Falls of Clyde walk

Inspiration to Turner and Wordsworth

The Falls of Clyde is one of the Scottish Wildlife Trust’s most breathtaking reserves. A visitor attraction for hundreds of years, the reserve has been host to an assortment of artists and poets including the likes of Turner and Wordsworth.

Today the reserve is home to over one hundred species of birds, including resident peregrine falcons, dippers that are regularly seen outside the Visitor Centre and kingfishers along the boardwalk.

The ancient gorge woodland has been shaped over 10,000 years and is now classed as a National Nature Reserve. In autumn, the woodland looks particularly spectacular with all its changing colours, while winter is an excellent time to see the three falls in spate.

This three-mile walk will take you along the Cylde Walkway from New Lanark to the top of the reserve at Bonnington Linn. Make sure to cross the bridge and view the waterfall from the viewpoint on the other side of the Clyde. The walk should take between one and a half to two hours to complete, and there are steep sections and steps in places.

The route

Falls of Clyde walk

Start at the Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre. From here head right under the archway and left up the concrete steps. Then follow the signs for the red waymarked route up to the right and through the two archways. This marks the beginning of the reserve and from here you will follow the red Clyde Walkway route alongside the river up to Bonnington Linn viewpoint.

  1. The Falls of Clyde consists of four waterfalls, three of which can be found within the reserve: Dundaff Linn at the entrance, Corra Linn about 20 minutes away and Bonnington Linn at the top of the reserve about 45 minutes from the entrance. Corra Linn is said to be the most spectacular and if you have time then the best views are seen from the other side of the river.
  2. Along the boardwalk during the spring and summer months you can see a vast array of woodland wildflowers.
  3. The Trust has a wildflower trail showing all the different flowers, how to identify them and associated folklore.
  4. Peregrine falcons have been resident at the Falls of Clyde for the past fifteen years. This site offers the closest views of breeding peregrine falcons in the country. Come along to the manned watch site from the end of March to mid-June to see these magnificent birds of prey.
  5. There are many historical features on the reserve and much of the area is part of a designed landscape. Things to look out for on your walk include the Hall of Mirrors at Corra Linn, Lady Mary’s Steps and Lady Mary’s Well, the iron bridge up at Bonnington Linn and Corra Castle on the other side of the river.
  6. Evenings are the best times to spot badgers and these endearing creatures can be seen from April to September. Look out for tracks and trails along the woodland paths, or join the ranger on an evening badger watch.

Visitor information

Start / Finish Falls of Clyde (NS881423)
Nearest town New Lanark
Duration 1.5 to 2 hours
Rating Medium with some steep slopes and steps
Good for Spectacular waterfalls, peregrine, badger, bats
If you are lucky Kingfisher

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