Lesmahagow sits on high ground with scenic views overlooking the Clyde Valley. Once a bustling mining community, it is now a quiet rural location with a strong sense of community. The Lesmahagow Highland Games and the crowning of the Tartan Queen take place in June.

Lesmahagow has a mix of village shops and pubs and its most unusual claim to fame is probably that it is the Scottish headquarters for the International Society for Krishna Consciousness.

There is great dispute over the definite meaning of Lesmahagow's name, but it is certainly derived from its patron saint St Machutus, a sixth-century Welsh monk.

The area grew with the founding of a priory in 1144 and its monks were responsible for planting fruit trees in the Clyde Valley. Although the priory was destroyed in the Reformation there are remains near the present parish church which was built in 1803 which are worth exploring.

As was common in the area in the 17th century, the inhabitants of Lesmahagow and its environs were fervent Covenanters. Many were imprisoned for their beliefs. The Covenanter David Steele fought at Bothwell Bridge but was later hunted down and shot in front of his wife and child. He was buried in Lesmahagow churchyard where his gravestone can still be read, and a small memorial was erected in Skellyhill where he fell.

Lesmahagow was always a busy coaching stop on the main road south, but it really came into its own with the arrival of the railway and the discovery of coal seams.

Images from Lesmahagow