Ugly East Kilbride

30 Apr

Before you get too annoyed, please note that this is a twin post. You can find the other one here.

As I’m finally moving out of East Kilbride and back to Scotland’s biggest city, it seems like time to write another post on Scotland’s biggest town – or rather, two connected posts. This year I’m doing a challenge with my friend Judy to walk 1,000 miles, while virtually travelling from Land’s End to John o’Groats. (I’ve just virtually passed through Ashby de la Zouch). As a result of that, I have to use Strava, an app that’s really aimed at runners and cyclers, so I can keep track of my mileage.

I soon started adding photos to my Strava walks to make them more interesting to my followers (or follower, as Judy was at that time) and naturally I chose the most picturesque shots and framings from my wanders. But then I got to thinking that this was not representative of East Kilbride at all. So I started taking other photos.

I realise that all towns and cities have their less attractive bits, but East Kilbride, bless it, has more unattractive bits than most. It’s a “new town”, built after the Second World War along with other beauties like Cumbernauld and Glenrothes. The town was built around three villages: the original East Kilbride village, Maxwellton village, and a third that I have never been able to discover. It’s also surrounded by some very nice countryside, notably the Calderwood Gorge. So to celebrate this admixture of the pretty and the pretty ugly, here are some of the photos taken on my Strava walks.

‘The Village’

Known simply as ‘the Village’, East Kilbride village is full of ugly council buildings and a strange sculpture of a dog.

Maxwellton Village

The old village of Maxwellton is home to the less-than-charming looking China Cottage (This is not a review of their food – despite the proximity, I don’t think I’ve ever used it.)

The embrace of the internal combustion engine

In East Kilbride, you are never more than five minutes away from a dual carriageway, a roundabout or a car park. So many cars!

Byways and lanes

(I promise there is a cut-through at the end of these garages.)

There are always short cuts to be found, many of them looking very uninviting.

Castles

What remains of Calderwood Castle is less than impressive.

The view of Crookedshields Road

Where I often go for walks.

The Show Park

This glorified field is a great spot for outdoor activities, when it’s not waterlogged.

Calderglen Gorge

Some of the entrances to this nature trail (this one is off St Leonard’s Road) are not beautiful.

Snow!

East Kilbride gets a lot of snow (which is probably what I will miss about it) and of course everything looks lovely in the snow – except the blasted heath of Glen Esk.

I hope you enjoyed this photo post but remember that it is only half the story!

To finish up, here’s an East Kilbride picture I made, rather than took. I realise the guinea pig’s back foot is a bit weird, but it’s my first go at a Strava picture, and I’m pretty happy with it. Now to make some more in Glasgow!

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