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Walks that inspired famous art

Published Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Boss Oak - Paintings courtesy or Art UK

Local Landscape Hero walks, offering fascinating insights into the views that inspired famous artworks, are to getting underway.

The Clyde and Avon Valley Landscape Partnership Heritage Local Landscape Heroes Project has been very successful in identifying more than 80 pieces of art which can be seen in a virtual art trail.

Much of the art featured on the trail was created in the 19th century and depicts a fascinating changing landscape. 

A series of six different trails have now been set up for local communities to join and enjoy. Each guided walk is from 1 to 5 miles long with all of them an easy ramble through woodland or along country lanes. Running from the 30 September to 4 November, there are a range of different walks for people to enjoy:

  • Saturday 30 September - ‘Boss Oak to Old Mill’ - 3.55 miles
  • Friday 13 October - ‘Tannery to Tolbooth’ - 1.44 miles
  • Friday 27 October - ‘Cadzow Clothes Drying’ - 1.19 miles
  • Saturday 28 October - ‘Meikle Burn’ - 4.44 miles
  • Friday 3 November - ‘The Seasons of Crossford’ - 0.50 miles
  • Saturday 4 November - ‘The Falls’ - 2.15 miles

Organised by CAVLP Heritage, these guided walks will trace the artistic footsteps of local landscape heroes and track down the subjects used in selected paintings. Each group will photograph a version of each landscape view, adding in frames and comparing them to the original works of art. Participants will also be guided to conduct a walkover survey and record any archaeological sites encountered on the trail.

The Clyde and Avon Valley has long been a destination for visitors, including esteemed artists and writers such as J. M. W. Turner, the Wordsworths and Sir Walter Scott. Known for its patchwork of nationally important woodlands and stunning geological formations, crumbling castles and orchard heritage, the area has fired the imagination of visitors throughout the ages.

As important historical sources, paintings of dramatic local views can help the public understand how the landscape and subsequent changes have affected the people living in the area. The CAVLP team is keen to explore with the groups whether the subject matters in the paintings, such as buildings or landscape features, can still be identified today.

On Saturday 30 September local groups will join the Heritage team and follow the first trail, ‘Boss Oak to Old Mill’ in Chatelherault Country Park, concentrating on Cadzow Forrest. The group will walk a 3.55 mile loop from the visitors centre through Cadzow forest, toward Avon bridge returning back in through Ferniegair towards the park. This first session will be focussing on a number of paintings from George Sweet, Alexander Fraser, Samuel Bough and Miss J. Sweet.

The Local Landscape Heroes walk will take place whatever the weather so sturdy walking boots and raincoats are advisable. People of all ages and backgrounds are invited to take part in this programme of exploratory walks throughout the Clyde and Avon Valley. The events will be led by experienced archaeologists who will be on hand to offer expert insight into the local landscape and links to famous art.

The Art Trails are part of a wider Local Landscape Heroes project, which includes the creation of a Local Landscape Heroes digital art trail. Led by CAVLP Heritage and managed by Northlight Heritage, with support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and LEADER supported CAVLP and Historic Environment Scotland. It follows on from the Mapping the Past and Capturing the Past volunteer projects, which explored the mapping heritage of the area, and the historic working lives of people in the Clyde and Avon Valley.

To find out more and to get involved please email find them on Facebook  or follow them on Twitter @CAVLPHeritage