Things to do this Summer in Lanarkshire


Visitors should prepare for lift-off as the International Hot Air Balloon Festival is returning to John Hastie Park Strathaven on the 26 – 28 August for an impressive 17th year. The event which is the only one of its kind in Scotland is expected to attract more than 20,000 over the course of  the weekend. Balloon launches will take place each day at around 6am and 6.30pm and there will also be at least 15 balloons tethered to the ground to allow visitors a closer view. Visitors will be blown away with the Evening Glow event on the Saturday evening at 9pm. This dramatic display will see balloonists illuminate the night sky with the flames of the balloons which will flicker and flash in a choreographed sequence to powerful music. Live entertainment, including jazz and ukulele bands, local singers and dancers, falconry and magic shows will also take place over the weekend. The event, which is run by volunteers, is free with any donations being put towards running costs.

Those looking to get out on the water this summer can head along to Strathclyde Park, and make use of the wide range of funboat activities including speedboat hire, bumper boats, Canadian canoes and pedalos. The Funboat dock is open throughout the summer between 11am-7.30pm with costs starting from just £2.

Lanarkshire will also be a haven for cyclists this summer with hundreds of miles of cycle paths winding their way around the region. In addition to routes at the popular Strathclyde Park, there are opportunities to ride a section of the John Muir Way, which runs along the Forth and Clyde Canal and parts of the Antonine Wall which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Moreover, there are more than 50 miles of new tracks running through fields of giant turbines at Whitelee Wind Farm or for the more adventurous the Cathkin Braes mountain bike circuit built for the Commonwealth Game or BMX fans can test their skills at the world standard Broadwood BMX track.

For those looking for a slower pace, many of Lanarkshire’s beautiful walking routes take in some of Scotland’s best historical wonders. Whether it’s a leisurely stroll around New Lanark World Heritage site or walk along the remnants of the Roman built Antontine Wall. Those who opt for the route from Cumbernauld to Palacerigg Country Park may also be in with a chance to see some local wildlife, including water voles, otters and kingfishers. Visitors to the 500 year old Dalzell House, in Motherwell, can take a stroll around the beautiful Japanese Gardens or ramble through the some of the oldest woodland in Scotland at Chatelherault Country Park.

There is no need to worry about the Scottish summer weather with a number of indoor events across Lanarkshire. Children can battle it out in an inflatable warzone at Carluke Leisure Centre’s Nerf War event on 26 August, or simply sit back and listen as children's books come to life with stage performances of Gruffalo’s Child and Hairy Maclary & Friends, as well as readings of the tales of Wee Shoobie by the author Fraser Bruce taking place throughout the summer.

For those who remember when Jail House Rock was first released, there is a chance to relive Elvis’s glory days, The Eagles and various tribute bands at Lanark Memorial Hall. The internationally acclaimed Scottish Chamber Orchestra will also be making an appearance at the venue on 17 September.


More information on all these events can be found on our main events page.