Powmillion.Co.Uk Walks: The Shoogly Brig and Spectacle E'e Falls


This walk takes in two well known landmarks, the Shoogly Brig crossing the Avon Water and the Spectacle E'e falls on the Kype Water.
The Shoogly Brig has had several incarnations and, sadly, no longer lives up to it's name, being quite rigid.
The Spectacle E'e Falls are the site of a former mill, the name supposedly arising after an incident where an eyeglass was thrown onto the thatch of the mill roof. Subsequently the thatch was set on fire and the mill burned down.

The Route

Distance: about 5 1/4 miles (8.5 km)
Options: High Kype will add about 1 mile (1.6km)
Bypassing the Spectacle E'e Falls makes no appreciable difference.

Time: about 1 1/2 to 2 hours

The Directions
  1. Starting in the Common Green in the centre of Strathaven, begin the walk by turning left at the back of the Common Green on to Bridge Street and then turn right to cross the famous hump backed Boo Backit Brig and continue across Kirk Street on to Todshill Street.

  2. Follow Todshill Street past the junction with Station Road where it becomes Lesmahagow Road, and then turn right on to Newtown Road, opposite the Fire Station.

  3. Continue along Newton Road out of the town. As you descend a gentle slope, bear right at the junction (there should be a sign pointing to the left for Brian Young Garden Machinery Newtonside Nursery) and continue to follow Newton road passing East Newton and Newton Farms, both on the right, until you reach South Newton Farm on the left. There is a sign on a tree.

  4. Take the farm road. When it turns to the right, carry straight on down the hill to the kissing gate, then bear right as the path continues through the field. You will see the Shoogly Brig in front of you. Cross the bridge and ascend the other side to reach West Priestgill. Turn to the right.

  5. Follow the Priestgill Road until you reach the junction with Low Kype Road which follows the route of a Roman Road.

  6. Turn left and continue on this road until you reach the main road, the B7086, at Sandford. (You will have reached a crossroads shortly before this where you will see the village in front of you beyond the fields.)

  7. Cross over and continue into Sandford and across the iron bridge over the Kype Water. Turn left onto Waterside Street. There is a sign, 'Public Path to Strathaven via Spectacle E'e Falls', on the house on the far side of the road but it is easy to miss this from the main road. Follow the road past the end of the village to Tweedie Mill where it turns sharp right. Just past the mill house there is a sign-posted style leading into the field.

  8. Cross the field staying towards the left hand boundary. Shortly you will see a gate leading to a bridge. Go through the gate and follow the path down to the Spectacle E'e Falls. There is an observation platform which gives a closeup view of the falls.

  9. Continue downstream, staying on the right hand bank until you reach the Avon Water and another bridge. Cross the river and follow the path uphill to meet, once again, the B7086.

  10. Cross at the style and turn right towards Stathaven. Follow the road past the Firestation and back to the Common Green via either the Boo Backit Brig, as before, or down Straight Close or Main Street

The Notes
  1. All buses will stop here and there is also a car park, though it has a two hour limit. Longer term parking is available in Station Road or in one of the car parks attached to the public parks.
    Todshill - named from tod, a Scots term for fox.

  2. The Castle and Town Mill are on your left and are worth a look. There are steps down to a walkway to the south of the Castle, opposite the Stonehouse road gate, which joins back to the path down to the mill. It is possible to continue along this path, cross the Powmillion Burn and climb the other side onto Millholm Road, emerging on to Lesmahagow Road at the top of Todshill.

  3. The wind Turbines you see on your right are those of Whitelee Windfarm. On the left will be Dungavel and Kype Muir.

  4. There can be a variety of wildlife along the Avon, ranging from common birds such as dippers and wagtails. to slightly more exotic Kestrels and Buzzards. If you are very lucky you may even spot and otter swimming in the river.

  5. A notable feature of this section of the route are the high hedges enclosing the road

  6. This part of the road follows the route of a Roman road, and so is notable for the long straight sections.
    Option;At this junction you will also see a farm road opposite. It leads to the High Kype Road, which follows a similar path to the Roman road but slightly higher up the slope and, being less straight, is arguably more interesting. Follow the farm track and at the end turn left. Continue along this road until you pass a row of cottages on the right. Shortly after this, turn left (which is actually the first left since you joined High Kype Road) then right when you reach a crossroads. This has brought you back on to the original route at the crossroads mentioned before. This will add about a mile to the length of the walk.

  7. Waterside Street as it's name suggests follows the path of the Kype Water. Often, there are ducks and geese belonging to Tweedie Mill, swimming on the pools.
    Option; The descent to Spectacle E'e, while it is on a 'proper' footpath, with some steps, has some fairly steep sections and can be quite muddy and slippery. If it is particularly wet you may wish to avoid this part of the walk and return to Stra'ven along the road instead. To do this, instead of going into Sandford, simply turn left and follow the road. You will cross the Craig Bridge at the foot of the hill. You can see the Craig Dam upstream, on the left, and Craig Mill down stream, now the home of Stra'ven Ales.

  8. A notice board on the path gives some interesting information about the fauna, flora and geology of Spectacle E'e.

  9. This bridge was built to replace the Frew Steps, stepping stones which used to cross the Avon at the same place. They were much less reliable than the bridge and often, come spring time, there would be a few missing ones, making crossing interesting. They were also only usable so long as the water level was low enough.
    At the top of the hill, as you approach the road it can be quite muddy. Pick your path carefully!

  10. At the end of Todshill you will see a fairly narrow building, gable end to the road. The left side is Main Street and the right side Straight Close. Both lead to the Common Green.

The Map

The route described is shown by the solid blue line.
Options are shown by the red lines.

Map courtesy of Google Maps

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