Things to do in Lanarkshire

Lanarkshire, a historic county in the central Lowlands of Scotland, offers a rich tapestry of experiences that blend its industrial heritage with natural beauty. The region is divided into North and South Lanarkshire, each boasting unique attractions from the scenic Clyde Valley to the bustling towns of Motherwell and Hamilton. Lanarkshire’s past is deeply intertwined with Scotland’s history, evident in its ancient ruins and historic estates that dot the landscape.

Today, Lanarkshire is a vibrant area that attracts visitors with its mix of cultural sites, parks, and leisure activities. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of New Lanark, an 18th-century cotton mill village beautifully restored to offer insight into industrial revolution life, to the serene Strathclyde Country Park, the region caters to all interests. Whether you’re exploring its historical depths or enjoying modern amenities, Lanarkshire provides a compelling glimpse into Scotland’s heartland.

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  • New Lanark World Heritage Site: Discover this exceptional example of a 19th-century mill village set in a picturesque Scottish valley. Explore the history of social reformer Robert Owen and see how villagers lived and worked during the Industrial Revolution.
  • Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life: This museum in Coatbridge brings Scotland’s industrial history to life through exhibits on coal mining, iron making, and engineering. Ride on Scotland’s only working electric tramway or explore recreated miners’ cottages.
  • Chatelherault Country Park: A magnificent country park in Hamilton featuring beautiful walks along the River Avon and stunning views from the Duke of Hamilton’s former hunting lodge. It’s perfect for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs alike.
  • Strathclyde Country Park: Enjoy outdoor activities at one of Scotland’s leading centers for watersports, including rowing, windsurfing, and sailing on Strathclyde Loch. The park also hosts major events like music festivals and triathlons.
  • Carmichael Visitor Centre & Farm Shop: Experience rural Lanarkshire at this family-run estate offering wildlife tours where you can see deer and Highland cattle up close. Don’t miss their farm shop selling local produce.
  • Hamilton Park Racecourse: Experience the thrill of horse racing at this premier venue which hosts regular race days throughout the season alongside family-friendly events and entertainment.
  • Lanark Equestrian Centre: For horse lovers or those looking to try riding for the first time, this equestrian center offers lessons and hacks in picturesque countryside settings.
  • Motherwell Heritage Centre: Learn about Motherwell’s transformation from a small hamlet to an industrial powerhouse through interactive displays that engage visitors of all ages.
  • Biggar Adventure Ltd: Get your adrenaline pumping with outdoor activities like archery, canoeing, or mountain biking in Biggar’s beautiful surroundings.
  • Low Parks Museum: Located in Hamilton, this museum tells Lanarkshire’s story from prehistoric times through modern day within two historic buildings – Hamilton Palace’s former riding school and stables.
  • Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve & Visitor Centre: Explore breathtaking waterfalls within this reserve located near New Lanark. It’s an ideal spot for nature walks and spotting local wildlife like badgers and otters.
  • Caledonian Railway Brechin: Step back in time on this heritage railway offering steam train rides through Angus countryside – perfect for families or railway enthusiasts looking for a nostalgic journey.