Back to places
Set among rich farmland above the River Clyde, Lanark is a great place to explore. Especially if you enjoy the impressive beauty of old buildings and appreciate a wide variety of niche shops.
The Royal Burgh of Lanark is a bustling market town with a population of over 16,000 and is located in the beautiful lower Clyde Valley. It is a popular visitor destination and the town has a strong agricultural tradition and is home to one of the busiest agricultural markets in Scotland.
Lanark is one of the very few towns in Scotland with direct links to William Wallace and physical ruins still in extistence to visit in the form of St Kentigerns church, where Wallace was married, and Lanark Castle, where he first drew sword.
St Kentigerns is one of the few remaining Scottish buildings of the 13th Centrury remaining and is still accessible today.
Lanark is firmly on the national Wiliam Wallace trail as the place where the story began through his love for his wife.
Family Days Out in Lanark
Lanark also has the Lanark Racecourse, located in West Port, a large boating lake, Lanark Loch, which adjoins a golf course and the former racecourse and adjacent Scottish Equestrian Hotel with pony-trekking activities and riding holidays
The town's Castlebank Park lies near the former site of Lanark Castle, and allows access to the River Clyde and the Clyde Walkway.
Visitors to the town can visit the nearby World Heritage Site of New Lanark, close to the Falls of Clyde Wildlife reserve. For cyclists there is the Lanark, Tinto and Covington Cycle Route which shows off the best of Lanark.
A Brief History of Lanark
The historic burgh of Lanark was the location of the first meeting of the Scots Parliament in 978. Lanark has served as an important market town since medieval times, and King David I made it a Royal Burgh in 1140.
Lanark also features some prominent historic builidngs, including Craignethan Castle.
A few hundred years after the first Scots Parliament took place in Lanark, William 'Braveheart' Wallace resided in the town. There are tributes to Wallace's fight for freedom in Lanark.
In 2005, the nation commemorated the 700th anniversary of the execution of William Wallace with a Wallace festival where the spirit of Wallace was brought back home to rest in Lanark at St Kentigerns.
During medieval and early modern times, the church played an important role in the lives of the people in Lanark. In 1688, as St. Kentigern's church (which dates back to the 13th century) was becoming a ruin, the Parish Church of St. Nicholas became the main church in Lanark. The Church was originally a medieval chapel during the time of William Wallace, and the current building was completed in 1774.
Disagreements in the Church of Scotland resulted in "the Disruption" of 1843. Evidence of these splits exists in Lanark, where there is now a number of church buildings, including St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church, which opened in 1859. St. Mary's was later rebuilt (1907) following a fire.
The nineteenth century saw the improvement of transport links with Glasgow and Edinburgh, allowing Lanark to build upon its position as a market town and, later, as a commuter town. Lanark escaped the worst of the Industrial Revolution as the area has little in the way of minerals.
The primary trades in Lanark, as it headed towards the twentieth century, were craft trades such as weaving, shoe making, and farming. The latter is still a significant feature of the Lanark area - agricultural markets are still held in the town every Monday.
Walking tours of Lanark
Download the Lanark Heritage Trail leaflet below to do your own self-guided tour of Lanark. Should you prefer a guided tour, enjoy 2 hour walking tours around Lanark. See where William Wallace lived and where he was married. See where Lanark Castle once stood and hear the tale of the “girnin dug” and many other interesting tales.
Tours start at Lanark Station and cost £5 per person, including light refreshment. Call Eleanor on 07796 670141 to book your tour.
Lanark Community Website
Lanark now has it's very own community website. This has been created by residents and businesses from the town and is here for the benefit of all who live in the burgh. Find out what's on, essential local information, a business directory and much more. Click here to visit the Lanark Community Website.
Maps and Guides
Lanark is located 27 miles from Glasgow and 34 miles from Edinburgh in the beautiful lower Clyde Valley. It is a popular visitor destination and can be reached by bus and train from Glasgow.