Motherwell is an industrial town in the Clydeside region of central Scotland, with a population of 32,840 in 2020. It's 16 miles southeast of Glasgow, and divided by the motorway and River Clyde from neighbouring Hamilton.
The town name derives from an ancient "Lady Well" or holy well. It was a tiny hamlet until the railway arrived in 1848, when it rapidly grew into an iron and steel-making centre supplying the heavy industries of Glasgow and elsewhere. This growth continued in the 20th century, and the huge Ravenscraig steel-making complex was built on a greenfield site east of town. But by the 1980s other nations were undercutting British Steel, there was a damaging strike, major customers such as car manufacturers were lost, and the industry collapsed. Ravenscraig became a wasteland which is only now being rehabilitated for housing. Steel production continues at Dalzell and Clydebridge, and the town's other employments are public services (such as the council and police bases), call centres and light industry.
From Glasgow or the south approach along M74, exit at junction 6 and follow A723 into town. From Edinburgh follow M8 and cross by A725 onto M74.
Motherwell is on the West Coast mainline and has trains from Glasgow Central every 15 minutes or so, taking 20-40 min. The fast trains continue to Carlisle, Preston, Manchester Piccadilly and airport; to Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne, York, Leeds and down through the Midlands to Penzance; and to Warrington, Birmingham New Street and London Euston. The London services include the Caledonian Lowland Sleeper, which leaves Euston Su-F near midnight to reach Motherwell for 07:00; southbound times are similar. But for long-distance routes to town it's often quicker to travel into Glasgow for a non-stop train.
1 Motherwell railway station is central in town. It's being rebuilt, not a moment too soon, so expect some upheaval and temporary facilities until this is complete maybe late in 2023.
Airbles station only has the slow trains but may be more convenient for the south side of town.
Inter-city coaches don't call here, you usually have to go via Glasgow, but travel via nearby Hamilton for the hourly X74 bus between Glasgow, Moffat and Dumfries.
First Bus X11 runs from Glasgow Buchanan Station every 30 min, taking 30 min to Motherwell and continuing south to Wishaw and Newmains.
First Bus 240 runs from Buchanan Station via Birkenshaw and Belshill to Motherwell, taking 75 min, and continuing to Craigneuk, Wishaw and Overtown. It runs every 30 min 05:00-22:30, every ten min daytime. As Night Bus N240 it also runs around 00:15 and 03:00 very early Saturday and Sunday from Sauchiehall Street.
JMB Bus 41 runs M-Sa every 15 min from Hamilton to Motherwell then Wishaw, Carluke and Lanark.
There isn't a bus station. Buses follow Muir St A721 to the railway station and shopping centre.
The centre is compact and walkable. You need a car to reach the Theme Park, especially with little ones, as there isn't a bus. Dalzell Estate is a long walk, but hourly bus 244 runs from town centre down Adele St, dropping you at the north edge of the park.
- 1 Strathclyde Country Park. Large park surrounding an artificial lake, created in the 1970s and submerging the former mining village of Bothwellhaugh. It's bounded to the west by the diverted River Clyde, and by M74 which can be noisy - the east of the park is quieter. There are woodlands and wetlands, and the remains of Roman Baths. There's a water sports centre, M&Ds theme park and a camping and caravan site.
- 2 Motherwell Cathedral (Cathedral Church of Our Lady of Good Aid), 31 Coursington Rd ML1 1PP, ☏ . Red-brick Gothic building designed by Pugin and completed in 1900, now the seat of the RC diocese of Motherwell. Note the organ, renovated in 2008.
- North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre, High Road ML1 3HU (just west of railway station), ☏ . M-Sa 09:30-16:30. This is the main repository for archives and records for North Lanarkshire. Free.
- 3 Dalzell Estate & Baron's Haugh. Dawn to dusk. A designed landscape around Dalzell House (which is nowadays private flats), with wetlands and woods providing a nature reserve. With Japanese Gardens, and Baron's Haugh is an RSPB reserve with bird hides. Free.
- See Hamilton four miles west for the Duke of Hamilton's mausoleum and Chatelherault Country Park.
- 4 Cambusnethan Priory is the sorry ruin of a neo-gothic mansion of 1820.
- 1 Motherwell Concert Hall has a regular programme of events. It's within the Civic Centre and council offices at the junction of Windmillhill St and Airbles Rd.
- 2 M&D's Theme Park, Strathclyde Country Park ML1 3RT, ☏ , fax: . Daily 10:00-22:00. Theme park and funfair, Amazonia tropical house, ten-pin bowling, crazy golf, amusement arcade and several eating places. Check ahead for closures of various sections. Alona Hotel is adjacent. Ride all day + golf + Amazonia adult £23, child £19.
- Aquatec Motherwell, 1 Menteith Road ML1 1AZ (200 yards east of railway station), ☏ . M-F 06:00-22:00, Sa Su 08:00-18:00. Leisure centre with pool, large gym, dance studios and health suite. Cleanliness and maintenance erratic.
- Football: 3 Motherwell FC, Fir Park St ML1 2QN, ☏ . "The Well" play soccer in the Scottish Premiership, the country's top tier. The stadium, capacity 13,000, is a mile southeast of town centre off A721 Windmillhill St.
- Golf: courses near town are Bellshill north, Colville Park GC northeast and Wishaw GC east. There are more to the west near Hamilton.
- Brandon Shopping Centre is just south of the railway station in the fork of the tracks. It's the town's main retail centre, with a pedestrianised outdoor mall lined with shops and fast-food places. Free toilets and nearby parking.
- ASDA and Aldi are south next to Brandon, and reached by walkways.
- There's a fast food strip from the railway station south into Brandon shopping centre.
- 1 Da Claudio Restaurant, 388 Brandon Street ML1 1XA, ☏ . Tu-F 12:00-14:00 & 17:30-21:00, Sa Su 12:00-21:00. Friendly place for pizza & pasta.
- 2 Hup Lee Buffet, 131 Merry Street ML1 1JP, ☏ . Su-Th 12:00-22:00, F Sa 12:00-23:00. All you can eat Chinese buffet, good food for the price. They also have a takeaway on Windmillhill St.
- 3 Indian Villa, 68 Windmillhill Street ML1 1TA, ☏ . Daily 16:00-23:00. Small good-value Indian.
- Toby Carvery is at M74 jcn 5 next to the Holiday Inn Express. It's open daily 07:00-23:00.
- There's a strip of pubs along Merry Street east of the station. These include Horseshoe Bar at the junction with Muir St, Railway Tavern at no 31, The Brandon Works a JD Wetherspoon at no 61, Woodcutter Bar at no 127, and Burns Tavern at no 210 on the corner of Dalziel St.
- Another strip runs south towards Windmillhill St. Here are The Brandon Bar, New Century Bar at no 49, Windmill Tavern at no 75, and Steelworks Bar & Grill (formerly Jack Daniels) round the corner on Glencairn St.
- Electric Bar is west, next to Airbles railway station, while The Bullfrog is south along the road to Wishaw.
- The caravan site is at M74 jcn 5 next to the Holiday Inn Express. It's open all year, with 45 camping pitches and 107 caravan hook-ups.
- 1 Holiday Inn Express, Strathclyde Country Park ML1 2RB (jcn 5 of M74 with A725), ☏ . Reliable budget chain just off motorway. B&B double £60.
- Alona Hotel, Strathclyde Country Park ML1 3RT (next to Theme Park near jcn 5 of M74), ☏ . Well-run place by the park, close to motorway. B&B double £85.
- 2 Best Western Moorings Hotel, 114 Hamilton Road ML1 3DG, ☏ . Good central hotel. B&B double £80.
- 3 Dalziel Park Hotel, 10 Hagen Drive ML1 5RZ (2 miles east of town), ☏ . Mid-range place by woodlands and golf course, often used for weddings & other functions. B&B double £80.
- Bentley Hotel, 19 High Road ML1 3HU (west side of railway station), ☏ . Victorian house near town centre, some facilities worn. B&B double £55.
Motherwell is generally a safe area, but there are some rundown areas such as Forgewood and Carfin where you might not want to walk at night.
The town centre has its quota of raucous drunks of an evening, but the pub strips are visibly policed, with CCTV cameras and pub security staff.
The Police Station is at 217 Windmillhill Street just south of the centre.
- 1 Wishaw General Hospital, 50 Netherton Street, Wishaw ML2 0DP, ☏ . This is the closest hospital, 2 miles south of Motherwell, and has A&E facilities.
As of Aug 2022, Motherwell and its approach roads have 4G from O2 and Vodafone, and 5G from EE and Three.
Wifi is widely available in public places. There's public internet at Motherwell Library at 35 Hamilton Road, by the railway bridge.
- Hamilton a few miles west is industrial but has Chatelherault Country Park.
- New Lanark is a well-preserved 18th century mill complex and model town.
- Glasgow and Edinburgh both rank as must-see and are easily accessible by train or by road.
|Routes through Motherwell|
|Glasgow ←||NW SE||→ Lesmahagow → Manchester|
|Kilmarnock ← Strathaven ←||SW NE||→ Livingston → Edinburgh|