Airdrie is a former industrial town in North Lanarkshire and is 12 miles east of Glasgow.
Airdrie’s industrial heyday was the 19th century when the major industries were coal mining and cotton milling, alongside engineering and oil-shale extraction. Modern day Airdrie is very much a commuter town. The town contains a variety of historical and modern attractions.
AA Battery Drumbowie, a World War II anti-aircraft battery, is located on the outskirts of the town. The battery is significant as it was one of only a small number which was converted for use in the Cold War. In the nearby settlement of Riggend lies the Wallace Stone, which legends says was used by William Wallace to sharpen his sword on his way to the Battle of Falkirk. More modern structures include the Black Hill transmitting station, which is the tallest structure in Scotland. The Airdrie Public Observatory is one of only four public observatories in the UK and is still operated by the local astronomical association.
Airdrie is a popular spot for angling, with the Airdrie & District Angling Club managing the local Hillend Loch. Black Loch is a 20 minute drive from the town and is also a popular spot for fishing and a known area for bird watching. Monkland Canal runs to the south of the town. Popular recreational spaces are the Centenary and West End Parks which contain the Airdrie Cenotaph and the Centenary Railway Viaduct, which dates from 1866 and is now a B-listed structure.
The woodlands of Rawyards sit on the outskirts of Airdrie and provide opportunities for wildlife watching and picnicking as well as panoramic views over Airdrie. Rawyards also contains the Scottish sculptor Rob Mulholland's Skytower sculpture, which has won an architecture prize from the Galvanizers' Association. Wester Moffat woodland also sits on the edge of town and offers 2km of paths to explore, as well as links to the North Calder Heritage Trail.
Airdrie has a variety of locally-run cafes and restaurants in its town centre. Graham Street, the main pedestrianised street, has recently been refurbished and offers a selection of shops. Local bus services connect Airdrie to nearby towns and villages as well as Glasgow, and the town also has regular train services to Glasgow, Edinburgh and Livingston. The town lies close to the M8 motorway, making it easily accessible by road. Airdrie sits on the UK National Cycle Network Route 75 which runs from Glasgow to Edinburgh.