Glasgow To Ruthwell

Coming to the Clyde

ROUTE LENGTH: 99 MILES

By Road

Leaving the cathedral, go south on the A8 to cross the River Clyde on the Albert Bridge. At the next junction go straight ahead on to the A728. Follow this to Rutherglen where you turn left on to the B768. In a little under a mile you will join the A724. After visiting the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre, return to the A724. Turn left on to the A725. Come off at the first junction to reach Bothwell on the B7071. Alternately, you could leave your car in Blantyre and walk, using the footbridge over the river, to Bothwell.

From Bothwell go south on the B7071 to Hamilton.

The route takes you near to Hamilton Old Parish Church, and passes a town centre car park.

Exit Hamilton on the A72 for Lanark, and at Bankhead, on the far side of Lanark, the ruins of St Kentigern’s church, the only medieval church dedicated to St Kentigern under his own proper name.

From Lanark continue southeast to turn right on to the A70, and then join the M74 at junction 12. Come off the motorway again at the next junction, 13, to go into Abington, and on towards Crawford on the A702, passing Kirkton. Continue south from Crawford on the A702, and then the B7076. This joins the A701 and takes you in to Moffat.

From Moffat continue on the A701 and then turn south on the A74(M) as far as  junction 17 where you leave the motorway to travel through Lockerbie, rejoining the motorway at junction 18.

Leave the motorway at junction 19, taking the B725 to Hoddom. Here you can take a short walk along the River Annan to the graveyard marked on the OS map, where Mungo preached.  Carry on through Dalton and Carrutherstown to Ruthwell station. From there the B724 takes you into Ruthwell.

By Cycle

Leave Glasgow, crossing the River Clyde from Glasgow Green, on predominantly minor roads passing Rutherglen and Cambuslang, for Blantyre and the David Livingstone Centre. (An alternative would be to follow the Clyde walkway). Cross the river by the footbridge to reach Bothwell.

Now go south on the B7071 to reach Hamilton, and Hamilton Old Church. Leave Hamilton, crossing the Clyde to join the Clyde walkway at the south end of Strathclyde loch. Follow the walkway past Garrion tower and then turn right to cross to the west side of the river. Turn south on the A72 to Lanark.

Cross back over the river, and then turn left on to minor roads to go south through Happendon Woods. Turn right on to the A70 to cross the motorway, and immediately right on to the B7078. Follow NCN 74 to Abington, Kirkton, Crawford and on to Lockerbie. At Blackford, south of Lockerbie leave NCN 74, turning right towards Carrutherstown and then Ruthwell.

By Foot

Walkers can follow The Clyde Walkway, making short detours to Bothwell and Blantyre.

At Moffat they can pick up the Annandale Way. Go north from Moffat towards Ericstane to gain access to Hartfell Spa. Go South for Lockerbie (and ultimately the coast beyond Annan). There is an alternative loop of the Annandale way which goes through Lochmaben rather than Lockerbie, and passes the old St Mungo’s church at Kirkbank, rejoining the other route a couple of miles north of Hoddom.

There is the short walk, mentioned above, in Hoddom, which uses the Anandale way.

Walkers wishing to visit Douglas and Crawfordjohn can more easily do so as part of this section of the route by getting a bus from Lanark to Douglas.

By Public Transport

There are bus services to Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Blantyre, Bothwell, Hamilton, Lanark, Abington, Crawford, Moffat, Beattock, Lockerbie, Hoddom, Ruthwell (via Dumfries) and Dumfries.

There are rail stations in Glasgow, Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Blantyre, Hamilon, Lanark, Lockerbie, Annan and Dumfries.

To check times go to Traveline Scotland and click on Plan your Journey on left side of page.

Unsurprisingly Mungo was soon at odds with the local establishment. Clashing with Morkan, ruler of the day, he had to move south into the Clyde valley, leaving his monastery at Glasgow still in the making. By Rutherglen, Cambuslang, Blantyre, Bothwell, and Hamilton, you visit proud, distinctive communities which have been drawn into the Greater Glasgow conurbation, while retaining their own character and heritage. On the route are Bothwell Collegiate Church, the David Livingstone Centre at Blantyre and Hamilton Old Parish Church.

Following the lovely Clyde valley to Lanark, you enter one of Scotland’s oldest towns, dramatically sited above the river. Beyond the High Street is the Church of St Kentigern in which William Wallace first met the love of his life Marion Braidfute. The bell of St Kentigern’s now hangs in the Town Kirk of St Nicholas, with its prominent statue of Wallace, the local and national hero.

Southwards is a harder hillier landscape, softened only by the river flats. The spirit of Mungo the Baptist persists here in the sturdy medieval parish churches, and on the hillsides where Presbyterian Covenanters later held outlawed field preachings in the name of religious liberty. Roman Catholic tradition is also missionary in these parts as the dispossessed of the nineteenth century Irish famine sought a better life toiling in mills and mines. The persecuted of every tradition are remembered- Mungo himself had to flee further west into Nithsdale to escape his pursuers.

Between Abington and Crawford, beneath Iron Age and Roman Forts, the lost Chapel of St Constantine in its shady grove at Kirkton reminds us how this route kept a passage open for the new faith- St Constantine is remembered at Govan. Above Moffat, at the Chalybeate Well, Merlin fled to seek refuge in madness, and was later baptised by Mungo over the Devil’s Beeftub on the banks of the Tweed.

Continuing by Lockerbie, scene of the worst peacetime atrocity in Scotland since the Glencoe Massacre, and Ecclefechan, birthplace of Thomas Carlyle, we go west again to Hoddom. It seems quiet here now in the old kirkyard by the river, but Mungo preached from this early Christian settlement, and through him the influence of Hoddom reached to the Lake District and west to Whithorn.

Blessed are the peacemakers
And the pure at heart
And those who hunger
And thirst for justice,
Blessed are those
Persecuted for the right
And falsely accused
In the cause of Christ
For they are children
Of the kingdom of love.

Pilgrim Journeys

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