Clyde Walkway Community Links: Larkhall to Clyde Walkway – ‘The Monkey Road’
Larkhall to Clyde Walkway – ‘The Monkey Road’
Difficulty (out of 3):Short piece of pavement, rough farm tracks, muddy when wet. This route is passable on foot, cycle or horseback, with a number of farm gates to pass through.
Distance: 2.5km / 1.5 miles
Time: 30 mins 1 way, 1 hour to double back
Overview including alternative start / end points: This is a pleasant, linear route descending through rolling arable farmland of the Clyde Valley, starting from the old mining, textile and weaving settlement of Larkhall and ending with lovely views onto the Clyde.
The Monkey Road is a recorded right of way originating from the use of the route by ‘Larkie’ workers to reach Millburn Chemical and Oil Works and Millburn Colliery (see right) – otherwise known as ‘The Monkey Pit,’ which were both next to the now disused railway line that this route crosses west of Skellyton Farm.
Popular with local dog walkers, this walk starts on the outskirts of the historic town on the shoulder of the valley. However, you could take in some of the historical sights and lively high street of independent shops by parking in town and allowing an extra 25 minutes for walking to the start point below.
Start / Park: This walk starts at Larkhall Golf Club. You may use the on street parking without restrictions on Hareleeshill Road. Hareleeshill Road is first right at the roundabout if driving south east, with Larkhall Golf Club on your left. Alternatively, you can start the walk from the opposite end of the linear route on the A72. Park in the layby just west of where Skellyton farm track meets the A72.
Public Transport: Take the train or bus to Larkhall Station, where it's a 25 minute walk to the starting point. Check the Traveline Scotland widget (see right) for details on the frequency of services.
Facilities: Larkhall has a variety of facilities including shops, cafes and restaurants. Please refer to www.visitlanarkshire.com for full details.
Stages of walk:
1. Larkhall Golf Club to Monkey Road (247 metres)
From Larkhall Golf Club, follow the pavement south east along Burnhead Road, leaving Larkhall behind you.
Continue over the bridge crossing the busy M74. On the left, 35 metres past the bridge, follow the route indicated by the fingerpost from ‘Monkey Road to Lanark Road’, pointing to your left down a farm track.
2. Monkey Road to Railway Bridge (713 metres)
Keep following the farm track past a number of houses on your right.
Beyond Millburn Cottage, the track becomes grassy.
Keep walking until you meet the disused stone railway bridge.
You will be able to see where the railway track originally crossed under the bridge, long since filled in.
Millburn Chemical and Oil Works operated in 1884, producing crude oil only, made chiefly from dross of main seam of common coal. Click on the link on the right for historical information. Millburn Colliery, or ‘The Monkey Pit,’ was situated behind the Chemical and Oil Works, where there were still opencast operations up to 1991.
3. Railway Bridge to Skellyton Farm (684 metres)
Continue on the path over the railway bridge, which bends to the right before taking a sharp left down a lovely avenue of beech trees (probably originally beech hedges), between fields.
Enjoy the lovely view down into the Clyde Valley.
4. Skellyton Farm to A72 (856 metres)
At the bottom of the beech avenue, go through the steel gate and follow the stone track that winds past Skellyton Farm into the Clyde Valley, taking care to avoid the farm steading.
Follow the path until it reaches the busy A72 where you can enjoy views over the Clyde.
You can see the point of the historical ford here where people from Larkhall would have continued their journey to the other side of the Clyde.
Please respect the Scottish Outdoor Access Code. Scotland’s outdoors is managed by a variety of people and organisations and many of them earn their living from the land. It is all of our responsibilities to respect each other’s activities and interests in the outdoors.
As with all outdoor activities walking can present hazards. It is the access-taker’s responsibility to judge whether they can take access safely in any given situation. This route guide does not give any guarantee of path conditions.