East Kilbride is the largest town in South Lanarkshire and is the sixth-largest settlement in Scotland. It’s the first of the new towns declared in the 1950s and is located on a raised plateau south of the Cathkin Braes, eight miles southeast of Glasgow.
It is bordered by the White Cart Water to the west and the Rotten Calder Water to the east. The area used to be a site where a small village stood, before the declaration of East Kilbride as a new town. The village still exists and is now incorporated with the town close to its town center.
The town is said to have been named after the Irish Saint St. Bride, who was alleged to have found a monastery for nuns and monks in Kildare in Leinster, Ireland. There are various translations of the name ‘Kilbride’ which could mean, “church of bride”, “burial place dedicated to the bride” and other more translations.
The history of East Kilbride is rich and long — dating back to the early Neolithic period, as it has been discovered that settlements existed here during this time period. Throughout the centuries, various cults have also been formed in East Kilbride, adding to its rich heritage.
Let’s take a tour around this town and find out more about it through the various activities and places in East Kilbride.
- Things to do in East Kilbride
- 1.Learn more at the National Museum of Rural Life
- 2.Have fun at the Carlderglen Country Park
- 3.Play in Water at the James Hamilton Heritage Park
- 4. Visit the Rainforest Adventure
- 5.Watch a movie at the ODEON East Kilbride Luxe
- 6.East Kilbride Ice Rink
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Things to do in East Kilbride
1.Learn more at the National Museum of Rural Life
It was previously known as the Museum of Scottish Country Life and is based on Wester Kittochside farm, located between the town of East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire and the village of Carmunnock in Glasgow.
The National Museum of Rural Life has been described both as a museum and a living, working historical countryside farm depicting the rural way of life in Early Scotland.
There is a Georgian farmhouse, that you can explore. There are also farm animals around the actual museum — from Ayrshire cows, Aberdeen Angus cattle, Tamworth pigs, sheep, hens, and the Clydesdale horses and Highland calves.
You can also ride the family-friendly tractor to the 300-year worth collection of tractors, harvesters, and machinery that tell the history of how tractors and farm machinery have transition throughout the years.
It is run by the National Trust Scotland. If you are already a member of NTS, you can visit for free.
Adult: 8 GBP
Family of Four: 23 GBP (two adults and two children)
Concession: 7 GBP
Children: 5.50 GBP (children under age of five can enter for free)
Open every day: 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
It is closed on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.
Address Wester Kittochside Philipshill Road, East Kilbride, Glasgow G76 9HR United Kingdom
Phone +44 300 123 6789
2.Have fun at the Carlderglen Country Park
Carlderglen Country Park is the best place in East Kikbride to bond and have fun with your children. There is a children’s zoo, a tropical glasshouse, ornamental gardens, nature trails, adventure and play areas, and so many more amenities and activities that your kids will enjoy!
The park extends along a wooded glen forged out of the Calder River, a tributary to the River Clyde. This Glen extends for over five kilometers and includes various geological features and stunning waterfalls. The northern section of the site is reserved specifically for scientific research and pursuit.
The children’s zoo is home to endangered animals such as owls, marmosets, wallabies, and the meerkats. The park also offers a ‘zookeeper for a day’ service to kids, in which the park rangers would be teaching them how to care, feed and walk certain animals.
Aside from their zoo and animals, there are also nature trails that you can hike if you are up for a small adventure. There are over eight miles of nature trails, where nature lovers can enjoy walking through the woods or along the riverbanks of River Clyde.
Other attractions include: the golf course, the gift shop, and the restaurant
On special occasions and holidays, such as Easter and Halloween, Carlderglen Country Park offers diverse programs and activities.
Adult: 1.10 GBP
Children under the age of 16 can enter for free
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM (last entry at 5:00 PM)
Monday to Sunday: 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM (last entry at 3:30 PM)
Address . Strathaven Road, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire G75 0QZ
Phone +44 1355 236644
3.Play in Water at the James Hamilton Heritage Park
James Hamilton Heritage Park is a 32-acre country park that surrounds a 16-acre loch, complete with a water sports center, adventure playgrounds, and a cafe. It is a four-star accredited activity center and definitely a must-visit when stopping by East Kilbride.
While swimming in the loch at any time is not allowed, there are various water activities that can be done in the park. These are exciting water sports such as canoeing and windsurfing.
Taster sessions are also offered if you are unsure of what water activity to try. These sessions can help you get a feel for various water sports and is available both for junior and adult.
Some of these water activities include bumper boats, windsurfing, fun rafts, swimming, a waterside cafe, walking around the loch and others.
If you are not too excited about water activities, don’t fret because there are non-water related facilities in this heritage park as well. You can try the play area, which are also star attractions. Or, if you are interested in birds, there is an on-site bird sanctuary.
Entry to the park is free.
Bumper Boats from 3 GBP
Pedalo from 5 GBP
Fun raft from 13.20 GBP
The park is open every hour of all the days of the week.
Address Stewartfield Way, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire G74 5LB
Phone +44 1355 276611
4. Visit the Rainforest Adventure
The Rainforest Adventure is an indoor play park for children that provides a completely unique experience. The play park is modeled after a rainforest and you would have to delve into a jungle with state of the art facilities, slide sanda, go kate and comfortable seating for the adults.
If your family ever goes hungry, there is a built-in restaurant inside. There are lots of exciting activities to be tried, such as the Biff Bash Forest, Spider’s Web Astra Slide, 3D Rope Maz, Roller Challenge Zone, and Drop Size just to name a few.
The jungle is also oe to some snakes that you can view and come see with your kids.
Kids (3-12) from 5.95 GBP
Toddle (1-3) from 4.95 GBP
Under 1 year old from 1 GBP
Monday to Sunday: 10AM to 6PM
Address Glenburn Road, 2 College Milton, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, G74 5BA Scotland
Phone +44 1698 223622
5.Watch a movie at the ODEON East Kilbride Luxe
The ODEON Movie Theatre is an absolute magic wonderland. It’s one of the best websites in Scotland to bring your kids in and it’s the best place to remake memories with your kids and their favorite movies.
This theatre shows the latest released children’s films but they also show classic film favorites every Saturday and Sunday — Disney, Pixar, you name it — it can even be a non-animated movie.
There are nine screens of multimedia image to enjoy. Moreover, the theatre itself is quite modern and looks like it’s from a science fiction movie set in the future. Definitely, the best place to bring your kids in while in East Kilbride.
Prices vary depending on the film and showing time. Look out for off-peak promotions to bag a discount.
The cinema opens depending on the film showing times. It’s best to check with the cinema beforehand.
Address Rothesay Street, East Kilbride, The Highlands, G74 1PG, Scotland
Phone +44 333 006 7777
6.East Kilbride Ice Rink
If your child (or even you) ever dreamed to be a professor figure skater, the one dancing in ice gracefully like Yuzuru Hanyu or Yuna Kim, the East Kilbride Ice Rink is the best place to revisit these fantasies.
The ice rink is 50 meters by 25 meters, permanently placed right in the center of town catering to a variety of skaters — from kids attending their skating lessons to families having a gun time and Friday night teenagers looking to goof around. So no matter what experience you have with the rink (or lack, thereof) don’t be afraid to be judged anyone!
If you have your own skates but the blades are blunt, you can have them sharpen it for less than 6 GBP. There are special event nights and birthday parties that you might be lucky enough to experience during your visit.
All ages are charged 4.50 GBP as an admission fee.
Thursday: 11:30 AM to 7:45 PM
Friday: 10:30 AM to 10:00 PM
Saturday; 11:30 AM to 10:00 PM
Sunday: 11:30 AM to 8:30 PM
Address Olympia Shopping Center, East Kilbride, Lanarkshire, G74 1PG, Scotland
Phone+44 1355 244065
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