927, to harness the power of the Clyde.

43. Stonebyres Linn

At 21 metres, Stonebyres Linn is the first natural barrier to migrating salmon and sea trout on the Clyde and prevents fish reaching the waters of the upper Clyde.

44. Detour: Cartland Bridge

At this point, a pleasant diversion can be made through the village of Nemphlar to the A73 and the visually stunning Cartland Bridge. Built in 1822, it is one of Scotland's most elegant structures and best kept secrets. Designed by the famous engineer Thomas Telford, the bridge rises 39 metres above the bed of the Mouse Water and is reputed to be the highest road bridge in Scotland.

From the bridge, a link paths provides access to the spectacular Cartland Craigs and Cleghorn Glen woodlands, which form part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve. From the reserve, there are link routes back to Lanark.

45. Clydesholm Bridge

Beyond Stonebyres Falls, the Clyde Walkway continues along the north bank of the river for a short distance before crossing to the opposite bank by way of the bridge at the power station weir. The route continues along the tarmac weir access road before rejoining the A72 at Kirkfieldbank village.

Continue through the village on the roadside pavement before re-crossing the river at Clydesholm Bridge, which was built between 1695 and 1699.

46. Castlebank Park

From Clydesholm Bridge, the route continues upstream past the water treatment works and then uphill onto the single track St Patrick's Road.

Continue along the tarmac road past St Patrick's Well for approximately 400 metres before turning right into Castlebank Park.

St Patrick's Lane, which is on the left hand side of the road, just before the entrance to Castlebank Park, provides pedestrian access to the A73 and Lanark town centre.

The historic burgh has many features of interests including being the location for the meeting of the first Scots parliament in 978 and later in 1297 was where William Wallace was reputed to have 'first drawn sword to free his native land'.

*The bus and train interchange is located on Bannatyne Street at the top of the High Street.

47. Braxfield Park

In front of Castlebank House, the Walkway once again descends back to the banks of the Clyde by way of a steep zigzag path through Beech woodland and continues across Braxfield Burn and through conifer plantation woods at Braxfield Park.

The path then ascends a steep flight of steps, crosses a footbridge and passes a cliff top viewing platform (!) giving spectacular views of the Clyde and New Lanark village before emerging onto New Lanark Road.

From New Lanark Road the Walkway descends into the village square where there are a variety of visitor amenities and facilities. Although the village was established by David Dale and Richard Arkwright in 1785, it was because of Robert Owen’s management between 1800 -1825 and his enlightenment vision of social and economic reform that New Lanark is today designated a World Heritage Site. At the height of its productive period New Lanark was Scotland’s largest water powered cotton mill with 2,500 people living and working in the village. Today New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century industrial village set in a magnificent landscape. It is also still a living community with many of the local residents continuing to work in the village.

*There are regular bus services between Lanark and New Lanark. Alternatively from the end of Caithness Row follow 'The Beeches' right of way, turning left onto Hyndford Road, the A73, to return to Lanark.

The Walkway continues through the village past the Scottish Wildlife Trust Visitor Centre and on to the Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve. The reserve which is a constituent part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve is being managed to protect the rich diversity of plants and wildlife it contains.

48. Bonnington Hydro-Power Station

The route continues past Bonnington Hydro-Power Station, the second of the two power stations along the route. Scottish Power has a limited amount of pre-planned maintenance periods throughout the year when members of the public can enjoy the impressive spectacle of the river cascading over the Falls in full spate. Details of these days can be found by clicking the Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde website on the right. Educational site visits may be arranged for groups by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

49. Corra Linn

After the power station, the route continues through the woodland to Corra Linn, which, at 28 metres, is the largest of the Falls of Clyde.

For centuries, the waterfalls and spectacular gorge scenery have attracted and inspired many well known literary, artistic and historical figures including William Wordsworth, Robert Burns, Sir Walter Scott, JMW Turner and William Wallace.

50. Bonnington Linn

The Walkway continues as far as the weir above Bonnington Linn, the last of the four Falls of Clyde. At this point the route can either be retraced back to New Lanark, or alternatively a circular route can be followed downstream along the opposite bank of the river (cross to the opposite bank by way of the weir bridge), through the Corehouse Estate and past the ruinous Corra Castle to Kirkfieldbank where the Clyde Walkway can once again be rejoined at Clydesholm Bridge.

End: Please respect the Scottish Outdoor Access Code . Scotland’s outdoors is managed by a variety of people and organisations and many of them earn their living from the land. It is all of our responsibilities to respect each other’s activities and interests in the outdoors. As with all outdoor activities walking can present hazards. It is the access-taker’s responsibility to judge whether they can take access safely in any given situation. This route guide does not give any guarantee of path conditions. 

(!) Some sections of the Clyde Walkway pass close to or through areas of natural hazard such as cliffs, deep & fast flowing water, steeply sloping and uneven ground. Please keep to the path and ensure that children and dogs are kept under close control. Stay safe and enjoy your visit.


Find Out More

  • The Clyde Walkway on South Lanarkshire Council webpages
  • The Clyde Walkway on Visit Lanarkshire
  • South Lanarkshire Council Locate It mapping
  • Visit the Scottish Power Lanark (Bonnigton and Stonebyres) Hydros Technical Factsheet
  • Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde website

Area Guide

Plan Your Journey

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