Travel: 48 hours in Lanarkshire

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Wednesday, 2:30pm: Contemplate life, the universe and everything at Little Sparta, Dunsyre, created by artist, Ian Hamilton Finlay ( Garden open Wednesday, Friday and Sunday afternoons, 2:30pm-5pm, until 30 September. Tickets, £10.

4pm: Explore Biggar. Why not visit Scotland’s only preserved gas works at the Biggar Gasworks Museum? (

5pm: Wind your way along the scenic Clyde Valley tourist route, with stunning views of the river.

6pm: Check in to Hamilton Holiday Inn Express (, rooms available from £54-£79.95).

7pm: Stay in, selecting from the hotel’s menu or soak up a New York Americana vibe at nearby Frankie & Benny’s, Hamilton.

Thursday, 9am: Help yourself to the breakfast buffet.

10am: Stroll around the nearby Hamilton Mausoleum, resting place of the family of the Dukes of Hamilton. The circular building is reputed to have the longest lasting echo of any man-made structure in the world.

11am: Head to Chatelherault House and Country Park, designed by architect William Adam and built in 1732 as the hunting lodge and summer house for the wealthy Duke of Hamilton.

5pm: For fine dining visit The Popinjay, an historic Tudor-style coaching inn in Rosebank (

Friday, 9am Revisit the breakfast buffet for seconds, while checking your emails with the complimentary Wifi.

10am: Relax with a dip in the pool at the nearby Virgin Active Gym ( Access is available to hotel guests for an additional £5.

Noon: Idle away the rest of day at the world heritage site at New Lanark (

THE FACTS: Hamilton Holiday Inn Express is located just off Junction 6 of the M74. For more information on the area check out