Glasgow – Mini City Guide

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So called problems: when you’ve barely finished sorting out the photographic remains – and washing – of your last trip when a new one rolls around… I was in Glasgow this week for work, and decided to come up ahead of the rest of the crew and spend my bank holiday Monday in Scotland.

Luckily for me it was the most glorious three days – bluebird skies and sunshine warm enough to make everyone strip off in the park. As I was there on a mission to find out what visitors to the city would enjoy, I thought I’d share my discoveries with you too.


SLEEP

  • Citizen M is a hotel of the future. Think cool iPad controlled lighting, windows, media and sound for you room, plus the biggest (XXL), comfiest bed ever. Even while making a starfish shape I only took up around half of it.
  • I also stayed at the centrally located Z Hotel – which had some delightful touches: bacon rolls at breakfast and a free cheese and wine buffet for guests each evening.

Citizen M hotel


SEE

  • Kelvingrove Art Gallery/Museum (below, a photo of the Floating Heads by Sophie Cave) – is a free cultural attraction with beautiful architecture. Make sure to take a detour through Kelvingrove Park, too!
  • The Necropolis and Cathedral area in East Glasgow.
  • The Lighthouse – Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Climb up to the top of the tower to be rewarded with a great view of the city.
  • If you’d like to see a Highland coo (that’s a cow to everyone outside of Scotland), head to Pollok Country Park on the south side of the city.
  • There’s loads of great large-scale street art to be found throughout the city too, so keep your eyes peeled.

Kelvingrove

Street Art Glasgow

Glasgow view

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Downtown Glasgow


EAT

  • Riverhill Cafe serves great coffee and their restaurant next door is a nice place for breakfast. Check out my vegetarian feast – complete with tatty scone!
  • Venture down a grubby alley in central Glasgow to find Stereo, a performance space with an interesting vegan cafe/bar above. I thoroughly enjoyed my quesadillas! The 78 in Finnieston also comes highly recommended by vegans and non vegans alike.
  • The Willow Tea Rooms were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1904 in his distinctive Art Nouveau style, and serve traditional fare. A good place to take your mum.
  • The Ox and Finch served up a fantastic dessert – my pistachio ice cream was eagerly devoured, and the setting was just right for hours of conversation…
  • Head to the Ubiquitous Chip in the West End for fresh Scottish produce (like flowers from their rooftop gardens) and innovative takes on traditional dishes.

veggie-breakfast-scotlandUbiquitous chip

For more Glasgow tips, make sure to visit Dianne’s blog – it’s her spirit city and she is far more clued up than me on what’s good. People Make Glasgow is the official city brand and also worth a gander.

UK ADVENTURES PART 2

England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales. This time Scotland! Post the Loch Lomond extravaganza, we nipped down to Edinburgh for a romantic Valentines Day with Bryan, a poor lad trying to carve out a career as a half-assed theatrical tour guide. He was to take us through the dungeons of Edinburgh and did so with not-entirely-positive panache. It got a bit chilly however and we we forced to flee into the night.

One thing I did get out of the experience was an understanding of just how ancient the settlements of Albion are. Such beautiful old buildings everywhere!

edinburgh

edinburgh

Other highlights of Edinburgh: the Hilton Club Suites and bar, eating cheese and chips, mildly enjoying a crepe from a street vendor (people kept pronouncing it “crap”, which I found hilarious).

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The next morn we awoke and cruised to Glasgow in the Transit van. 62mph was our top speed at all times. Glasgow is a mixed land – a day of beautiful buildings and parks, special op-shops and of course, teaspoon adventures.

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glasgow university

Glasgow University

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Then conversely – a night of scandalously interesting people and glorious clubbing at Optimo until the wee hours (read Duncan’s take on our experience over at Alt Albion). Who knew?