I live a short distance from Motherwell and have also had the dubious honour of working there at one point in my life. It is in the district of North Lanarkshire and is the home of the Civic offices of North Lanarkshire council, therefore it tends to get a bit more love in terms of flowers getting planted in the Spring etc. than some other towns. So what is there to do there and is it worth a visit?
Motherwell has a far better shopping area than nearby Wishaw but possibly not as good as the other nearby town of Hamilton. The main shopping area includes shops such as Primark, Poundland, Dorothy Perkins, Argos and Boots but a few other shops in the area seem to have shut down recently, perhaps due to the recession. Motherwell was the proud owner of the first Wilkinson's store in Scotland and also has a large 24 hour ASDA a short walk away from the main shopping precinct. The shopping is nowhere near as good as Glasgow but is more than adequate. If you were needing anything in an emergency whether it be a mop, a dress or a donut, then you'd probably have success finding something in Motherwell, even if you would have more choice in Glasgow.
There are quite a lot of pleasant enough little cafes dotted around Motherwell for you to grab a bite to eat. There is, of course, the ubiquitous Greggs and there's also an Auld's (which I like to visit for a fudge donut when in Motherwell since there's no longer an Auld's in Wishaw). McDonald's and Subway are also available if you fancy some fast food. The large ASDA has a cafe but it can often be busy. If you want pub grub there is a Wetherspoons and The Railway Tavern, I believe, sells food. The GLO is a popular cafe in the town which sells hot meals, sandwiches, cakes and biscuits but has become increasingly pricey, I feel. There is also a Chinese buffet restaurant called the Hup Lee which has a chocolate fountain on at night as part of the choice of sweets.
Motherwell has a fair selection of pubs although I haven't drank in many of them and from the looks of them from the outside, I'm not sure that I'd want to drink in some of them! I have been in the Wetherspoons which is a typical Wetherspoons pub although the decor is quite dark and dingy and not the most welcoming.
Things to Do
I think because I'm from near Motherwell I tend to take it for granted and laugh at what is on offer there but actually, when you think about it, there's quite a lot on offer. The big attraction is probably Strathclyde Park which has a nice walk round about it. You can hire bikes here, have a bite to eat in the cafe or have a shot of one of the boats on the lake. There's always inquisitive (and hungry) swans floating about on the lake and there's also playpark areas for kids. There's also a large gym here that looks out over the loch. Of course, this is the home, also, of M + Ds. This is advertised as a 'theme park' but is actually more of a fun fair as it isn't that large but it does have amusements, pool, ten pin bowling, mini golf, Amazonia (an exotic animal attraction) as well as a fair number of rides, so you could easily put a day in here.
There is also The Zone in Motherwell which includes a lazer quest and, I believe, a soft play area for little ones. Just behind it you can find Motherwell Heritage Centre which is quite an interactive museum that tells you the history of the town and surrounding area: from the early Roman beginnings up to the War and the days of the Steel Works, this museum is informative and, best of all, free. There's often free events on here for the kids during school holidays, too.
The RSPB also has a nature reserve in Motherwell called Baron's Haugh. It isn't particularly well known but is quite well kept and there are hides there for those who want to do a spot of bird-watching.
There is also the Aquatec leisure complex. This used to include ice skating but the rink has now been turned into a gym. There is also a play pool with a flume, a jacuzzi and a sauna and steam room.
Finally, there is Fir Park football stadium, if you want to catch the home team of Motherwell playing a game.
Just like anywhere, you get a mix of good and bad but like the nearby town of Wishaw, quite a few of the people of Motherwell are a bit rough and ready. The area has suffered quite a lot of unemployment in recent years since a lot of the heavy industry round about has shut down and the area has, unfortunately, developed some problems. There seems to be a fair bit of a drug problem apparent and sometimes the place can feel a bit threatening, especially at night.
Motherwell is one of the main interchange train stations so the public transport links to and from here are great. The trains to London run through Motherwell which means it is relatively easy to get most places in the UK using Motherwell as your starting point. Bus services to Glasgow, Hamilton and Wishaw are very frequent. Bus services to Lanark less so but the trains run through Carluke and Lanark from Motherwell twice an hour.
All in all, Motherwell has quite a lot to do and enough shops to get by with and although I wouldn't recommend that you go out of your way to visit, if you're ever passing through, there is plenty to do.
I am shocked to be the first person to write a review on Motherwell, Lanarkshire.
Motherwell is a 25min train ride from Glasgow.
I have lived here all my life and i will admit it isnt the best place in the UK to live, however it is by no means the worse. Motherwell like most towns is made up of different areas and different schemes. There are various groups called Young Teams who live in most areas but not something i
take anything to do with!
The last i heard Motherwell had over 10000 inhabitants. Motherwell comes under North Lanarkshire Council who seem to have different rules and regulations from every other council in Scotland!
The main shopping area in Motherwell is overdue a revamp and plans were suppose to be in place to put it all undercover but never materialised. The main supermarket is Asda but we have a Farmfoods, Iceland and a Lidl near and within the main shopping area.
The shops are ok but i wouldnt say a brilliant selection compared to nearby towns.
Motherwell is also home to Motherwell Football Club situated in Fir Park stadium which is a short walk from my home though i have yet to be in it!
There is quite a few hotels in Motherwell including The Old Mill Hotel, Moorings & the Bentley. Motherwell is on the main train route for Glasgow, Edinburgh, London & Newcastle.
Motherwell is also home to Scotlands largest theme park M&Ds and Strathyclyde Park which has a large lake and sport centre offering various water sports. There is also a state of the art gym & swimming pool in Motherwell.
There are several cafes to choose from and the a McDonalds however i do recommend a few restaurants if you ever happen to be in Motherwell.
Hup Lee - opened in 2009 this is a chinese all you can eat buffet with lunch 7.95 and dinner 12.45 and they offer very good service
Weatherspoons - excellent bar & restaurant
The Mandarin - another great chinese set restaurant.
As for nightlife, just outside the town centre there is a large nightclub called MegaBar with Hype upstairs. Been once but its not my sort of thing. There is also a bar called Starka and various pubs that are usually overcrowded with old men!
Motherwell is home to Gala Bingo!
In August 2009, Motherwell College opened doors to their new £70 million college but it hasnt been very well thought out but still offers excellent courses. It is built on the former Ravenscraig site on the outskirts of Motherwell. There will be various developements here as it is becoming a new town.
If you ever visit Mothewell pop buy for a cuppa