New Lanark World Heritage Site Blog


11/04/17 Roof Garden # , , , , , ,

New Lanark Gardens Diary – April 2017

New Lanark Gardens Diary – April 2017

This month lovely wood anemones carpet the floor of New Lanark’s woodland with a flush of starry white flowers.  You can see these precious wild flowers, also known as Lady’s Nightcap, beside the Clearburn Natural Outdoor Play Area next to the Clyde Valley Nature Reserve at New Lanark.  According to the charity Plantlife, wood anemones are a well-known indicator of ancient woodland as they spread very slowly from rootstocks rather than seeds.  On the grassy bank below Caithness Row,  the  daffodils are giving a brilliant display just now.  It won’t last, so come along soon and enjoy the fresh air and flowers!

You can find out more about visiting New Lanark at 

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger


0 likes no responses
08/03/17 Roof Garden # , , , , , ,

New Lanark Gardens Diary – March 2017

New Lanark Gardens Diary – March 2017

Signs of Spring are everywhere around at New Lanark now.  A few snowdrops have braved the cold to flower by the path along the Mill Lade, and the first bright yellow daffodils are in bloom in the Roof Garden.  The River Clyde has been running high, creating magnificent waterfalls at Cora Linn and Bonnington Linn further upstream.  The weather may be improving but it is deceptive.  Be prepared for ‘The Teuchit Storm’, an old name for a spell of wet and windy weather that was once thought to occur in late March about the time that the ‘teuchit’ or lapwing starts nesting in the fields upriver!

You can enjoy an early Spring visit to New Lanark with Buy One Get One Free on tickets until the end of March 2017. Click here to download your voucher!

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

Snowdrops on the New Lanark Roof Garden

0 likes no responses
07/02/17 Roof Garden # , , , ,

New Lanark Gardens Diary – February 2017

New Lanark Gardens Diary – February 2017

New Lanark Gardens Diary – February 2017

February light glows on the stonework of the houses at New Lanark as seen from the path into the Clyde Valley Nature Reserve.   The island in the middle of the river is called Mid Inch on which a tall evergreen Scots pine tree has found a foothold.  The stones at the water’s edge are the haunt of a heron.  Nearby in the village is New Lanark’s Clearburn Natural Outdoor Play & Picnic Area.  There are squirrels hiding under the ivy covering the old trees and a pair of tiny wrens have been spotted flying in and out of the lade tunnel.  (The scientific name for a wren is ‘troglodytes’ meaning ‘cave dweller’!)  Playing outdoors is now recognised as essential for children’s cognitive and emotional development, so bring the kids along and see what else you can spot (entry to the Clearburn Play Area is free). If the weather isn’t great there’s always the indoor Interactive Gallery! 

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

Here are some more photos of the village in early February…

0 likes no responses
25/01/17 CAVLP # , , , ,

Frame the landscape with CAVLP Heritage

Frame the landscape with CAVLP Heritage

Guest post from Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership

The Clyde and Avon Valley has long been a destination for visitors, including esteemed artists and writers such as J. M. W. Turner, the Wordsworths and Sir Walter Scott.

Known for its patchwork of nationally important woodlands and stunning geological formations, crumbling castles and orchard heritage, the area has fired the imagination of visitors throughout the ages.

CAVLP Heritage are now offering a unique way to explore the landscape through the eyes of artists, writers, photographers and film-makers by way of a series of six FREE Framing the Landscape walks where paintings, photos, films and literature will be used to see the landscape in new ways.

Taking place every Saturday at 2pm, from 11 February up to and including 19 March, the walks will offer a tantalizing look at figures that have been inspired by the landscape or have made an impact on it in some way. Think Sir Walter Scott and Craignethan Castle, J. M. W. Turner at the Falls of Clyde and even Scott’s Jam Works at Carluke.

These events will form part of a larger project called Local Landscape Heroes which is focusing on the people who historically changed and maintained the character of the historic environment and landscape and those that have been inspired by it.

People of all ages and backgrounds are invited to take part in this programme of exploratory walks throughout the Clyde and Avon Valley.  The events will be led by experienced archaeologists from CAVLP Heritage who will be on hand to offer expert insight into areas at Chatelherault, Lanark, Wishaw, Craignethan Castle, Falls of Clyde and New Lanark, and Carluke.

There are 6 different walks to choose from. Each takes around two hours and is FREE although booking is essential at Participants are encouraged to attend as many as they like.

Saturday 11 February: Inspired by the Oaks – Scenery Stroll at Chatelherault: Join the team at Chatelherault to explore artwork inspired by the Avon Water and Cadzow Oaks.  Learn about the painters including Alexander Fraser and Simon Bough, who were inspired by the natural beauty of the Avon Valley landscape.

Saturday 18 February: Country Makers – Worthy Wander in Lanark: Explore the historical figures who helped to shape the town of Lanark through its early days, including William Wallace, David I, William the Lion and Robert Forrest. Visit sites of local importance to Lanark and explore the artistic representations of the deeds of past country-makers.

Saturday 25 February: Wishaw on Film – Snapshot Saunter in Wishaw: Explore how Wishaw has been represented on film and visit some of the sites featured in old photographs and films. Learn about the lives of local photographers and filmmakers such as Charles Reid and Enrico Cocozza, and how they were inspired by their local landscape.

Saturday 4 March: Inspired by the Castle: Poetic Promenade at Craignethan: Join us on a journey from the Clyde Valley up to Craignethan Castle and enjoy the literature of local and visiting writers such as Sir Walter Scott and Janet Hamilton, who were inspired by the landscape and the castle.

Saturday 11 March: Inspired by the Falls – Representation Ramble at New Lanark: Take a look at the art and literature inspired by the Falls of Clyde and New Lanark, and learn about ­the artists such as Samuel Taylor Coleridge and J. M. W. Turner who created it.

Saturday 18 March: Strawberry Fields – Jelly Jaunt in Carluke: Celebrate the achievements of the Scott brothers in starting the strawberry growing industry in the Clyde and Avon Valley, and the long heritage of preserve making that continues today. Take a look at old photographs that help to tell their story and the story of fruit growing in the Carluke area.

Karen McCusker, CAVLP Heritage Project Assistant, says: “This is a great opportunity to get to know a little bit more about the local people who have shaped the Clyde and Avon Valley that we know and love today, in a fun and unexpected way.”

The walks are part of the Local Landscape Heroes project which celebrates the people that have shaped and been inspired the Clyde and Avon Valley, from farmers to millers and poets to painters. The project is managed by Northlight Heritage with funding from Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership and Historic Environment Scotland.

Volunteers can also join CAVLP Heritage in researching Local Landscape Heroes of the Clyde and Avon Valley in Hamilton Town House Archives every Thursday up to and including 30 March, between 11am – 7pm.

If you would like to get involved, or would love to know more, please get in touch with CAVLP Heritage at [email protected] or 01555 661 555. Booking is necessary in order to take part and can be done through e-mail.

0 likes no responses
05/01/17 Roof Garden # , , , ,

New Lanark Gardens Diary: January 2017

New Lanark Gardens Diary: January 2017

Welcome to the first New Lanark Gardens Diary of 2017!

Up until about 100 years ago in Scotland, the first Monday in the new year was known as Handsel Monday and this was the day on which people exchanged presents. The First Statistical Account tells us that it was a day ‘for recreation and merry-making’.   The word ‘handsel’ meant to put a gift in someone’s hand and could also mean to inaugurate or start something new.  The first photo for New Lanark Gardens Diary 2017 shows  the houses at Caithness Row in low-angled sunlight with birch trees in the foreground  and a crisp frost on the grass. Very best wishes for 2017 to all our readers, guests and visitors!

2017 also happens to be Visit Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. You can find out more about how you can be involved in this exciting year at New Lanark by visiting our website.

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger


0 likes no responses
08/12/16 Roof Garden # , , , , ,

New Lanark Garden Diary: December 2016

New Lanark Garden Diary: December 2016

In our monthly Garden Diary Liz lets us know what’s happening in the world of nature at New Lanark…

Winter has begun bringing with it some frosty spells.  These transformed the trees across the Clyde at New Lanark into a sparkling Christmas card scene with curtains of icicles hanging from the rocks.

The bare branches of the trees made a delicate white tracery against the background of darker evergreens further up the bank.   This was the perfect setting for the start of New Lanark’s Christmas at the Mills event – tickets are still available for the weekends and 23 and 24 December by booking online at   Come and have some fun following the Rudolph Trail!  See if you can find his little wooden house and discover what he likes to do there!

Here are some more photos from our frosty spell at New Lanark…

Winter woods at New Lanark

Frosty grass at New Lanark

Frozen leaves at New Lanark

Winter Falls of Clyde at New Lanark

Winter river at New Lanark

Winter in Robert Owen's Garden at New Lanark

The Bell Tower at New Lanark

Frozen ice crystals at New Lanark

Find out more about visiting New Lanark this Christmas!

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

0 likes no responses
03/11/16 Roof Garden # , , ,

New Lanark Garden Diary – November 2016

New Lanark Garden Diary – November 2016

On 2 November after a frosty start to the day, the stonework of the houses at New Lanark’s Long Row was glowing in the early afternoon sunshine.  Above the Row, the trees are holding on to their leaves in all their glorious autumn colours while crows  wheel  in the clear air overhead.   On the right of the photo is one of the lime trees originally planted by Robert Owen about 1800 when he laid out the paths above the village so that his millworkers could take exercise and enjoy some fresh air after a hard day in the cotton mills.  If you come and visit, you can still enjoy that today!


Visit New Lanark during one of our Christmas Events weekends and you can also enjoy a visit to Santa’s Grotto, Spirit of Christmas Ride and even a festive pantomime! Click here to find out more and book your tickets. 

Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

0 likes no responses
07/10/16 Uncategorized # , , , , , , ,

New Lanark Garden Diary – October 2016

New Lanark Garden Diary – October 2016

Instead of the Roof Garden, this month’s diary is from another of New Lanark’s garden spaces, the War Memorial Garden, situated at the foot of the hill just at the entrance to the village.  The planting here includes several buddleia shrubs of the variety called ‘Peace’ with lovely arching spikes of white flowers.  The warm sunshine at the start of October attracted a large number of late summer butterflies seeking out nectar in the buddleia flowers.   The photograph shows several Small Tortoiseshells eagerly feeding before they go into hibernation for the winter.  As their numbers have been declining generally, this was an extra welcome and encouraging sight!

The New Lanark War Memorial is dedicated to soldiers from New Lanark who fought in the first World War. You can find out more about their stories in our semi-permanent exhibition ‘New Lanark and the First World War’.


Liz – New Lanark Guest Blogger

0 likes no responses
22/09/16 CAVLP # , , ,

Sue Palmer puts Natural Play on top of the agenda in Lanarkshire

Sue Palmer puts Natural Play on top of the agenda in Lanarkshire

Lanarkshire’s first ever Natural Play conference is taking place in Hamilton this November.  The event has seen unprecedented demand for places since bookings opened last week, reflecting the huge appetite locally for natural play initiatives.

Sue Palmer, author of Toxic Childhood (Orion 2006), will act as keynote speaker for the FREE conference taking place at Hamilton Park Racecourse, which is open to anyone interested in why, where and how children can play outdoors.

Organised in collaboration with South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers and supported by the William Grant Foundation and Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP), attendees will be able to find out what activities have been developed locally, as well as join skill-focussed talks and workshops which can be  booked on the day. Workshops will cover a range of topics including loose-parts play, safe campfires, woodland art and much more.

Karen Dobbins, Development Officer for CAVLP Natural Play focussed projects said: “Whether you are a parent, work with children in schools or nurseries, are a child-minder or a play-worker, the conference will offer a valuable opportunity to network and share ideas.”

She continues: “This conference is just a part of the Natural Play initiatives that CAVLP has been involved in establishing locally. Triple award-winning Natural Play and Picnic Area was created at New Lanark in 2014, we’ve had two jam-packed summers of play activities with newly established OutLET: Play Resource and 16 people have received training in Forest Schools.”

As part of the package, schools in and around the Clyde and Avon Valley can also access teacher training to support outdoor learning on local sites. In partnership with Grounds for Learning, CAVLP are offering FREE places on Teaching in Nature, an accredited course to support teachers in their professional development. The course begins on 24 October 2016 at RSPB Scotland Baron’s Haugh, Motherwell and consists of three practical training days spread out over a year. Local schools can book the last remaining spaces by emailing [email protected] or calling 01555 663 430.

Lanarkshire based Growing Up Wild Natural Play initiative is just one in a number of national and international initiatives, which recognise and attempt to redress the disconnect between children and nature in contemporary society. A number of reports highlight this growing disaffection, including Natural Childhood, by Stephen Moss (National Trust, 2012), which reveals that fewer than 1 in 10 children regularly play in wild places.

Acting as keynote speaker for the conference, former head teacher and campaigner for literacy, Sue Palmer, is an advocate for the issues surrounding the effects of contemporary childhood on development and learning. Her books, Toxic Childhood, Detoxing Childhood (2007) and 21st Century Boys (2009), led to her involvement in many campaigns related to modern childhood and she is currently a Board Member of Play Scotland.

“We are honoured to have Sue Palmer as keynote speaker for the conference,” says Susan McNeish, South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers.

She continues, “We’ve found that there’s been a growing appetite for Natural Play initiatives locally and it’s great to have someone like Sue along who helps connect these local activities to the wider, national conversation. We’d urge any interested parties in coming along to sign up.”

Book your FREE ticket or find out more at, or by contacting the CAVLP Team on 01555 663 430, or emailing [email protected].

Watch the promotional video by searching for ‘Growing Up Wild! Lanarkshire’s First Natural Play Conference’ on

0 likes no responses
19/08/16 CAVLP # , , ,

FREE Woodland family fun for award-winning play area

FREE Woodland family fun for award-winning play area

Families are being invited to join in with FREE celebrations for award-winning Clearburn Natural Play Area’s Second Birthday Bash at New Lanark World Heritage Site, on Saturday 10 September, 1 – 3pm.

The FREE family drop-in sessions will include a variety of woodland themed fun and games, including ‘Fab Foraging’ woodland scavenger hunt with Scottish Wildlife Trust Falls of Clyde, Woodland-Walk Storytelling with Mr Fox and Bunny Foo Foo from Storyteller Allison Galbraith and woodland crafts from local artist Shirley Marzella.

No birthday celebration would be complete without balloons and cake – fairy cakes will be available for the first families who turn up on the day.

Clearburn Natural Play Area, comprised of adventure play areas, a giant willow storytelling dome and stage, a burn, a secret hideaway tree house, campfire and bug hotels amongst other features, was created in the heart of New Lanark World Heritage Site in September 2014 as a Big Lottery and Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) funded project.

“In two years, Clearburn has become an important part of the local community,” says Jane Masters, Heritage Manager at New Lanark Trust. She continues: “It is used extensively by local schools, nurseries and families, as well as visitors to New Lanark. People can always be found playing in Clearburn – it’s a testament to the fantastic design of the space which incorporates natural areas as well as built structures.”

The design of the play space was led by children from New Lanark Primary School, Robert Owen Memorial Primary School and Lanark Primary School, with involvement from 60 members of the local community, from the initial consultations right through to implementation. The names of school children involved in the projects were carved into a bench beside the willow tunnel so that their contributions will be remembered for years to come.

Since opening, the play area has scooped three prestigious awards; ‘Best Picnic Area within a UK Heritage Location’ at the Hudson’s Heritage Awards (2016), ‘Commendation for a Community Play Space within a National Tourist Attraction’ Nancy Ovens Play Award (2015) and ‘High Commendation’ in the Scottish Civic Trust ‘My Place’ Awards (2015).

Clearburn Natural Play Area is part of a wider initiative in the Clyde and Avon Valley focussing on wild play and connecting families with nature, such as the Growing Up Wild play sessions at RSPB Baron’s Haugh, Mauldslie Woodlands and Lesmahagow during the summer holidays.

Karen Dobbins, CAVLP Development Officer, said: “We are delighted to be involved in the celebrations with New Lanark Trust. A key focus for a number of CAVLP projects is to create opportunities for natural play and Clearburn is a fantastic asset to the area.”

She continues: “Surrounded by woodland and with the Clear burn itself flowing through the play area, it allows safe access for children to ‘play wild’ and explore the natural environment. It really is something to celebrate.”

The Clearburn second birthday bash is a FREE, family drop-in event on Saturday 10 September, 1 – 3pm.

0 likes no responses
1 2 3 4

New Lanark World Heritage Site Aerial View

New Lanark is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village in Scotland, and is one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

On our blog you'll find a behind-the-scenes look at all the latest news, events, stories and general 'goings-on' from New Lanark World Heritage Site.

We are always looking for guest bloggers to become involved with the blog. If you are interested in writing for us, please get in touch.

Join us online

Join our mailing list