One of only six UNESCO World Heritage sites in Scotland, the Antonine Wall is very worthy of a visit, especially for a walk in the footsteps of Roman history.
There is enough of the earthen wall and ditch remaining to be able to understand its defensive qualities and to marvel at the a 37-mile wall built in just two years across Scotland almost 2000 years ago.
Roman soldiers built the Antonine Wall for the Emperor Antoninus Pius around AD 142.
Following the edge of a high ridge for much of the way, the views over Kilsyth and the Kelvin Valley, Campsie Fells and the Kilsyth Hills are equally impressive. Added to this, is a chance to spot wildlife on the Forth & Clyde Canal and wider Kelvin Valley.
Home to barges and house-boats, the marina is great spot for observing life on the canal. OutdoorTrax at the marina also has a range of outdoor activities to try.
Forth and Clyde Canal
Engineer John Smeaton chose a similar route to the Antonine Wall for his canal linking the North Sea with the Firth of Clyde. Work began in 1768 and the waterway was opened in 1790.
A designated site of Special Scientific Interest the marsh is home to many species of of birdlife, including lapwings, water rail and skylarks.
Croy Hill Roman Fort
Croy Hill was the site of one of the small forts built at intervals of one to two miles along the length of the wall. It is not visible on the ground today, but the Antonine Wall ditch is identifiable across much of the hill.
Castle Hill Iron Age fort
Now topped by a trig point, Castle Hill was constructed more than 2,000 years ago. It was thought to have been abandoned when the Romans arrived.
Barr Hill Fort and Roman Bath House
These are among the best Roman remains on the Antonine Wall. Enough of the floor of the bath house remains to understand how Roman central heating worked.
Silvanus, a Roman head sculpture
The new replica distance stone sits next to a towering Roman head sculpture at the Nethercroy Site, near Kilsyth, of the Antonine Wall. It is named after the Roman god of the woods, and sits at the Nethercroy site of the Antonine Wall.
From the Auchinstarry Marina, head along the south side canal towpath. And continue east to the next bridge.
Head past the canal boats westward until you reach Nethercroy.
At Nethercroy take the junction west. It is signposted “Craigmarloch, 1 mile.”
At the gate, continue upwards.
At the junction, head west. It is signposted “Croy hill, Antonine’s wall – 1 mile.”
Go south past Silvanus and stop to admire the stunning sculpture.
Turn east at the sign for Croy. Head up McCoy Hill on a well-defined path.
The path will eventually lead to three trees. Continue on the path through the trees and up to the top of Croy Hill.
Check out the information stones on the route.
Continue eastwards along the top of the hill on the path.
Stay on the path and head towards the right of the houses.
Head through the gate and down the path.
Head through the green gate and look eastwards. There is a path heading towards the road.
Head east on this path.
Walk through the gate and cross the road to the path on the opposite side of the road. Watch out for traffic.
Head up the path in an eastwards direction.
Continue eastwards until the path reaches a gate. Head through the gate.
The path eventually reaches another gate.
Continue on the path until you come to a sign that says “Bar Hill”. Take the small path to the north. Or if you want a shorter walk, continue northward on the sign marked “Auchistarry Marina”.
Check out the information stone.
The highest point of the route is now visible. Head up the hill.
The top is marked by a trig point.
Head west, down through the trees and then head west on a faint path.
Keep high up on the path and you will reach the site of the Roman fort.
Head west to the gate, then turn north at the next gate.
Follow the path to the village of Twechar.
Turn north at the war memorial and walk along the pavement to the canal.
Walk east along the canal.
At the end of the canal, continue for 50m until you reach the bridge.
Turn east at the bridge.
Cross the road and go through the green gate to return to Auchinstarry.
A walk of two halves, the route starts in beautiful Calderglen Park, where there are plenty of attractions and diversions for things to do. The second part of the walk heads across Langlands Moss Nature Reserve.
Calderglen Country Park
A lovely park with a children’s zoo, playparks, woodland walks, gallery and the Courtyard Café. It is also the home of historic Torrance House (not open to the public). The northern section of the park is a Geological Site of Special Scientific Interest.
A scenic wooded glen forged out, by the Rotten Calder River, which is a tributary of the River Clyde extends more than three miles and has many attractive waterfalls and important geological features.
Historic burial ground
The burial ground of the Stuarts of Torrance is situated Crutherland Glen, a short way east of Crutherland House (now the Crutherland House Hotel).
Langlands Moss Nature Reserve
A raised bog was formed around 10,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. Retreating ice left behind hollows where pools of water formed. Over time, dead plant material built up in the water, slowly decaying and creating peat layers. As the peat increased, plant roots were unable to reach the water and died. The only serving plants were mosses. Today, the reserve is home to sphagnum mosses and heather. In summer, the heather is very colourful. It is also a huge carbon store and an important wildlife and insect hub.
Start at Calderglen Country Park. There are several woodland trails to follow through the park.
The Calderglen/Langlands Moss trail follows the “Tor Trail” markers, winding down into the trees and along the river.
The first waymarker directs you to Horseshoe Falls to the left, if you want to walk down to the pretty waterfall.
You can loop back round to join the path, which leads to Langlands Moss.
Otherwise, go right and follow the path through the trees. It is peaceful and quiet.
You might catch a glimpse of Crutherland House, now a hotel, through the trees on the opposite bank of the River Calder.
The track opens up as you walk alongside Torrance House Golf Club.
Follow it down to walk under the road beneath the two bridges. There is an old bridge and the New Flatt Bridge, built in 1999 as part of the Strathaven Road improvements.
Look out or different birds and wildflowers, butterflies, and snails.
Normally the path would continue along the riverside, but a significant part of it has collapsed, so there is a diversion in place. Laminated signs lead the way.
The path joins the main road through Langlands Industrial Estate and it is here you would normally cross into Langlands Moss for the next portion of the route.
However, two malicious fires which destroyed the boardwalk over the Moss and current tree-felling and re-planting works have substantially altered where you can walk.
At this point you can simply retrace your steps and head back into Calderglen via the route you came, perhaps choosing a different trail once inside the park if you want to vary your walk.
If you choose to walk on, there are still parts of Langlands Moss to explore.
As you follow the path from the road, you will pass the Moss itself on your left. Part of the boardwalk remains in place, so it is possible to admire this incredible beauty spot from this point.
However, you can’t cross the Moss via the boardwalk and signs point you to a new woodland walk, approximately 100 yard along the path.
Follow the signs and cross a small wooden bridge over a burn to continue on the woodland walk.
The track takes you along beside the remaining trees and up a slope to the other side of the boardwalk.
From here, you can turn right and walk through the woodland to join the road into Auldhouse village, or retrace your steps down the slope and back out on to the path.
Turn left and walk down through the industrial estate, where you can cross the road and rejoin the walking route back to Calderglen.
The walk through Langlands Moss is not the prettiest at the moment, but significant works are underway to improve this important natural and return to its former glory.
Carluke is an old market town at an important crossroads between central and southern Scotland, where old and new roads converge. Once out of Carluke the road is lined with beech and hawthorn.Good views in every direction, especially to Tinto and across the Clyde Valley to Blackhill.
Major General Roy
In 1956, a monument in the form of a Trig Point was erected by Ordnance Survey in honour of surveyor and map-maker Major General Roy. The memorial is located at Multonhead, near Carluke, where Roy was born. The plaque reads: “Here stood Miltonhead the birthplace of Major General William Roy 1726-1790 from whose Military Map of Scotland made in 1747-1755 grew the Ordnance Survey of Great Britain.”
The River Clyde starts at an altitude of 472 metres in the Lowther Hills in South Lanarkshire and trails more than 100 miles to the sea. It flows north through South Lanarkshire then turns west and passes through the former industrial village of New Lanark. Here, the river cascades through the Falls of Clyde before the Clyde heads north-west through Clydesdale and on to the city of Glasgow where it widens and forms the Firth of Clyde.
A stream rushes through the surprisingly dramatic wooded gorge, which is also a Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The Clyde Walkway
A 40 mile/65km riverside footpath from the centre of Glasgow to the Falls of Clyde at New Lanark.
Start in Carluke at the junction of Market Place Road and High Street. Continue along High Street to a roundabout then take right on to John Street
At the junction of John Street and James Street, take the left turn staying on John Street. You will cross a burn and head uphill. This eventually turns into Old Lanark Road.
At the junction of Wilton Street, cross the road going diagonally left into the new houses at Balcastle Cres.
At the “V” in the road, take the right fork and continue straight ahead on the path between the houses to join Old Lanark Road.
Eventually, you meet crossroads with Goremire Road. Go straight ahead on Old Lanark Road. (This looks more like a track than a road and is not suitable for cars.)
At crossroads with Boghall Road continue straight ahead.
Continue until another crossroads. The road naturally bends to the left. At this point, turn right and go through a gate.
Follow a track (Meadow Road) all the way down to the railway.
Cross the railway bridge and continue. You’ll be able to see Tinto Hill from here.
At the main road (A73), cross the road, (take care with this crossing on a busy road). Head down Auchenglen Road. This goes some distance and through Fiddler’s Gill.
When you reach the house at the bottom, take the path to the right and follow a sign to Birkhill Road.
At a junction of Birkhill Road with Nemphar Moor Road, turn right and then left onto Braidwood Road. Cross the road and continue into Crossford.
Just before the river, there is a big signpost to the River Clyde Walkway. Turn here and take the path right. Keep going. At one point the path splits. You can take either side as they join together again.
Continue on the Walkway before coming back up on to a road.
Note: There are some bits of broken boardwalk (diversion in place).
Look for a large house at Milton-Lockhart. There are signs stating where the public can go and where is private. These should be adhered to.
On reaching Milton Road, continue ahead and pass a monument for Major General Roy.
From the monument continue along Milton Road to the junction of Station Road, then turn left on to Station Road.
As you turn into Station Road, on the right there are new paths. These are a nice addition if you want to do more and loop round.
Continue on Station Road, passing Carluke station to a junction with Kirkton Street, where you turn left.
At a main junction, turn right back on to High Street to reach the start point again.
The Kilsyth Hills form the continuous bluff along the northern edge of the Central Lowlands that hides the Highlands from view. Climbing Tomtain and Garrel Hill, the highest points in North Lanarkshire, however, reveals all.
From the summit of Tomtain there are excellent views over the Carron Valley of the Southern Highlands and across the central valley to the Southern Uplands.
Nearby Kilsyth is one of only two official “Walkers Welcome” towns in Scotland.
Eighteenth century Colzium House is at the centre of Lennox estate, which is also home to the ruins of 15th-century Colzium Castle. It’s here that the 1645 battle of Kilsyth, fought between the Royalists and the Covenanters, took place. The parklands feature a walled garden and one of the world’s oldest curling ponds.
Near Colzium Burn is an old ice house, which was built in 1680 to preserve meat and game.
Located at the top of Colzium Glen, the mutch was built as a shelter and rest spot. The weight and precision of the masonry of this small semi-domed structure are impressive.
The graves are marked by two cairns, located a short distance from the summit of Tomtain. Chapmen were travelling salesman, who feature in folklore as murderers or victims of murder. In this case, one Chapman murdered the other and when the murderer was executed, he was buried alongside his victim.
Note: To visit the Chapmen’s graves and climb Garrel Hill (small cairn) continue along the stone dyke (wall) to the west from Tomtain.
The Kilsyth Hill range sits to the northern edge of the Central Lowlands and a walk to Tomtain at 1486ft above sea level (453m) – and one of the highest points in North Lanarkshire – reveals beautiful and wide sweeping views of over the lush Carron Valley and north towards the Scottish Highlands.
Starting at Colzium House, go to the right but do not cross the bridge.
Go to the left to follow signs for ice house, glen nature trail and Granny’s Mutch.
The path follows a burn upstream.
Cross a stone bridge and continue upstream. At the top waterfall, cross a bridge and go immediately right to follow path to a road.
Turn right and follow Tak-Ma-Doon Road uphill to reach a car park and viewpoint. This is the highest point on the road, and there is a viewpoint with spectacular views of Lanarkshire and beyond to the south and east.
Walk downhill, still on the road, and then turn left at green gate to gain a footpath.
Follow the footpath alongside a fence and stone dyke that skirts forestry to reach the summit of Tomtain.
Retrace your outward route to return to Colzium House.
New Lanark, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a great visitor destination. From the visitor centre, you can follow the banks of the River Clyde as it surges through a narrow gorge and over three spectacular waterfalls.
As you walk, look out for a wide variety of wildlife. If you are lucky you may spot the blue flash of a kingfisher as it flies by or one of the resident peregrine falcons. There are otter and badger, too.
In the early 19th century, philanthropist and utopian idealist Robert Owen created what he believed was a model industrial community. Staff lived in a newly built village and worked on what became Scotland’s largest cotton mill. Today, the mill is a UNESCO World Heritage site and a popular tourist attraction.
Falls of Clyde
To give it the official title, it’s the Scottish Wildlife Trust - Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre and Wildlife Reserve. The Falls of Clyde is the collective name of four linn on the River Clyde near New Lanark, including the upper falls of Bonnington Linn, Corra Linn, Dundaff Linn, and the lower falls of Stonebyres Linn. Corra Linn is the highest, with a fall of 26 metres. There is also a Peregrine Watch.
Perched above the Corra Linn, this is where William Wordsworth wrote a poem about the castle and the falls.
The narrow humpback bridge was built in 17th century.
A beautiful park and site of Lanark castle, where William Wallace began his rebellion against English rule.
The route is well signposted but mobile phone reception can be patchy, so don’t rely on your phone for directions.
From the New Lanark Visitor Centre go down steps to mill shop and turn left.
Beyond the old schoolhouse go to the right to SWT visitor centre and a close-up view of Dundaff Linn.
Climb steps to the left.
At the top, turn right through an archway to follow the River Clyde.
At the end of the boardwalk, go to the right.
At the hydro power station, follow signposts off to the right and climb to a viewpoint.
Continue upstream to a weir and cross the Clyde.
Turn right downstream. Head right and follow a footpath along the Clyde. You might need to follow diversion while peregrines are nesting.
Continue to Corra Castle and from there continue downstream.
At each junction turn right to continue downstream.
The footpath emerges at old lodge house in Kirkfieldbank.
Turn right downhill to join Clyde Walkway and cross Clydesholm bridge.
Go through a gate in between properties at the far side of the bridge and descend to rejoin the footpath by the Clyde.
Continue uphill at a water plant and follow a single track road to the top of a hill. Turn right into Castlebank Park.
In the park, turn right before a big house to follow the Clyde walkway steeply downhill and then uphill into New Lanark.
Rich in interest and things to see, on the walk from Cumbernauld to Palacerigg Country Park – stunning views open up northwards to the Campsies and beyond to the Southern Highlands. Look for wildlife including populations of badger, fox, roe deer, sparrowhawk, kestrel and long and short eared owls at Palacerigg Country Park
Luggiebank Nature Reserve
An area of birch and alder woodland close to the centre of Cumbernauld. Look out for water voles, kingfishers and even otters. Come in the spring for bluebell displays.
Palacerigg Country Park
The visitor centre offers an introduction to the park’s wildlife. The café will reopen shortly under new management.
This is an expanse of valuable raised bog. Up to 12 metres deep and laid down over thousands of years, the bogs are rich in wildlife. You can spot sphagnum moss, grouse, and dragonflies.
These are firebrick clay mines and although they closed more than 50 years ago, evidence of their existence remains. Half-hidden by the advance of nature, it is possible to spy the entrances to the mines and the cables that pulled the wagons.
Note: Towards the end of the route, look out for evidence of the old Glencryan clay mines. Palacerigg Country Park: 01236 720047. northlanarkshire.gov.uk
At Greenfaulds station cross the bridge and head east towards Lenziemill Road.
Turn left and head north on Lenziemill road.
After 200m, cross the road and enter the Luggiebank Wood wildlife reserve via the path.
After 150m take a path to the left up a steep but very short hill. Follow a gravel path through the woodland then follow Luggie Water upstream.
The path then goes under a bridge and climbs to a road. Emerge from the reserve at a narrow lane closed to traffic.
Turn left and follow the lane uphill until it meets Lenziemill Road. Cross to the pavement and walk 150m until you spot a minor road heading eastward.
Cross the road and walk up the minor road on the left-hand side pavement.
After about one mile, look out for a road on the left, near the top of the hill signed “Country Park service vehicles only”. Turn left to follow the service road.
Continue past a footpath for Glencryan Woodlands to the park’s café and play park.
Walk past the park buildings and turn right and the right again so that you are now on the other side of the buildings.
Walk along the road towards the car park. Look out for a sign on the left-hand side of the road that says “Badger Trail”.
Cross the road and take the path indicated by the badger trail. Follow the signs for the badger trail.
Follow the signs for the badger trail until you reach the entrance. You can either enter the badger trail or continue straight on. Either will take you the correct way but the badger trail is a slightly longer but scenic route.
Once you reach the end of the badger trail, there is a sign indicating turn left for the visitors’ centre. You can either return to the centre or turn right and continue on to Fannyside Loch.
After a few hundred metres take the left turn and continue onwards.
Within half a mile you will spot Fannyside loch. Look out for a trail on your right-hand side that heads towards the loch.
Take the trail and keep left at any turnings. You will return to the main path.
Continue along the path until you reach a crossroads. You can either return to the visitor centre by going straight across the golf course or turn right to head back to the train station.
Turn right and follow the path. Keep walking straight on at any crossroads. The walk is now mostly downhill.
After a couple of miles, you will reach a small car park next to the B8084.
You can now return to the start of the walk by turning left and walking back along this road or you can cross the road and walk a short distance to Cumbernauld Railway station.
This route starts at the popular Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Heritage and can be walked or cycled. It is almost entirely traffic-free and follows the National Cycle Network route 75 and North Calder Heritage Trail.
There are plenty of signs and information boards for added interest and a visit to Summerlee before or after your outing will help you imagine the heyday of the canal when it was busy with boats carrying coal from the many pit heads once found in what is now tranquil and rolling green countryside.
Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Heritage
Based around the site of the former 19th century Summerlee Ironworks, the visitor attraction vividly recreates Lanarkshire’s industrial past. There are historic trams, tours down a recreated mine, working machinery and many exhibits that tell the human story. visitlanarkshire.com/summerlee
Now home to ducks and heron, the canal was designed by James Watt as a route for carrying industrial goods. The building project started in 1770 and the canal opened in 1794. It was used for carrying mainly coal to Glasgow. Closed in 1935, much of the canal was then filled in.
Painted black and white, British Waterway’s colours, this is an evocative piece of canal furniture. It was near here in 1819 that Thomas Wilson launched the Vulcan, Scotland’s first iron-hulled ship. A replica can be seen at Summerlee.
From Summerlee, proceed straight ahead down Heritage Way to a junction with West Canal Street.
Turn left and cross to go back under the railway bridge at the giant Lees’ snowballs artworks.
Continue to a pedestrian crossing and cross. Turn left and then first right into Ellis Street (cul-de-sac).
Follow around to the left and continue past the police station, up a ramp at the foot of the pedestrian bridge.
Go around the car park, passing Coatbridge health centre on your right.
Continue to the pedestrian crossing and continue in the direction of Caldercruix, following the path to the rear of a supermarket and continue to cross the bridge over the dual carriageway.
Turn left in the direction of Calderbank, NCN 75.
After a short downhill ride, turn right to join the Monkland canal basin and emerge at Locks Street.
Staying on this side of the road, turn right and right again before going under the viaduct.
Head up a ramp to reach the level of the railway path then turn left to cross the viaduct.
Follow the railway path until it goes uphill past a primary school. Turn left at a junction of footpaths (do not go out to the main road) – signed as “Drumgelloch 1¾, Plains 3, NCN 75”.
Continue beyond the primary school and astroturf pitch, following the tarred path around to the left for about 100 yards.
At a wooden fence, leave NCN 75 and turn right to follow path that involves negotiating a series of staggered gates. On the left is the Brownsburn Country Park.
The cycle path will then meet up with a road signed for Calderbank and Chapelhall. Cross straight over and take a path across a field, which is narrow in places.
At Calderbank Road turn to the right and join the road, entering the Calderbank 30mph zone.
Continue past Calderbank Primary School and then downhill through the village. Turn right into Crowwood Road just before the village hall.
Take the second left – Woodhall Avenue. Go to the bottom and pass through a narrow swing gate on the right.
Descend on to a tarred road which is closed to traffic and at the bottom of hill cross the canal to take up the towpath on the left.
Stay on the towpath to the end of the open section of canal, then cross the bridge over a weir and continue to Paddock Street/ Sykeside Road.
Cross the road, take up a gravel path and follow to the railway viaduct. At Drumgelloch, you can take a train west to Coatbridge Sunnyside (six-minute journey).
Come out of station through car park, at roundabout cross over to the right, walk to the end of the road, at roundabout, take a right turn which will take you back to Summerlee Museum.