Between Glasgow and Stirling, North Lanarkshire was once the heart of Scottish industrial life, founded on the coal, iron and steel industries that prospered in the 19th and 20th centuries.
The foundries are now gone, but this proud industrial heritage is celebrated in an number of award-winning attractions that recreate the often harsh conditions for those who kept the furnaces burning. The Motherwell Heritage Centre tells the story of the area and those who lived and worked there, and in Coatbridge, once known as the Iron Burgh, the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life is housed in a real 19th century ironworks where you can visit a recreated underground coal mine and the cottages of the miners.
Away from the noise of the towns of North Lanarkshire, you can get peace and tranquillity in some of North Lanarkshire's beautiful open spaces. Strathclyde Country Park is 400 hectares of freshwater loch, woodland and wetlands popular for watersports and wildlife-watching. Dalzell Estate and RSPB Baron's Haugh near Motherwell have wonderful landscapes of parkland and riverside walks, and the Colzium Lennox Estate has a historic house and museum.
If that proves too quiet, you can add excitement to your trip at M&D's in Strathclyde Country Park, Scotland's only theme park complete with 5 rollercoasters for thrill seekers. Or visit Amazonia next door, a family-friendly rainforest attraction.