New Lanark is worth visiting for two main reasons: to see its fine examples of restored historic buildings such as mills and tenements, and to learn about the activities of Robert Owen, a reformer who improved living and working conditions for mill workers and their families in the early 19th century. The complex was managed by Owen until 1825, when he moved to Indiana and purchased the town of New Harmony, to continue his communitarian work.
The nearest town for national public transport connections is Lanark. Lanark train and bus stations are adjacent to each other and it's a downhill walk of a bit more than a mile from there to the village. Stuart's Coaches runs the 135 service from Lanark bus station to New Lanark.
Travellers from Glasgow can take the train from Glasgow Central station direct to Lanark. Travellers from Edinburgh can take a train to Motherwell (don't change at Holytown, which has no station facilities) and change there for a train to Lanark.
There's no direct coach or bus from Edinburgh, but you can make local connections by taking the bus to Biggar, from where you can catch a bus to Lanark bus station.
New Lanark is signposted from the M8 motorway and is under an hour's drive from Edinburgh. There is a large car park which is up quite a steep hill above the rest of the village but there is disabled parking in the main street of the village for those requiring it.
The Clyde Walkway is nearby so walkers can pass through the village on the walk.
The village is quite small and can only be navigated by foot. There are few cars and it is usually quite busy with people so it is safe to just wander round the sights on the roads and paths provided.
New Lanark is the site of historic cotton mills and most of the buildings are still there and are listed.
There is a visitors centre where tickets for entrance to the mills which are available to the public and for the historic ride named the "Millennium Experience" can be bought. There are working models of the spinning machines and there is a working waterwheel which is used to generate electricity in a small power station. There are also many picnic areas and a children's play park which can be used for free within the village.
There is also the Clyde Walkway which can take visitors up the River Clyde to a hydro-electric power station and to the spectacular Falls of Clyde and beyond.
Mill 1 was converted into the three-star New Lanark Mill Hotel and the neighbouring waterhouses offer four-star self-catering accommodation.
The Scottish Youth Hostels Association runs a three-star youth hostel in Wee Row.