Are you looking to spend a fantastic day out in a nature reserve? Do you want to get back to the past and experience the life of an enlightened community in Europe? If so you must visit the New Lanark World Heritage Site and the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve.
Throughout the Easter weekend the site organised two events – Easter Holidays Daily Tours and Peregrine Watch with Scottish Wildlife Trust Association.
PEREGRINE WATCH TRAIL
From the 3rd to the 6th of April in the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve there was the Easter Weekend Special at the Peregrine Watch. This special event has encouraged people to visit the viewing station, which has the best views of nesting peregrine falcons in Britain! We followed the red trail called the “Clyde Walkway”. On this trail all visitors learn about these lovely wild creatures in 10 exciting stages. At each of the stages there is a quiz and you can check your answers at the end of the trail in the viewing station.
The trail goes along the beautiful, tumbling River Clyde. It was easy to miss some of the stages because of the awe-inspiring natural beauty and scenery all around. An interesting fact is that the area has been a conservation success story with peregrine falcons returning to nest there in 1997 after a long absence. People coming back from the viewing station were very excited that they had seen peregrines. Their excitement was understandable, I discovered, when we reached the viewing station. At the station staff were describing exactly what was happening with the nesting peregrines. The brilliant thing was that you could look at any time through telescopes if you had not brought your own binoculars. We saw a sitting female peregrine and something more exciting- a peregrine eating it’s mid-air caught pigeon.
Don’t worry if you missed the Easter Weekend Special, you can still follow the peregrine clue trail until the 21st of June from 10am to 4pm or you can visit the Scottish Wildlife Trust website to see peregrines live on webcam! I warmly recommend it.
THE NEW LANARK TOURS
During the school holiday period until the 19th of April you can take part in the Easter Holidays Daily Tours with one of New Lanark’s guides. The first group of 25 people leaves the reception every day at 2pm and goes to the Millworkers’ Houses and The New Lanark Village Store.
This 45 minute tour takes you back into the past, to the 1820s when workers’ families often lived 10 in one small room. Our guide Lesley brought the past of New Lanark back to life in a fantastic, humorous and interesting way. It was surprising, especially for younger visitors, to hear how people were lived in such different conditions to the modern day. The room from the 1930s showed the contrast in living standards. The oldest visitors in our group remembered their childhood homes, so it was nice to hear them share their stories.
The second part of the tour was in The New Lanark Store, established in 1813 by Robert Owen. It provided goods at retail prices so that anyone in the village could buy whatever they needed. From the historic displays you can find out how New Lanark became the biggest cotton mill in Scotland exporting vast amounts of cotton, how the manufacturing looks today and which famous brands use organic cotton made in New Lanark.
After this short but brilliant tour you can continue to explore the rest of the interesting sites. Highly recommended is taking part in the Annie McLeod Experience Ride, where you really feel like you going back in time in a dark ride which features mill girl Annie who magically appears and reveals the amazing story of her life and times in New Lanark in 1820. If you then take a rest on the Roof Garden you will be delighted by the stunning views around New Lanark and the River Clyde. Don’t forget to take your children to Clearburn Picnic & Play Area, which opened last year. It has a fantastic giant willow storytelling dome, bug hotels and a secret hideaway tree house. Your kids will love this unique adventure playground!
It has surely proven to be one of the best places to visit in Scotland!