Buggy Friendly Walk – Chatelherhault Country Park (Dukes Monument)

I thought I would add a section to my blog about Buggy Friendly Walks in and around Glasgow/South Lanarkshire. There have been many a time when we have thought about going somewhere with Alfie for a nice walk but then we have never been able to find any information on trails or paths and if we did find information it would never detail if the paths were pram friendly or disabled friendly for that matter.

Our aim is to find one new walk per month to detail in the blog, I really hope it helps others when they are deciding where to go walking with the pram!

Today’s walk –

Distance – 2.2k

Time – 1hour including stopping for photos

That being said today we went down to Chatelherault Country Park. Chatelherault park is based in Hamilton, just off the A72 Ferniegair and has excellent transport links, buses pull up just outside the entrance and Chatelherault Train Station is across the road. If travelling on the Motorway come off the M74 at Junction 7 and the park is signposted from there.

This park is somewhere we visit often however before today I would never have considered it as a Pram Friendly Walk as most of the trails have steps, steep slopes and many have tree roots crossing the paths making it a bumpy ride for poor baby! It would be pram friendly if you decided to walk round near the visitors centre and follow the No74 cycle route out of the park, defeating the purpose of the visit I guess! We visit this park maybe 2/3 times a week and normally we have Erica in the carrier. (We use the Mountain Buggy Juno carrier and LOVE it, so many baby carriers require someone else to help you get strapped in but you would manage to fasten this carrier on your own and it is very comfortable to wear. Cute photo of her in carrier at Chatelherault below, just because!) Anyway I digress, so today we took to pram as it was Erica’s nap time and decided to go a bumpy trail so see if we could find some smooth surfaces!

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When entering the park drive towards the visitors centre, take a left at the playpark and drive up towards the visitors centre, this is the best place to park the car for this walk.

Once your ready to set off, walk up the hill and you will see the visitors centre in front of you (disabled and pram friendly with baby changing facilities, a cafe, small gift shop and information about the park, you can also look around the rooms within the visitors centre if you have time and don’t have a dog!) Take a left and begin to walk down the hill, you will see lots of the trees have been cut down. At first I was saddened by this as I love this park and it holds many memories for me so when I got home I decided to research why these trees are being felled. Turns out that the profits made from the timber and going back into resurfacing the trails (hurrah!) and repairing the White Bridge which has been closed due to a landslide for many years. As much as the park looks so different it will only be a matter of a few short years before the area is covered in young tress again. Take a left just after the large silver gate but before the trail forks, if you were to continue straight it would take you to the front of the visitors centre, if you went left up the hill you would be going along the Deer Park Trail.

Head down over the bridge, following the path to the right along by the Cadzow Ruins.

Following the trail you will come to a cross roads, both of these trails have been newly resurfaced with a grey gravel type track which was great for pushing the pram. We decided to take the Dukes Monument track to the right (2.2k), off to the left was the Oak Trails which is much shorter walk at 0.8k.

The trail itself was a smooth the whole way, some slopes but nothing to hard, you can see the track has recently been lay as a drainage channel has been dug the full way. The car park was busy when we arrived but we only passed 2 other walkers which was nice. I love to be in the woods, I’m always stopping to listen to, well nothing, the earth I guess. I love the sound of nothing, its something I always tell Jay to do. “Stop hear that? The earth”. Ha, I’m such a weirdo but seriously if everyone took time to wander in the woods and listen to the earth, got really quiet, they would come to understand that they are connected to everything. I love the quote by Henry David Thoreau ‘I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees’. I’m all for nurturing Erica through nature, she will be the kid covered in mud making mud pies, picking up worms and bugs and do you know what, I cant wait to make a packed lunch and spend the day learning through play with her in the woods. Not yet though, stay a baby a while longer!

Once the gravel track comes to an end you will see a road, we continued to leave Alfie off lead as this road only leads to one farm so we weren’t expecting to see any traffic. Continue down the road a short while more and you will see the Dukes Monument on the left just beside a beautiful house (with 2 German Shepard guards dogs! They never got out thankfully!)

We took some photos here before retracing our steps back, not meeting a single soul until closer to the Visitors Centre! I took Alfie for a drink (water for dogs provided at the Visitors Centre entrance) while Jay got Erica into the car. We stopped off at Starbucks for drive thru coffee before heading home.

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Jay at the Dukes Monument
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Alfie leading the way as always!
a
The road part of the trail!
b
Little EJ, slept the entire time!

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d
Alfie

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We really enjoyed our first Pram Friendly Walk and cant wait to explore a new place next month! If anyone has any suggestions please leave a comment!

Love

Jen

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