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Glasgow | UK City Guide

Author: Lauren Coleman

You may remember Karen joined us last month to take us round her home city of Liverpool. We were very happy when the lovely Lynsey invited us for a peek round her motherland, Glasgow.

I love Glasgow. In my opinion, there’s no better city to hail from. Often cited as one of the friendliest cities in the world and still basking in the glow of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, there really is no better time to visit Scotland’s largest city.

City of Culture

Ok so it’s been 25 years since Glasgow held the title of European Capital of Culture but that title still rings true. Not only does the city boast museums and galleries a plenty, most of them are completely free to enter which means you have more money to spend on cocktails!

In the east of the city is the magnificent Glasgow Cathedral. It’s the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the Protestant Reformation intact and is also where I held my own wedding.

Barcelona has Gaudí, Glasgow has Charles Rennie Mackintosh. There’s plenty to see for fans of one of Glasgow’s most famous sons including Glasgow School of Art, House for an Art Lover and the Willow Tea Rooms.

If you have littles I’d recommend heading west to Finnieston and visiting the home of Sir Rodger the elephant at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Within walking distance you’ll find the Glasgow Science Centre; three floors of hands on science including a Planetarium and IMAX cinema, it’s a great day out for kids and adults alike. A stones throw away from the Science Centre is the Riverside Museum. Winner of the European Museum of the Year 2013, the Riverside boasts a massive collection of everything transport related; from skateboards to classic cars and vintage trams and busses. The Glenlee tall ship is berthed at the museum but is best viewed on a dry day!

Finniestons ‘strip’ is home to some amazing bars, restaurants and pop-up venues. If you like gin, your first stop should be The Finnieston, a bar with a nautical vibe boasting over 60 gins. If cocktails and burgers are your thing, I’d pay a visit to Lebowskis. Taking inspiration from Jeff Bridges’ iconic role as The Dude, Lebowskis have 30 different White Russians to sample your way through.

UNESCO City of Music

Glasgow’s legendary music scene covers the whole spectrum, the city hosts an average of 130 gigs each week so you’re sure to find something to get your toes tapping. I could dedicate a whole post to this in itself but to give you a flavour of what’s on offer I’d suggest starting at Stereo in Renfield Lane. Situated in a building designed by Mackintosh it’s a vegan cafe bar which draws a mixed crowd seven nights a week.

A short stagger away is indie institution Nice’n’Sleazy, a great place for drinks, live bands, DJ’s and dancing any night of the week. The vibe is definitely more ankle boots and leather jackets than Louboutins and mini dresses. And if you’re visiting Sleazys it would be rude not to pop next door to another equally great indie bar Broadcast for a bit of a boogie under the disco ball.

Finally, nowhere does gigs quite like King Tuts Wah Wah Hut on Bath Street. A true dive bar, King Tuts is loaded with history and is probably most famous for being the venue where Oasis were discovered and signed back in 1993.

West is best

My favourite part of Glasgow and the place I call home is the West End. A leafy haven of cafes, delis, bars and boutique shops, flanked by two parks (the Botanics and Kelvingrove) the skyline is dominated by the towers of Glasgow University and Kelvingrove Museum.

Must visits include Ashton Lane, a cobbled street covered in fairy lights which is home to a great selection of bars and restaurants. Favourites haunts of mine include Eusebi Deli on Gibson Street for antipasti, Brel for Moules Frites and the Grosvenor Cafe for an espresso martini.

A Play, A Pie and A Pint at Òran Mór is a great way to spend a lunch hour. There are 38 plays each year and for £10 you get to see some live theatre with a pie and a drink thrown in.

Finally, the easiest way to get around the City and West End is on the Subway. There are 15 stations running on the Clockwork Orange with trains every 4 minutes. It’s one of the oldest metros in the world and although its currently being upgraded, some of the stations retain their retro vibe with orange and brown featuring heavily! The best part is that an entire loop only takes 24 minutes so if you miss your stop you can always sit tight.

Pulling together Glasgow’s best bits has been much harder than I thought, there is so much more on offer. If you’re thinking of heading north of the border give the tourists a wide berth and head for Glasgow, the locals are friendly and you’re guaranteed a good night out!

Thank you Lynsey, you have definitely persuaded me to pencil in a trip to Glasgow next year! Do any of you lovely lot have any favourite haunts in Scotland’s largest city? Please also drop a comment if you’d like to take us around your town too.

Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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15 thoughts on “Glasgow | UK City Guide

  1. We’ve just come back after a visit to various parts of Scotland finishing up in Glasgow. My husband is from a town 40 mins north west of the the city so we’ve been a lot and we got married in Glasgow University Chapel. We always stay at the Blythswood Square hotel which has a fab bar and does a beautiful afternoon tea. Would highly recommend! Also agree with Lynsey’s comments on the West End, haven’t spent a vast amount of time there but what I’ve seen of it I’ve loved. The people in Glasgow and the whole west cost of Scotland have to be some of the friendliest in the world!

  2. Glasgow University Chapel is a lovely place to get married Krysia, the cloisters are amazing!

    Second your thoughts on the Blythswood, my husband is a big fan of the spa there although I’ve never been myself. Should probably rectify that…

  3. Lynsey, this is a great round up of some of Glasgow’s best bits. I’m also a West End dweller and got married at the Glasgow University Chapel, so am slightly biased!

    My foodie recommendation is Ox and Finch in Finnieston – it’s many accolades are absolutely deserved and it’s well worth a visit! x

    1. Defo this was set up by our wedding caterers, the food is to die for, we visited just a couple of Weeks agon after visited Trakke Bags – beautiful bags hand made in Glasgow. Great post!

  4. I think I last visited Glasgow when I was about 14 so I think a brand new trip to the city is in order. I loved it the last time I went so I can only think that I’ll love it even more this time – thanks for all the recommendations girls. I’m off to show the boy!

  5. Woohoo…my home city! Would thoroughly recommend a visit if you’ve never been! There’s just so much to do. I actually work for the destination marketing company here “People Make Glasgow” which is the cities brand. Lyndsay is right – trying to sum Glasgow up in 1 post is not an easy task so if anyone is considering a visit – have a look at our website for ideas and what’s on guides:

  6. I also love Glasgow and am so pleased to be able to call it my home town. We recently moved from the West End to the South Side so we’re adjusting to the change, but overall Glasgow is a lovely place to live and visit. And the shopping is good too!
    Unfortunately one of the best examples of Mackintosh architecture burnt down last year – the Glasgow School of Art Mackintosh Building – It is currently being restored to it’s original state but won’t be open for visiting for some time – the schools of art based there (painting, sculpture and architecture) have had to relocate elsewhere in the city.
    Other places I would recommend are Moskito on Bath Street (good for drinks and playing pool), the Butterfly and Pig on Bath Street as well (like sitting in your Gran’s front room but with a pint!) and a wander around Pollok Country Park which is out towards the South Side.
    There is a friendly rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow with the running joke that it’s always raining in Glasgow…on the note I would bring a brolly…just incase!

    1. I’ve never been Karen but this write-up really makes me want to go. Thanks Lynsey for all your suggestions x

  7. My home city as well! Having moved from London 13 years ago, I can safely say I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

    I would add my approval about Ox and Finch, also Left Bank on Gibson Street and the Hyndland Fox on Hyndland Road are both great for brunch.

  8. I’ve never been to Glasgow but really want to!

    I’d love to take you round my hometown of Oxford. People think it’s all fields and colleges but we have all manner of awesome things including an indie cinema that serves cups of tea and homemade brownies, a board game cafe and an Alice in Wonderland shop!

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