Lying between the towns of Motherwell and Hamilton in North Lanarkshire and to the northeast of the M74 motorway, between Junctions 5 and 6, Strathclyde Country Park is regarded as one of the principal centres for outdoor pursuits in Central Scotland. Located adjacent to the River Clyde, the park comprises 1100 acres (445 ha) of mature woodland, parkland and wetlands surrounding Strathclyde Loch which is the focal point of many of the park's outdoor activities. The loch was artificially created and used for the water events of the 1986 Commonwealth Games. The Watersports Centre on the west side of the loch provides facilities including rowing, canoeing, wind-surfing, dingy sailing and water ski-ing. On land, there are facilities for football, hockey, riding, cycling and mountain biking, coarse-fishing, jogging and cross-country running. To complement these activities, a hotel, bar, restaurant and theme park have been created at the northwestern end of the park, while nearby are a caravan and camping site.
The area of the park has a long and rich history, illustrated by a Roman fort and bath-house which have been excavated. For a long time part of the Hamilton Palace estates, the park represented an industrial landscape which had been the centre of coal-mining between the 1880s and the 1970s, at which time the area was cleared and the park developed.