A short little circular with lovely scenery.
For a small town Biggar has an astonishing number of museums, these reflect its interesting history.
The Moat Park Heritage Centre has geology displays explaining how the Clyde and Tweed valleys were formed millions of years ago. Meet an Iron Age family or a Roman soldier. Models show early dwellings, mottes, castles and houses. There are many items of fine art. Other displays feature a rural church, a school and agricultural and costume heritage. In the natural history section one can watch a colony of live bees making their honey.
Gladstone Court Museum has wee shops and offices displaying small town life as the old remember it. Ironmongers, bank, photographers, chemist, dressmaker, watchmaker, milliner, printer, bootmaker and schoolroom.
In the local park: 'Biggar's Burn Braes stands Greenhill Covenanters' Farmhouse, home for a Convenanting museum. Here one is transported back to the century of the signing of the National Covenant, the Civil War, and the killing times when men and women were hunted down for worshipping in the open fields rather than in the state controlled churches.
The Albion Archive houses the archives of Albion Motors, a commercial vehicle manufacturing firm which was started here in1899. The company grew to be the largest truck manufacturer in the British Empire and is now part of the Leyland DAF organisation.
In 1973, when natural gas from the North Sea came to Biggar, the gas works closed down. However, unlike other gasworks it was not demolished. Instead, it has been preserved for future generations by Historic Buildings and Monuments and the National Museums of Scotland.
John Buchan. In the old Free Kirk at Broughton, where young Mr. Buchan, the supply clegyman met his future bride Helen Masterton in 1874, a display has been mounted commemorating their eldest son: the writer, poet and statesman John Buchan. Author of many popular novels still in print like 'The Thirty Nine Steps', Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly and Governor General of Canada, Broughton was his childhood holiday home.
Hugh MacDiarmid. Just a mile and a half out of Biggar is Brownsbank Cottage, which was the home of the poet Hugh MacDiarmid from 1952. The cottage is home to a writer-in-residence.
This is a lovely little circular route of just twelve miles, skirting Goseland Hill. Perhaps just enough to give you an appetite for a snack in Biggar or Broughton. The indicated route takes you round the north side of Goseland Hill so avoiding a climb of 80 metres. The marked start is from the B7016 at the north end of Biggar, signed Puppet Theatre.
Biggar is a small attractive town with a good choice of pubs and tea rooms. It probably has more things to see than any other town of its size in Scotland. It has the only surviving coal gas works in Scotland, a museum since natural gas arrived in 1973. The Puppet Theatre which seats 100 is worth a visit, it's got a tea room and picnic area too. If you are interested in old Biggar see Gladstone Court Street Museum which has an indoor street with old shopfronts and interiors: grocer, chemist, ironmonger etc.
Broughton was a home of John Buchan, author of 39 Steps. The Real Ale, Greenmantle is brewed locally in Broughton Brewery and is called after another of his novels. The John Buchan Centre tells an interesting story for he was a soldier, lawyer, politician, and Govenor-General of Canada.