Douglas Historic Walking Route

Essential Information

Distance: 3 ½ miles

Time: 2 – 3 hours

Difficulty: easy

Terrain: footpaths, estate roads and forestry tracks – can be muddy in places

Start/finish point: Douglas Arms Hotel (Currently Closed), Ayr Road (A70)

Map: OS Landranger 72

Transport: Train – Lanark railway station 12 miles; Bus – regular service between Lanark Interchange and Douglas

Refreshment: Countryside Inn; The Cafe (St Bride’s Centre) J&M’s Café (rear of filling station)

Walking along Douglas’ ancient streets and in the surrounding countryside there is much to discover. With every step you will encounter significant people and events in Scotland’s history from the Wars of Independence with England to the Second World War.

Points of Interest

1. James Gavin Memorial – ‘Bloody’ Claverhouse cut off Gavin’s ears with his own tailoring shears for attending an illegal prayer meeting during a period in 17th century known as the Killing Times.

2. St Bride’s Church – the clock in the hexagonal tower was a gift from Mary Queen of Scots and is the oldest working town clock in Scotland. The remaining aisle contains the tomb of Sir James Douglas – Robert the Bruce’s right hand man.

3. Sun Inn (private home) – the oldest building in Douglas has been an inn and a courthouse. Bloody Claverhouse often stayed here when on patrol.

4. Polish War Monuments – carved in stone, these insignia are a lasting reminder of the exiled Polish army’s stay here during WWII.

5. Cameronian Monument – the Cameronian regiment was disbanded here in 1968.

6. The remains of Douglas Castle, now just one ruined tower is still standing. Douglas Castle was renamed Castle Dangerous by Sir Walter Scott it was the scene of a particularly dastardly act during the Wars of Independence when an English patrol was tricked into believing the castle was empty [the tower was not part of the original castle which is on an adjacent site, the tower was built as a folly much more recently]

7. Angus Monument – the earl of Angus points to the spot where the Angus regiment, later to be known as the Cameronians, was raised in 1689.


From the Douglas Arms walk along Main Street.

Go to the right at newsagents past old St Bride’s Church and the Sun Inn.

Continue downhill to the left to lodge and enter castle policies.

Keep to broad track that skirts Stable Loch.

At ruined tower (Castle Dangerous) go to the left downhill and cross iron bridge.

Go towards cottage and then go to the right.

Go through double gate on left and follow track uphill through trees.

At top of the hill turn left and follow forestry track (German POWs marched along this track from their camp to the pit head baths at Douglas West).

Track narrows. Squeeze through trees to join broad track and turn left.

At remains of mine buildings turn left downhill through light woodland.

Continue to cross Douglas Water on blue bridge.

Skirt playing fields and follow lane to road. Turn right and follow road to rear of St Bride’s church.

Continue to Angus monument and turn left to go downhill. At foot of hill turn left and then right to return to start on Main Street.


Location: ML11 0PX

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