Chatelherault Country Park: The Green Bridge Trail

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Cool woods beckon on this five-mile trail around 'the other' Avon Gorge, especially if undertaken on a hot summer's day, as when I visited. The walk is almost entirely in woodland. There are a few ascents and descents, but all on good, solid paths and with no stiles or gates to negotiate, just a few steps. En route you will pass the famous Cadzow Oaks and ruinous Cadzow Castle.

The country park of Chatelherault is, to coin a phrase, 'a good day out for all the family' – and it's all free, folks! It extends to five hundred acres and offers ten miles of woodland walks. Chatelherault was built more than 250 years ago as hunting lodge and summer residence for the Dukes of Hamilton, who obviously liked to do themselves well. Their eventual downfall almost literally came when their local mining interests caused massive subsidence, leading to the demolition of Hamilton Palace. The lodge survived however, on its hilltop site with views to Ben Lomond. Designed by William Adam, it has been restored in recent years by Historic Scotland and Hamilton District Council.

Today it is open to all and offers visitor centre and exhibition gallery, cafe, formal gardens, ranger-led activities and - large adventure playground... So, a great opportunity presents itself to leave your 'Are-we-nearly-there-yet?'s and other whingers and whiners there! Why not plonk the perishers with Grandma or another non-walking member of your entourage and enjoy the quiet, peaceful solitude of those cool woods hassle-free? You know it makes sense!

Information for Dog Owners: this route seems absolutely ideal for dogs, with thousands of trees but no sheep, nor any roads except at the very end.

Scotland - South Scotland - South Lanarkshire - Countryside

Features

Ancient Monument, Birds, Butterflies, Cafe, Castle, Flowers, Gift Shop, Good for Kids, Mostly Flat, Museum, Play Area, Public Transport, River, Stately Home, Tea Shop, Toilets, Wildlife, Woodland

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