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The Central Belt of Scotlandmarker is a common term used to describe the area of highest population density within Scotland. Despite the name, it is not geographically "central", but in fact in the south of the country.

It was formerly known as the "Midlands" or "Scottish Midlands", but this term has fallen out of fashion.

The Central Belt lies between the Highlands to the north and the Southern Uplands to the south.

Smaller Central Belt

The area is often considered as an area following the M8, M80 and M9 motorways stretching from Greenockmarker and Glasgowmarker in the west to Edinburghmarker in the east, encompassing towns such as Paisleymarker, Cambuslangmarker, Hamiltonmarker, Stirlingmarker, Falkirkmarker, Livingstonmarker and Linlithgowmarker. This so-called Lowland Triangle defined by Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling has formed the basis of the Smaller Central Belt.

Larger Central Belt

The larger Central Belt is a trapezoid stretching from Dundeemarker, to Ayrmarker, and Dumbartonmarker to Dunbarmarker. This also takes in fairly densely populated areas such as Ayrshiremarker, Fifemarker, Midlothianmarker and East Lothianmarker. This area encompasses all the major cities of Scotland, except for Aberdeenmarker and Invernessmarker which are located in the North of the country.

Both of these areas also contain the bulk of Scotland's industrial works.

Similar terms

There are several terms in common usage in a Scottish context with a similar meaning to "Central Belt".

  • The Central Lowlandsmarker is geologically defined and covers an area that stretches further to the north east than the Central Belt.
  • The "Midland Valley" is a less commonly used expression synonymous with "Central Lowlands".
  • The Scottish Lowlands are topographically and culturally defined and include all of Scotland outside of the Highlands and Islands, including the Southern Uplands.
  • Central Scotland is a less well-defined term used to mean various things, including "Central Lowlands" and "Central Belt".


See also




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