Dalzell Estate is a picturesque location with a host of features, including ornamental bridges, exotic trees and Japanese gardens. These were the creation of former owners of the estate house, the Hamiltons.
It’s worth taking binoculars and a camera so that you can make the most of the bird hides overlooking the Baron’s Haugh, from where it’s possible to see kingfishers, teal, pochard and red wing, among others.
RSPB Baron’s Haugh nature reserve takes the form of a flooded marshland in a bend of the River Clyde. The reserve attracts wintering wildfowl, including widgeon and whooper swans.
A short detour along Chestnut Walk leads to this very spooky graveyard. Peer into the Hamilton family mausoleum and look out for their pet cemetery.
The centrepiece of the estate, the impressive building is more than 500 years old. The Hamiltons of Dalzell lived here from the 17th century until the early 1950s. Apparently, at least three ghosts also inhabit the building. It is privately owned.
The tree was planted by David I and it’s said to be the oldest living thing in North Lanarkshire. This oak sheltered secret religious services held by Covenanters in the 17th century.
A pocket of eastern serenity, the gardens were laid out in the 18th century to resemble those of the temple of the Buddha at Nagasaki.
This roadway was originally created so that miners making their way to work each day didn’t spoil the view from the Dalzell House.
This walk follows the red route, the longest of five marked routes that explore the reserve and estate.
Leaving the RSPB car park, you follow a path signposted “to the hides”. Follow this red ash path downhill to junction with broad path.
Turn right on-to broad path. Watch out for hide on the left.
Turn left off main footpath on-to narrow path through trees.
After a short distance turn left again to join footpath by the River Clyde and follow for about one mile.
At the junction with the Chestnut Walk go through the gate. If you want to see the graveyard go up Chestnut Walk here for a couple of hundred metres, then cross a little stone bridge to the left and retrace your steps back to continue.
Walk up Lime Walk to continue along the riverbank.
At the end of the Lime Walk turn uphill away from the Clyde and go through gate.
Keep left at each fork in the path as you go uphill. Path winds through yew trees and skirts the edge of housing.
At junction with footpath (green route) turn right downhill using the steps guarded by green railing. Once over the burn and marshland the path turns uphill.
At the top of the steps turn left and continue straight on for Dalzell House.
At junction with tarmac road turn left past Dalzell House’s impressive frontage and then right downhill past the Covenanters’ Oak.
At bottom of the hill cross bridge and then turn right or follow path through Japanese gardens.
A short distance beyond the gardens turn left off the main avenue. When path forks go to the right.
Cross tarmac road (White walk) to return to car park.