Strathaven Heritage Trail 2

Ideal for explorers, including young families!

This heritage trail was developed by Gordon McAllan and Margot McDonald. They are both trustees on the Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust. The Trust was established following the closure of the John Hastie Museum a number of years ago with the primary objective of establishing a permanent museum in and for Strathaven.

The heritage trail also appears on its website at http://www.discoverstrathaven.org. Discover Strathaven is the website for all things Strathaven, publishing information on events, activities, organisations and businesses.

A shortened version of this trail appears on the new Strathaven InsideOut app. For more details on the App and to find out how to download it, go to https://www.insideoutapp.co.uk. The App was developed by the Stand Agency in conjunction with the Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust using funds from the 2019 Scottish Government Town Centre Fund.

All contemporary images in this heritage trail were taken by Les Hoggan and are copyright to Les Hoggan Photography. For more images go to www.leshogganphotography.com

This heritage trail follows a route taking in many of the historic features of central Strathaven.

Strathaven Heritage Trail

Start at the entrance to the Main Car Park (3 Hour maximum stay – or Long Stay at Station Road) in The Common Green. 

Looking back from Bridge Street towards the entrance to the car park on the Common Green

Face the Strathaven Tea Room, across The Common Green.

Strathaven Tea Room

Cross carefully, using the traffic island, to that far side of The Common Green.

Tudor Coffee House

Turn and walk along the pavement towards The Tudor Coffee House, then turn left into Bridge Street. 

Bridge Street

As you pass the tiny shop named “Gin Gin Tidy”, you may be amazed to learn that it used to be where Strathaven’s Fire Pump was stored, ready to be hauled out by a vehicle!

Looking up the Powmillon Burn from Bridge Street

You’ll cross the Victoria Bridge, which will give you your first views of the Powmillon Burn, which runs through Strathaven.

The Taal Restaurant on Bridge Street, formerly the Cabin

On your right is The Taal Restaurant, built originally as The Cabin Tearoom, to resemble a steamship on the water.   

The Boo Backed Bridge

Cross Bridge Street carefully at the corner of Waterside Street and walk on to the Boo Backit Bridge. 

Walk over the bridge and up the slope to busy Kirk Street (The A71). Turn right up the hill tothe pedestrian crossing at Main Street. You are standing at the Old Cross in the ancient heart of Strathaven.  Note how narrow Main Street is.  You may have time to take a closer look at the end of this Trail. When it’s safe to cross Kirk Street,, go to the other side.

Strathaven Castle

Turn left and cross the end of Todshill Street, then continue walking downhill.  You’ll pass over the Powmillon Burn again and then you’ll see our oldest building, Strathaven Castle

Strathaven Town Mill Art and Heritage Centre

Continue on this pavement for a few metres and you will come to The Strathaven Town Mill Arts & Heritage Centre. You can walk down the sloping lane between the Mill and the Castle to see the rest of the Mill and then walk back up towards the Castle.  The path named Castle Park will take you on a walk beside the stream round the Castle Hill and back to the main road.

Strathaven Castle Park

 Turn left and walk back up to the pedestrian crossing on Kirk Street, taking care to be safe from traffic at Todshill Street. 

Cross again at the pedestrian crossing and then continue walking up Kirk Street to the next opening, which is Wellbrae.  Can you think of the reason for its name?  Many old placenames tell stories about life long ago.

Cross Wellbrae with care and continue your walk up Kirk Street. Pause for a moment at the traffic lights and look across to the road which joins Kirk Street on the far side.  What’s the name of that road?  What does that tell you about how people used to travel to and from Strathaven?

Station Road

The big house set back on the corner of Station Road used to be Strathaven’s Police Station.

Former Police Station

 Continue up Kirk Street and you will come to the the Scout and Guide Centre.  Look carefully at the stone wording on the front of the building.  Before it became our Scout and Guide Centre, what was the purpose of the building? (Pic)

Strathaven Scout and Guide Centre

Cross the end of Thomson Street with care and continue up Kirk Street passing on your left Avendale Parish Church.

Avendale Old Parish Church

We have been thinking about other local names and the reasons for them.  Now you know the answer – why is Kirk Street so-called?

Continue walking up  Kirk Street until you reach the traffic lights just before Sainsbury’s Store. A little past these traffic lights, turn right into a triangular grassy area with a path – known as Lovers’ Lane!  This was the site of Strathaven’s Cattle Market, before a new Mart was built near where Sainsbury’s is now.   

 At the other end of Lovers’ Lane, cross Townhead Street with care and enter Colinhill Road: in about 20 metres you will reach the old Crosshill Primary School. 

Crosshill School

The Headmaster’s house was the central part of the frontage of the building, which was used from 1851 to 1904, when the new Strathaven Academy opened.  It was later used as an annexe to the Academy.  It has a small tower on top, but something’s missing – what do you think used to hang in that tower?

Now walk along Colinhill Road and turn second right into Crosshill Road. As you follow it, the road becomes much narrower.  It’s a very old country road.  Many local roads in and around Strathaven are also narrow.

Walk down Crosshill Road and keep going until you reach the junction with Lethame Road  and walk down to its junction with Threestanes Road.  Turning right on Lethame Road, walk a few metres until you are opposite a wide gateway – one of the entrances to Strathaven’s Parks.  Cross carefully.

If you have a dog with you, please keep it on the lead, for there are very young children about.  There are lots of Doggy Poo bins. 

There’s a very helpful Information Board on your left.  Walk down the slope and turn left into the main Strathaven Park area.

Strathaven Park from the air showing John Hastie Park at the middle left and George Allan Park middle right

There are actually 2 Parks, both over 100 years old, but they are joined in the middle of the area, as you will see.  . You are standing in The John Hastie Park and later you will walk into The George Allan Park, to the north. 

Now you can explore the Park area and find these places shown in the photos below and on our map.

In the John Hastie Park, you can find:

Soccer Pitches – and the site of The Strathaven Balloon Festival, Scotland’s only hot air balloon spectacular, held annually on the last weekend of August.

John Hastie Park

The Putting Green *

Tennis Courts *

The Bowling Green  

Bowling Green

In the middle of the Park Area, you can find:-

The Boating Pond

Strathaven Park Boating Pond

The Toddlers’ Play Area

The Barrie Shelter, with its Café and Toilets. 

Barrie Shelter

Sensory Garden  (Look out for the beautiful wild animals which guard it!)

Sensory Garden
Strathaven Park Sculptures

*  Ask the Park Attendant (Red jacket) for tickets or enquire at The Barrie Shelter Office.

Now take the path which leads past the Toddlers’ Play Area.  The path follows our old friend, the Powmillon Burn upstream

Powmillon Burn

Ahead and to your right, across the bridge, there’s a treat in store when Strathaven’s famous miniature live steam railway, The Wee Train, is running.  It celebrated its 70th year in 2019. You can read all about it in the feature in this App.  

Strathaven’s Miniature Railway

Back across the Burn again, you may find music being made on the Bandstand

Strathaven Park Bandstand

If you are keen to have more exercise than this Trail provides, why not visit the swings and fitness centre on the top of the nearby grassy hill?

Strathaven Park Fitness Centre and Green Flag 2017

Our Parks are famous and regularly win awards for their beauty, their environmental management and condition, their facilities and their major events, including The Strathaven Balloon Festival

Strathaven Balloon Festival

Considered among the finest public parks in the UK and the best in Scotland, Strathaven Park has won many Green Flags.

Our Parks staff from South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture Trust work very hard to make our Parks central to Strathaven being A Great Day Out.  They are helped by the volunteers of Friends of Strathaven Park.  

Around our Town, the flowers are provided by the SLLCT and by the keen volunteers of Strathaven in Bloom.  It’s a team effort!  

If you live in Strathaven, you may like to join our clubs, organisations or volunteer groups – we have over 50 to choose from!

Once you have enjoyed the park, it’s time to continue this Trail.  Leave by the exit close to the Wee Train Station and turn right into Glasgow Road.

Site of former Ballgreen School

Walk down Glasgow Road through the part of Strathaven known as Ballgreen, to the traffic lights at Commercial Road.  Ballgreen School (pic) used to stand on your left and the terrace of millworkers’ cottages on your right was known long ago as “Poverty Row”.  The lade which provided one of the weaving mills with water power used to run along the front of the cottages.

Cross over at the lights, then continue towards the town centre on Barn Street.

East Church House

You’ll pass the Aldi Store on the left and you will see the East Church House in front of you.  Walk down the slope into Waterside Street and when you reach the end of the safety barrier, cross the street carefully, then walk round the front of East Church House, into Green Street.  Stroll over Walker’s Brig, crossing the Powmillon Burn again.

Look for the building with the mural of Strathaven and turn down into The Allison Green – Strathaven’s old Washing Green.

Do have a seat for a minute or two to enjoy this peaceful green space in the heart of our Town.

Then last lap!

A short troll along the path brings you to a wooden bridge across the Burn.  Walk over, close to the Waterside Inn and you will enter Waterside Street again.  Cross to the other side and turn left.

You’ll see Aldi again at the top of the Street.  Before you reach it, turn right into The Ward – one of Strathaven’s oldest streets.  Walk 40 metres up the pavement to an old stone cottage on the left hand side. This is a Beaming Shed, as the sign over the door and the plaque explain.

Beaming Shed

Turn back to Waterside Street and turn left, then cross the street when it’s safe to do so and walk on to the end.  You will recognise the Boo Backit Bridge opposite on your right.

Turn right into Bridge Street, go over the Powmillon Burn for the final time and you are back in the Common Green where you began this Trail.

Cross Bridge Street at The Tudor Tearoom, on your left.  You are at the foot of Strait Closeand Main Street, which let you see just how narrow the oldest streets in Strathaven were.  Main Street used to be known as “Wide Close”!   

Simply cross Wellbrae carefully, walking past the Bank of Scotland to the entrance of the car park. 

Well done!  You have completed exploring Strathaven’s Town Centre successfully.

We hope that you have enjoyed your walk and have found it interesting.  You know Strathaven better now!  Look out for other chances to explore Strathaven. 

If you’d like to know more about Strathaven and its heritage, please contact The Strathaven John Hastie Museum Trust on its website at www.strathavenmuseum.org, by email at strathavenmuseum@gmail.org or on our Facebook page.