"A UNESCO World Heritage Site"
After the 12 minute ride you walk through the engine house and see the two large engines which would have been originally powered by the water from the River Clyde outside. This takes you up to the 'Rope Walkway passage' into Mill 3. Although this passageway is new it takes the route of the ropes that took the power from the engine house to the mill buildings. Within mill 3 there is a exhibition of how the cotton mill worked and what life in the village would have been like when the mill was in full operation. Today there is some 19th century working textile machinery which makes yarn that is sold in the Mill shop next to the cafe. At the top of Mill 3 you can get access to a roof garden and viewing platform which is on the roof of Mill 2, giving some stunning views of the River Clyde and the other buildings in the village.
You can visit Robert Owen's school for children up to the age of 12 when they then started to work in the mill. He also offered education to those adults working for him that wanted to by providing classes in the institute building. Within this building there is also a theatre, and interactive gallery and exhibition space which is used for changing displays.
The village store today sells ice creams, sweets and other tourist paraphernalia, but it also has a room set up to display what it might of looked like in Robert Owen's time. Robert introduced the concept of buying food on a voucher scheme which he supplied to his workers. The food was sold to them at an affordable price and it still made a profit. This scheme was the inspiration behind the Co-Operative movement which still exists today.
There is also the two extremes of living within the village in the form of the mill workers cottage, where you get to see what it was like to live in the cramped surroundings in the time of Annie McLeod, the 1820's, when there were around 2,500 people living in the village usually in one room with 'set-in' beds and 'herlie' beds. During this time Robert Owen installed baths in the Institute building and the school he created washed the children's clothes 3 times a week. There are also some rooms set out to how it was in the 1930's, when 1,000 people lived in the village and most families generally had two rooms with both electricity and an indoor loo.
At the other end of society you have Robert Owens house, where you get to wander both the ground floor with a study room, drawing room and dining room, while downstairs is the kitchen and accompanying rooms.
If you wander down to the Dyeworks, you will come across the office or the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve, with 3 or 4 waterfalls nearby and over 100 types of birds. While next to the Mechanics workshop there is a chimney and viewing points to get a good view of the bottom section of the Falls of Clyde. The tallest waterfall is the Corra Linn which is at a height of 85ft. To see this you need to take a woodland walk (3km round trip), which you can access from the village. On our walk back to the visitor centre from here you can walk pass a working waterwheel which is used today to provide power to the whole of the village.
A Visitor Centre Passport Ticket gives you access to a whole range of exhibitions and buildings, you can cover them all on one visit or come back and complete them later (no time limit). The ticket covers:-
If you are a UK tax payer you can gift aid your passport ticket admission price and visit the site as many times as you like for free for 12 months.
A hotel and self catering accommodation is in what would have been originally Mill 1 and the Waterhouses. While in the nearby Wee Row (originally accommodation for the mill workers) there is a youth hostel. All other buildings on site are lived in by today's New Lanark residents.
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