Strathclyde Country Park
Hamilton Road, Glasgow, United Kingdom
www.northlan.gov.uk/leisure+… - 01698 402060
Strathclyde Country Park Glasgow Reviews
Not so peacfeul park beside a motorway... May 18, 2008
Strathclyde Park is run by North Lanarkshire Council, and is between the towns of Bothwell, Hamilton, Motherwell and Bellshill, at the foot of a busy road. On the official website it's described as ...Close to the industrial centres of Scotland, the Park lies in 400 hectares of countryside in the valley of the River Clyde, between Junctions 5 and 6 of the M74 Motorway.
It's an interesting place...it has a bit of a dodgy reputation for things that go bump in the night (let's just leave it at that) and had (it may still have to be honest) a problem with people using drugs and drag racing. The roads all now have speed bumps on them, but boy racers still tear up and down the larger car parks in their souped up cars. But those problems really only occur at night, and I wouldn't go there at night.
One of the park's big draws is its loch (lake). You can water-ski, hire canoes, go out in a speedboat, sail, row, sail dinghies, windsurf and use pedalos. There's little bumper boats for kids in a contained area by the shore and the water sports centre is well equipped. You can hire bikes and cycle round the park (actually a nice way to spend an afternoon). Staff go out in patrol boats when the water is busy to make sure everyone is safe.
But...I've water-skied there a couple of times, and I doubt I'll go back. The water is VERY cold, the boat driver I had wasn't the best, and when I fell in (as was bound to happen) there were long strands of weeds stuck to my skis when I got back up. You are also unlikely to be able to go into the water when it's very hot as there's a serious algal bloom problem...blue-green algae (which is apparently quite dangerous) is a frequent site in the loch, as are the bales of barley straw to try to absorb it. Authorities recommend you keep dogs out the water or if they go in the hose them down straight away. It's that serious.
There are serious competitions taking place on the water on a regular basis. Rowing is a big thing, and I think the rowing for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow will be at the Park.
There's always a few ice cream vans going around and the other big attraction at the park is M&D's Theme Park. To be honest, it has no theme, but has got better over the years. There's what looks like an OK mini golf course called Devil's Island (pirate theme) and the fair itself has roller coasters, dodgems, a slingshot, etc. Fairly bog standard fairground rides. I've not been in for a long time, but it's always busy.
I wouldn't say the Park has much to offer tourists, other than using the loch or going to the (very small) nature centre, which is right at the blaze football pitches (which are used a lot by local football teams for training, etc)...last time I went it was a bit dark and dingy, but the staff are enthusiastic.
There's also a campsite and pretty primative fitness centre.
The Park is popular with locals, especially in the summer...it is nice to walk around the loch (about 4 miles) and get an ice cream on the way, but it's not the most scintillating place to visit!
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