Festival fun in the Clyde and Avon Valley, 6 - 14 May
Discover a beautiful landscape brimming with stories
Discover what secrets are tucked into the Clyde and Avon Valley by taking part in an exciting and vibrant Festival, Saturday 6 to Sunday 14 May 2017.
The programme includes a staggering 38 family-friendly events offered over a fun-packed nine days. Events include walks, talks, exclusive tours, children’s activities, a song writing workshop, musical performances, an orchard open day, photography walks, Blossom Day and Landscape and Heritage Conference. All but two events are FREE. Full listings, including entry and booking details on the tiles below this article and available as a downloadable PDF under 'Other Resources' on the right of this page.
The Clyde and Avon Valley, a designated Area of Great Landscape Value (AGLV), is renowned for its arresting beauty, nationally significant ancient gorge woodlands, crumbling castles, old Estates, riverside settlements, fertile land and bountiful orchards.
The Festival takes place down the length of the Clyde and Avon valleys from Hamilton to New Lanark and Strathaven respectively. Locations include the picturesque Dalserf village, Carluke, Chatelherault Country Park, Cleghorn Glen, Dalzell Estate, Falls of Clyde, Hamilton, Lanark, Larkhall and Stonehouse.
It offers visitors the chance to follow in the footsteps of the people who have traversed the Clyde and Avon Valley through time to the present day, from the ancient Kings and Queens of Strathclyde to Mary Queen of Scots, J. M. W. Turner, Wordsworth, local fruit growers and the people that care for the landscape today.
The Festival is organised by the Heritage Lottery Fund supported Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership (CAVLP) in collaboration with local attractions, organisations and community groups. These includ South Lanarkshire Countryside Rangers, North Lanarkshire Countryside Parks, Scottish Badgers, CAVLP Heritage, Clyde River Foundation, Clyde Valley Orchards Co-operative, Dalserf Church, Falls of Clyde Heritage Group, Get Walking Lanarkshire, ice cream architecture, Lanark and District Archaeology Society, Lanarkshire Songwriters, Scottish Natural Heritage and Scottish Wildlife Trust.
Led by local experts or representatives from national organisations, each tailored event offers locals and visitors alike the chance to get under the skin of the Clyde and Avon Valley with the people who know it best.
The Festival kicks off with fun for all of the family at the ever popular Blossom Day at Overton Farm, Saturday 6 May, 9am – 1pm. Visitors will be able to shop for fresh, local produce and crafts at the Farmers Market and Craft Fair, and enjoy the local school art competition.
“Blossom Day is the perfect way to start the Festival. It signals the arrival of the Clyde Valley blossoms, which is when many people agree that the Clyde and Avon Valley looks its best,” says Donna Marshall, CAVLP Programme Manager.
She continues, “The blossom is also a reminder of the Estate owners, monks and fruit growers who have cared for orchards throughout history, helping to entrench the orchards as a unique feature in the wider landscape.”
The 38 events provide opportunities for everyone to get involved. Four Health Walks, provided by Get Walking Lanarkshire, have been included in the programme for those who can’t access the beautiful but tricky natural gorge terrain of much of the landscape.
The programme includes five Roots, Routes and Walking Boots guided walks and five photography walks in Carluke, Glassford, Lanark, Larkhall and Stonehouse through the Make Your Way project. These walks will highlight new routes created in each of the locations and provide participants with the chance to learn how to capture features of the routes with professional photographer Mark Archibald. The routes take in heritage features whilst providing active travel opportunities between main points in each of the towns.
“Now in its third year, it’s great to see the Festival growing from strength to strength,” says Sarah O’Sullivan, CAVLP Communications Officer.
She continues, “From nine events in 2015, to 16 events in 2016 and 38 in 2017, the Festival is testament to the growing energy and enthusiasm in this special part of Scotland to celebrate what makes it unique. The Landscape and Heritage Conference, showcasing community heritage projects on Saturday 13 May, and the Fruits of Their Labours songwriting workshops and concert on Sunday 14 May, are a wonderful way to conclude the Festival.”
The Festival ties in with Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology #HHA2017 in 2017, offering chances for the public to get under the skin of all of these aspects in the Clyde and Avon Valley.
Participants are also invited to enter a photo competition which will run for the duration of the Festival, for their chance to win prizes provided by the organisers. Simply tag the Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership using #ClydeAvonValley on Facebook: Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership – CAVLP, Twitter: @ClydeAvonValley, or Instagram: @clydeavonvalley.
All but two events are FREE and are listed on the tiles below. Please check each individual listing for full details including dates, times, meeting points and booking details. Here's a short film from last year to get you in the mood!