town in South Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK

East Kilbride is a town in the Central Belt of Scotland, some 8 miles southeast of Glasgow, with a population of 75,310 in 2020. It's notorious for its "New Town" architecture, yet its main attraction is the Museum of Rural Life. In Gaelic Cille Bhrìghde means the church of St Bride or Brigit, probably the 6th century Irish saint rather than the 5th century Scottish one.



Housing in post-war Glasgow was a bleak mixture of slums and craters, so five "new towns" were built rapidly to rejuvenate the Central Belt. Four of them were on greenfield sites, East Kilbride being the first from 1947. It was followed by Glenrothes, Cumbernauld and Livingston, while the fifth was built onto the existing town of Irvine. These fulfilled an urgent need for housing but demonstrated all that is wrong with crass central planning. A sixth town, intended for Stonehouse south of Hamilton, fortunately was never built. However East Kilbride has preserved some attractive countryside along the Rotten Calder valley, the moors of Lanarkshire rise to the south, and a couple of miles out is the Museum of Rural Life.

Get in

Brutalist architecture of the Civic Centre

Long-distance public transport to East Kilbride will usually involve travelling via central Glasgow.

By air: from Glasgow Airport (GLA IATA) take the bus to Buchanan station then bus or train to East Kilbride as below.

1 East Kilbride railway station has trains every 30 min from Glasgow Central, taking 30 min. They run from 6AM to 11PM and also stop at Hairmyres at the northwest edge of town, convenient for the University Hospital. The station has a ticket office and machines, waiting room, news stand and toilets. There is step-free access to the sole platform.

Bus: The bus station is in the main shopping centre. First Glasgow Bus 18 runs every 10 min from Glasgow Sauchiehall St and Central Station via Rutherglen to East Kilbride, taking an hour, and continuing to Greenhills Shopping Centre. Bus 31 also runs hourly to town from Glasgow Osborne St via Gorbals, Castlemilk, Carmunnock and Stewartfield (for the Museum of Rural Life). These run 5PM to midnight. There are also night buses from Glasgow Sauchiehall St in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday: N6 via Cathcart to East Kilbride and Calderwood, and N18 via Dalmarnock, Rutherglen, Burnside and East Kilbride to Greenhills.

Stagecoach West Scotland Bus X16 runs hourly from Hamilton to East Kilbride and continues west to Kilmarnock and Ayr. An occasional direct bus runs from Motherwell but it's usually quicker to change in Hamilton.

By road the usual approaches are M8 from Edinburgh, M74 from Carlisle and M77 from Kilmarnock, to join A725 / A726. From central Glasgow you'd probably follow A730 onto A749.

Get around


Bus 31 runs past the Museum of Rural Life.

Taxi firms are Mo's ( +44 7967 756772) and EK ( +44 1355 229171) who get rotten reviews.

  • 1 National Museum of Rural Life, Wester Kittochside Farm, Philipshill Rd G76 9HR. Daily 10AM-5PM. Part of National Museums of Scotland, with museum, farmhouse and working farm. Open all year but wear wellies and other outdoor gear, and don't bring a dog. Your ticket is valid for a year. Adult £8.    
  • 2 Calderglen Country Park, Strathaven Rd G75 0QZ, +44 1355 236644. Zoo & conservatory daily 10AM-4PM. Extensive park with zoo, tropical plant conservatory, ornamental gardens, nature trails and walks along the glen of the Rotten Calder. Adult £1.70.    
  • 3 James Hamilton Heritage Park on Stewartfield Way north of town, surrounds a 16-acre loch, and has a watersports centre, adventure playgrounds and cafe.
  • 1 Dollan Aqua Centre, Brouster Hill G74 1AF. M-Th 7AM-10PM, F 7AM-8PM, Sa Su 8AM-5:30PM. 50 m swimming pool. The building was designed by Alexander Buchanan Campbell and opened in 1968. It is a category A listed building.    
  • Cinema: the Odeon is in the Shopping Centre.
  • 2 Village Theatre is on Maxwell Drive.
  • Carmunnock Highland Games are held in May on King George V football ground in Carmunnock, two miles north of East Kilbride. The next are on Sunday 26 May 2024.
National Museum of Rural Life
  • In town centre, best meals are in the pubs, see "Drink". There's a little collection north towards the railway station, with Village Steakhouse, Zucca Pizzeria, and a Malaysian, Vietnamese and Indian.
  • Another little strip is on High Common Rd to the southeast, with a Chinese, Punjabi and Italian place.


  • Hudsons, 14 Cornwall St G74 1JR. M-Sa 11AM-midnight, Su 12:30PM-midnight. Friendly town centre pub, Free House. Pub quiz Wednesday, open-mic Thursday, DJ Friday and Saturday, and big-screen sport.
  • Others nearby are The Hay Stook (JD Wetherspoon), Zucca Piada, Exchange Bar and The Tower.


Calderglen Country Park
  • 1 Premier Inn, Brunel Way G75 0LD, +44 871 527 8450. Convenient budget chain hotel in town centre. B&B double £75.
  • 2 Torrance Hotel, 135 Main St G74 4LN, +44 1355 225241. Decent mid-range place near railway station. B&B double £100.
  • 3 Holiday Inn Glasgow - East Kilbride, Stewartfield Way G74 5LA (near jcn A727 & A726), +44 1355 236300. Decent budget chain hotel at edge of town. B&B double £80.
  • 4 Crossbasket Castle, Stoneymeadow Rd G72 9UE (jcn B7012 and A725 Expressway), +44 1698 829461. Upscale place in extensive grounds, caters for many wedding parties. B&B double from £330.



East Kilbride has 4G from all UK carriers. As of July 2021, 5G has not yet reached town but is getting close.

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This city travel guide to East Kilbride 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.