Cartland Craigs is one of the most dramatic of the Clyde Valley's wooded gorges. The best starting point is the small car park by Cartland Bridge. This walk can be combined with Cleghorn Glen to give a fantastic full day's walking.
Stage 1. Cartland Bridge
The best starting point is the small car park on the north-west side of the spectacular Cartland Bridge. Built in 1822 from designs by the engineer, Thomas Telford. A grade B listed building, it is the highest bridge over inland water in Scotland!
Stage 2. A hidden landscape
Walk steeply up the hill for about 250m, with the Mouse Water tumbling away to your right in the depths of the gorge. Be sure to look back over your shoulder to glimpse one of the most dramatic views in Lanarkshire, revealing the true scale of this often hidden landscape.
Stage 3. All around you
You will now be standing high above the Cartland Bridge, with the Mouse Water far below it. Continue along the path which soon begins to ease, becoming flatter. As you pass ancient oaks their canopies will tower above you, while carpets of woodland flowers will surround you in spring and early summer. You may even see badgers and great spotted woodpeckers.
Stage 4. A high perch
Towards the end of this part of the walk you’ll pass close by to the overgrown medieval earthworks of Castle Qua, perched on the edge of the precipitous gorge.
Stage 5. To continue or return?
Continue along the now level path and take in the lush countryside which surrounds you. To return, retrace your steps to the car park, or continue along to Mouse Bridge to proceed into Cleghorn Glen.