Many visitors rush through South Lanarkshire on their way to Glasgow or northern Scotland, but the area offers some beautiful countryside as well as the designated UNESCO world heritage site of New Lanark, popular with domestic tourists.
Set in a pretty spot on the banks of the River Clyde, New Lanark is a fascinating restored eighteenth century cotton mill village. It owes its fame to the progressive attitude of the mill’s early nineteenth century manager, Robert Owen, who introduced a number of pioneering social reforms, including free education for adults, sick-pay and the world’s first nursery school. There are interesting exhibitions about life here during his time. New Lanark is also the gateway to pretty walks through the Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve.
A few miles from New Lanark you can find the atmospheric ruins of Craignethan Castle, set in a beautiful, remote spot on the banks of the River Nethan. Closer to Glasgow are the ruins of thirteenth century Bothwell Castle, which played a significant role in the Wars of Independence with England.