What to see and do in Biggar, Scotland

Where is Biggar?

Biggar is a small town in South Lanarkshire between Peebles and Lanark. Here’s a map to show its location within Scotland.

A brief history of Biggar

Near to both the rivers Clyde and Tweed, Biggar has evidence of settlements going back to the Iron Age. The A702 follows the route of a Roman road which linked the area with Musselburgh, where a Roman fort once stood.

It is thought that the first church in the area was built sometime in the 6th century. The first stone church was built in 1164, on the site of the existing church.

For their support of Robert the Bruce, the Fleming Family were given land. Here they built Boghall Castle, now only visible as mounds in the ground. The Fleming lands passed onto the Elphinstone family in 1735 from Lady Clementina Fleming to Charles, Lord Elphinstone, as there were no male heirs in the Fleming family.

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What to see in Biggar

Biggar Bonfire

Each New Year’s Eve in Biggar, a procession of torches marches up the High Street to a bonfire at the top of the town where the town’s oldest resident lights the fire.

Biggar Corn Exchange

This is where farmers and merchants traded their grains. It was built in 1860. The building is now an entertainment venue and each year sees the Biggar Bonfire burning outside it, to welcome in the New Year.

Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum

Biggar & Upper Clydesdale Museum is worth visiting for a full history of the area. There are lots of activities for kids to keep them occupied. Find up-to-date opening hours and information here.

Biggar Municipal Hall

Originally built in 1847 as the Parish school, the hall is now used by local community groups.

Biggar Kirk

There has been a church standing here since 1164. This building was built in 1546 by Lord Fleming, uncle of Mary, Queen of Scots.

Biggar Gas Works Museum

Hidden down this lane is Biggar Gas Works, which opened in 1836 and produced gas from coal. It closed in 1973 with cheaper natural gas being available. It is now a museum maintained and run by Historic Scotland but is closed in winter so check the Biggar Gas Works page for opening dates this spring.

Purves Puppets (Biggar Puppet Theatre)

The first and only dedicated puppet theatre in Scotland. This is a family-run business that has been going for over 50 years and is still entertaining children today though in limited numbers post-Covid – they have a gofundme to help keep them going. You can buy puppets at the theatre as well. Check Purves Puppets for more details.

Cadgers Brig

A stone single arch footbridge said to be from the 13th century at the foot of the town. Its name derives from it having been crossed by William Wallace disguised as a cadger (hawker) on his way to where the English were camped, near Biggar.

Biggar Railway Station

Biggar once had its own railways station which was in operation between 1860 and 1950 with the line surviving until 1966. The buildings are on private land and a house has been built on what was left of the platforms at the West end of the station.

Where to stay in Biggar

We have stayed at both The Elphinstone and The Kirkstyle Hotel in Biggar.

Where to eat in Biggar

There is a wide range of places to eat and drink in Biggar. From takeaways including fish and chip shops, Chinese and Indian takeaways. There are coffee shops, pubs and stand-alone restaurants. We have eaten at The Crown Inn and The Elphinstone. A bit further afield, we also recommend Ristorante La Vigna in Lanark, 12 miles away.

Map of Biggar

Emma

Emma

Hello!

I am Emma and with my husband Mark write Foodie Explorers, which is a food and travel website.

I am a member of the Guild of Food Writers and British Guild of Travel Writers.

We have a wide range of judging experience covering products, hotels and have judged, for example, for Great Taste Awards and Scottish Baker of the Year.

Along the way Mark gained WSET Level 2 in Wine and I have WSET Level 2 in Spirits as well as picking up an award with The Scotsman Food and Drink Awards.    

Usually I can be found sleeping beside a cat.

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