New Lanark

May 4, 2012

Today our plan was to go to the UNESCO World Heritage site at New Lanark. Christine dropped us off in Glasgow, and we checked at the tourist bureau to find out the best way to get there. The man there said to take the train, so we headed down to the Central Station, bought day return tickets (£7.20 each), and caught the train. The trip took about an hour and went through a long tunnel before going out into the countryside. Lanark was the terminus for the trip, so we didn’t need to pay close attention to the stops.

In Lanark we stopped in at the tourist information (right next to the train and bus station) and got instructions for the walking route down to New Lanark. It takes about 20 minutes of downhill walking to New Lanark, first through the town then down a lovely road with good views of the surrounding countryside.

New Lanark was built by Robert Owen, the social reformer, as a model village surrounding a cotton mill. He strongly believed that children should be educated and that workers should have fair wages and decent housing. First we went through the audio-visual presentation which showed us what it was like to be a ten-year-old working in the mill, then spent a couple of interesting hours touring the mill. There is still working machinery which was spinning wool as we watched.

We had lunch in the café there, and then took a side trip up to the Falls of Clyde, to see the nesting Peregrine Falcons at the hide run by the RSPB. This pair has been nesting on the canyon wall for several years now, and two chicks had hatched just a few days before. The nest was well hidden but we caught glimpses of the mother feeding the chicks, and of the father, who perched on the wall nearby.

After we finished our walk up the canyon, we went back down to New Lanark to see the other buildings. In both the worker’s house and Owen’s house there was a Korean film crew who must have been filming for a documentary or something like that.

Then we headed back up the hill to New Lanark. We didn’t quite follow the way we had come down, so we found ourselves following a narrow fenced-off path around the school. But this still led us to the station, where luckily a train was waiting. We hopped on and after a couple of minutes off we went on our way back to Glasgow.

In Glasgow we stopped at Sainsbury’s to pick up some lunch fixings for our trip, and then walked up to the bus station. Again we were lucky because the Lennoxtown bus was just arriving. Again we hopped on and the bus left almost immediately, so we got back around 6 pm.

Previous: Biking the Forth and Clyde Canal
Next: Wallsend to Heddon-on-the-Wall

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