Lanark Travel Guide: 25 reviews and 85 photos

Scotland boasts four UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The old city of Edinburgh is a fairly obvious first choice. Two of the other selections are a bit out of the way: St Kilda's is a bird island out in the middle of the North Atlantic, halfway to the Faeroe Islands! The Heart of Neolithic Orkney is on - obviously - the Orkney mainland, in the middle of a group of islands where the people are still not too sure they are really part of the Scottish world or not. The fourth site is probably not better known than the last two - the cotton mill factory village of New Lanark. The site sits down in the River Clyde canyon about a mile south of the old Scottish town of Lanark. New Lanark was one of the more successful Scottish cotton mills established in the late 18th century. The mills ran for over 175 years, spinning cotton - later, rope - while using power inherent in the flow of the waters of the Clyde. Workers were housed in adjacent tenement blocks creating a quintessential company town.

That New Lanark was a successful long-running commercial venture is not enough to push the site onto that vaunted World Heritage list of some 851 worldwide sites - and growing - that UNESCO has declared as having outstanding universal value, sites like Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, the old city of Jerusalem, Vatican City, the Great Wall of China, etc.. What pushes New Lanark onto that exalted list - besides an excellent public relations effort - is the magnificent job undertaken in restoration, the natural beauty of the adjacent Falls of the Clyde and the life efforts of one Robert Owen. To learn more about Robert Owen and his life at New Lanark, read the travelogue below. To visit New Lanark, itself, you will park your car in the large car park located above the mill village, since there is very little room in the village, itself - the exception is for overnight guests who have parking available. Lanark is a straight shot by train from Glasgow Central - the train line is downstairs - with a cost of 4.95 pounds one way and about a 50-60 minute journey. To get from the train station down to the village, it is about a mile walk - just follow the signs to "New Lanark" - or a 4 pound taxi ride. If you come to New Lanark, you should save some time to walk part or all of the Falls of Clyde walk path which takes you past the Falls of the Clyde just to the south of the mill village.

  • Last visit to Lanark: Sep 2007
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (14)

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  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Aug 20, 2009 at 3:10 PM

    a lot of interesting facts and figures here!No Ive not been here but remember seeing the signposts each time I drove past!back in the days when 'Unesco' wasnt even in my vocab!Thanks for a good virtual tour tho!(but Ive been to the Orkneys'!)


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