1 Chatelherault – Hamilton
In January I tend to confine my walks and cycle runs to my local area as I am familiar with the area. The short days force me to be back home before 4.00pm, just before it gets dark.
One of my favourite winter walks is around the grounds of Chatelherault Country Park, in Hamilton. The main feature of the Park is the magnificent hunting lodge which was designed by William Adam and completed in 1734.
It was originally owned by the Hamilton Family, but was passed to the State and is now maintained by South Lanarkshire Council.
There are a number of trails around the Park but my favourite follows the Mineral Railway, Hoolet Row and Riccarton paths which is a total distance of 6 1/2 miles. To add on another few miles, I will take one of the other paths, such as the Deer Park Track and Huntsman’s Ride.
I can walk with the minimum of equipment, as I know the paths well and won’t get lost. I take a flask with hot drinks and some food with me, even although it is a fairly short walk. I recommend my companions do the same.
I also take a waterproof jacket and wear appropriate footwear as the path can be a bit uneven in places.
There are always plenty of people walking along the various paths and their ages range from the very young to the not-so-young. The main thing about all the walkers is that they are all fit and enjoying themselves.
There are many interesting things to see on the walk including the Cadzow Oaks, which are over 500 years old, the White Cattle, giant redwood trees and the Avon Gorge.
The paths are hard-packed and have some steep steps in places which are great for running up to get some good exercise during the walk.
After finishing the walk, relax with friends in the Visitor Centre or Garden Centre for a well deserved cup of tea.
Some pictures of Chatelherault can be seen in the video below: