The Clyde Walkway from Hamilton to Strathclyde Park.
This has taken an age to publish. It's gone through many versions and many edits. From sections to one massive post to finally this. Broken down into parts that make sense to me. I'll link each part together as and when I publish them.
The Clyde Walkway had been on my list for a while. Well parts of it had been. With a full day to myself I decided to get the bus to Hamilton and walk the home. To say I should have checked the time-table earlier is an understatement because in my rush to pack my rucksack and get out the door in time I forgot the map sheets I had printed off. To be honest I was hoping not to use them but I had never walked the path before so I wasn't sure how well it was sign posted. I just wanted a little of insurance, just in case.
There was a fair few stops before I reached Hamilton bus station. Larkhall, Ferniegair and few others. I used that time to plot out a route on ViewRanger on my phone and to download the map tiles should I have needed them.
Hamilton to Strathclyde Loch.
After arriving at the bus station instead of heading straight down to Strathclyde Loch I took a little detour and headed to the Parish Church to have a look at the Netherton Cross. An ancient 10th Century carved stone cross. Which used to stand in the Low Parks near to the old palace grounds on the other side of the motorway. I never got very close to it as the gates were locked and I couldn't see another obvious way in.
Despite the disappointment of the gates being locked I headed on down to the old Palace grounds past the Hamilton Library and the Hamilton Low parks Museum. Both of which are definitely worth a visit in their own right. I continued on to what is now a public park to get the path the goes under the M74 motorway and the footbridge that crosses the Clyde. Now the massive palace no longer stands doesn't mean that there isn't any remnants of its grand past. You only have to walk a short way in the old palace grounds when you see the ice cream cone like dome of the Hamilton Mausoleum. I was built by the 10th Duke of Hamilton. It was started in 1842 and completed 5 years after the death of the 10th Duke in 1858. It also holds the record for the longest echo. The Duke and is ancestors are no longer interred there having been moved due to flooding and subsidence.
Strange standing stone
Not far from the mausoleum. Is a strange mound and standing stone or a stone just protruding from the mound. I don't remember seeing any information board or anything to give it context. It's there and you can't miss it. It took me an age to find out what it is. Originally I thought it was the site of the early medieval castle or the old collegiate church but it wasn't. They are both close by but situated in two completely different areas within the park. This apparently is part of a long forgotten civic art project, an art installation. It took place at some point during the 1990s. Other than that I haven't came across any more details. It certainly puzzled me that day. I'm very intrigued to find out what it's purpose was and is.
There is nothing left to see of the Collegiate Church or what is left is under the Palace Sports ground five aside parks which I passed on the way in. The medieval church was still in use after the reformation when it was used as the local parish church for Hamilton. However it stood far too close to the palace and the Duke decide to build the townspeople a new church. It was largely demolished in 1732 except for the crypt and aisle that was used for the Hamilton burials after the new parish church was completed. It was then completely demolished in 1842. All the Hamilton burials were moved to the new mausoleum before being moved again as mentioned above.
Another site in the area of interest is a medieval Motte and Bailey site. This what I had thought the standing stone and mound was for. If you are heading to Strathclyde park like I was it's over in the near distance on your left hand side. Tucked away next to the motorway, hidden in a stand of trees. Not much is actually known about this site other than it's substantial earth work and buried archeology. It's scheduled and hopefully in the future we'll find out more about it.
Under the M74 and over the bridge
After taking in all the sites of the Palace park I followed the path under the M74 motorway and over the footbridge for my first view of the Clyde and the main subject of the walk. I crossed the bridge, thinking how cool and lazy and slow the water looked. I then took a right and joined the Clyde Walkway properly and started my journey home.