Chatelherault Country Park
A 'Jewel in the Landscape' and former hunting lodge
Once described as ‘A Jewel in the Landscape,’ Chatelherault Country Park is a Five Star visitor attraction set in 500 acres of the stunning Avon Gorge and centred on the former Hunting Lodge of the Dukes of Hamilton.
Originally a hunting park of the Kings of Strathclyde before becoming the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton, the Hunting Lodge now houses a visitor centre, exhibitions, café and gift shop.
The Hunting Lodge (affectionately known as Scotland’s Dog Kennel), was completed in 1734 by esteemed architect William Adam. It looks out over the formal designed landscape towards the site of the former Hamilton Palace. Recognised as having been one of the grandest houses in Britain, it was demolished in 1927, due to the prohibitive cost of upkeep and subsidence caused by nearby coal mines.
Behind the Hunting Lodge is an expanse of ancient gorge woodland, part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve (NNR), with over ten miles of routed pathways and links to the Clyde Walkway. The landscape varies between dark forests and deep ravines to open fields that burst with colour during summer time. Woodland flowers in spring and summer indicate a history of unbroken wooded cover reaching back at least 400 years.
The area is home to a huge variety of wildlife including roe deer, otters, badgers and a variety of woodland birds. You can also find some of the oldest trees in Britain- the Cadzow Oaks, the ruins of 16th century Cadzow Castle and the unique white coated, long horned Cadzow Cattle.