Biggar is a lovely market town in South Lanarkshire and home to the new Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum.
This small, picturesque town is a must day visit on the Clyde Valley National Tourist Route.
Biggar lies on the A72 Clyde Valley Tourist Route and could be called South Lanarkshire's gateway to the Borders. It nestles among rolling hills and has spectacular views of Tinto Hill, the highest hill in South Lanarkshire.
Biggar is host to the famous Biggar Little Festival in October each year. This annual arts festival, celebrates dance, arts and crafts, drama, and literature.
One of Biggar's best known traditions is its Hogmanay bonfire. Preparations start in December and on New Year's Eve, following a torch-lit procession through the town, the fire is lit outside the Corn Exchange.
A number of events take place in the town's show field, including the agricultural show and the vintage car rally. The Biggar Gala Day takes place in June.
The new Biggar and Upper Clydesdale Museum is well worth a visit. Opened in late summer 2015, the museum has been built costing over £2 million. The new museum brings together the principal collections of Biggar Museum Trust into a new purpose built, fully accessible museum on the High Street in the centre of the town.
If you prefer outdoor pursuits Biggar Public Park and Golf Course are situated on the edge of the village.
Biggar also has Scotland's only permanent puppet theatre, Biggar Puppet Theatre, which is run by the well known Purves Puppets family set in a miniature Victorian music hall.
Situated among rich farmland, it’s a great place to come for shopping, if you’re looking for something different.
The town's wide main street gives away its medieval past as a market town and shops include an award-winning grocer, a famous ice cream and chocolate shop, an award winning fish and chip shop and a good mix of book, toy and craft shops, bakeries and florists.
Biggar lies close to Lanark, Peebles and the River Tweed as well as the Clyde and there are many scenic walks in the area, through the Biggar Country Path network. Biggar is 30 miles from Edinburgh on the A702.
Biggar Heritage Trail
The Heritage Trail discovers historic points of interest and important events in the life of the town, with the new map being filled with useful information and profiles of the characters connected with the town who have helped the town become as well known as it is today.
Biggar is a town with a rich and varied history. In the 12th century a Norman motte and bailey was built and the first permanent bridge across the Biggar burn was constructed. Its attractions have won numerous awards, including Best Tourist Town in Scotland, Scotland in Bloom and individual awards to its museums.
The roots of the burgh date back centuries and there is evidence that Biggar common was inhabited during Mesolithic times.
Later on in Biggar's history, in the early 1900's a farmer, who lived in Biggar, founded Albion Motors as a small business which eventually grew into the largest truck country in the British Empire. The archives of Albion Motors can in fact, still be found in Biggar.
Biggar received its Royal Charter in 1451. It was created as a free Burgh of Barony by King James III as a mark of favour to Lord Fleming, the landowner.
Biggar still has its medieval layout. A few buildings date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, but the majority of Biggar's prominent buildings are Victorian. One of Biggar's key buildings, the 450 year old Biggar Kirk, was built by the Flemming Family of Biggar.
Its vibrant local traditions and festivals have contributed to Biggar's development into a thriving community, with a range of facilities and activities.
During Victorian times, a railway line ran through Biggar which resulted in an increase in holidaymakers. The station and signal box are still standing but the railway line has since gone but leaving a scenic walk between Biggar and Peebles, as well as a variety of activities for visitors to the historic town.
Famous faces from Biggar
John Buchan (1875 - 1940) - John Buchan wrote over fifty books including the well-known novels Greenmantle, Prester John, Witchwood and perhaps most famous of all, The Thirty Nine Steps. Buchan was a Minister of Parliament who went on to be Governor General of Canada. Born in Perth he spent much of his childhood in the village of Broughton near Biggar, where there is a museum commemorating his work.
Hugh MacDairmid - poet (1892 - 1978) - Doctor Christopher Grieve was better known as Hugh MacDiarmid, the pen name under which he founded a Scottish literary renaissance. The poet lived just outside Biggar in Brownsbank Cottage for the last twenty-six years of his life. Brownsbank Cottage is now used as a base for a writer-in-residence for most of the year.