Summerlee and the North Calder Heritage Trail
Distance: 8 1/2 miles.
Time: 4 hours.
Terrain: Good footpaths throughout although the path can be very muddy and steep at times.
Start: Summerlee-Museum of Scottish Industrial Heritage.
Finish: Drumgelloch railway station. (for train return to Coatbridge and Summerlee)
Map: OS Explorer 343
Refreshment: Summerlee Museum Café – 01236 638460
Points of Interest
1. Summerlee Industrial Museum based around the site of the Summerlee ironworks, the centre recreates Lanarkshire’s industrial past. There is a tram to ride on, working steam engines, coal mine and hundreds of exhibits that relate the human story (free entry; open daily).
2. Monklands Canal (open section) now a reedy backwater plied by ducks and fished by heron, the canal was designed by James Watt and opened in 1794 to carry coal to Glasgow. It was closed in 1935 and much of the canal was filled in.
3. Faskine bridge painted in black and white, British Waterways’ colours, this is an evocative piece of canal furniture. It was near here in 1819 that Scotland’s first iron boat, the Vulcan, was built and launched.
The Walking Route from Summerlee Museum
From the museum head towards Coatbridge town centre on Heritage Way.
At the T-junction go left under the railway bridge and then cross Sunnyside Road. Go around to the right at the Airdrie Saving’s Bank on-to Main Street. Continue along Main Street past St Patrick’s church and the Quadrant shopping centre.
Turn right at the post office. Cross road, go around to the right and then to the left through underpass. Continue straight on following signs for NCN 75 and NCHT along the course of the now filled -in Monklands canal.
Go to the right to cross footbridge. Once over the bridge go to the left and then to the right to resume the cyclepath and the course of the canal and follow for ¾ mile.
At road go to the right and then follow signs for NCN75/NCHT to the right. Climb ramp to join disused railway path. Turn left and follow for a short distance. NCHT goes off to the right to foot of viaduct. Take ash path going to the right. Keeping straight on on ash path until you encounter Sykeside Road. Cross the road and resume NCHT route directly opposite. Go around gate and cross bridge over weir to take up the canal tow-path. Stick with the canal for its entire length (two miles).
At the end of the canal go uphill for a short distance and then go off to the right and take up the path by the North Calder Water. Continue through tunnel under B802 and climb steps. Continue straight on at second set of steps. Go around to the left and stick to the low path through birch trees. At bridge and signed Brownsburn Circular Walk climb the less steep of the two sets of steps. At the top of the steps go to the left and follow edge of the valley. Eventually the path snakes downhill to cross an area of marsh.
Path then rejoins North Calder to the rear of houses. Go to the left over the bridge and then right (signed). At main road go to left and then cross to the Petersburn entrance to Monklands Glen. Go through gate and follow path uphill to take up edge of valley.
When ash path meets tarmac path turn right and after a short distance go off to the right to descend fairly steeply. Follow ash path around to the right and cross the river at second footbridge.
Follow road through woodland to road. Cross the road and resume NCHT directly opposite.
Path descends to left. Cross the bridge and follow path upstream for about one mile.
Ignore first rising path off to the left. Path rises away from river and descends again shortly after path goes uphill for the last time.
Join farm track at the railway bridge and continue out to Forrest Street. Turn right and follow Forrest Street until you reach Castle Road. Turn left into Castle Road for Drumgelloch Station and the train back to Coatbridge Sunnyside (Summerlee).
Tel: 01236 632625