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The local area guide to living in Blantyre

Blantyre is a quiet little civil parish in Scotland around 12 miles from Glasgow. It is bordered by the River Clyde, Rotten Calder and Rotten Burn, offering a lot of tranquil river spots and especially fishing in the River Clyde. Do note however that permits must be obtained before fishing the local Salmon, Trout, Grayling and Pike. The town name is theorised to come from the Cumbrian “blaen tir” – meaning “top of the land”, undergoing changes over the centuries into the “Blantyre” of today. Attractions include the David Livingstone Centre, dedicated to the famed explorer and arguably the town’s most notable former resident. Additionally, there is Crossbasket Castle, Stonefield Park, five churches and for the younger generation, “Terminal One” – a youth centre with state-of-the-art multimedia facilities.

Information on the local residents

Currently, Blantyre is home to around 17,240 people as per the 2011 census. The most common age range for residents is between 30 to 59 years of age, covering 42.5% of the population. Also there will be no worry about pesky student parties as literally 0% of households have full-time students living in them. In fact, the majority of households are comprised of one person under 65 or a married or same-sex partnership couple living with no dependent children. The most frequent area of employment is in the wholesale and retail trade, including the repair of motor vehicles and motorcycles, edging out a wide range of industries with 17.4% of the employed. Unemployment is low, at 4.6% of the Blantyre populace – at around 800 people in total.

Ethnically, Blantyre is not exactly diverse by any means – 94.6% of residents are registered as White Scottish, which is what you may expect from a small, leafy, Scottish hamlet. The distinction of “Scottish” also gives a clue as to the strong sense of national identity that these residents share, with 74.9% registering as Scottish over the 5.2% that stated to be British.

Nearby schools

There are 6 schools in Blantyre, comprising of 5 Primary schools and 1 Secondary school, Calderside Academy. The most notable Primary school is St. Blane’s, which achieved mostly “Very Good” in all areas of inspection interspersed with a couple instances of “Excellent” – however whilst the other 4 do have “Good” ratings, according to Education Scotland, St. Blane’s is clearly the standout in Blantyre.

The Secondary school, Calderside Academy, has been rated as “Good” and “Very Good” – and seeing as it is the only high school in the Blantyre area, this is a blessing. However, there are other Secondary schools in the nearby areas of Lanark, Larkhall and East Kilbride, if you are looking for more variety.

Getting around

Whilst not being a bustling urban centre, Blantyre manages to deliver on the essential forms of transport with ease. Blantyre Railway Station has services to Glasgow, Motherwell, Lanark and Larkhall. With the Glasgow journey taking a short 20 minutes, you can go from the country to the city in no time at all. Alternatively, there are regular bus routes to Glasgow and East Kilbridge.

Road users should appreciate the close proximity to the M74 – around a 9 to 10-minute drive to the motorway links Blantyre to the rest of Scotland and the UK. For those looking to go abroad from Blantyre, unfortunately but perhaps unsurprisingly, there is no airport to speak of. However, Glasgow International Airport lies not too far away.

Local shops

This town provides its inhabitants with an ASDA, Lidl and Co-op, but also a charming choice of shops and places to eat. For the big outlets and designer clothes, you would have to travel slightly further afield to Glasgow. Not to knock the local selection though, as there are many pubs that you should try – with whisky aplenty. Food-wise, we would say the Parkville Hotel on Glasgow Road is well worth a look with a mouth-watering traditionally British menu.

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