SNH Cleghorn Glen, Lanark

A beautiful woodland set on the steep Mouse Water Gorge

Filed under Outdoors

Cleghorn is a beautiful and peaceful woodland easily reached from Lanark, set on a steep gorge which the Mouse Water flows through, and bordered by rolling farmland.

It is part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve (NNR), linked to the nearby Cartland Craigs by a linear 3 mile walk alongside the Mouse Water. At only 12 kilometres long, this river is short but surprisingly powerful, rising quickly after heavy rain. The burn was once used to power mills and factories, and is still used to generate hydroelectricity today. Watch for dippers that bob on the rocks before they dive under water to search for insects.

  • A snowy Cleghorn Glen and Mouse Water

    A snowy Cleghorn Glen and Mouse Water

    Copyright Lorne Gill, SNH
  • Looking down into the deep gorge

    Looking down into the deep gorge

    Copyright Lorne Gill, SNH
  • An icy Mouse Water

    An icy Mouse Water

    Copyright Lorne Gill, SNH
  • Bluebells carpet the floor at Cleghorn Glen in spring

    Bluebells carpet the floor at Cleghorn Glen in spring

    Copyright Lorne Gill, SNH
  • A snowy Cleghorn Glen and Mouse Water
  • Looking down into the deep gorge
  • An icy Mouse Water
  • Bluebells carpet the floor at Cleghorn Glen in spring

Spring is the best time to enjoy the colour and perfume of the 210 species of flowering plants that cling to the dramatic slopes. In May, the woodland floor becomes a magnificent blanketed carpet of bluebells whilst long-tailed tits, redstarts, wood warblers and chaffinches sing from the trees above. Listen out for the hammering of the great spotted woodpecker and see if you can catch a glimpse of a tawny owl, kingfisher, badger or roe deer. In places where the ground is more acidic, you will find patches of heather and blueberry under Scots pines.

Every June, hundreds of people take part in the Lanark Lanimer procession carrying birch twigs taken from Cleghorn Glen. Ever since being granted its Royal charter in 1140, the people of Lanark have fulfilled their duty of checking their boundaries, marked out by a series of 15 ‘march’ stones, one of which sits in the Mouse Water at Cleghorn Glen. In 1840, an ancient dispute with the Lairds of Jerviswood came to a head when the Laird tried to stop the procession from crossing what he said was his land at Cleghorn Glen, and damaging his newly planted birch trees. Upon checking the records, it was discovered that the Laird had never officially been sold the land, and since then, the people of Lanark have carried the birch twigs to show they have exercised their right to walk in the Jerviswood lands.



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The Broomhill, Colliery, Doon the Braes, and Growers' Trails with links to National Cycle Route 74, the Clyde Walkway and the River Avon.

National Cycle Route 74: Strathclyde Park to Elvanfoot

NCR 74 in South Lanarkshire - linking to Glasgow in the north and to England in the south

The Clyde Walkway Stage 5: Crossford to Falls of Clyde, New Lanark

Orchard country, spectacular wooded gorges and New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Village

The Leadhills & Wanlockhead Railway

Explore the lead mining museum at Wanlockhead and marvel at the skills of the lead miners who dug their shafts to below sea level and excavated miles of tunnels in their search for lead ore and silver.

Falls of Clyde Historic Trail

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Make Your Way Lanark

The Motte and Bailey, Threshold, Closer Than You Think, Biscuit Crumb and Field-ward Bound Trails, with links to the Clyde Walkway.

Mapping the Past Guide

A guide to the cartographic heritage of the Clyde and Avon Valley

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Historic park with magnificent views

The Royal Burgh of Lanark Museum

A collection of items illustrating the ancient and varied history of the ancient Royal Burgh.

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A taste of this wonderful oak and ash ancient woodland, with the option to explore further. Can be linked with Cartland Criags for longer walk.

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South Lanarkshire Public Research Resources

Collections and local history resources

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A hidden ancient woodland clinging to the slopes of Garrion Gill.

Cartland Craigs Trail

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A beautiful wooded gorge hosting Scotland’s highest railway bridge

National Trust for Scotland Black Hill

A spectacular viewpoint over the Clyde and Avon Valley with a Bronze Age history

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A deep hidden gorge cloaked in ancient woodland

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Stunning nature reserve featuring the largest waterfall in Britain

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Stunning woodland clinging to the steep Nethan Gorge

SNH Cleghorn Glen, Lanark

A beautiful woodland set on the steep Mouse Water Gorge

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Low Parks Museum, Hamilton

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Visit Lanarkshire

Fun family days out at historic attractions, adventure activities and beautiful landscapes.

Lanark Heritage Trail

Lanark, where Heritage blooms - explore this bustling town & discover historic highlights

Mauldslie Woods Walk

Nestled in the Clyde Valley between Rosebank and Garrion Bridge, containing remnants of the designed landscape of Mauldslie Castle.

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An important market town in Scotland since medieval times when King David I granted Lanark Royal Burgh status in 1140

Scottish Wildlife Trust Upper Nethan Gorge

Peaceful, ancient woodland with a stunning variety of wildlife

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