Cycle Route - Carluke to Shotts
This cycle route stretches from Carluke to Shotts on a 30km circular route with long flat stretches. On leaving the station car park turn right on to Station Road and follow this for a few hundred metres and turn left onto Kirkton Avenue. At the end of this, cross Clyde Street into Kirk Street then right into Kirk Road. Follow this road to the junction with Holm Street and turn left into Holm Street. At the junction with Douglas Street, Holm Street ends but on the opposite side of the road a footpath continues. This is what is left of Old Wishaw Road.
Carry on down this footpath, for it is permitted cycling here, to Weighhouse Road and turn right. Take the first on the left into Bothwell Road and then take the third on the right into Stirling Road. Stirling Road is only a few metres long, at the end of which there is another footpath leading to Airdrie Road. This time the cyclist will have to dismount for the few metres on this footpath. Cross over the busy Airdrie Road, which is the A73, into Castlehill Road.
The route now continues along this road, into the countryside, for 1.5km to a road junction. At this point turn left and continue along this road, which is short but steep uphill stretch. Turn right at the next junction, which has a sign saying 'weight limit 10T 1/2 mile ahead'. It is easy to see the splendid views, as far as the Campsie Fells, that this area is generally very high, about 200m above sea level in fact. This quiet unclassified road meanders through picturesque agricultural land and passes large affluent farm houses at regular intervals. After passing under a disused railway bridge, there is another road junction 2.4km further on. Here turn right and wind slowly uphill for 400m. In fact within this stretch there are a few hills to contend with, none of them being particularly long or steep. At the next junction turn left and continue past the forest known as Kingshill Plantation and the ruins of Dura Kirk. In 1740 a previous church known as the Moor Kirk of Cambusnethan was built on this site, but this heather roofed structure was replaced by the present building in 1780.
However, this church fell into disrepair when the congregation moved to Bonkle, a few miles to the north, in 1843. From here the surrounding countryside changes to that of open moorland. There are considerable signs of quarrying with a few spoil heaps dotted around, although the ambience of the area is not unpleasant. Soon begins the descent into the village of Allanton, where the A71 is reached. Cross this busy road, and 200m to the right is situated another minor road along which the route continues. Descend down this pretty little road for 800m to the next junction and turn right. If one turns left at this point however, and carries along this road for less that 800m and turn left at the T-junction, joining up with the route again further on, this foreshortens the route by under 6.4km. The shorter route is for the most part easy cycling.
Continuing on along the route, after turning right the road begins to ascend towards Shotts with short stretches of fairly steep gradients to contend with short stretches of fairly steep gradients to contend with from time to time. On entering Shoots this road becomes Rosehall Road, at the end of which it joins Shottskirk Road and Station Road (turn right down Station Road, if you want to go to the Railway Station). Turn left into Shottskirk Road passing two streets on the left before coming to a 4-way junction. Here Shottskirk Road continues on the left out of Shotts and so does the route passing, on the way, the Headquarters of the Central Scotland Forest Trust. Turn left at the T-junction following the sign for 'Hartwood'. After a short uphill stretch this road descends down for almost 2.4km, passing Murdostoun Forest, into Hartwood with the short cut referred to earlier rejoins the main route. It may also be useful to note that Hartwood has a Railway Station with a park and ride facility. Then 200m past where the short cut merges is another junction. Here carry straight on and after a further few hundred metres a T-junction is reached at Allanbank. Turn left and within a very short distance the A71 is once more reached. At this point dismount and cross the road to reach a footpath located on the other side. Turn right, commence up this footpath and after 100m it joins a road end called Mill Road comes to a T-Junction, at which point veer right (do not turn hard right) and on out of the village.
This little manoeuvre saves a 800m detour through Allanton (the alternative route through Allanton is: turn left along the A71 for 200m or so and then turn right into Coltness Avenue and follow this uphill and out of the village). Follow this road for about 1.5km to a 4-way junction. Here veer to the right (once again do turn right). Carry along this road for 1.6km to Morningside and turn left at a T-junction there. Once out of this tiny hamlet the road begins to climb sometimes fairly steeply for 800m when it levels out once again. A little further on, the road which was used on the first leg of the journey is passed on the left. Carry on for a further 800m, now retracing the route already travelled upon to the next junction where a right turn is made. From here retrace this route back for 1.2km, to where it joins the A72. Then carry on using the reverse of the route through Carluke to the Railway Station.
This page is an extract from '25 Cycle Routes Around Glasgow' with kind permission from Erl Wilkie.
Tel: 01236 616436
Location: Carluke ML8 5AD