Our second full day in Scotland, a Sunday. (The first full day had been spent at a football match, but no need to bore you with my excitement.) Pre-trip route recon told me that the best way to get to Carluke would be ScotRail leaving from Glasgow’s Argyle St. station. We walked from our hotel down Queen St., past George Square and the Gallery of Modern Art. Boy, Scots love their statues! We arrived at the Argyle St. station about 0945, but it was closed. WTH!? So we walked west on Argyle St. to the much larger Central station, hoping it would also have a route to Carluke. Needn’t have worried: You can pretty much go from anywhere to anywhere on ScotRail. Bought round trip tickets at the booth. Fares are inexpensive, more so at off peak and/or if you have a “concession”. (The local term for over 60, handicapped, etc.) From the ticket booth, we passed through the turnstyle … well, except there are waist high gates … slipping my OUT ticket in the front slot, then retrieving it from the top slot, which opens the gate. Train ride was about 45 minutes with stops at Argyle St. (of course ), Rutherglen, Motherwell, and places in between. During the ride a ticket agent checked to make sure passengers had paid, and if not bought tickets from him. (As some smaller stations, such as Carluke, did not have open ticket offices.) We arrived at Carluke about 1045.
The nicest houses in Carluke are on the walk up from the train station to “main street”, the A73. Not sure which way to go, we turned north, discovering a small memorial park. While we perused the monuments, a local gent stopped to chat. When we told him we were looking for William Angus‘s grave, he told us that he had grown up next door to him in the 50s. Back then, the U.K. had a coin-operated “vending machine” in the homes to purchase electricity, and when his family ran out, William Angus would give his family some change to keep the lights on. He also gave us directions to Wilton Cemetery, which was the opposite direction, about 1.25 miles if you walked straight from the train station. (William Angus, a former Celtic F.C. player, was awarded the V.C. in World War I for “The bravest deed done in the history of the British Army.”)
The cemetery was much larger than I expected, and I spent quite some time looking for William Angus’s grave. (There was a cemetery map, but no special directions.) Eventually my dim bulb crackled on , and I hit on the idea of googling for help. (I had signed up for a month, the smallest unit of time available, of international Verizon access before leaving.) Wikipedia directed me to Section O, Lair 36. It was a humble family grave, as are most Scottish graves, with only a small citation “VC” next to William Angus’s name, and a carving of the medal atop the stone. After perusing a few more soldiers’ stones, we wandered back into town.
We had lunch at the Kirkton Inn, about the only place open mid-afternoon on Sunday in a small town. Glad we did, as it was the best meal we ate in Scotland. (No disrespect to any of the other places — even the Tesco Express next to our hotel had good sandwiches.)
When we left the pub, it started snow hailing, pretty hard. I had forgot my hat, and we did not have a umbrella with us, so we made it to the train station sharpish. By the time the train hit Motherwell, only a few miles north, it was again sunny.
Guesstimate on AEG and time, but accurate distance measure on MapDex. (I had my GPS with me, but did not bother to use it; no big, I have good memory for where I’ve been. ) I’m actually surprised we walked as far as we did: I would have guessed about 3-4 miles total for the day.
Distance: 5.39 mi.
AEG: 350 ft.
Time: 4h 00m