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Inside Scotland’s ‘ugliest’ town with ‘spirit-sapping’ and ‘dismal’ centre

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Scotland’s “ugliest town” has been named on a list of not-so-desirable destinations.

Last week, the The Telegraph published the most and least attractive towns across the UK. Cumbernauld was the only location in Scotland to appear on the list of “ugliest” destinations.




Located around just 20 minutes from Glasgow by car, it received a score of just 20 out of 50 by experts based on factors such as the pleasantness of shop fronts, historic architecture, level of traffic and litter, viewpoints, and greenery.

Cumbernauld was assigned scores of five out of 10 for greenery, traffic and litter, four out of 10 for shop fronts, and a measly three out of 10 for historic architecture and views. The low ratings are a stark contrast to South Queensferry near Edinburgh, which was rated the “prettiest” town in Scotland with an overall score of 45 out of 50.

Cumbernauld is focused around a controversial town centre structure that was once considered ultra-modern — with Princess Margaret even describing it as “fabulous” during its 1967 opening.

Over the years, however, public opinion has soured to the point where it was voted ‘Britain’s most hated building’ in 2005 by Channel 4’s programme Demolition.

Earlier this year, we reported that North Lanarkshire Council had completed the purchase of the structure as part of long-term plans to regenerate Cumbernauld’s town centre. It will continue to operate as a shopping centre for a number of years until plans can be fully implemented.

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