This industry is now consigned to the history books, but the town's prized road and rail connections are still intact. Driving or catching the train to the nearby cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh is convenient and easy, making it an ideal home for commuters.
Recent regeneration projects have also helped to revive the area. A new state-of-the-art hospital is now located in the centre of the town and infrastructure has been improved. House prices remain low, with the current average just £114,000, well below Scotland's average of £183,000. You can check the latest prices here.
Find out more about the neighbouring city of Edinburgh by reading our dedicated guide.
Living in Wishaw: what to expect
You’ll find independent shops, take-aways, cafés, restaurants and high street staples on Main Street, and superstores, such as Tesco Extra, just outside the town centre.
Housing is a mix of old and new. Stately terraces cut from red sandstone are interspersed with more modern properties in the very centre, while comfortable ex-local authority homes are easy to find a little further out.
More and more new housing developments are being built too. Large executive homes are beginning to dominate the local market, offering value for money.
The local authority is investing heavily in the town's infrastructure and its townscape, boosting parking and shopping opportunities. Entertainment venues have also undergone significant refurbishment.
Where to start your property search
Town centre: Leighton Street is one of the most sought-after roads thanks to its stone terraced homes with striking long windows, just a short walk from Main Street.
Glasgow Road has a mix of sandstone, terraced properties and cosy one-storey cottages with small gardens. Cleland Road also has stone houses that are within easy reach of the park. Rarer grey stone houses are available on Russell Street, some of which have bay windows.
Former council-owned houses are in plentiful supply in Wishaw. Look at roads such as Abbotsford Road, Meadowhead Road and Caledonian Road for modest three-bedroom semi-detached properties. Alternatively, scoop up a late-20th-century bungalow on Coulter Avenue on the outskirts of the town.
There’s a wide choice of new-build homes too. In the Wishaw Hill area, consider May Gardens, where there is a selection of two-bedroom purpose-built flats, modern semis and detached villas.
Alternatively, find capacious four-bedroom detached villas with integrated garages and decent-sized rear gardens on and around Beauly Crescent.
Cambusnethan has a wide choice of post-war homes. Quiet cul-de-sacs such as Tasmania Quadrant and Branchalfield Drive have comfortable four-bedroom family homes.
Much of Coltness is dominated by former council homes. Two and three-bedroom terraced homes can be found on Hawick Street and Ettrick Street respectively. More substantial detached homes and bungalows are available on Ballater Crescent.
You may also want to check out the new housing development at Ravenswood. It has both three- and four-bedroom semis and detached houses, many of which have bay windows and attached garages.
In Motherwell, Gavin Street is home to older, bay-windowed sandstone houses. An attractive alternative is Broomside Street, where houses face a small green. The ubiquitous semi is in good supply on roads in and around Leven Street. And for something more modern, look at the contemporary villas on Charn Terrace.
Newmains has a range of period properties. Church Avenue has 19th-century cottages with large gardens as well as one-storey properties. Smart semis and terraces are also available on roads such as Newton Drive.
Overtown is a good place to look for modern executive homes. Four-bedroom villas with paved driveways can be found on Hoey Drive, whereas modern three-bedroom terraces and semis are located on Hopefield Gardens.
Getting around Wishaw
By rail: Wishaw's train station has excellent connections to nearby towns and cities. Regular services run to Bellshill, Cambuslang, Carluke, Glasgow Central, Hamilton, Lanark, Motherwell and Uddingston. A journey to Glasgow takes just 35 minutes.
A second station is also available at Shieldmuir, which has trains to Glasgow, Carluke and Motherwell, among other places.
By car: Wishaw sits near the A71, which can be used to reach Kilmarnock in the west and Livingston and Edinburgh in the east. This road also links the town to the M74 and the A73. The latter can be used to access the Border regions and the M8.
By air: Glasgow Airport is around a 40-minute drive away. It is home to 30 flight operators including easyJet, Flybe and Ryanair and offers flights to 120 destinations.
Edinburgh Airport is also less than an hour away by car. It's Scotland's busiest airport and has a choice of 188 routes to 130 destinations.
Things to do in Wishaw
History: The Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, located on the site of the 19th-century Summerlee Ironworks, is a 30-minute drive away. Attractions include a heritage tramway, a recreated mine and miners' cottages.
If you’re driving along the M74, you’ll spot the impressive structure of Hamilton Mausoleum. It stands 123 feet high and is the resting place of the 10th Duke of Hamilton and his family. You can book guided tours and see the ornate interior.
Cultural: Enjoy music and drama at the Motherwell Concert Hall and Theatre. Following a £6m refurbishment, its concert hall has capacity for 1,800 people, and its theatre has seating for 406. National touring companies, local groups, comedy acts and sell-out music tours are all hosted here.
Outdoors: Belhaven Park is just a five-minute walk from Main Street. This peaceful green space covers 4.5 hectares and features ornamental flowerbeds and trees, a play area and skate park.
Chatelherault House was built in 1732 and now serves as the visitor centre for Chatelherault Country Park. You can wander along 10 miles of gorge walks beside the River Avon and explore the ancient woodland, looking for roe deer and badgers.
Sports: Strathclyde Country Park, which spans 400 acres, is the go-to place for watersports. You can try out ocean kayaks, speedboats, paddleboards, sailing, rowing and windsurfing on Strathclyde Loch. There’s also an outdoor adventure playground and gym.
Wishaw has a new sports centre with swimming pools, a steam room and sauna as well as two multi-purpose sports halls and a 400 metre track.
And north of the town centre, Wishaw Golf Club’s course was designed by former Open champion James Braid and gives fantastic views of the local area.
Shopping: Local and national shops line Main Street in the town centre, while there are other big-name stores, such as Argos and Matalan, at Caledonian Retail Park.
Also popular is the town's Saturday Market and Car Boot Sale, which takes place on Steel Street every week.
Food and drink: There are several cafés on Main Street. They include the Terrace Cafe, which serves homemade food seven days a week. Its breakfasts and 'deluxe' hot chocolate are particularly popular. Another café that rates highly among locals is the Aroma Coffee House, which sells appetising baked goods.
Enjoy traditional Scottish food with a contemporary twist at Artisan Restaurant. It serves up Lanark haggis, mince and tatties and Stornoway black pudding alongside Scottish whisky. It has a collection of more than 1,300 whiskies, and trained staff can help you match the flavours with your food.
Cambusnethan Priory was built in 1820 in the Gothic revival style and is one of the few remaining examples of this architecture in Scotland. Though ruinous, it remains an impressive structure surrounded by country walks.
4 reasons to live in Wishaw
- Good transport links
- Wide choice of family homes
- Access to local and country parks
- Selection of restaurants and shops
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