Clyde Walkway Community Links – Nemphlar Moor Road to Braidwood
Through gentle rolling landscape to the dramatic Fiddler’s Gill gorge
Difficulty (out of 3):This route is most suitable for walkers, due to the narrowness of the gorge and the need to pass through a small, private garden.
Distance: Main route to Braidwood (shortest) 2.5km, 5km return. Detours will extend distance.
Time: 40 minutes one way, 1 hour 20 minutes return. Detours will extend time.
A lovely, linear walk from Nemphlar Moor Road to Braidwood or vice versa which contrasts the gentle rolling landscape of the beautiful Lee Valley and the dramatic steep-sided gorge of SSSI Fiddler’s Gill. The route offers options for shorter circular walks and a short detour will allow a visit to the 16th Century Tower of Halbar.
Start / park: At the informal layby on Nemphlar Moor Road, or from various points in Braidwood village, where on street parking is available.
Public transport: If arriving by bus, the bus stops at Fiddlers Bridge in Braidwod, and the walk done the other way round. Check the Traveline Scotland widget (right) for details of the frequency of services.
Facilities: Various facilities are available in Braidwood. Please refer to www.visitlanarkshire.com for eating / drinking / staying recommendations throughout Lanarkshire.
1. Nemphlar Moor Road to Auchenglen Road (880 metres)
Start at the informal layby on Nemphlar Moor Road (Grid Reference- NS843458) and follow the finger post directing you to Braidwood.
The route passes ‘Burned Wood’ on the left with pleasant views of open fields to the right, then passing through mixed woodland.
Carry on through the wooden gate following the finger post to Nemphlar and into the Lee Valley.
From here there are stunning views across the Lee Valley, including to the east, Lee Castle (‘the Lee’) itself and associated parkland. The castle was built in 1822 for Sir Norman McDonald Lockhart of Lee.
Descend down into the valley passing a ruined farm on your left. Cross over the Auchenglen burn to meet the next kissing gate and finger post to Braidwood.
2. Auchenglen Road to Fiddler’s Gill (480 metres)
From here, follow the track to the left in the direction of Derwent Wood. This track also offers the option to pass through the wood and link back into Nemphlar Moor Road for a shorter circular walk.
To carry on through Fiddlers Gill, take a wooded path to the right, following the fingerpost north to Braidwood.
The path winds down crossing the wooden bridge over the Fiddler’s Burn and ascends again.
This area was once the site of the historic but long demolished St Oswald’s Chapel. Although it sounds intriguing, there are no remnants of the former site. Please respect the privacy of the private landowners at this section of the walk by refraining from searching for signs of the chapel. Monks from the chapel used to mine coal from the accessible valley sides and local legend has it that they are occassionally still seen wandering in the woods!
From here, walk 50m uphill along the tarmac road and follow the fingerpost east to Braidwood. Go through the kissing gate on the right hand side of the hedgerow and follow the right of way through the field with a mysterious big telescope in it, to the kissing gate at the corner of the wood, making sure that you turn round to take in the stunning views back towards Nemphlar Moor Road.
Continue following the fingerposts to Braidwood. Please respect the privacy of the private landowners at this point and keep to the right of way.
3. Fiddler’s Gill to Braidwood- various routes (1.2 to 1.4km approx. depending on route)
Follow the high level path through Fiddler’s Gill, a dramatic wooded gorge and Special Site of Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The woodland is a fine example of ancient woodland, home to a variety of rare plants and wildlife including beetles.
The route follows the edge of a garden boundary before passing through the garden of a private house and coming out at the road in front of the house. Please respect the privacy of the landowners here.
From here, follow the fingerpost north to Lanark Road which takes you along the top of the gorge to Braidwood, where several adjoining tracks provide a variety of options for accessing Braidwood village to your left, or carry straight on to reach Fiddler’s Bridge on Lanark Road.
4. Braidwood to Tower of Hallbar (also known as Braidwood Castle) (1.5km)
Deviations from the main route can offer several scenic ways to return or create a circular walk.
A short detour will take you to the 16th century Tower of Hallbar which is well worth a visit. The narrow, five-storey tower is only 7.5 m square, with walls up to 1.6 m thick. In recent times it has been renovated and is currently let out as holiday accommodation.
To get to the tower, re-trace your steps through the woods until you arrive back at the cottages at Woodhall Road.
Turn right to walk past the cottages and then left at the road junction.
Follow the road, going straight on at the next junction (250m) until you come to a sign for Milnwood on the right (280m).
Follow this path for 180m and go through a wooden gate on your left which leads you down over the Braidwood burn and into the grounds of Hallbar.
Return: Although you can gain access out to the main Braidwood Road, the safest way back is to retrace your steps back to Auchenglen Road.
Once at Auchenglen Road you have the option of going directly back to Nemphlar Moor Road the way you came (left at Auchenglen Road and then right onto the path to Nemphlar Moor Road), or heading right along the core path through Derwent Wood onto Birkhill Road.
This scenic detour joins Nemphlar Moor Road at Crossford (opposite Carfin Drive), so if you go left you can return to your start point of the informal layby. This detour is just under 2km.
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.