The old 42 bus driving down Hamilton Road in 1980 - on the right you can see the sign for Tony’s chippie, interestingly enough there’s still a chippie in that exact same spot, although it’s called Marcantonio’s nowadays.The old 42 bus driving down Hamilton Road in 1980 - on the right you can see the sign for Tony’s chippie, interestingly enough there’s still a chippie in that exact same spot, although it’s called Marcantonio’s nowadays.
The old 42 bus driving down Hamilton Road in 1980 - on the right you can see the sign for Tony’s chippie, interestingly enough there’s still a chippie in that exact same spot, although it’s called Marcantonio’s nowadays. | Martyn Hearson

A Local's Guide to Motherwell: 12 spots every tourist in Motherwell needs to see according to a local

This is our guide to Motherwell for tourists as written by a local - showing the best things to eat, drink, and do in the North Lanarkshire

Welcome to Motherwell - how did you ever end up here? Don't worry about that just now, today we wanted to champion the North Lanarkshire town, showing just how much there is to see and do.

I've lived in Motherwell for the last 7 years or so - but I grew up next door in Wishaw for the first 17 years of my life. I like to tell people I've moved up in the world, but in reality conditions are living much the same as any other urban town in North Lanarkshire.

Reading some of my words in this article might make you think that I don't like Motherwell at all - this couldn't be further from the truth. I love the place, I love the urban landscape mixed with green spaces like Baron's Haugh and Strathclyde Country Park, juxtaposed by the brutal post-industrial wasteland left in the wake of decades spent producing steel.

Growing up I hated Motherwell, and every other town around Wishy like Bellshill, Shotts, and Carluke, this was a commonly held belief thanks to older brothers, sisters, cousins or even aunts and uncles involved in the postcode wars of the 2000s.

Looking back it's a mad concept that people would attack each other on sight for being from an area one number off there own postcode - I suppose these were just the things everyone got up to when there was nothing else to do. Now that everyone's got a Playstation I think things have really mellowed out on the 'anti-social' crime front, but that's just a theory.

The Motherwell accent sounds very similar to Glaswegian, if you're a tourist from abroad they'll pretty much be indistinguishable from one another, but to the trained Scottish ear you can tell there's something a bit different. It's not quite as nasally as Glaswegian, though it can be, and contains hints of the central Scottish accent, at least in terms of pronunciation - though you're not quite far enough from the city that people start saying ken like, eh?

The town of Motherwell is set for radical change over the next few years - with the introduction of a new town, Ravenscraig, built on top of the old steelworks that go by the same name. Motherwell has already seen a little bit of in investment in recent years with the revamp of the train station, giving the place a swish new look and making the town centre look just a tiny bit more presentable. Motherwell, in my experience, has always been a town stuck in time. Stuck in place from when Thatcher signed the death warrant for the town, writing 'no action is called for' over a written warning in 1989 from Scottish Secretary Malcolm Rifkind stating that the Ravenscraig Steelworks and other Lanarkshire steel mills would certainly close down if not for government intervention.

Since then it's been stagnant, don't get me wrong people get out, become commuters and work elsewhere - countless others didn't though, and got stuck in a pit of gambling addiction, alcoholism, mental health problems, unemployment and drug abuse. It's easy to fall into any one of these holes in Motherwell, it's a generational issue and one that will continue unless more investment is made into community programmes and outreach through institutions like the NHS.

Despite all that, it's a place of community, of heritage, and a place to be proud of. The people are still friendly, the sun still shines occasionally, and the pints still pour cold.

If you're interested in learning more about heritage of Motherwell, check out our article: Motherwell back in time: Steel town’s heritage in 26 pictures.

You can also check out our article showing off Wishaw to tourists, in the same vain as this piece, click here for: A local’s guide to Wishaw: 10 things to do in the heart of North Lanarkshire

Fancy taking a day trip to Motherwell? You can get a bus (X11, 240) from Buchanan Bus Station or a train on the Lanark line from Glasgow Central and get there in just under half an hour.

Reading some of my words in this article might make you think that I don't like Motherwell at all - this couldn't be further from the truth. I love the place, I love the urban landscape mixed with green spaces like Baron's Haugh and Strathclyde Country Park, juxtaposed by the brutal post-industrial wasteland left in the wake of decades spent producing steel.

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