On Thursday I was kindly invited to spend the day at New Lanark World Heritage Village. I’d been meaning to visit for absolutely ages and it’s not even that far from my home. This amazing piece of history is situated in the very scenic New Lanark on the banks of the River Clyde. New Lanark was founded by David Dale in the 18th century. Dale built the mills next to the River Clyde to harness the water power. The houses and village were built to provide the mill workers a wealth of benefits such as good standards of living, free health care, education as well as providing the first workplace nursery. It was the epitome of Utopian Socialism. Robert Owen, David Dale’s son-in-law, aimed to create a society free from crime, poverty and misery. These were philanthropic men with very big social reform ideas.
New Lanark Mill is now a UNESCO world heritage site but it’s also a working wool mill. It provides wool for the likes of Jaeger and Chanel. You can watch wool being produced on the historic Spinning Mule which used to make cotton. There’s lots to do here, in fact, too much for me to do all in one day. There’s an Annie McLeod Experience Ride. The ride, which is motorised pod-like chairs, is narrated by Annie who shares her story of life at New Lanark in 1820. The ride lasts roughly around 10 minutes. If you go the very top of one of the old mills you’ll find a beautifully sculpted roof-top garden with stunning views over the village and River Clyde. Throughout the garden and the rest of New Lanark you’ll find little quotes from the mill owners such as this:
Millworkers’ houses have been meticulously reconstructed and are a delight to explore. There’s one from the 1820s and another from the 1930s which makes an interesting contrast. Robert Owen’s house has also been reconstructed and contains his original books and desk. There’s also a village store and classroom to investigate. All of these areas require tickets but there’s still lots to do outside of ticketed areas. There’s a beautiful nature trail which has the stunning Falls of Clyde. Unfortunately I couldn’t make it up to it. Speaking of which, if you do have issues with mobility you can park in the village car park, or if you don’t have a badge it’d be best if you get dropped off there. The other parking area is up a very steep incline and is not suitable for anyone with mobility problems.
New Lanark also a really nice picnic site with a great play area for children or alternatively there’s a cafe which is particularly nice. It serves lots of local produce and is home to the award winning New Lanark ice-cream. Right next to the cafe is the Mill Gift Shop where you can purchase items made from New Lanark wool. I bought my son an old fashioned wooden toy which he just absolutely adores.
New Lanark Mill is also a wedding venue and I think it’d be wonderful to get married there. There’s also a hotel with spa facilities so it’d also make a lovely short break. I absolutely loved my visit to New Lanark. It is rich with history and its idealism is fascinating. The beautifully restored mills are really quite a sight to behold. It really is like stepping back in time.If you haven’t been before I highly recommend it, it is living breathing history. I cannot wait until my next visit. For more information please visit the New Lanark site here.
Have you been to New Lanark before?
*I received free entry but views are very much my own.