Scotland’s Waterfall Walk

Scotland Waterfall Walk

I have been wanting to do this walk for ages. And last Saturday – a crisp sparkling day with blue skies as far as the eye could see – I finally made it. My destination: the Falls of Clyde Walkway, but I prefer the term Scotland’s Waterfall Walk.

The walk is based out of a teeny-tiny village called New Lanark, a 18th century cotton mill village set in a leafy valley east of Edinburgh and south of Glasgow. There is an old general store and a friendly visitors centre in the village, and behind the centre is direct access to the water walkway.

At first the path is a fairly steep incline, a fact evidenced by the tubes carrying water downhill into the power plant still functioning here. However, it’s only a 15 minute walk or so to the main attraction of the day, the Cora Linn waterfall. You can see (and hear!) it here – my first video post! Drumroll, please:

Pretty impressive, eh? I love how the sound of a waterfall completely drowns out the rest of the world and really calms the soul. There are plenty of benches around, so there is no excuse to not sit down and relax. You can do that here too – go ahead and play the video again. Don’t feel embarrassed, I will not tell anybody.

The walk certainly doesn’t end at the Cora Linn – the route goes another 30 minutes or so along a ridge with excellent views of the river cutting through the valley, before reaching another set of falls, the Bonnington Linn. I actually found these the more majestic set of the two; if you walk across the concrete bridge and around to the other side there are some great seats directly across from the falls where you can sit and just soak up the atmosphere (although not literally – unless there is a sharp wind).

bonnington linn waterfall on the falls of clyde, near new lanark, scotland

The path ends here, unfortunately, and the guides tell you to double-back on the route. We, however, kept going on the opposite side of the river, exploring the wooded forest path, Cora Castle, and after a couple of miles, found ourselves in Lanark, back up at the top of the valley. The entire loop back down into New Lanark took about 3 hours, but it was well worth it, and this included a lunch shop on some logs while we enjoyed the sunny reflections in a quiet bit of the river.

If you’re interested in exploring some of the hidden walking routes in this or other parts of Scotland, I highly recommend the Lonely Planet – Walking in Scotland guide – it is practical and has some good off-the-beaten-path (not sure if that’s literally or figuratively) routes, including New Lanark.

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