This first section covers Glasgow & Lanarkshire.

Below is a download map of the area showing the route taken and the location of title sponsors.
Click here to download this file


Glasgow is Scotland’s biggest and most diverse city - a UNESCO city of Music and home to Scottish Opera, Ballet and Royal Scottish National Orchestra as well as the BBC Scotland and STV. It is host city for the 2014 Commonwealth Games and some of the events of the 2012 Olympics took place at the National Football stadium - Hampden Park.

Translating from Gaelic as the ‘dear green place’ it has some 90 parks, the lungs of this once industrial powerhouse.
A crucial ford over the then shallow river Clyde was the start of this community and it soon became an important religious centre.

The Patron Saint of Glasgow who founded a church in 540 on the site of the Cathedral is St Mungo and the diocese was established by Papal consecration nearly six hundred years later in 1136.
As Edinburgh grew around its castle, Glasgow grew around its church.
The cathedral is the only one on mainland Scotland to survive the reformation of 1560 intact and as such it is regarded as one of the countries most magnificent medieval buildings.
St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art next to Glasgow Cathedral; explores religion across the world and it’s history - in a haven of tranquillity – with the UK’s first Zen garden.

Provand’s Lordship across the road is one of the oldest houses in the city and affords a unique glimpse into the past and a real flavour of a home interior from 1700.
Near here William Wallace won a small battle in the 13th century against the English at Bell’o Brae, today located on what is High Street.
Then the city became a place of learning with its University founded in 1451.
The city fell to the retreating Jacobite Army during the ’45 but this was a short lived interruption to the ongoing commerce and trade.
It was during the cities brief occupation that Bonnie Prince Charlie met and fell in
love with Clemintina Walkinshaw, the daughter of a wealthy merchant, she later joined him in exile and they had a daughter, Charlotte, who became the Duchess of Albany.


Glasgow’s story however has been that of trade: - after the Act of Union in 1707 the city was well placed for the British Colonies in America, which led to the emergence of the cities rich and powerful ‘Tobacco Lords’

The Merchant City was formerly home to the Tobacco Lords, who until the American Wars of Independence had a monopoly on all the tobacco that reached Europe from across the Atlantic. They dressed in three cornered hats, wore scarlet cloaks and carried silver mounted canes.
The first pavements in the city - known as the plainestanes - were used by these gentlemen, who would swipe their cane at any ‘Glesca keelie’ who dared use them.

Blackfriars located on Bell Street in the Merchant City - is an award winning traditional pub and the one of best-kept secrets in Glasgow.
With five cask ales, a dozen beer taps and over forty international bottled beers it is one of the city’s oldest real ale pubs. It also has gastro pub food upstairs and live music, dance classes and club nights downstairs.
Nearby is the East End, home to the famous ‘Barras’ market and Glasgow Green – the City’s oldest park which hosts the World Pipe Band Championships, here the Templeton Carpet factory features an imposing red brick and terracotta façade - based on the Doge’s palace in Venice. Another fine structure is the People’s Palace:- which tells the story of the city and it’s people with paintings, photos, objects and lively displays.


The ‘Style Mile’ - a giant ‘Z’ - formed by the junctions of Buchanan, Sauchiehall and Argyle streets:- is regarded as one of the best shopping zones anywhere in the UK

The Ben Nevis Bar on Argyle Street offers a wee bit of the Highlands in the bustling centre of the city.

This free house has a gantry of some 200 plus malts, Scottish real ales and a warm welcome. The famous ‘Killie Pie’ or ‘Belter Bridie’ are a worthwhile lunch option, whilst in the evenings regular live traditional Scottish music sessions are another regular feature. Check out the on-line whisky shop - with Ben Nevis whisky available – distilled by another title sponsor in Fort William.
The Highlandman’s Umbrella is also on Argyle Street - and was a well known shelter from the Glasgow rain for many a weary traveller from the north - as the clearances brought an influx into the city.
A marvellous example of Victorian engineering it carries the railway from Central Station over Argyle Street.

The city also has more public museums and galleries than almost anywhere else in Europe and is classified as a European city of culture and architecture.
Many fine buildings survived the clearances of the 1950’s and 60’s and you only need to stop and look above the shop fronts to see some fine detailing and carving in what is now regarded as one of the best preserved Victorian city-scapes in the U.K.
The Gallery of Modern Art is housed in an extraordinary 18th century building in Royal Exchange Square and showcases local, national and international art.
Nearby George Square and the large hotel that overlooks it, was the meeting place for Sir Winston Churchill and Hopkins the Secretary of Commerce and special advisor to
President Roosevelt, which led directly to the United States entering the Second World War.
The civic chambers dominate the square and are regarded as the finest in the country. The oldest Chamber of Commerce was founded in 1783 is also located here.

In Bath Street amongst the offices and trendy wine bars is the newly established award winning specialist whisky retailer The Good Spirits Co.
They also offer a fine range of Bourbon, Rum, Gin, fortified wines and quality champagne and even offer a growing range of craft beer.
Cuban cigars, stored in a walk-in humidor, and smoking accessories are also available.
Uniquely an octave cask in the store is added to continuously creating an on-going and evolving blended malt whisky, available to sample and take away.
Another one-off is the purpose built tasting room offering weekly tastings and master-classes.

Also located on Bath Street is the long established business of John Green Fine art; which specialises in 19th 20th century and contemporary oils and watercolours including works by many well known Scottish, British and continental artists. The gallery is packed with countless originals and as they are also specialist framers and restorers, a number of stacked canvasses awaiting repair add to the organised chaos of the place.
From the Glasgow Boys to the Glasgow Girls and Scottish Colourists the city has a long connection with the development of artistic genre.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was largely responsible for the ‘Glasgow Style’ and his
influence can be seen all over the city. Born in 1868, he met his wife, Margaret whilst
studying at the Glasgow School of Art, who with her sister, Frances and Herbert McNair, became known as ‘the four’ and laid the foundations of the Glasgow Style.
A style influenced by the European Art Nouveau, and characterised by organic, curving forms, symbolism, sensuous mouldings and a fondness for pinks and purples.

However it is as an Architect that Mackintosh is best known and his masterpieces of design can be seen throughout the city.
Indeed the most iconic Mackintosh building is home to the Glasgow School of Art founded in 1845 and is still proudly independent and regarded as the foremost university for Art and Design in Europe.
This masterpiece of design displays a genius for the use of light and space and is open to the public for tours – [check the website for dates and availability].

Glasgow School of Art also features an award winning shop – selling unique contemporary textiles, accessories and home-ware designed by students, staff and alumni of the school.
Nearby is The National Piping Centre - dedicated to the music and history of the great highland Bagpipe – Scotland’s iconic instrument and is a recognised international centre of excellence.
The centre houses the Piper’s Tryst ; a restaurant with eight bedrooms.
The Museum of Piping; explaining over three hundred years of piping heritage, with one of the most authoritative displays in the world.
A Shop; which is one of the biggest brand independent bagpipe retailers in the world - with expert staff.
The National Youth Pipe Band of Scotland ; which draws exceptional talents for across Scotland from the ages of 10 to 25.
Piping School; evening classes, private lessons and a piping degree are run by some of the world’s leading pipers.
The National Piping Centre is the ‘epicentre’ of Scotland’s most celebrated instrument, it’s music, history and culture.


The Glasgow of today is a vibrant modern post-industrial city perhaps best illustrated here in the West End of the city.
But we can’t forget its past achievements. Near here James Watt harnessed the power of steam; which was to transform transport forever from his laboratory at Glasgow University; before Waterloo ended the Napoleonic Wars.
The West End is noted for its academic, media and arty inhabitants, with they say more graduates per head of population than anywhere else in the country.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is Scotland’s number ONE attraction and has 22 galleries that display some 8000 objects!
Galleries include the Glasgow Boys, European Art, Scottish Art, internationally significant armour, rare human history and even a real spitfire plane hanging from the ceiling! Cafes and shops ensure the complete day out.

Just off Byres Road in Creswell Lane is Jolly Molly - offering a well-chosen range of quality quirky products for the home alongside an interesting choice of personal items such as jewellery, scarves and gifts, as well as a range of products for children - Jolly Juniors. The business also operates another outlet on the Isle of Arran as well as an excellent on-line shop.
Travel along the banks of the River Clyde to the Riverside Museum - a striking dynamic building on the Clyde waterfront and the new home of the city’s famous Transport Collection – some 3000 objects from locomotive engines, trams and buses to rare collectors cars.
Fascinating ship models and a reconstructed 1900’s street also feature alongside numerous interactive displays and a popular café and shop.
It is also home to the Tall Ship ‘Glenlee’.


The Cranes of the former shipyards stand as giant sculptures amongst the ongoing
riverside renewal.
Salmon have returned to the Clyde - after a period of 120 years during which time industrial pollution had choked the river – a proud emblem on the city coat of arms.
The last Ocean Going Paddle Steamer in the World, the Waverley is docked at Pacific Quay, next to the Science Centre. From here it heads down the Clyde estuary and out to the Sea Lochs and Islands of Argyll.
Much as it has for generations, taking the Glasgow Folk ‘Doon the Water’.
The Waverley was built in Glasgow in 1946 and replaced an earlier vessel of the same name lost during WW2 at Dunkirk.
Both being named after the first novel of Sir Walter Scott.

Continue into Govan, here Shearer Candles which has been established since 1897 is the longest established lifestyle candle company in the UK and employs over fifty people.
Located opposite the Govan underground, it is still family owned, these days by the Barnet family, who purchased the business in 1972 and are now employing their third generation.
They produce and distribute millions of candles every year to many leading retailers, hoteliers and restaurants worldwide.
Whilst the factory shop; The Candle Store offers a wide range of candles, gifts and stylish accessories as well as factory seconds, bargain baskets, bespoke gifts and sale items.
It was Candleriggs that was the traditional site for candle-makers and remains one of the oldest streets in the city, indeed it was here the original partners of Shearer Candles first started.

We continue our route through the South of the City to Scotland Street Museum - once a working school, designed by Mackintosh. It features reconstructed classrooms from the Victorian era, WW11 and the 50’s and 60’s.
The next stop is Pollock House - set amid Pollock Country Park and was one of the city’s most elegant family homes. Whose rich mahogany and marble interior features some fine paintings, silver and ceramics.
The Edwardian Kitchen Restaurant is open for morning coffees, lunch and afternoon teas.
The Burrell Collection - located in a purpose built museum in the heart of the Park - is an astonishing range of some 8000 beautiful objects from around the world, which represents the lifetime collection of an extraordinary man.
Medieval art, Oriental art sit alongside Impressionist art by masters such as Rodin, Degas and Cezanne.
The collection also includes intriguing objects from Ancient Civilizations, medieval furniture and wonderful stained glass.
The Burrell Collection has also has a Café, shop and the wonderful parkland setting is ideal for picnics.


We leave the city and head east to Blantyre – once the second largest village in the country and the site of one of the first cotton spinning factories established in 1785 by Arkwright.
It was here in 1813 that Scotland’s most famous explorer David Livingstone was born in a weavers house in Shuttle Row which is now the David Livingstone Centre.

This houses a superb collection of his personal belongings and a fascinating exhibition that celebrate his life and recent bicentenary.
A dramatic sculpture of Livingstone and a Lion is to be found outside.

We then head south to East Kilbride - the first New Town to be established after the 2nd World War. It was planned to house 40,000 and now is home to double that figure. Whilst modernity is the overall impression, it is a well kept, formulated fusion of retail, industrial and urban and like most Scottish towns is surrounded by some fine open countryside and farmland.

Part of National Museums Scotland and run in association with the National Trust for Scotland, the National Museum of Rural Life is to be found in the farmland at Wester Kittochside.
This Five Star living museum illustrates changes in Scottish farming over the last three hundred years. It incorporates a Georgian farmhouse and historic farm that is worked using techniques and equipment of the 1950’s complete with livestock including sheep, cattle, horses, hens and pigs. This is a great family day out and under fives are free! Also on offer are a café and shop, lovely picnic areas and numerous seasonal events.
East Kilbride was in fact originally one of the oldest villages in Scotland with associations dating back to the 12th century and was made a burgh barony in the reign of Queen Anne.
Mains castle dates from the 13th century and was given to John Lindsay for his part in the infamous murder of Red Comyn in a Dumfries Kirk by Robert the Bruce.

Nearby East Rogerton Lodge offers both Bed and Breakfast accommodation in a converted wing of the house in three twin rooms as well as self-catering in two cottages and one bungalow. Located just half a mile from East Kilbride, and only six miles from Glasgow.

Airdrie grew from a simple farm steading into a market town then a key industrial centre located on the main route linking Glasgow to Carlisle and Edinburgh, indeed during the height of coal mining and iron founding it prospered greatly.
Craigpark House is a restored Victorian Villa in a semi-rural location some four miles outside Airdrie and just sixteen miles from Glasgow at Caldercruix.
It offers four star bed and breakfast accommodation in four en-suite rooms, a real home from home, with thoughtful features such as secure storage for bikes and golf clubs.
Caldercruix was known at one time for its paper mill powered by two of the largest water wheels in Scotland and was the largest producer of Blotting Paper in the world.
It is now home to the Countryside & Nature community park established in 1996.


The river Clyde runs for nearly one hundred miles from its source near Leadhills to the mighty Clyde Estuary.
This part of the Clyde Valley is known these days for the numerous nurseries and the growing of tomatoes and fruit.

Located here on the banks of the River Clyde - Valley International Park is set in some 90 acres of forestry and was formerly the Carfin Estate.

It offers children a narrow gauge railway, soft play area and an assortment of animals; such as ducks, geese, horses and even the odd Roe Deer.
It also has a cafe, gift shops, tapas bar, restaurant and the Lodge- with accommodation in 15 rooms.
The bridge over the river at Crossford dates from 1793.
Whilst the nearby one at Kirkfieldbank dates from 1699.

Up in the hills above Kirkfieldbank is Corehouse Farm which offers Farmhouse B&B on this working family farm
The original steading dates back some 300 years and guests are offered ground floor en-suite rooms in a self-contained annex – with it’s own TV lounge and breakfasting conservatory.
Corehouse welcomes horses and riders from all over the country, offering first class equestrian facilities and equine B&B.
Plenty of parking for guest vehicles including horse boxes and trailers.
A circular walk from the farm takes in both Corra and Bonnington Linn two waterfalls that form the famous Falls of Clyde, now a Nature Reserve.

Best Western Cartland Bridge Country House Hotel is set in 19 acres of wooded grounds bordered by a trout stream and is perhaps the finest example of Scottish Architecture by Sir John James Burnett.
This lovely country house is located just a mile from Lanark, yet enjoys splendid rural seclusion and offers 18 en-suite rooms, some fine wood panelled public rooms- which include a bar and restaurant both open to non-residents for meals and drinks.

It is said that William Wallace met his love, Marion Braidfute in Lanark; they married in 1296 at St Kentigern’s church in the town.
The site of their home is now marked by a cairn adjacent to which a statue of
this national hero can be found above the doorway of St Nicholas Church.
Wallace’s wife was murdered by the English Sheriff of Lanark- Hesselrigg and it was at Lanark castle that Wallace took his revenge, splitting the sheriff’s skull in two with his famous broadsword; indeed legend has it that some 200 soldiers died that night in 1297.
Nothing of the castle remains today but if you walk down the Castlegate to the bowling green, two commemorative stones detail the history of the castle - Scotland’s first parliament was held there in the reign of David the 1st.

These days Lanark is a busy market town and the High Street remains home to a number of independent businesses, a fine example being ‘Damn Delicious’ - a butcher shop located at 108 High Street and run by a local farming family, who also run a highly successful on-line butchery business and have been selling direct and nationwide since 2007.
Here you will find their home reared Aberdeen Angus beef, Texel Lamb and Free Range Pork , all fed on a 100% natural diet with no meal or additives.
Thereby ensuring the best quality meat rich in flavour and healthy Omega 3.
A mouth-watering range of fresh home-made pies are made daily on the premises.
A few miles out of town is the private mansion of Lee Castle, former seat of the Lockhart family, owners of the ‘Lee Penny’. - a token which was brought back from the Holy land by Sir Simon Lockhart and the basis for Sir Walter Scott’s novel ‘The Talisman’
The Highland Jacobite figure a-top the well known Glenfinnan Monument was based on a portrait from Lee castle. The sculptor was sent here to copy a painting of Bonnie Prince Charlie. But in error, he copied a portrait of George Lockhart, who had fought with the Prince, which also hung on the Castle walls.
An understandable error when you consider that all images of the Prince had been banned after the ’45.
Situated in a dramatic gorge downstream from the Falls of Clyde, the historic mill village of New Lanark was founded in 1785 by David Dale. It rose to fame under the enlightened management of Dale’s son-in-law, Robert Owen, who implemented a range of social, workplace and educational reforms to improve the lives of his workers.
Today, New Lanark is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that attracts around 300,000 visitors each year. It is also a living and working community with a resident population. The site is owned and operated by New Lanark Trust and offers an award-winning visitor centre, luxury hotel & self-catering accommodation and spectacular scenery & walks.


Travel on to Biggar as we enter the town, we pass the Cadger Bridge; so called because Wallace crossed here disguised as a cadger before defeating the English at a battle on the moss to the south east of town.
The town is equidistant from Glasgow and Edinburgh and not much less from Carlisle.
It was an original settlement for Flemish immigrants who arrived under the patronage of the Scottish Kings and Biggar became a Royal Burgh in 1451 and was under the protection of Fleming’s of Boghall Castle.
Mary Fleming - one of Mary Queen of Scot’s four Mary’s - was born at the castle, of which today only a small part of a tower remains, in a farmyard to the south of the town.
The Kirk, St Mary’s was the last built before the reformation by Lord Fleming who was also Mary Queen of Scot’s uncle.
Mary Fleming is remembered each June with the crowning of the Fleming Queen.

Biggar is a traditional market town serving a vast agricultural hinterland.
It is home to a number of interesting retailers, a unique one located on High Street is
Feufield Llama’s Larder, offering delicious home-made food and drink an offshoot of the Feufield trust.
Another is the Olive Tree Deli, here you will find a mouth-watering selection of cheeses, including the local Lanark Blue and other Scottish favourites such as Loch Arthur and Isle of Mull. Organic cheese, milk, bread, eggs and bacon as well as award winning Stornoway Black Pudding and Haggis. Opened in 2007 this off licensed deli also has a first class selection of carefully chosen wines from France and the rest of the world and also offers a picnic and hamper service.
The Feufield Trust is also located at Feufield cottage at Symington – a few miles out of Biggar. This free-range smallholding is the passion of Kim Adam, here the Feufield family consists of numerous farm and domesticated animals - you can walk with Llamas, enjoy pony rides and learn about animal welfare. The llamas larder sells home-made jams and chutneys and fresh eggs from hens, ducks, geese and even quail.


Auchlochan Garden Village is set in fifty acres of well maintained wooded grounds and home to some 400 retired people - it offers two beautifully furnished self-catering apartments, four B&B rooms and has been awarded four stars by the Scottish Tourist Board.
Designed originally for family and friends it is now open to the wider public – who can enjoy the first class on-site facilities, such as the bistro, shop and of course the fine gardens.

It was nearby in Lesmahagow that Benidictine Monks established a priory and became the first pioneers of fruit growing in the Clyde Valley, which still thrives to this day.
It later became a centre for convenanters - David Steel a local farmer was shot in 1686 and a monument commemorates him at his farm at Skellyhill, whilst another at Auchingelloch recalls the sufferings of other convenanters here.

Strathaven was the home of the late Sir Harry Lauder who resided at ‘Lauder Ha’ for some fifteen years.
Avondale Castle, a ruin occupies a lofty mound on the edge of town. Built in the 15th
century by Lord Avondale, on the plan of a parallelogram with two towers at diagonally opposite corners.

The town has the feel of a market town and is a popular shopping destination for the rural community hereabouts.

The Waterside Bakery is Scotland’s oldest established in 1820 and run by the 6th generation of the family of the original owner – Alexander Taylor.
This artisian bakery makes on the premises a wide range of Scottish and European breads, scones, pastries and pies and are a renowned patisserie.
The adjoining Waterside Tearoom offers all these delights alongside the finest teas and coffees and is open 7 days a week.

Strathaven Ales is located at Craigmill, a former mill on the banks of the Avon Water on the outskirts of this pretty village.
A popular meeting place for walkers, cyclists and even motoring clubs.
They produce a range of hand-made beers, including Amber, IPA, Light, 80 shilling and Ginger beer. Available in bottles, mini casks, pins, firkins and kiderkins.
It also features a wee shop that offers some boxed selections and also individual ales in bottles and mini casks. As members of Camra - these fine ales can also be enjoyed at many of the better pubs serving real ale across Lanarkshire and Ayrshire.
Nearby the former shooting lodge of the Dukes of Hamilton, Dungavel, was where Rudolf Hess was heading in his dramatic solo escape flight from Nazi Germany, as he had hunted with the duke here prior to the hostilities.
He was promptly arrested and remained in jail for the rest of his life.
These days ironically the lodge is now Scotland’s immigration detention centre.