town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK

Cumbernauld is a town on Clydeside in central Scotland, 13 miles northeast of Glasgow, with a population of 50,530 in 2020. The town lies close to attractive countryside along the canal and up in the Campsie Fells.



The name is Gaelic, comar nan allt meaning the meeting of waters, and it's near the watershed of the Clyde and Forth river catchments.

The town grew up as a weaving centre in the 19th century as the railway arrived, then expanded rapidly from 1955 when it was designated a "New Town". Cumbernauld was the third of five such towns built to alleviate Scotland's housing shortage, preceded by East Kilbride and Glenrothes, and followed by Livingston and Irvine; the intended sixth at Stonehouse was never built. Cumbernauld shares their drab brutalist architecture, and was especially influenced by the 1963 Buchanan Report "Traffic in Towns." In many ways this report was far-sighted, but implementation was shoddy, and 1960s politicians were in thrall to the car. The town's vertical segregation of pedestrians and vehicles meant few pedestrian crossings but many bridges, flyovers and underpasses, which became linear lavatories for the town drunks, and the place was mocked as "Noddytown". It might have overcome this with other attractions, but these are frankly lacking, and most visitors are just stopping over at the M80 hotels.

Cumbernauld town centre draws those who are curious to see post-war New Town architecture: all drab plazas and shopping centres and brutalist concrete slabs.

Get in


By plane: see below for the direct bus X24 from Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA) to Cumbernauld and St Andrews. It may be quicker to take Bus 500 into city centre and change. Cumbernauld Airport only has private aviation.

Trains run from Glasgow Queen Street every 30 min, taking 30 min via Stepps and Greenfaulds, and continuing east via Falkirk Grahamston, Polmont and Linlithgow to Edinburgh, 50 min.

Trains also run from Glasgow Central every 30 min, taking an hour to orbit the southern suburbs via Rutherglen, Hamilton, Motherwell, Coatbridge and Greenfaulds. Coming from London, the Midlands and northwest England, change for this train at Motherwell.

From Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen and the Highlands, change at Falkirk Grahamston.

1 Cumbernauld railway station is off South Carbrain Street on the east edge of town. It has a ticket office and machines, toilets and a waiting room. There are ramps to the platforms.

Greenfaulds station is a mile further southwest.

2 Croy is on B802 a couple of miles northwest of town, with frequent trains between Glasgow Queen Street, Stirling and Edinburgh.

Buses: Stagecoach Bus X25 / 25A runs from Glasgow Buchanan station (every 15 min M-Sa and every 30 min Sunday) via Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Greenfaulds to Cumbernauld town centre, taking 25 min, and continuing into the eastern suburbs of South Carbrain and Abronhill. Some of these buses start from Glasgow University. Bus X28 runs from Glasgow (every 30 min M-Sa, every couple of hours Sunday) via Mollinsburn, Condorrat and Greenfaulds, taking 35 min.

First Glasgow Bus X3 runs to Cumbernauld every 30 min daily via Muirhead, Moodiesburn and Greenfaulds, taking an hour.

First Scotland East Bus X37 runs hourly daily from Glasgow to Cumbernauld on a similar route to X3, then continues via Bonnybridge to Falkirk.

First Scotland East Bus X36 runs hourly daily from Glasgow to Cumbernauld then continues via Bonnybridge and Denny to Stirling. But don't get on the X36 operated by Stagecoach West Scotland, or you'll end up in Ardrossan.

Stagecoach Fife Bus X27 runs from Glasgow (M-Sa every 30 min, Su hourly) via Cumbernauld to Dunfermline, Halbeath Interchange, Kirkcaldy and Leven.

Bus X24 runs hourly daily from Glasgow Airport via Buchanan station and Cumbernauld to Dunfermline, Halbeath Interchange, Glenrothes and St Andrews.

Canavan Travel Bus 43 shuttles M-Sa every 15 min between Cumbernauld, Croy railway station and Kilsyth.

By road: most approaches are along M80 which passes northwest of town. By bike or on foot you might follow the canal towpath.

Get around


You can walk or take the buses which circle the town, to little point as there's nothing to see. But with your own wheels - and a bike will do nicely - you can quickly escape into nearby countryside, north to the canal towpath and Campsie Fells.

The Centre Cumbernauld
  • 1 The Centre Cumbernauld. This megastructure was built innthe 1969s to be a town centre consisting of "one huge multi-storey building", housing shops, apartments, a hotel, ice rink, police station and other amenities. It has now fallen into disrepair. It was voted "Britain's most hated building" in 2005, in a poll organised by Channel 4's programme Demolition, and was twice named Scotland's worst town centre by the Carbuncle Awards.    
  • 2 Cumbernauld House Park, a mile northeast of town, has open and wooded areas for strolling. It's ranged around 18th-century Cumbernauld House, which is nowadays private apartments, and continues into a bosky glen.
  • 3 Palacerigg Country Park has a petting farm, wildlife areas, woodland and open heath. It's two miles east of town next to the golf course, and open daily 9AM-5PM, free.
  • Football is only played at amateur level, as Clyde FC (based here 1994-2022) have relocated to Hamilton. Cumbernauld United play soccer at Guy's Meadow, and Cumbernauld RFC play rugby union at Condorrat.
  • Golf: Palacerigg GC (see park, above) is 5972 yards, par 71 / 72.
  • Fannyside Loch just east of the golf course has sailing and windsurfing, but the footpaths are in poor condition.

Gregory's Girl

Cumbernauld is the setting for the 1981 Bill Forsyth film Gregory's Girl. The gawky teenage Gregory is as inept in love as he is in football, and the girl he pines for is a better footballer, replacing him on the team as a forward. In the final scenes he and his pals set off to hitchhike to Caracas, which they can't even spell, but believe that women there greatly outnumber the men. It's as far away from Cumbernauld as they can imagine.

  • The main shopping centre is along the lyrically named "Central Way", with ASDA 200 yards north open daily 6AM-midnight.
  • Town centre eating places include La Bella (daily noon-10PM), Beefeater Dovecote (daily 7AM-11PM) and the usual fast-food chains and takeaways.
  • There's a Little Asia huddled around the railway station.
  • The Village, the historic core before the New Town grew up further south, has Coorie In @ The Black Bull (daily 11:30AM-midnight) and Invitation [dead link] Indian & Nepalese (Su Tu-Th 4-10PM, F Sa 4-11PM).


Town Centre
  • 1 The Carrick Stone, 52 Teviot Walk, G67 1NG, +44 1236 850260. Su-Th 8AM-11PM, F Sa 8AM-midnight. JD Wetherspoon's pub with real ales, and food until 22:00.





As of Aug 2022, Cumbernauld and its approach roads have 4G from O2 and Vodafone, and 5G from EE and Three.

Go next

  • Glasgow and Edinburgh are within an hour and both deserve an extended stay.
  • Stirling is a miniature Edinburgh, and has routes into the Highlands.
  • The Roman Antonine Wall runs a few miles to the north through Kilsyth, with the Campsie Fells beyond.
  • To discover if they made a better job of Scotland's other four New Towns, see East Kilbride, Glenrothes, Livingston and Irvine. But to be fair to the planners, also go and see what unplanned expansion looks like, for example in Dumbarton.

Routes through Cumbernauld
merges with    N   S  CoatbridgeThe SOUTH (avoiding Glasgow)
StirlingFalkirk (via  ) ←  NE   SW  KirkintillochGlasgow
END  N   S  Airdrie  (Edinburgh)

This city travel guide to Cumbernauld is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.