WITH only a couple of weeks left before it’s back to school time in Lanarkshire, there’s still time to take advantage of everything to do and see throughout the region. And the good news is that there’s plenty to choose from without breaking the bank.
Whether it’s north or south Lanarkshire, parks and open spaces abound. Strathclyde Country Park, consistently at the top of the league table for attracting the most visitors a year, offers safe walking and cycling routes as well as watersports – everything from pedaloes to powerboats.
At Dalzell Park and the neighbouring Baron’s Haugh Wildlife Reserve in Motherwell, the RSPB and Central Scotland Forest Trust have joined up with North Lanarkshire Council to bring ‘B in the Park’. A free and fun event for all ages, families can plant a wildlife friendly hedgerow, sow a wildflower meadow or build a bird box together.
Chatelherault, in Hamilton, is renowned as a great walking area with routes for leisurely woodland walkers and more ambitious ramblers. The countryside rangers offer organised group walks through flower rich grasslands to discover a colourful world of blooms, beasties and butterflies. Visitors can also explore the peaceful setting of Chatelherault Country Park through watercolour painting with guidance from a professional visual artist at a three-day summer school.
In Cumbernauld, Palacerigg Country Park is home to thriving populations of roe deer, badger and fox as well as a range of owls and birds of prey. The park has nature trails, a museum and even a treetop walkway for an unusual perspective.
Test out your sea legs at the Canal Life exhibition at Summerlee, the Scottish Museum of Industrial Life, in Coatbridge. Looking at the history and contemporary use of canals in North Lanarkshire, the exhibition is a mixture of old and new, mixing ancient artefacts, maps, archive photographs and memories together with family hands-on activities using a canal theme.
The Summerlee Museum is also set to mark the end of the London 2012 Olympic Games this month (Saturday 11 August) with an invitation for visitors to ‘Go for Gold’. In a light-hearted day of family fun, there will be a series of sporting challenges and activities, plus Olympic-themed crafts for children. With main events including the javelin, high jump, speed challenge, standing long-jump and shot-putt, kids can be an Olympic athlete for the day. For younger children, highlights include soft-play fun, giant games, hula-hoops and traditional games.
Mark Calpin, chairman of the Lanarkshire Tourism Association, said: “We have so much on our own doorsteps to enjoy and we are lucky that exploring this glorious county need not cost a fortune. Whether it’s the great outdoors, exploring our cultural heritage, taking advantage of a range of leisure activities, spotting animals in the wild or visiting working farms, there really is something for everyone.”
There’s always more to discover in Lanarkshire…. for more information on things to do and places to stay in Lanarkshire, visit: www.visitlanarkshire.com
Notes to Editors:
B in the Park, Dalzell Park and Baron’s Haugh Wildlife Reserve
Sat, 4 August 2012, 11am to 4pm
No experience necessary. Tools will be provided.
Watercolour painting course, Chatelherault Country Park
Mon, 13 August 2012 (10.00 am) - Wed, 15 August 2012 (4.00 pm)
The course is designed for those who have some drawing and painting experience and is delivered in small groups which allow the tutor to provide plenty of individual support.
Go for Gold! Summerlee Museum
Sat, 14 August, 12 noon to 4pm
An entry fee of £2.00, payable at the Summerlee Museum shop, covers all the main events. Sumo-wrestling, trampolines and the inflatable assault-course, giant slide and children’s crafts have a charge of £1.00. Free events include soft-play fun, giant games, hula-hoops, stilts and traditional games, open from 10am to 5pm