Photo opportunities & walks in and around Lanarkshire (updated June 2017)

Anyone who knows me will know that I love the outdoors, I love exploring and finding places to walk and to take photographs. I’m always on the lookout for new places to explore and capture and I am happy to share my knowledge with others in the hope they can benefit from it too. So, that’s what this post is all about, I’ve put together a list of some places that I’ve enjoyed going to for my photography however there are a few places that I have not yet visited. I have researched these sites and they’ve been added to my list of locations to visit as I’m confident they offer great local opportunities. For each sight mentioned I’ll link the location to it so it can be brought up on Google Maps as well as adding the co-ordinates. I’ve not written these in any order other than the jumbled one in my head. If anyone reading this wishes to contribute to the list please feel free to comment. However please leave a description and Google Maps coordinates so it’s easy for others to find.

Now lastly I would like to ask anyone who visits any of these sites that you show respect and please do not enter the buildings as some are in a bad way and can be dangerous. Also some are privately owned like Cambusnethan and Eastend and their owners do not want anyone entering the buildings.
For anyone wishing to get in contact regarding anything within this post on please feel free to email me at questions@viewthroughthelens.co.uk

Well I hope after reading this you find somewhere worth exploring and photographing. If you do please feel free to let me know how it went, would you recommend the sites I’ve chosen? If you want to link any pictures you’ve taken into the comments then please do. 

Lastly, I have visited these site and taken photos of most if not all, I tend to post my pictures on Instagram. I also have a small list of walks on Google+ with pictures which you can find by clicking here.

Thanks very much for reading, hope you find something of interest.
Paul

  • Dalzell Estate, Motherwell. A beautiful place to go walking with its impressive castle (private), ruined cemetery and mausoleum. A lovely walk can be had around the loch and bird sanctuary and along the side of the Clyde. It forms part of the Clyde Walkway. You can also walk from here over to Cambusnethan Kirk yard by following the walkway. The coordinates are for the car park. 55.774456,-3.985964 or https://goo.gl/maps/F5vEDrWBe8s
  • Woodhall House Estate, Calderbank. Now this estate is a real hidden gem. Only rubble and a few small walls remain of the house but a vast swathe of the gardens remain and there are plenty of opportunities for photography or just a nice walk. The house was situated at the end of a grand avenue over half a mile in length and although it’s a nice enough area (with the original HaHa wall) for pictures your better heading down to the bottom of the avenue, especially to the Lilly Pond. Taking a walk around this area you will see the old mining railway and bridge as well as the ruin of the walled garden, the old arboretum and maybe if your lucky, some Deer. It’s a beautiful area to explore and I can’t recommend this area enough. I normally park in Calderbank in Woodhall Avenue and walk down to the bridge then cross over the water. Once you cross the bridge there is a nice spot near the edge facing the waterfall, you can also see the ruin of the old bridge from here. Click the heading for the map location of each place. 1. Ruin of house 2. Lilly Pond 3. Ruined Walled Garden 4. Arboretum 5. Old railway and ruined bridge 6. View of waterfall.
  • Douglas Support, Uddingston. Massively reduced in size due to the building of the Strathclyde Business park and the M8 yet it is still huge. There is a lot of walking here and it can get quite muddy. There is also a lot of wildlife especially Deer. The house is all but gone as is most of the estate buildings however there are various ruins throughout the site. There is a very ruined mausoleum near the site of the house with a large (intact) arched entrance. You can park on the street at Viewpark, Uddingston, either Banyan Crescent or Laburnum Road. Coordinates are for the site of the house. 55.836033,-4.040866 or https://goo.gl/maps/b9RtajptoU32
  • Cadzow Glen, Hamilton. Hamilton has many walks in and around it and most people know of the Glen that runs through its heart. It’s a short but lovely walk starting either at Kwik Fit on Union Street or down behind the Town House at the Washing Green. It won’t take you to long and you may want to incorporate it into another walk. It can get slippy and muddy at times so watch your step. Kwik Fit entrance 55.774304,-4.043670 or https://goo.gl/maps/eQJJduGtHBM2 and the Town House side 55.774304,-4.043670 or https://goo.gl/maps/KrTB5RiXtvm
  • Cambusnethan Kirk yard, near Netherton (aka Kirkhill Cemetery, St Michaels Cemetery). A beautiful old cemetery that has been sorely neglected and vandalised. With one of the highest concentration of medieval graves in Scotland and a very large mausoleum it’s definitely worth a visit. If you drive here there is not much parking, 2, maybe 3 cars at a squeeze. The road you drive down takes you to a couple of private houses, please do not block there entrance. You may well find the owners come out, they tend to look after the cemetery as best they can and report anything untoward. 55.764046,-3.965766 or https://goo.gl/maps/Md5jpiDKWKr
  • Clyde Railway Viaduct, Motherwell, along from Airbles Road Cemetery. A large viaduct crossing over the Clyde from the land at Ross House over to Motherwell. You can walk here from Strathclyde Park or park in the nearby streets.55.779126,-3.998718 or https://goo.gl/maps/3D5ju4wkwYC2
  • Smithycroft, Hamilton. A nice walk round the various ponds and along the Clyde. Good for bird spotting. 55.771865,-4.021996 or https://goo.gl/maps/xcyefx9Hidv
  • Black Hill, near Auchenheath. A superb viewpoint over Clyde Valley. Originally the site of a Bronze Age burial and an Iron Age hillfort. Co-ordinates are where you can park. Only enough space for 2 cars. Generally pretty quiet though. 55.667083,-3.856029 or https://goo.gl/maps/yRW5a5yasLz
  • Glassford Cemetery, Glassford. A mixture of old and modern graves, the oldest being from the early 1700s. There has been a church in this site since 1600s although very little remains. A reasonable vantage point gives nice views over the countryside. Some nice headstones and this cemetery is linked with the Covenanters. 55.699938,-4.018969 or https://goo.gl/maps/3TqpZoGdd2L2
  • Loudon Hill, after Drumclog. Site of Blind Harry’s “supposed” battle led by Wallace. Plenty of parking with a fairly steep walk up to the top. There’s a path round most of the hill. It stands 316 m (1,037ft) high and commands fine views of the surrounding countryside and on a clear day you can see as far as Arran. Beautiful sun sets can be had from here. After you have crossed the stream via the bridge if you walk round to the left there is a ruined farm, likewise if heading straight up the right of the hill you see another ruined farm, this one smaller. I tend to walk round to the left, head up the hill then back down the opposite side. There is also a monument to Wallace situated just a little away from the car park. 55.614163,-4.203872 or https://goo.gl/maps/MHbeE1pYRHR2
  • Lanfine Estate, Darvel. Lanfine is a huge Estate in Ayrshire with a large mansion house that dates to late 1700s at its earliest point. As far as I know you cannot enter the house. The grounds are lovely, lots of mature trees, an old fountain, a Dovecot and a lovely old bridge. I would suggest parking in Darvel and walking across the old Victorian bridge and in the through the gates at the lodge house. As far as I know it’s supposed to be pedestrian access only unless you live or work there. Co-ordinates are for the house itself 55.600999,-4.301370 or https://goo.gl/maps/B266kvonjdG2. You can walk up into the forest and along the top of the hill where you will get some great views of the surrounding countryside. From the picnic bench up behind Dyke Farm you can see Arran and Goatfell on a clear day. If you fancy the walk, it takes around 2 hours and can be found here http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/glasgow/dyke-darvel.shtml.
  • Plotcock Castle ruins, near Quarter. Only the odd mound of rubble and bits of wall remain of this mainly forgotten castle. Situated next to the Plotcock Glen burn it’s a lovely place to relax and nice for a picture or two, especially in autumn. 55.728174,-4.008008 or https://goo.gl/maps/33iiQPG4qbK2
  • Dykehead Farmhouse. A 200 year old ruined farm near Drumclog. Only the ground floor remains and is open to the elements. I have never come across any pictures of it but I believe it would once have looked grand from the front, mainly due to the stonework remaining. A couple of pieces of old rusted machinery and some interesting photo opportunities inside what’s left of it.
  • Glengavel Reservoir. Just beyond Dungavel Detention Centre sit this rather large reservoir. You can drive into it and there is parking. It can be nice 1st thing in the morning as it can be covered in mist. There’s a little boat shed and some boats moored normally than can be used to create a nice composition. The valley behind the reservoir is another opportunity. 55.728174,-4.008008 or https://goo.gl/maps/RgDqZpPPYG92
  • Old Bridge over Halls Burn. Just after Dungavel but before the reservoir. There’s a small lay-by to park in. Nice for a sunrise shot as the sun filters through the trees and into the tunnel under the bridge. 55.605380,-4.135194 or https://goo.gl/maps/JSQnnBheVeJ2
  • Pond just off the old Caledonian Railway, Kirkmuirhill. No idea what it was used for, it’s quite shaded and not very large, dark coloured pond with remnants of railway sleepers lying around. If you walk along the old railway there is a small hill you pass with a large indentation where you will see some waste materials laying around and where an awful lot of rabbits live. 55.605380,-4.135194 or https://goo.gl/maps/ysv8APiEwsy
  • Blackwood Estate, Blackwood. Privately owned houses but lots of woodland and streams to wander around including the old boating pond area. There is a stone marking the spot where the Covenanter John Broun was killed and a 16th century Dovecot converted into a home. 55.667918,-3.949449 or https://goo.gl/maps/snc7fjiNkYJ2
  • Ruined sawmill near Boghead. I only recently came across this site myself. As you leave Boghead take the 2nd left, the one for the quarry. There’s a lay Bay just before the road turns right into a farm, park there. It’s only a 2 minute walk along towards the farm. It’s mainly just a shell now, or at least the mill is, the other buildings have nearly all collapsed. As well as the mill there is a small stream running down the side which makes for a lovely photo and some rusty old farm equipment, a spiked metal wheel and the water wheel itself. At the back of the site as you look over the fence you’ll see a very small stone bridge, only a couple of feet wide but is arch gives it a nice look and you’ve the green fields behind it. 55.648670,-3.953634 or https://goo.gl/maps/U7RfahEc8gu
  • Neilsland and Earnock Glens, Hamilton. Both Neilsland and Earnock Estates where once owned by the same people, both had large mansion houses and extensive and beautiful gardens. Unfortunately both houses have gone as have most of the gardens. However, there are still some beautiful walks and some excellent photo opportunities to be had. Both estates were close by each other so you can walk from one to the other. Most of Earnock was built over and less remains of it than Neilsland. I would always recommend if walking through an old estate you read up on its history and look at it on an old map, you never know what you may find and these walks have a few hidden gems to find. Anyone interested in the history of these 2 great estates can find more here. There are various paths you can take to get in, I normally head in from the path at the base of Iona Ridge or there is the opposite end at Lady Watson Gardens. Neilsland co-ordinates are 55.764848,-4.076675 or https://goo.gl/maps/viVwUmKLyKw again, you’ll need to park on the streets around the area. Maybe if you’re lucky you’ll find the remaining statue hidden at Neilsland!
  • Corehouse Estate, near Kirkfieldbank. Not much space to park, enough for 3 or 4 cars maybe. Now this walk does not take you to Corehouse itself as it’s private property and only opens its doors to the public at certain times throughout the year. However it takes you through some of the gardens and to a splendid viewpoint facing Corra Lynn. At this site you will find a ruined castle, ruined walled garden, glasshouses and a mausoleum. It can take a couple of hours to get round it all and again, I’d consult an old map before going so you can get the most out of it. 55.653460,-3.784747 or https://goo.gl/maps/WXcz6LxZg9S2
  • Cambusnethan Priory, near Wishaw. (Please do not enter this building) The Priory is a beautiful ruin of a once grand house with views across the countryside. There is a group of people currently trying to save this house “The Friends of Cambusnethan Priory” so don’t be alarmed if you see a stall and people standing around or people tidying up, go chat with them instead. There are some lovely wooded walks and there is a ruined mausoleum that’s definitely seen better days as well as the coach house along the road. The coach house is also a private residence so please photograph from afar. You can, if inclined walk here from Cambusnethan Kirk yard that I mentioned earlier as it almost sits on the Clyde Walkway. You can also drive here. There is space to park a few cars at the house. 55.764848,-4.076675 or https://goo.gl/maps/tdF6T4HZmt92. If you’re interested in finding out more about the Priory then click this link, it will take you to the website for the Friends of Cambusnethan Priory. http://www.cambusnethanpriory.com
  • Carmichael Estate near Biggar.(Please do not enter these buildings, especially Eastend House) Now this has to be one of my favourite places to go for a long time. There is so much to see and walks to do and hundreds of years of history. There are ruined buildings, farmsteads with intricate stonework, beautiful gateposts, stunning views, a very large old curling pond and a large mound that was once the site of an ancient church. It’s so very easy to get lost and spend a whole day here, the estate is huge. There’s also a nice little cafe at the car park. I mentioned ruined buildings; well one is a ruin, the other heading that way. The houses are Carmichael House and Eastend House. Carmichael house is ruined; Eastend is not, although take a look now as in years to come it may be if it’s not looked after. There is a group called “Friends of Eastend House” on Facebook that have been trying to work with the owner to save this beautiful old building. It’s a gorgeous building and old too, the original tower dating from the 1500s. Unfortunately people keep breaking in to wander about inside. They forget that by doing so they then allow animals and the weather to follow them. Anyway, I would highly recommend heading here for a day of walking and shooting, it’s beautiful. As always I’d recommend you look up some old maps prior to going and definitely go online and look at pictures to get an idea of where you want to go. You’ll find though you’ll need a return visit. 55.632178,-3.671523 or https://goo.gl/maps/9bsxKHxbWg52
  • Clocksy or Cloxy Mill, Larkhall. Now I’ll be honest and say that I have not yet been here for photos and I have only recently found out about this myself in the last few weeks. Situated just outside Larkhall near Strutherhill Industrial Estate, behind Birkenshaw. Now although I have not been here I have looked at photos of it and watched a video, it looks an interesting place to go. Situated on a bend of the River Avon, low down in a gorge with some walls remaining from the old mill. 55.720254, -3.966575 or https://goo.gl/maps/M4pN94AYKYw
  • Broomhill Viaduct, Larkhall. A disused railway viaduct running over the River Avon. Similar to the one at Motherwell but no longer in use. Makes a nice focal point for winter or autumn landscapes. 55.729727, -3.986651 or https://goo.gl/maps/WZr9vgbofvq
  • Millheugh, Larkhall. Lovely area to walk round, especially the old grounds of Broomhill House (55.733870, -3.984102 or https://goo.gl/maps/CSTBZZKfMox). The house is gone however recent work there has found all manner of treasures from the old building. There is also an interesting story about a woman’s supposed death and her ghost at Broomhill, if you google it you’ll find it no problem. The grounds are high and give views towards the river. There is a quaint little pub, the Applebank Inn, it’s a beautiful little building and can be an nice addition to a wider shot. There’s an old bridge, waterfall and plenty of woodland to explore. You can also walk from here to reach Broomhill Viaduct. 55.734788, -3.988390 or https://goo.gl/maps/cLztNvBzL3D2
  • The Dukes monument, Chatelherault Country Park. A monument to the 11th Duke of Hamilton. There was once a bust of him inside however this was removed for safe keeping a long while back. A nice shot can be had at any time of the year here, especially good in winter and autumn. 55.766029, -4.027276 or https://goo.gl/maps/fu6vNJph6q42
  • Old lime kiln, Hamilton. This is situated on the outskirts of Hamilton as you leave on Newhousemill Road going towards East Kilbride. The area was once quarried and mined and although nature has reclaimed most of it there is still a large lime kiln. There is only pace to park one car and its tight. Your better parking in the nearby housing estate and walking up, it’s only 5 minutes. Your high up here and get great views of Hamilton, Motherwell, Glasgow etc. You are able to walk along to Sydes Brae behind Hamilton Technology Park. You get nice views towards Blantyre from here as well as a lovely view of M & D’s in the distance. I’ve tried some night photography from here a couple of years back when I 1st got a camera and have meant to go back. I had thought light trails from all the roads in the distance may be interesting. 55.766237, -4.105886 or https://goo.gl/maps/pScDY5jTr9t
  • Calderwood Castle Estate, East Kilbride. Most people from around Lanarkshire will have heard of or visited Calderglen Country Park. However unless you’re a local most people don’t realise that it extends all the way to Blantyre. This area is a relatively unknown part of Calderglen. It essentially runs from the narrow bridge at the end of Newhousemill Road all the way to the A725 Expressway at Blantyre, it’s quite a walk but a good one. This was once the great estate of the Maxwell’s of Calderwood with a large and very impressive castle at its centre. Have a search online for it and see for yourselves. If you don’t mind going off the beaten track a little and getting a bit muddy then there are so many nooks and crannies that are waiting to be explored and photographed. You’ll find ruins, bridges, waterfalls and caves as well as old Craigneith castle (55.772572, -4.132798 or https://goo.gl/maps/QXXR52Q1mSQ2
    which sits on the other side of the river. It’s a beautiful spot and really worth investigating as there are so many opportunities to be had in any season. Now you can park at Calderglen then walk down however it’s a long walk all in all. It’s also a straight walk to Blantyre so you need to double back if you’re parking at Calderglen. I suggest parking on the streets that run parallel the glen, there are plenty of paths entering in, you could split it into sections and do a different one each time. Start co-ordinates for the Calderglen end are 55.755274, -4.145254 or https://goo.gl/maps/uYXv6fh5Djr. The co-ordinates for the Blantyre side are 55.781535, -4.129882 or https://goo.gl/maps/qdy7ovuqiwz.
  • Greenhall Park, Blantyre. The once grand estate of Greenhall house, now a park that is well used by walkers, joggers and dog walkers. The park has a lot of different walks that lead all the way down to the site of another lovely house long gone, Milheugh House. At Greenhall you will see the remains of the old rail viaduct as it crosses over the Rotten Calder River, if you follow the river there are plenty of photo opportunities and there is a waterfall further along and an old bridge. If you don’t mind a walk you can park at Greenhall walk down to the water and cross over then walk through the fields to Milheugh until you reach the old bridge. It’s a circular route so you can walk back up the other side of the river back to Greenhall. Co-ordinates for the car park at Greenhall are 55.785147, -4.121651 or https://goo.gl/maps/3UAeMXpfRyt Milheugh end is 55.791368, -4.110917 or https://goo.gl/maps/TUUpp97byxP2
  • Blantyre Priory ruins and stone carvings. There’s not much left of the Priory now, unfortunately the stone has been pilfered for other uses over the years. However there are still some parts of wall remaining and there are some lovely carvings in the rock face. The site can at times be quite overgrown and due to where it’s positioned can be dangerous if you’re not careful. It’s right on the Clyde so there are photo opportunities to be had. 55.809550,-4.097898 or http://maps.google.com/?q=55.809553,-4.097869&hl=en&gl=gb
  • The Whins, AA Gun Battery, outside Blantyre. The ruin of the old WW2 anti aircraft battery. There’s a nice walk round the pond with decent paths in mist places and steep at a couple of points. There is a decent little car park for about a dozen cars. The Battery has some ruined buildings you can walk in and climb on. Lots of graffiti and some broken bottles although believe it or not it adds to the photos in a way. 55.816407,-4.105479 or https://goo.gl/maps/dnWfAd7Nvn52
  • High Muirhouses Farm, ruin. This old farmhouse is situated outside Hamilton on the way to East Kilbride. It’s got great views over the countryside and you can see for miles. It’s completely ruined and has trees all around the back of it. Lots of rusted objects and rubble walls if you like that sort of thing. 55.755360, -4.100781 or https://goo.gl/maps/mnG5aDbFDn
  • Cathkin Braes. The Braes are well known by most, it’s been a place of local recreation for a long long time. Also used during the Commonwealth Games for mountain biking. It has some nice walks through the woods and has outstanding views over Glasgow. You’ll find it pretty busy most days with dog walkers, runners and cyclists but its a great place for a wander. You’ll find a good amount of parking there if you take the car, however it is possible to walk from East Kilbride if you wanted to park at the Kingsgate and make it into a decent walk. 55.793783,-4.219973 or https://goo.gl/maps/5dknXNLA18G2
  • Chatelherault Country Park, (Cadzow Oaks and others). Most people know of this park and it’s beautiful hunting lodge. Any photographer could easily spend a day shooting in and around Chatelherault Country Park however it still amazes me how many people do not know of the ancient Cadzow Oaks. A lot of the oaks sit in fields behind a fence however there is a grove of oaks within the old earthworks that does make for a good photo, especially if you have a wide angle lens to hand. To be honest you’re really spoiled for choice with Chatelherault. On the way up to the oaks you will pass the Dukes Bridge, Cadzow Castle and then there’s the Dukes Monument not too far away and the old narrow bridge going over the gorge. These are all over around the same area. There are bridges galore and lots of beautiful vantage points at various locations around the river to be had. Depending on foliage you can sometimes incorporate the ruined terraces of Barncluith into your shot. Anyway, most people from this area will know Chatelherault and I could go on all day about places to photograph here so I’ll move on to my next one. Just remember that this sight changes with the seasons. Chatelherault co-ordinates are 55.761808, -4.013110 or https://goo.gl/maps/aXysQ1AMM812 and the oaks are 55.758018, -4.018605 or https://goo.gl/maps/zLt1dE5ruA62
  • Eaglesham moors. Ok, so it’s a rather large area, I’m specifically referring to the area around Whitelee Windfarm which is situated out the back end of Eaglesham. Now, there are plenty of different to position yourself, however I think my favourite is on top of the large grassy hill. There’s a lay-by situated across from Greenfields Farm and the path is directly behind the lay-by. It’s a short walk, 5 to 10 minutes but it can be slippy and is steep. It’s a superb viewpoint though, you’re able to look over all Glasgow with the Campsie Fells in the background and you get a good view of Ben Lomond too. It’s brilliant for sunrise, sunset and is superb for stars on a clear night. It can also get quite foggy which completely changes the dynamics of the shot. There are a few lochs and reservoirs nearby as well as a lot of windmills. Windmills, well some people like them, some don’t and I’m the latter however there are shots to be had without them. 55.721712, -4.330021 or https://goo.gl/maps/hWEjaa9Z5ow
  • Dunwan Dam, near Eaglesham. Just across from the above sight and not to far if driving over, 15 to 20 minutes or so if walking. This is a large man-made reservoir which can make for a good shot if the light is right or if the fog is rolling in. You can drive down to it however it’s narrow roads so be careful. 55.717425, -4.302426 or https://goo.gl/maps/WmRv2i71RFJ2
  • Lochgoin Reservoir, near Eaglesham. This is just along the road from Dunwan Dam and offers the same type of shot as Dunwan. Excellent for reflections on a clear, still day. I have only walked here before and therefore unsure of parking or what the roads are like. 55.696681, -4.334504 or https://goo.gl/maps/8eiQiVkv4LF2
  • Mauldslie Estate, near Dalserf. Another beautiful place to get lost in. The castle has long gone, nothing now remains. However it does not detract from this sight at all, there is still a lot to see and photograph. The best place to start is the gatehouse that you drive through to get into the estate, its large and gorgeous with its tower and massive iron gates and huge arched bridge. It’s so well photographed but one you won’t resist. The Clyde runs through Mauldslie and there are some beautiful shots to be had especially on the bends. If you head off into the trees there is an old tunnel and small ruins to be found as well as the old stables. However the stables are now private homes so please be respectful of this. Just outside the Mauldslie gatehouse and only half a mile along the road is another beautiful stone bridge with another lovely gatehouse. This was the entrance to Milton Lockhart Castle which can still be seen, if you’re willing to travel to Japan! Believe it or not it was dismantled and shipped abroad stone by stone and rebuilt in Japan! Also, the bridge you see here is modelled on the original Bothwell Brig, long before the current one was built. This is another site that is worth visiting throughout the seasons. There is space for about 6 cars at these co-ordinates. 55.731095, -3.905679 or https://goo.gl/maps/4npwjRKxkNu. If you fancy a walk take the south east path at the bridge and follow it over towards Milton Lockhart. Just follow the contours of the river, it’s a fairly well maintained path and you’ll come across the ruined cottage of Burnetholm. There are photo opportunities along this path as well. 55.726669, -3.892680 or https://goo.gl/maps/UMYr7n1y2go
  • Roman bridge, Strathclyde Park. Now for those of you who know Strathclyde Park you’ll know there are some pictures to be had here, however in my opinion there are far better sites locally with more going for them. Although I have to say the old bridge near the Roman baths is just outstanding. If you get it in the right light of or with am early morning mist it looks brilliant. Also, if you don’t mind a short walk up towards Bellshill from the roundabout you’ll find the old estate of Orbiston. There not much left to be seen here however there is a large ruined doo cot. You can also head down to the bank of the South Calder River. This river ran round the garden of Orbiston House and there is some nice photos to be had down here also. 55.798224, -4.029101 or https://goo.gl/maps/HVHdwTnQeBF2
  • Spectacle E’e falls, near Strathaven. I’ve said Strathaven for those who don’t really know the area however for those living nearby this is a well-known gem situated near Sandford. It’s on the site of a former mill, unfortunately long gone. The Kype water flows fast over the falls and is a beautiful spot to practice some long exposures. For those inclined there is a walk you can take from Strathaven to the falls, it’s not too far, about 3 miles or so and it’s fairly flat. You can find the walk here if you’re interested. http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/glasgow/strathaven.shtml. The walk is mainly along fields but there are a few decent landscape shots to be had on the way. As you cross the bridge going over the Avon you have opportunities for good pictures either direction. One is a narrow valley with the Avon flowing down the middle and in the other direction you have a lovely old bridge and farmhouse. 55.667483, -4.043676 or https://goo.gl/maps/hdzYgV4J9PD2
  • St Ninians Church and Cemetery, Stonehouse. You have the choice of both modern and old cemeteries here and they reside almost next to each other. However the old burial ground at St Ninians would be my 1st port of call. It dates from at least the 16th Century and has some beautiful grave stones as well as the ruined bell tower of the church that once resided here and in my opinion is the main subject. However, if you have the time, take the 2 minute walk to the new cemetery as it also has some nice photo opportunities. Again there are some nice head stones, the entrance is nice too and there is also a nice cenotaph that sits in the middle. There are some nice leading lines going up to the cenotaph that make for a nice composition. 55.700346, -3.993626 or https://goo.gl/maps/s5n9zdPev9u
  • New Monteith House, (Carstairs House), near Carstairs. This beautiful Country Home sits in large grounds and commands lovely views over the countryside. The house itself dates from the early 1800s and there is an old mausoleum nearby in the field to the south west. https://goo.gl/maps/z9AVb733UGr The house has been used as a care home for some years now. There is a large empty walled garden, lots of walking along the Clyde and some woodland. To the north east of the house on the track heading to the farm there is a lovely stone cross. If you plan on heading up I would advise that anyone driving out speaks with the care home staff before presuming to park there. 55.681055, -3.683950 or https://goo.gl/maps/VUFtiwQm2ip
  • Craighead Mill, Lesmahagow. Been a while since I have been here so I can’t guarantee what state it’s in. The mill building was pretty much all there but from memory most of the roof was gone. It sits on the River Nethan and gives some nice opportunities especially if you don’t mind getting your feet wet! 55.645461, -3.883008 or https://goo.gl/maps/AYc2egR9RHT2
  • Ruins of Lauchope House, Chapelhall. This small area of woodland is ancient. It’s not huge but is diverse. Lots of different trees, open spaces and ruins. Plenty of Deer of your quiet and there early enough. There’s a small laybay on Lancaster Avenue that you can park on.  55.833267,-3.947803 or https://goo.gl/maps/9f8G7VN7EsH2

Below you will find some websites that I find are a great help when looking for places to visit I’ve mentioned a few times about looking at old maps before heading to some of these sites so you can get an idea of what once was there and what may still be. I would normally look up pictures on Instagram and Flickr as well as a good old Google search. It helps you get an idea of what you may want to capture.

For old maps I use the National Library of Scotland, it’s free and has extensive coverage and the maps can be overlaid. http://maps.nls.uk/geo/explore/#zoom=5&lat=56.0000&lon=-4.0000&layers=1

I also get a lot of ideas from a Facebook groups I am part of. The main ones are “Lost Houses of Clyde Valley”. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1475717922681828/ and “Castles, Mansions and Historic Houses of Scotland”. https://www.facebook.com/groups/642086055910658/permalink/803741759745086/

There is also the excellent “Blantyre Project”. http://www.blantyreproject.com/

 

7 thoughts on “Photo opportunities & walks in and around Lanarkshire (updated June 2017)

    1. My pleasure Peter. I am so passionate about both history and photography and I love to put both together. For a long time I struggled to find places to go and over the last couple of years I’ve had more and more people speak to me on Instagram and Flickr asking where places are. So, I put this together however it’s only the tip of an ever growing iceberg. It’s a bit of a miss match at the moment but hopefully it can be of some help to others. Thanks for your comment.

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