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First post-lockdown weekday walk at Chatelherault

For the first walk in over a year due to the Covid break we had an fairly easy 2 hour cultural ramble around Chatelherault Country Park with a bit of ascent thrown in to build up our hill fitness. Before we started, the nine attendees had a wee celebration to mark our return to walking. Thanks go to Steven for bringing the tape and scissors and providing some bubbly to wet our throats.

Starting out at Chatelherault

Our first target was the Dukes Monument which involved crossing the Dukes Bridge over the River Avon, 80ft below, then passing the ruins of Cadzow Castle, the oak meadows and the big horse on our way. The Dukes Monument was erected in 1863 by the people of Hamilton to commemorate William Alexander, the 11th Duke of Hamilton who had died in Paris on the 16th July in the same year, aged 52. For part of our walk back we took an old path through the woods which included a steep climb back up to the main path to test the legs and lungs. After re-crossing the Dukes Bridge we joined the Mineral Railway Trail, which goes underneath the bridge, and walked along the Avon Gorge to the Old Avon Bridge, looking up to see the Dukes Monument high above us on the way. The Old Avon Bridge was on the route of the Glasgow to Carlisle Highway until 1825 when the New Avon Bridge was completed. The new bridge was designed by Thomas Telford and is still used today. From the bridge we had a bit of re-ascent to get to the three historical metal cut-outs and then more ascent up the awkwardly spaced steps to our start point at the Visitors Centre. By now the threatened rain had arrived so some of us took shelter in the cafe while others just headed home.

Big Horse  Dukes Monument  Dukes Bridge  Dukes Monument  Historical metal cutouts

Interesting facts:
1. Chatelherault derives from a French title (Duc de Châtellerault) that was given in 1548 to James Hamilton, the 2nd Earl of Arran (1516-75) for his part in arranging the marriage of Mary, Queen of Scots, to Francis, Dauphin of France. Subsequently, the title has been passed down through the family.
2. Dukes Bridge was commissioned by the same William Alexander, the 11th Duke of Hamilton, and also in 1863.

Willie Robison

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First post-lockdown day walk at Daer Reservoir

This walk actually took place on Saturday 1 May .. please see the May walks .....

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