Glasgow's rich industrial heritage stretches into its surrounds. North of Glasgow at Dumbarton, the Scottish Maritime Museum's unique Denny's Tank is not to be missed on the the Glasgow Industrial Heritage trail.
Mixing contemporary art and social and industrial history, a number of cultural centres are opening up around Glasgow, for example at Airdrie and Coatbridge. These superb heritage and arts centres around Glasgow are easily reached via public transport from Glasgow City Centre (See SPT local rail services weblink right).
Just to the North of the Clyde bank a number of top locations offer a host of historic (some ancient) sites and serve as excellent bases for pushing into the Highlands and Loch Lomond and the Trossachs.
Dumbarton has two superb tourist attractions - Dumbarton Castle and the Scottish Maritime Museum's unique Denny's Tank Experience. It's worth keeping your eye on tourist developments around the Forth and Clyde Canal links, formally named the Millennium Link Project (see canal weblinks right). The vision of creating a canal stretching from Glasgow up into both West and East Dunbartonshire and across to Edinburgh which began in the late 1700s, is now seeing a revival. Much attention has been around the engineering masterpiece, the Falkirk Wheel, but plans are afoot for pleasure canal boat trips and more visitor centres all the way along this historic canal stretch.The Clyde & Forth Canal stretches upto Bowling just south of Dumbarton. Check the Millennium Link's weblink right for developments underway.
Move upto Helensburgh, port of call for the Waverley Steam Paddler, and discover one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's most exquisite domestic designs - Hill House. Mackintosh was born in the town.
Moving into East Dunbartonshire, you've a choice of bases close to Glasgow yet with a rural village feel including pretty Milngavie which borders Mugdock Country Park and is the start of the West Highland Way.
For exploring Scotland's Roman history you won't find a better base than Bearsden, which has a number of Roman sites in and around the town including Roman Baths and an Antonine Wall.
Alongside the revival of North Lanarkshire's industrial heritage, and with Glasgow's contemporary art boom influence sitting close by, a number of arts centres are emerging in the area too, at Airdrie and Motherwell.
If you're on the Glasgow Industrial Heritage trail, then both North and South Lanarkshire certainly deserve your attention. You might hear some of the area referred to as 'Monklands', although less so in recent times. (see Monklands Online weblink right). This dates from the period around the 1400s when Monks settled in the Airdrie & Coatbridge area and first mined for coal. By the 1700s the industrial revolution was in full swing in the area, and the Monklands Canal was built to transport coal in and iron out. Coatbridge was a particular centre for ironworks.