Dalzell Estate & Baron's Haugh Nature Reserve
Essential Information about the Dalzell Park & Baron's Haugh walk
Map: OS Explorer 343.
Start/finish point: RSPB visitor car park accessed by North Lodge Avenue.
Transport: Train - Airbles 1¼ mile. Bus stop - Adele Street at Broomside Crescent 750 yards.
Refreshment: Electric Bar (adjacent to Airbles railway station) - 01698 268393; www.electricbar.co.uk
Walk Distance: 3.5 miles. Time: 2-3 hours.
Difficulty: Easy Terrain: Good footpaths throughout
You should remember to bring your binoculars on this walk as sightings of interesting wildlife and birdlife are guaranteed. You can observe the red wing, kingfishers, pochard and teal from any of the four hides that overlook the Baron’s Haugh Nature Reserve.
The historic Dalzell Estate has facinating Japanese gardens, exotic trees, ornamental bridges and temples, reflects the significance placed on the gardens by the formal owners, the Hamiltons, resulting in a relaxing and picturesque environment to take a lesisurely stroll.
This walk follows the Red Route, which is the longest of five way marked routes that wind their way through the estate.
Points of interest
1 RSPB Baron’s Haugh nature reserve centred on flooded marshland in a bend of the River Clyde, the reserve attracts wintering wildfowl including widgeon and whooper swans.
2 Old graveyard a short detour along the Chestnut Walk leads to this very spooky graveyard. Peer into the Hamilton family mausoleum and look out for their pet cemetery.
3 Dalzell House (private) the centrepiece of the estate this impressive building spans more than 500 years. The Hamiltons of Dalzell lived here from the 17th century until the early 1950s; a home they had to share with at least three ghosts.
4 Covenanters’ Oak planted by David I, it is the oldest living thing in North Lanarkshire. This venerable oak once sheltered secret religious services held by Covenanters in the 17th century.
5 Japanese gardens a pocket of eastern serenity, the gardens were laid out in the 18th century to resemble those of the temple of the Buddha at Nagasaki.
6 White walk this sunken roadway was created so that miners making their way to work each day didn’t spoil the view from the house,
Leave the RSPB car park (accessed by North Lodge Avenue/Manse Road) by the path signed “To the hides.” Follow Red Ash path downhill to junction with Broad Path. Turn right onto Broad Path.
Watch out for wildlife observation hide on the left.
Turn left off main footpath onto a narrow path through trees. After a short distance turn left again to join footpath by the banks of the River Clyde and follow for about one mile. At the junction with the Chestnut Walk go through the gate and take up the Lime Walk to continue along the riverbank.
At the end of the Lime Walk turn uphill away from the Clyde and go through gate. Keep left at each fork in the path as you go uphill. The path winds through yew trees and skirts the edge of housing.
At junction with footpath (Green Walk) turn right downhill using the steps guarded by green railing. Once over the burn and marshland the path turns uphill. At the top of the steps turn left and continue straight on for Dalzell House. At the junction with the tarmac road turn left past Dalzell House’s impressive frontage and then right downhill past the Covenanters’ Oak.
At bottom of the hill cross bridge and then turn right or follow path through Japanese Gardens. A short distance beyond the gardens turn left off to the main avenue. When the path forks go to the right. Cross the tarmac road (White Walk) to return to the car park.
Tel: 01698 402090
Location: Dalzell Burn,, Motherwell ML1