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.