Chef Jimmy Lee remembers Chatelherault Country Park


Chatelherault Country Park in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire. A former hunting lodge with a French-style parterre is located in the heart of the park.

The ruins of Cadzow Castle, Cadzow Oaks, and the Dukes Bridge are all accessible via over 10 miles of trails and walkways. The scenery and the views are quite spectacular.

Who are you going there?

My hometown is Hamilton and I grew up near the park. My mom and dad still live there and I visit them as often as possible.

How often do you go there?

At least once a year. Because we didn’t have a garden when I was a kid, I went to Chatelherault Country Park at least once a week to play with my friends and family.

What is your favorite memory?

My sisters and I used to go and explore every nook and cranny of the park when we were kids. We once went into the steep undergrowth when I was 12. I shouldn’t have bothered, however, because I fell and slipped about 20 feet, hitting branches and bushes along the way.

Chef Jimmy Lee. Photo: Naomi Vance Photography / SKAPA

My sisters could only hear my cries for help from a distance. However, like a scene from the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie, I landed unscathed on my own two feet on a catwalk.

Who are you taking?

Family and friends.

What do you take?

My worst pair of “gutties” (that’s sneakers for anyone who doesn’t know). It can get dirty and muddy.

What are you leaving behind?

Only footprints. We need to protect our green spaces more than ever. The health and wellness benefits of exploring the great outdoors are enormous and if we keep Scotland’s outdoors in order places like Chatelherault Country Park will be preserved for future generations.

Summarize it in five words.

Memories. Landscape. Joy. Evasion. Calm.

Which travel location is on your wishlist after the lockdown?

I would love to go back to Morocco: you must see the hustle and bustle of Jemaa el-Fnaa square in Marrakech.

Chefchaouen, also known as the Blue City, is further afield and has some of the most endearing medinas in the country, as well as buildings and street walls painted blue on Instagram.

READ MORE: Scot Squad and Absolutely Star Jack Docherty on the majesty of Glen Coe

I also want to visit London again when we can. Apps like TikTok took me to places around London that I had no idea existed, like the Barbican Conservatory and the Horniman Museum.

Jimmy Lee’s Lychee Oriental restaurant, 59 Mitchell Street, Glasgow, is open daily from 12:00 p.m. and his Salt & Chilli Oriental pop-up, 911 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow, is open Wednesday through Monday (not Tuesday) , from 4 p.m. Visit and

For more information on Chatelherault Country Park visit

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