Make Your Way Larkhall

The Broomhill, Colliery, Doon the Braes, and Growers' Trails with links to National Cycle Route 74, the Clyde Walkway and the River Avon.

Filed under Trails
Difficulty (out of 3): 1

Terrain: Includes pavements next to quiet residential streets, and rougher overgrown paths behind the houses. Some short muddy patches.


Make Your Way in Larkhall along the Colliery, Broomhill, Doon the Braes and Growers' Trails. The Make Your Way digital trails can give you the opportunity to explore your local area online, and then go out and find all the details and beauty of the Clyde and Avon Valley for yourself. These Larkhall trails take in gorgeous views, residential areas, paths, lanes, and woodland walks.

Explore points of heritage using the numbered Heritage Points in the MYW maps, referenced in the descriptions below. Members of Larkhall Heritage Group have offered their guidance and expertise verifying heritage information for these trails - find out more about the group below.   

Download and print paper maps by clicking the links under 'Related Resources'.

 

Broomhill Trail

Total distance: 2.6km

Loops around the old site of Broomhill House, taking in residential areas around Millheugh, cutting between shopping facilties and Larkhall Academy to follow the old railway line towards exceptional views of the Larkhall Viaduct and out over Morgan Glen.

1. Start at Charing Cross and head up McNeil Street passing the train station on your right.

1. Start at Charing Cross and head up McNeil Street passing the train station on your right.
Leaving from the cross (Heritage Point 31), you can see St. Machan's Parish Church (built 1835-36). Going further up McNeil Street you will see Raploch Street to your right. The site of Raploch Castle (Heritage Point 14) is to the left, adjacent to St. Mary’s Primary School.

2. Reaching Millheugh, from Millheugh Brae, access the crisscrossing paths near Tom Thumb Park.

2. Reaching Millheugh, from Millheugh Brae, access the crisscrossing paths near Tom Thumb Park.
Tom Thumb Park (Heritage Point 7) so called because it was once home to a miniature replica of the Reverend John McMillan’s first church. Rv. McMillan lived at the nearby Braehead House (Heritage Point 9).

3. Behind the park, up the hill and following some rough tracks you will find the remains of Broomhill House.

3. Behind the park, up the hill and following some rough tracks you will find the remains of Broomhill House.
The much discussed Broomhill House (Heritage Point 35) dates from the 1600s and is owned by the Hamilton family. This ruin is now most notably associated with the ghost stories of the Black Lady. Back down at Millheugh, along the River Avon, you can see Millheugh Weir (Heritage Point 2) - originally built for the Bleachfields (Heritage Point 5) - and Millheugh Bridge (Heritage Point 3). Millheugh is one of the oldest parts of Larkhall.

4. Continue to the entrance of Morgan Glen. Instead of going through Morgan Glen, take a left up the hill towards the Braes.

4. Continue to the entrance of Morgan Glen. Instead of going through Morgan Glen, take a left up the hill towards the Braes.
Walking beside the river, further back from the entrance to the Glen, the Isle of Kyle (Heritage Point 1) is said to have been where a visiting circus Elephant once bathed. Down in the Glen, the recently uncovered bandstand site (Heritage Point 8) contained the Broomhill Lion: a stone head of a Lion now removed to Hamilton for restoration.

5. Carry on up the hill for a terrific view across the valley, then loop round, following the former rail line between Larkhall Academy and shopping facilities.

5. Carry on up the hill for a terrific view across the valley, then loop round, following the former rail line between Larkhall Academy and shopping facilities.
At the top of the hill you can get a superb view of the Larkhall Viaduct (Heritage Point 10), built circa 1904 and the highest railway bridge in Scotland. Walking back towards town, to the left is the site of Broomhill estate’s Chapel Rone (Heritage Point 15).

6. Going back into town, reach the the former Broomhill Arch, now the entrance to the Robert Smillie Memorial Park.

6. Going back into town, reach the the former Broomhill Arch, now the entrance to the Robert Smillie Memorial Park.
This archway (Heritage Point 29) marks the former entrance to the Broomhill Estate, which would have taken in a long tree lined driveway to the house. It now commemorates Robert Smillie: local mining union leader and an instrumental figure in the early foundations of the Labour Party.

 

Growers' Trail

Total distance: 4.8km

Named for the Larkhall Community Growers, this trail takes in central green areas that are great for play and exploration. Linked through a number of residential areas, the route takes in the town centre and many amenities.

1. Start at Charing Cross on Union Street, one of Larkhall’s four crosses in the centre of town.

1. Start at Charing Cross on Union Street, one of Larkhall’s four crosses in the centre of town.
Spot the Horse Hoops remaining at this corner, where horses were once tied up (Heritage Point 30).

2. Walk up Union Street towards Wellgate Street.

2. Walk up Union Street towards Wellgate Street.
Take in the bustle of Union Street with many local shops.

3. On Union Street you will pass by the former Larkhall Academy Subscription School, founded 1868.

3. On Union Street you will pass by the former Larkhall Academy Subscription School, founded 1868.
The building was home to Glengowan Primary School until 2012.

4. Take a right along Wellgate Street joining up to Drygate Street and the Colliery Trail.

4. Take a right along Wellgate Street joining up to Drygate Street and the Colliery Trail.
You can see the old signage at this cross and nearby is the site of a former well (Heritage Point 24) lending its name to Wellgate Street. Find Larkhall Bowling Club, 1868 (Heritage Point 23) on Crossgates Street.

5. Looping back to Muir Street, take a right onto Margaret's Place. Reach Machanhill Primary School and Ash Park.

5. Looping back to Muir Street, take a right onto Margaret's Place. Reach Machanhill Primary School and Ash Park.
This park, Ash or 'The Ashy', is right beside the primary school, and takes its name from large deposits of red ash left here in the 1970s.

6. Explore 'The Ashy'.

6. Explore 'The Ashy'.
During the Make Your Way project, Machanhill Primary explored the park, marking out their own trails and leaving these glowing lights. This pays tribute to the energy and growth produced in the industries that still characterise the look and feel of Larkhall, such as mining and weaving.

7. Keep going on Margaret's Place then John Street. Take a right along Wilson Street to find the Larkhall Community Growers.

7. Keep going on Margaret's Place then John Street. Take a right along Wilson Street to find the Larkhall Community Growers.
This community garden (Point 19) is a gem in Larkhall, hidden away between houses. As well as an abundance of plants and produce, there is a range of interesting artwork and signage. Carry on along the trail to join up with the Colliery Trail at Keir Hardie Road.

 

Doon the Braes 

Total distance: 3.3km

Running round some of the most southerly residential streets in Larkhall, this trail threads between the back of houses overlooking Morgan Glen. It connects to the Glen via the ‘100 Steps’ and links Robert Smillie and Craigbank Primary Schools.

1. Start at the Larkhall Viaduct and walk up the incline towards the ‘100 Steps’.

1. Start at the Larkhall Viaduct and walk up the incline towards the ‘100 Steps’.
The Viaduct (Heritage Point 10) is the tallest viaduct in Scotland, standing 175 feet above the water. It was built circa 1904 and connected along the branch line to Stonehouse. Heading towards the '100 Steps' you will pass the remains of the Cherry Orchard linked to Broomhill House (Heritage Point 11). You can still see the remnants of the border wall of the orchard.

2. At the '100 Steps' take a left going around Robert Smillie Primary School and on towards Glen Avenue.

2. At the '100 Steps' take a left going around Robert Smillie Primary School and on towards Glen Avenue.
The '100 Steps' are made up of approximately 250 steps. How many do you count? Passing around the school, take a right and loop back onto Glen Avenue, walking 5 minutes or so to get back on the Braes.

3. At the curve of the road take this lane between the houses and head left along the Braes.

3. At the curve of the road take this lane between the houses and head left along the Braes.
The Braes path, connecting just off the houses is great for dog walking and a peaceful stroll.

4. Carry on straight along the path bordering the back of the houses.

4. Carry on straight along the path bordering the back of the houses.
Not so far away, down in the valley, is the Big Linn Waterfall (Heritage Point 17) - you can hear the rush of the river from the path.

5. Take in the views across the valley as you head to the end of the Braes and Avon Road.

5. Take in the views across the valley as you head to the end of the Braes and Avon Road.
This path is peaceable and quiet, enjoying fantastic views out across the valley.

6. Go right onto Broomfield Road, left on Coronation Crescent, then up Shaw Street towards Craigbank Primary School.

6. Go right onto Broomfield Road, left on Coronation Crescent, then up Shaw Street towards Craigbank Primary School.
In March 2017 the Make Your Way project worked with local schools to create interesting tagging along the Braes. This example is from Robert Smillie Primary which this trail links up with along Robert Smillie Crescent heading back to Craigbank Primary School.

7. Connect back to Glen Avenue via Robert Smillie Crescent. You can loop round to join the Braes once again.

7. Connect back to Glen Avenue via Robert Smillie Crescent. You can loop round to join the Braes once again.
The pupils at Craigbank and Robert Smillie Primary Schools came up with great descriptions of their experience and enjoyment of the Braes and of Morgan Glen. They explored the feel, the sounds, the views and smells of this great rural pathway.

 

Colliery Trail

Total distance: 7.7km

This longer trail includes the National Cycle Route 74, and runs up between former quarry sites, passing through little gems of green space that offer a quick escape from the bustle of town life.

1. From Robert Smillie Crescent go towards Machan Road to join onto Keir Hardie Road.

1. From Robert Smillie Crescent go towards Machan Road to join onto Keir Hardie Road.
Along Keir Hardie Road you will pass a former Quarry Site (Heritage Point 36) at the end of Quarry Street, marking one of many points along this trail where earth, coal and other materials were extracted in the aftermath of the Industrial Revolution. Alongside this, the wind turbine demonstrates a dramatic shift in the way this landscape has been changed yet again by new forms of energy production.

2. Follow Keir Hardie Road then go on the grass through a row of hedges. Connect to Donaldson Road and then back onto Keir Hardie Road towards Burnhead Road.

2. Follow Keir Hardie Road then go on the grass through a row of hedges. Connect to Donaldson Road and then back onto Keir Hardie Road towards Burnhead Road.
This grassy area is a pleasant little walk in spring and summer with a variety of plants and insects. Running off Keir Hardie Road it contrasts the era of industry that Hardie came from; rising through the ranks of the early national mining union and going on to be a founding member of the Labour Party.

3. Take a left along Burnhead Road, passing Larkhall Golf Club on your right, go towards the Machan area.

3. Take a left along Burnhead Road, passing Larkhall Golf Club on your right, go towards the Machan area.
Alternately, take a right over the motorway bridge to follow the Community Links Walk: The Monkey Road. Staying on the trail, you will also pass the site of Dalserf Hospital (Heritage Point 41), a former hospital for infectious disease.

4. After a 15-20 minute walk along Burnhead Road which merges into Drygate Street (notice the former mining and weaving cottages along the way), pass over Skellyton Burn. Take a right down Meadowhill Street at the bottom of which you will see the rise of Buffy Bing.

4. After a 15-20 minute walk along Burnhead Road which merges into Drygate Street (notice the former mining and weaving cottages along the way), pass over Skellyton Burn. Take a right down Meadowhill Street at the bottom of which you will see the rise of Buffy Bing.
Left of Burnhead Road, down Hope Crescent, is the site of Caldwell and Young Company Ltd. - silk manufacturers in the early 20th century (Heritage Point 34). Meanwhile Buffy Bing (Heritage Point 40) is a spoil heap from the former Skellyton Colliery, now well covered and adapted by nature. This is further evidence of a landscape shaped by industry and energy production. At the bottom of Station Road is the site of the former East Train Station (Heritage Point 39), a key link in the industrial process.

5. Drygate Street links via Duke Street and John Ewing Gardens to Cherrytree Crescent. From here, cross to Merryton Train Station linking to National Cycle Route 74.

5. Drygate Street links via Duke Street and John Ewing Gardens to Cherrytree Crescent. From here, cross to Merryton Train Station linking to National Cycle Route 74.
Off Cherrytree Crescent is a rough track that, although quite overgrown in places, offers quiet seclusion and some wonderful views over to the invisible remains of Bog Colliery - just north of Glengowan Primary School.

 

Make Your Way was an arts, heritage and active travel project focussing on the communities of Carluke, Glassford, Lanark, Larkhall and Stonehouse, 2016-17. The project was funded by Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and Smarter Choices Smarter Places grant, and delivered by icecream architecture and SYSTRA.

Related Trails + Places


Larkhall Heritage Group

Larkhall Heritage Group

Promoting the heritage of Larkhall