Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK Content from the guide to life, the universe and everything

Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK

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As far as social engineering experiments go, Cumbernauld is definitely one of them. Created in the mid-1950s next to the village of the same name, Cumbernauld is one of five 'New Towns' in Scotland1. Today the town is home to some 60,000 individuals, and is part of North Lanarkshire.


The name 'Cumbernauld' comes from the Gaelic phrase cumar nan alt, meaning 'meeting of the waters'. The meeting in question is the Forth and Clyde Canal running near the town, forming a link between the east and west coasts of the country.

Geographically, the town stands on two ranges of hills either side of the main Glasgow-Stirling road, around 13 miles from each range. The reason for building the town was simple - relief of the overpopulation in Glasgow. It worked, but in the long run it created more problems than it solved.

Cumbernauld in General

The town looks very nice, if you're looking at it from a distance. Approaching the town from Glasgow, and assuming it's not raining, the first thing that will catch most people's eyes is the large silver building on the hill dead ahead. This is currently occupied by the Inland Revenue, and is one of the biggest employers in the town.

Upon entering the town, one thing will become apparent almost immediately - Cumbernauld is a very confusing place to drive around. For a start, there are no traffic lights and very few pelican crossings, and a profusion of roundabouts to baffle the casual driver.

Other points of interest in the town:

  • St Mungo's Church - a large green pyramid at the highest point of land in the town.

  • The Town Centre - an example of how not to create a successful shopping centre - a characteristic shared by many new towns like Stevenage.

  • Broadwood Stadium - home to Clyde Football Club and the town's Gymnastics Academy.

  • Palacerigg Country Park - located near the peat bogs to the south.

  • Castlecary Viaduct - the main Glasgow-Edinburgh railway crosses this.

  • The Antonine Wall - built by the Romans to the north of the town. Supposedly they got fed up being cold so far north and built a wall to keep the former locals out and keep themselves warm in the process.

1The other four being East Kilbride, Livingston, Glenrothes, and Irvine.

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