A Day Out In New Lanark Heritage Site

15 August 2017


Last week, my grandad and I took a trip to New Lanark to visit the mills. I'd never been there before, but the information he was given about the area seemed to be really interesting, and I was really looking forward to tagging along. (Plus, you know, it's really good for my blog. Let's not sugar coat this.) New Lanark holds a 4 star Visitor Attraction rating, and also a Gold for the Visit Scotland Green Tourism Award.

We set off from Port Glasgow at 9.30am where we'd joined the group at the minibus, and we arrived in the village an hour later. Our tickets were all pre-booked, so we just had to pick them up, and then set off. Most of the group split into smaller groups, but I decided to take a wander by myself, because I really enjoy being able to wander around alone and take in information at my own speed. We were really lucky with the day we got as well, but truth be told, I was upset at myself for my decision to go alone a few times because I really wished I'd had someone with me to take some OOTD photos for me. Oh, well.

The first stop on the trip was the Annie McLeod ride, which told you her story of her family and working life. It was really interesting, and the ride finishes with the quote "we are the past, but we're part of the future, too." which I really liked. The ride itself takes roughly 12 minutes, and you're sitting in what I can only really describe as being a linear ski lift, if that makes any sense to you, whatsoever? I didn't take any pictures of this for you, so you'll just have to take my word for it.

After the ride, I made my way over to Mill 3, where you can observe the looms where the wool is made. I watched it for a few minutes, fascintated. They're really loud! And they're massive! Also in this room are a number of exhibits which tell you a little bit more information on the history, as well as showing you a few instruments, like brushes, used in the production of wool. From this room, you can take a lift from floor 4 (which you're on) up to the roof garden. The garden honestly has some spectacular views of the village and the falls of the Clyde. I learned a little bit later into my trip that the mill owner, Robert Owen, valued his worker's health (which I'll cycle back to) and had a garden for his workers to get some fresh air. This additionally goes for the falls of the Clyde. What a guy. I stayed walking around the garden for about 15 minutes, getting really snap happy, then before I knew it, it was 12 pm and time for lunch.

Now. I've been vegetarian for just over a week, and I wasn't sure what to expect on the food front, but I was so pleasantly surprised by the options they had on show! In the end I chose a pizza slice (obviously) with some chopped tomatoes on top, with came with a side of wedges and salad. I also opted for some hot chocolate and the whole lot came to just shy of £7.50, which I thought was pretty good going for the portion size. The cafeteria as a whole was pretty busy, but there was plenty of room for everybody. A few people at the table were also pretty jealous of my pizza. I was really tempted to get some of the locally produced ice cream they had on sale, but I managed to resist. Once we'd all finished our lunch, we split up again and this time I decided to visit the gift shop, because I love a good gift shop.

There was a really good selection of things, and the room was massive! I was particulary drawn to the wool (considering you're in a factory that produces wool, we'd expect nothing less from you, Gail...) and it made me think about whether I should take up knitting again. (I wasn't very good at it.)

From here, I wandered around to Robert Owen's house (WHICH HAD DRESS UP. One of the moments I mentioned earlier about how I wished I hadn't wandered around alone. C'est la vie.) I really liked Robert Owen's house. It was beautiful and it was set in a gorgeous garden. I went into every room and read the information available, snapped a few pictures and then I wandered down the (ORIGINAL!) stairs, down to the basement where I sat and watched a video all about Robert Owen, New Lanark and New Harmony. And let me tell you, what a man! He was a guy who wanted to make a good society. He ensured that the children of the village received a good education, and shortened the working day to 10.5 hours (okay, that's still a long day, I know) and always getting a day off. He made sure that everybody had access to good healthcare, and in the village, a shop operated, which was owned by Robert, where the proceeds went to education and health care. (This was the point I was cycling back to.)

I'd been inside for so long and I needed to get some fresh air, so after the film ended, I took a wander up to the top of the village to the viewpoint (there wasn't much view) and then back down again. I took a detour through the Millworker's home and I liked that they made comparisons between the world back then and the world now. I still wanted to get outside for a bit longer, so this time I continued my path down and made my way to the falls of the Clyde.

I stopped in various places (including a selfie point - do you know how tricky selfies actually are to take?) but in general, I just kept walking. A little black dog ran past me at one point, but there were plenty of people around and so I thought nothing of it, seeing as nobody was chasing it. That was until 5-10 minutes later when a woman with another dog was calling on a dog, so I asked her if it was the one that I'd noticed earlier, and when she said yes, I told her which direction he'd ran in and when. She thanked me and went to look.

Eventually the trees began to open out, and I found the prettiest little house. At this point, I decided that I'd been walking for a really long time, and I should probably think about heading back again. I passed the woman again, so asked if she managed to find her dog (she had) and she told me that he's scared of children, and she was trying to get him not to be so scared, but also trying to train him to not need the lead.

10 minutes later, I was back to the mills again, and I bumped into my grandad, who asked me if I wanted an ice cream (I got one - did you see my instagram?) There was still one place that I hadn't visited yet, and that was the Village shop (I couldn't visit the school because there was an event going on there), and so once I'd finished, I wandered over, bought some postcards (I can never resist post cards), then back to Robert Owen's pretty garden for some last minute pictures and before I knew it, it was 4pm and time to meet back at the minibus to head back home again. It took 1hr30mins to get back because of traffic, which was insane, but it was a fun day :). People were also so surprised that I spent the day by myself, which I don't really understand. I quite like my own company, with the exception of the afforementioned OOTD posts, it's never really an issue.

All in all, it was a good day, the village is beautiful and so well kept, I'd absolutely recommend a visit! Don't worry, this is my closing paragraph, so well done if you've gotten this far!

The prices for entry are also really decent, and the exhibits are interactive and informative, and (as the day proved) it's decent for all ages, because there's something for everyone. It's also a world heritage site, most likely because of it's progressive society, and the experimental utopian society of New Harmoney (USA). Robert Owen's vision of an ideal society is one that I feel many of also hold, and I think it can be safely stated that he was absoultely one of the pioneers for creating a better tomorrow for ourselves to enjoy, and I can only hope we continue paving this path for future generations.

I'm sorry for how long this post was, and I'm sorry that it's wasn't really a complete review but I hope you enjoyed it. B
elieve it or not, I handwrote this post the day after I visited, while sitting in a park on a sunny day, on a bench overlooking the River Clyde, which was blissful!

Until next time, be excellent to each other.

"No infant has the power of deciding at what period of time, or in what part of the world, he shall come into existence" - Robert Owen