Falls of Clyde Nature Reserve
Scottish Wildlife Trust, Dyeworks, New Lanark Mills, ML11 9DB
01555 665 262
- Beautiful riverside walks
- Spectacular views of waterfalls
- Chance to spot peregrine falcons
- Regular badger and bat walks
- Fun children's activities
- Group visits welcome
Owned and managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), the Falls of Clyde nature reserve is truly one of the most spectacular, relaxing and inspiring spots in Lanarkshire, with beautiful riverside walks and an abundance of wildlife.
A walk through the reserve is always a special occasion, made more so when you consider how many poets and painters, like Wordsworth and Turner, have been inspired by the reserve, to put pen or brush to paper.
The Falls of Clyde is the collective name of four ‘Linn’ (Scots for waterfalls) and comprises of the upper falls of Bonnington Linn (11m high – 30-45 minutes walk) , Corra Linn (28m high – 20-25 minutes walk), Dundaff Linn (3m high – close to New Lanark) and the lower falls of Stonebyres Linn.
Corra Linn is the highest with an impressive 28m (90 feet) of water cascading through the dramatic gorge, even more impressive when the river is in full spate shortly after heavy rain.
The reserve itself stretches along both sides of the Clyde gorge, from New Lanark to Bonnington Weir. As well as the falls, the gorge is fringed by ancient natural woodland and modern mixed plantation and provides suitable habitat for badgers, roe deer, and over 100 species of bird, including a resident pair of nesting peregrine falcons.
Nowhere else in Great Britain can you get as close to these wonderful birds as you can at the Falls of Clyde Reserve. High powered telescopes and binoculars are available for a ‘birds eye’ view’ along with the guidance of an expert species protection officer.
Be on the lookout too because within the reserve the River Clyde is a suitable habitat for otters and kingfishers and you might just catch a glimpse of the protected Brook Lamprey, hear a hooting owl or watch the bats flying as dusk falls.
The Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre, operated by the Scottish Wildlife Trust, features exhibits about the waterfalls, the woodland and the area animals, including a special bat display. On summer evenings there are ranger led badger and bat walks.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust run a summer events programme and educational group visits can be arranged. The Clyde Walkway long distance path passes all four falls and ends at Bonnington Linn.
Best time to visit
• April to June for breeding peregrines
• May to August for flowering plants
• September to November for fungi
The Wildlife Reserve is open all year round, although restrictions will be in place during 'Operation Peregrine' which runs between April and July. The Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre and "Foragers" shop is open every day from 11am to 5pm except during January and February when opening hours are between 12 noon and 4pm.
Getting aroud the reserve
The reserve has a network of paths, including the top section of the Clyde Walkway. Pick up a map at the Visitor Centre for more information. Take great care on the reserve as the path is steep in places, particularly close to the gorge edge and the river.
There is good wheelchair access to the visitor centre, however access is limited on the adjacent Falls of Clyde reserve. A comprehensive upgrade of access will be carried out in the coming years-please contact the ranger service for more details.
Other odds and sods?
The word corra is said to come from the Gaelic 'currach', meaning a marshy place. A legend gives 'Cora' as a daughter of King Malcolm II, who leapt to her death here whilst trying to escape imagined danger.
Near Corra Linn is the Pavilion, built by Sir John Carmichael of Bonnington, probably in 1708. The Pavilion had mirrors on its back wall and when the doors were opened, visitors had the illusion of standing beneath the falls.
The 15th century Corra Castle is next to Corra Linn. It is now home to a family of rare bats.