Glasgow, United Kingdom - Travel information, Places of attraction
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About Glasgow, United Kingdom
[Glasgow] is the biggest city in Scotland, with a population of about 600,000 in the city itself and over 2 million if the surrounding towns of the Clydeside conurbation are taken into account. Located at the west end of Scotland's Central Belt on the banks of the River Clyde, Glasgow's historical importance as Scotland's main industrial centre has been challenged by decades of change and various regeneration efforts. Today the third largest city in the entire United Kingdom by population, it remains one of the nation's key economic centres outside London.
In recent years, Glasgow has been awarded the European titles of City of Culture (1990), City of Architecture and Design (1999) and Capital of Sport (2003). In 2008, Glasgow became the 2nd Scottish city to join the UNESCO Creative Cities initiative when it was named as a UNESCO City of Music. In preparing its bid, Glasgow counted an average of 130 music events a week ranging from pop and rock to Celtic music and opera. The city has transformed itself from being the once mighty industrial powerhouse of Britain to a centre for commerce, tourism, and culture.
Glasgow will be the host city for the Commonwealth Games from 23 July to 3 August 2014, see Glasgow 2014 for details. Accommodation will be considerably more expensive during this period, so these dates may be best avoided if you are not going to the games.
Glasgow has become one of the most visited cities in the British Isles, and visitors will find a revitalised city centre, the best shopping outside London without a doubt, excellent parks and museums (most of which are free), and easy access to the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
For the visitor, central Glasgow can be divided into two main areas, the City Centre, which contains the majority of tourist sights and much of the city's shopping and entertainment, as well as its commercial heart, and the West End, the bohemian area of cafés, restaurants and bars surrounding the University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Museum. The best way to get good vistas of the city is to climb the many "drumlins" (hills) upon which the central area is built.
Outside of central Glasgow, the East End lies east of the City Centre centred along Gallowgate and London Road. The South Side contains the neighbourhoods that lie to the south of the River Clyde, while the North Side is the area north of central Glasgow. Along the banks of the River Clyde west of the City Centre is an old industrial area which is in the process of regeneration and contains many new and impressive structures, such as the Clyde Auditorium, the Science Centre and the Riverside Museum.
The City Centre (known as "town" or "the toon" to locals) is bounded by the M8 motorway to the north and west, High Street to the east, and the River Clyde to the south. This is the area where most visitors will start, and the most notable elements are the grid plan of streets and the lavish Victorian and Edwardian buildings and civic squares which give the area much of its character. The main arteries of the City Centre are Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street which both run on an east-west axis. They are linked by Buchanan Street which runs north-south. Together, these three streets form the main shopping thoroughfares.
The eastern side of the City Centre is a sub-district known as Merchant City, which contains Glasgow's original medieval core, centred around the Glasgow Cross (the junction of Trongate, Saltmarket, High Street, Gallowgate and London Road). Merchant City extends up to George Square, with many ornate buildings that date back to Glasgow's emergence as an industrial city. High Street north of the Glasgow Cross is the main artery of Old Glasgow and leads uphill to the Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis cemetery.
The western area of the City Centre contains the city's core commercial and business district and is dominated by Blythswood Hill, which is centred around Blythswood Square. Running parallel to Sauchiehall Street, Bath Street is the main route into the neighbourhood and has a rich mix of independent shops and bars, as well as distinctive Georgian town house style architecture. South of Blythswood Hill is the city's financial district, with many modern glass and steel office buildings which stand alongside their classical counterparts. Further south, on the north bank of the River Clyde is the district of Anderston, formerly a dockland area, badly scarred by the city's industrial decline and the urban regeneration schemes of the 1960s but now being redeveloped as a residential and commercial area.
To the west of the City Centre, no official definition of where the West End boundary line exists, but it can roughly be defined as being bounded by the M8 motorway to the east, Great Western Road to the north, the River Clyde to the South and Crow Road to the west. The nucleus of the area is undoubtedly the neo-Gothic University of Glasgow, which acts as the anchor for this bohemian district, with its lovely architecture, tree lined streets and quaint shopping areas.
The primary east-west artery is Argyle Street/ Dumbarton Road, while Byres Road is the main north-south artery and contains a number of independent shops, bars and restaurants. Ashton Lane connects Byres Road to the University campus and is a cobbled backstreet with distinctive whitewashed buildings, holding an eclectic mix of bars and eateries that make it a tourist hotspot (be careful as the Lane can be a bit of a tourist trap during the summer months when the students of the university are not there to keep the bar prices reasonable). To the east of the university campus and just downhill is Kelvingrove Park, with the tree-lined Kelvin Way as the main avenue through the park, which connects with Argyle Street near the Kelvingrove Museum.
The speed of the conversation tends to be quite quick in Glasgow. If necessary, ask people to repeat (even slowly!) what they are saying, Glaswegians are generally very friendly and able to communicate in far more formal English than that which is commonly used if it is required. Standing on a city centre street corner with a map in the daytime is usually a cue for passing Glaswegians to offer help in finding your way.
As with all areas of Scotland, regional dialects are present in Glasgow. The Glaswegian dialect of Scots or "the patter" as it is known, has evolved over the history of the city. As each wave of migration takes place, new words and phrases are added. There is a slight Celtic language connection due to the influences of Highland Gaelic and Irish Gaelic.
- "Wean" (pronounced "wayne") - child (Derived from wee-one, meaning small one)
- "Wee" - small
- "Aye" - yes
- "Bam" or "bampot" or "bamstick" - an impolite term for a silly or annoying person
- "Eejit" - an impolite term for a person who has done an incredibly stupid thing- an idiot
- "Tumshie" - a silly and/or fat person
- "Pure (brilliant)" - Very
- "Minging" - bad smelling or bad tasting; similarly a "minger" refers to an ugly person. Can also be used to denote drunkenness; "Ah wis well mingin' on Friday."
- "Midden" - an old Scots word for a waste dump, but commonly used to described anything that is untidy or unkempt.
- "Haw" - roughly equivalent to "Hey" and used to attract someone's attention
- "(to give) pelters" - to humiliate someone
- "Ned" - Nicely described by popular backronym "non-educated delinquent". Typically teenage youths who can be spotted sporting tracksuits, drinking cheap alcohol and wearing "bling" jewellery, as well as bright white trainers (sneakers), soccer socks (kneesocks) scrunched down, and a baseball cap, usually from the brand Burberry. Many neds are aggressive. You'll do well to avoid them.
- "Buckie" - Real name is Buckfast, a "tonic wine" (this indicates its fortified alcohol content and not any medicinal value.) It is relatively cheap and purple in colour.
- "Glaikit" - Means someone is dim or have a blank expression on their face. "When I asked him what 13 divided by 11,212.189 was he looked pure glaikit."
- "Teuchter" - Slang word for a Highlander, or anyone from the North of Scotland - often used in a derogatory context. Pronounced like chookter.
- "Gallus" - Means someone is cocky, cheeky or self-confident
- "Bolt" - go away, as in "leave me alone" - kind of means "run" so tends to be used in a slightly aggressive context
- "Besom" - a cheeky or 'bold' woman. Sometime pronounced like "bism"
- "Manky" - unclean, filthy
- "Baltic" - Really cold as in 'The Baltic Sea'
- "Mental" - Pretty much a synonym for crazy.
- "Pished" - drunk or intoxicated.
Glasgow slang is also peppered with various more or less meaningless phrases such as 'by the way', 'man' or 'dead' (very, as an adjective) that can give the answers to simple questions an almost baroque complexity. So "Did you enjoy the concert last night?" might be answered "Aye it was pure dead brilliant man" which means, essentially, "Yes, it was good".
One common misunderstanding between Scots and foreigners is that when the question "How are you?" is asked, you should not answer by telling them if you are not fine, and then go on to elaborate by describing what has happened to make you unhappy. This will annoy the average Scot, whose tolerance level for this will be quite low. The usual and accepted response is "Fine, you?"
Glasgow is served by two main airports close to the city: Glasgow International Airport and Glasgow Prestwick International Airport. Edinburgh Airport is approximately 40 miles away.
Glasgow International Airport
(IATA:GLA) is 8 mi (13 km) west of the centre of Glasgow near the towns of Paisley and Renfrew, this is the city's principal airport, and the main direct long haul and transatlantic entry airport into Scotland. There are regular scheduled UK and European destinations, holiday charters, and the airport is the hub for the Scottish island network operated by Loganair. [United Airlines] operate a daily service from New York (Newark), while [Emirates] operate 2 daily flights to Dubai. If you are entering the United Kingdom via London, [British Airways] operates frequent shuttle flights to Glasgow Airport throughout the day from both Heathrow and Gatwick. British Airways also operates a regular business shuttle from London City airport, although it can be considerably more expensive than flying from Heathrow or Gatwick -but cheap fares are sometimes available if you book via a price comparison site, rather than going to BA direct. Alternatively, [KLM] flies regularly to Glasgow from Amsterdam-Schiphol which connects with a wide range of international destinations. EasyJet flies from Luton, Stansted and Gatwick.
The frequent [Glasgow Shuttle] departs from outside the terminal building to the city centre, dropping off near both main railway stations (£5.00 single, £7.00 day return, £7.50 open return). Slower, less frequent, but cheaper is the [First buses service number 747] (£4 single, £5 return).
The slowest, but cheapest, option is to use [local bus 66], operated by McGills as often as every 10 min to Paisley Gilmour Street train station, where regular trains run to Glasgow Central in as little as ten min. Travelling to the airport you can buy an inclusive train and bus ticket from any train station: just ask for Glasgow Airport and show the bus driver your train ticket. Travelling from the airport buy a coupon for £1.50 from the SPT Travel Information counter beside domestic arrivals, show it to the driver and then and use it for £1.50 of credit towards onward train travel from Paisley Gilmour Street station. A single from Glasgow Central to/from the airport costs £3.20, or £1.80 with a National Rail railcard.
Glasgow International Airport has 2 terminals. All passengers arrive in the first terminal arrivals hall. The first terminal is used for Thomson, Emirates, Jet2, Iberia and many more. Terminal 2 is only used for check in for Thomas Cook, Aer Lingus, Canadian Affair and Virgin. Glasgow Airport also has 2 prayer rooms: One in the 2nd set of departure gates and the other in the arrivals hall.
There are 3 customs "channels." The blue channel is for those arriving directly from EEA countries (EU, plus Norway, Luxembourg, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein) and Switzerland. If you're coming from any other country (including the Isle of Man, Channel Islands, Canary Islands), you should choose either the green channel or, if you are not sure or have something to declare, the red channel. The airport's usually not too crowded but there can sometimes be a crush at check-in and security.
A number of hotels serve Glasgow International Airport. The closest is [Holiday Inn Glasgow Airport], which is directly across from the terminals. A number of other hotels are close by, but require shuttles to and from the terminal, or a further walk.
Car parks serving Glasgow Airport
|- ! Airparks Glasgow | <center>Burnbrae Drive, Linwood, Paisley, PA3 3BJ.</center>||<center>Off</center>||<center>-</center>||<center>High-fencing, floodlights, 24-hour CCTV and security patrols</center>||<center>Yes</center>||<center>Trailers are permitted within this car park at Glasgow but an extra space will be charged</center>|
Glasgow Prestwick International Airport
(IATA:PIK). This is about 50 km south west of Glasgow on the Ayrshire coast, is the city's secondary airport and a major hub for Ryanair (see Discount airlines in Europe) and several other low cost carriers. Ryanair fly into Prestwick predominantly from Ireland (Dublin), Paris (Beauvais), and Italy (Milan-Bergamo, Rome-Ciampino & Pisa), and with some useful routes from various destinations in Eastern Europe. Ryanair also run various seasonal services to Mediterranean resorts. Note also, that some holiday charter flights fly into Prestwick rather than Glasgow's main airport.
The airport has its own railway station, with two trains per hour to Glasgow Central (show your flight paperwork to get a £3.55 half price ticket; the journey takes around 45 minutes). All trains to Ayr and Stranraer call at the airport. The A77/M77 roads run directly from Prestwick into the centre of Glasgow if you intend to drive.
The X77 bus also runs from Buchanan Bus Station to the airport throughout the day, and crucially covers the times (early morning and late evening) when the trains are not running. Travellers wishing to use the X77 bus must book their ticket on-line via the Prestwick Airport website at least 12 hours prior to departure, in order to guarantee a place on the bus.
(IATA:EDI) Although not an immediately obvious choice, the capital's airport is easily accessible from Glasgow since it is on the western edge of Edinburgh, approximately 60 km away and about an hours drive via the M8 motorway. Useful as both Ryanair and EasyJet have a number of European routes that are not available from either Glasgow International or Prestwick. The airport can also easily be reached via a connecting bus from Haymarket railway station - all trains from Glasgow call here. See the main Edinburgh article for more details.
Wikivoyage has a guide to Rail travel in the United Kingdom
Glasgow has two main line railway stations. Trains from the south of Scotland, the city's southern suburbs and all long distance trains from England arrive at Central Station (officially known as Glasgow Central), while shuttle trains from Edinburgh and anywhere north of Glasgow arrive at Queen Street Station. Both Central and Queen Street stations have left luggage lockers. The stations are an easy ten minute walk apart and the route is well signposted, or there's a frequent shuttle bus between them, which is free if you are holding a through railway ticket otherwise a fare of 50p is charged if you don't.
Most trains within Scotland and the sleeper services from London are run by [First ScotRail].
Confusingly, there are four rail routes between the capital and Glasgow's two main line terminals. An off-peak return is around £11.50, regardless which route you use, a peak return is around £20. In summary the four routes are as follows - all depart from both Waverley and Haymarket stations:
- Fastest: The ScotRail Shuttle via Falkirk High into Queen Street (High Level) - every 15 minutes on weekdays until 18:30, half hourly outside these times. Journey time 50 min.
- Faster: CrossCountry or East Coast trains via Motherwell into Central (High Level) - trains originating from Penzance, Plymouth, Bristol, Birmingham or London King's Cross make the journey at sporadic intervals throughout the day - journey time approx 1 hour. CrossCountry services have the cheapest walk-up one way fare between the two cities, of £7.50 for an Anytime single.
Some services via Shotts run limited stop every hour with journey times of approx 65 min.
- Slow: Via Bathgate and Airdrie into Queen Street (Low Level) en route to Milngavie or Helensburgh Central - every half hour, journey time 80 min.
- Very Slow: Via Shotts or Carstairs into Central (High Level) - every hour, journey time up to 90 min.
From London and the South
Glasgow can be reached from London by either the West Coast or East Coast main lines. The quality and reliability of the rail services has improved a lot over the years, and it can be cheaper and almost as fast as flying once the time spent travelling to airports with their associated security hassles is taken into account.
- Faster: [Virgin Trains] run 13 trains a day from London Euston via the West Coast route. Journey time is 4.5 hr, with one northbound express completing the 400 mile journey in just over 4 hr. Single one-way fares £17.50 is booked up to 12 weeks in advance, rising to £59. Open off-peak return £110. Virgin also operate a two-hourly service from Birmingham.
- Slower: [East Coast] run 1 direct train a day from London King's Cross via the East Coast route (taking in York and Newcastle also), with a roughly hourly service to Edinburgh throughout the day, which connects with the Shuttle (see above). Journey time 5hr 45min-6hr 30min (if connecting at Edinburgh). Single one-way fares start at £12.50 one way if booked on-line and up to 12 weeks in advance. Open off-peak returns are the same as for Virgin Trains.
The Caledonian Sleeper is an overnight sleeper train that runs every night except Saturday to/from London Euston The journey takes approximately 8 hours, although is deliberately scheduled for a late departure and a reasonable arrival time. Tickets can be booked in the usual manner at any main line railway station in Britain or on-line from [Scotrail]: the cost of a return journey to Glasgow from London varies from around £100 for two one-way "Advance" tickets rising to the full open return fare of £165 (being the basic fare plus the cost of the sleeping berth in a compartment with either one or two beds). Note that solo travellers may have to share the sleeping compartment with a stranger of the same gender. You can also travel in a seated carriage for around £23 one-way or £95 return (full fare). Certain BritRail passes can be used to buy tickets on the Sleeper trains, but supplements are payable for the berth: check before leaving your home country.
The best value fares on the sleeper are inclusive (travel and berth) one-way tickets known as "Bargain Berths" available only online from [ScotRail] and are sold in limited numbers for £19, £29, £39 or £49 depending on how far in advance you book. If no fares are available to/from Glasgow Central, an alternative is Westerton, a station on Glasgow's suburban network north-west of the city. It is a calling point of the sleeper to/from Fort William which otherwise does not call in Glasgow. It is occasionally possible to find "Bargain Berths" to/from here after they have sold out to/from Glasgow Central.
Apart from the Edinburgh shuttles, the key inter-city rail routes to Glasgow from elsewhere in Scotland are as follows:
- Aberdeen and Dundee (via Perth): Hourly into Queen Street (High Level) throughout the day.
- Inverness (via Perth): Every two hours into Queen Street (High Level) throughout the day
- Stirling - Half Hourly (approximately) into Queen Street (High Level) throughout the day.
- Fort William, Oban and Mallaig: Three trains per day into Queen Street (High Level). In addition, the overnight sleeper train to London Euston calls at Westerton in the late evening where it is possible to change to a service into either Central or Queen Street Low Level.
- Stranraer: Four trains per day into Central (High Level)
- Ayr (via Prestwick Airport and Troon): Half Hourly into Central (High Level)
Other Rail Services
All national inter-city routes operate into Central (High Level).
[Virgin Trains] operate direct services to/from Birmingham New Street.
The main approaches to Glasgow are the following:
- from England on the M74 motorway; Glasgow is about 150 km north of the border
- from Edinburgh (east) or Glasgow Airport (west) on the M8 motorway
- from Stirling and all points north and east on the M80 motorway
- from the West Highlands on the A82 dual carriageway Note - in 2011 the M74 Extension was completed, now allowing an alternative route into the city centre via the South Side. As of November 2011, many GPS services still do not recognise the new route, and therefore bear this in mind if using sat-nav to navigate your way into the city
All routes converge on the M8, which carves through the city centre. Glasgow has no credible park-and-ride system, but some of the subway and suburban railway stations do have small car parks. There is also the [Shields Road Park and Ride site], which services the city centre. A bus park-and-ride is due to open shortly near Hampden Park which allows easy access from junction 1A of the M74.
On-street parking in the both the City Centre and West End is limited and expensive, metered bays are available at the side of the road and you pay at an adjacent machine and display a ticket in your windscreen or dashboard. The prices are typically 30-40p (depending on location) for every 12 minutes. In general, parking charges are levied Monday to Saturday (this INCLUDES public holidays) and free after 18:30 and all day Sundays. But always check what the controlled hours are - these are shown on the ticket machines themselves and on adjacent signs. If attempting to park on the free periods - get there as early as possible before the locals do. Some parking areas are for residents only: DON'T be tempted to use them as you run the risk of being towed away!
There are many multi-storey car parks in the city centre; they are clearly signposted into "East", "West", "North" and "South" zones on all the approaches into the central area with an electronic display showing how many spaces are left in each. They don't, however, differentiate between the expensive NCP ones and the cheaper ones inside shopping malls or run by the council.
In general, driving in Glasgow's central area should be avoided if you are not a confident driver, as there are one way systems, bus lanes and pedestrian precincts. Glaswegians are not the most patient drivers in the world, and they particularly dislike hesitancy (taxi drivers being the worst culprits). Parking restrictions are strictly enforced, and vehicles parked illegally or in an obstructive manner may be towed away and the owner of the vehicle would be liable for a £150 release charge to recover it.
As of May 2012, the city has introduced licence plate recognition cameras and extra manned patrols on the bus lanes within the city centre, getting caught will incur a £30 fixed penalty!
If, however, you are confident enough to hire a car or require it to save money on your travel, all the major rental companies and some lesser ones are at the airport. You should book your car rental in advance to avoid disappointment and can do so from price comparison companies such as [Glasgow Airport Car Hire]. Visitors from the United States and Canada should note that car rental companies will allocate you a manual transmission car by default, unless you specifically ask for an automatic.
[Long-distance bus services] arrive at Buchanan Bus Station ( in the city centre, close to Buchanan Street/Queen Street train stations). The main operator is [Scottish Citylink], but Stagecoach also runs a budget inter-city bus service called [Megabus]. Somewhat confusingly, however, the two operators often combine and merge services, so you may be put on a Citylink bus when you hold a Megabus reservation and vice versa. There are even buses to Poland, setting off from Glasgow around midnight every Monday, Friday and Sunday.
From Ireland, car and foot passengers have a number of convenient ports close to Glasgow. For those travelling with a car, the nearest ferry ports are Troon and Cairnryan for multiple daily [P&O Irish Sea] ferries from Larne in Northern Ireland. Alternatively, [Stena Line] operate ferries and the faster Stena HSS several times a day between the Port of Belfast and Stranraer.
Through train tickets are available from any railway station in the UK to any railway station in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland via Stranraer, where the train station is adjacent to the ferry terminal. Fares start at £25 one way (£16.50 with a railcard) for Belfast to Glasgow (available on the day of travel from most railway stations) taking about five hours. Similarly, [Scottish Citylink] sell inclusive coach and ferry tickets between Belfast and Glasgow and Edinburgh.
From Belgium, Scotland's only [ferry connection to mainland Europe] is from Zeebrugge which serves Rosyth (near Edinburgh), about an hour's drive from Glasgow. You can also take [DFDS Seaways ferry] from Holland to Newcastle and drive. This takes 3 hours from Newcastle to Glasgow city centre.
[Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT)] is the local agency which operates the subway, a few specialist bus services and allegedly co-ordinates public transport in the Greater Glasgow area. However, for three successive years now it has been unable to produce a local public transport map showing the routes of the many different operators. Look on the bright side: you'll have to ask the helpful locals how to get somewhere and, in the city centre, which stance to catch your bus from - the stances (bus stops) keep changing!
In June 2013, the largest local bus operator, FirstGlasgow, printed a "Glasgow Bus map and guide" which also shows the routes and numbers of some other bud operators besides their own. The bad news is that in July 2013 they had become as rare as hen's teeth; there is a good chance that the information desk at the Buchanan Street Bus Station may still have one that you can consult. However, even this rarity still does not show the positions of all the various bus companies' different stances in the city centre.
Nevertheless, Glasgow's public transport system is one of the most extensive in the UK outside of London.
The centre of Glasgow is very pedestrian-friendly with major shopping streets given over to foot traffic. As you move out of the city centre, all areas have proper pavements, and most major junctions have pedestrian crossings. The River Clyde also has several foot bridge crossings. The main difficulty with walking out of the centre of town is finding where the crossings over/under the M8 are. As you head west, some roads appear to go over Charing Cross only for the pavement to disappear. As you head north, the underpasses at Cowcaddens can sometimes feel unwelcoming.
On 7 Jul 2013 the infamous " Bridge to Nowhere" over the 9 lane M8 Motorway became a bridge to somewhere after being boarded up for more than 40 years. Built in the 1970s to link Anderston with a shopping centre that was never built, this pedestrian and cycle bridge now links Central Station (via Argyle St) with the Forth and Clyde Canals (via Kelvingrove Park) or the new developments at Pacific Quay (via Bell's Bridge - under repair in Jul 2013).
The climate in Glasgow means the road network is plagued by potholes. As such, during heavy rain walkers should be aware and careful of road potholes filled with rainwater which passing traffic (especially buses!) can and will travel through, soaking unwary nearby walkers.
Glasgow walking directions can be planned on-line with the [walkit.com] walking route planner.
Glasgow's [subway] runs in a double circle around the Glasgow city centre and some inner suburbs. Contrary to what tourist guidebooks would have you believe, locals never call it the "Clockwork Orange" (that is a fantasy of the London media) and most will refer to it simply as "the Subway". It is not called "The Tube" by locals, but you will be understood if you call it this.
The Subway runs from the city centre through to the the West End (around Glasgow University), then runs south of the Clyde through Ibrox Stadium and back into the city. Direct interchanges with surface trains are at Buchanan Street and Partick stations; Argyle Street interchanges with Central station through a short walk on street level.
The system operates 6:30 a.m. – 11:15 p.m. on all days, except Sunday when it operates 10:00 a.m. – 5:50 p.m. Trains generally run every 4 – 8 minutes.
The system uses smart card ticketing. Paper tickets are available at all stations, but the tariff for these is more expensive. Tickets are priced at £1.40 for a single, £2.60 return, and £3.80 for unlimited rides that day. Tickets are issued per ride, rather than by distance, so single and return fares are the same no matter how many stations you wish to travel through. No bikes are allowed. The system was built in the 19th Century, so no stations are easily accessible to wheelchairs or pushchairs, but staff assistance is available at all stations.
Glasgow Subway map
[Suburban trains] radiate from Central and Queen Street stations to the suburbs and surrounding towns. The network is the largest in the UK outside of London, although there are only two trains per hour on some routes; others are much more frequent. Central serves the dense suburban network which sprawls throughout the southern suburbs of the city, as well as outer suburban services to the Inverclyde and Ayrshire coasts. The underground lower level platforms of both Central and Queen Street stations are hubs for the east-west electric network north of the river which provide useful links to the West End (thus complementing the Subway) and further west to the northern Clyde coast towns of Dumbarton, Helensburgh and Balloch, the gateway to Loch Lomond and the Southern Highlands. More recently, the Low Level line from Queen Street has been extended eastwards to the West Lothian towns of Bathgate and Livingston and to Edinburgh.
Bikes go free, but many trains have no bike spaces. The SPT Day Tripper ticket (explained below) gives you complete freedom of the network, and the Roundabout ticket (also explained below) gives off-peak freedom of the suburban train network within the city boundary only as well as the Subway.
Unlike the situation in Edinburgh, Glasgow buses delight in racing past bus stops unless you clearly signal them to stop.
Buses go everywhere. [First Glasgow] is the main operator within the city boundary. There is a bus at least every 10 min on main routes during the day, making it easy to get into the centre of town, though getting out to a specific destination less easy. However, services on many routes are much less frequent in the evening. In the city centre, buses do not always stop at every stop on their route, so check the sign at the stop. Stops are clearly marked with the services that stop there.
First buses do not give change as the driver has no access to cash: you put your money in a slot that checks the amount and deposits it in a storage box. An all-day ticket that can be used on any First bus costs £4, a weekly ticket £14.50 (£12.50 for students). Some other bus operators, however, give change.
Other bus operators within the city are [McGill] and [Stagecoach West Scotland] which operate services out to the outlying towns in Renfrewshire and Ayrshire respectively: the day/weekly passes bought on First buses will not be valid on these, with the exception of SPT Day Tripper and ZoneCards (explained below).
One of the current scourges of Glasgow, however (in the opinion of locals, at least), is the myriad of private bus operators that supposedly "complement" the core services operated by First and McGill's. In reality, many merely duplicate the routes that already exist: the net result has been the city centre being clogged up with empty (and often badly maintained) buses, and for the visitor the key thing to remember is that some of these operators do not accept any of the SPT day passes. On the flip side, they keep the somewhat extortionate prices of First Glasgow in check. The situation is currently a political hot potato among locals.
SPT offers a number of different daily combined bus/rail travel tickets aimed at the visitor.
- The Mackintosh Trail Ticket gives you, for £16, unlimited travel on the SPT Subway and First's bus services in Greater Glasgow after 09:30 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday. It also includes entry to all participating Mackintosh attractions in and around Glasgow.
- The Discovery ticket allows unlimited travel on the subway only at off-peak times during the week or all day on weekends, and costs £3.50 (adult). If you have a car, a park-and-ride version (around £7) is available which also includes a whole day's parking at any of the subway car parks.
- The Roundabout ticket gives complete freedom of the subway and the suburban rail network within the Greater Glasgow area, which includes the city boundary and most of the surrounding towns, for £5.60 after 09:30 Monday to Friday and all day on Saturday and Sunday.
- Alternatively. the Day Tripper ticket covers the entire Strathclyde rail network, which extends as far south as Girvan in Ayrshire, some 55 mi south of Glasgow, and Ardlui at the northern tip of Loch Lomond some 40 mi north. It has the added advantage of being accepted by most bus operators in the Strathclyde region and on the Kilcreggan and Renfrew ferries. Two versions are available for 1 adult and up to 2 children (£10.20) or 2 adults and up to 4 children (£18.20). You can buy it only from a staffed rail station or an SPT Travel Centre.
- If you are in town for a week or more, SPT's [ZoneCard] might be useful. It can be used on suburban trains, buses, and the underground and is valid all day, even in the morning. Prices vary depending on how long you want it for (1 week to 1 year) and how many zones that you want it to cover. ["PlanaJourney"] is a free integrated public transport journey planner that includes Glasgow and covers much of the Scottish, Northern Ireland and UK public transport network. It includes bus, rail, Glasgow underground, Scottish ferries and flights. It can assist with planning journeys into and out of Glasgow from anywhere in the Glasgow area or more widely from anywhere in the UK. Outside of Scotland and Northern Ireland, bus information is limited.
Like most major British cities, you have two options. Your first option is the traditional London-style black cabs which can be hailed from the side of the road (look out for the yellow "Taxi" sign being illuminated). The fleet is operated by [Glasgow Taxis], and can also be ordered by telephone (+44 141 429 7070). There are taxi ranks outside Central and Queen Street railway stations, adjacent to George Square and along the southern end of Queen Street itself. There is also a taxi rank located at Buchanan Bus Station. For a journey from say the centre of town to the West End expect to pay around £5-£6, from the city centre out to the suburbs around £10-£12. Be aware that some drivers will refuse to take you outside the city boundary, but some will if you offer a good price to them.
Your second option is by private hire or minicab. Unlike the black cabs, these cannot be hailed, and you must book by telephone. There is a myriad of private hire operators which are cheaper than black cabs: their phone numbers are clearly displayed on the back of the vehicles. Never use unlicenced private taxis, which can sometimes be seen touting for business outside nightclubs near closing time and near legitimate taxi ranks. Always look for the yellow Glasgow City Council licencing plate attached to the rear bumper of the vehicle if unsure. Glasgow Private Hire is one of the biggest taxi fleets in Europe and has thousands of cars, which service all areas of the city. They can be reached on a variety of different numbers (including +44 141 774 3000). Another popular alternative is Hampden Cabs, which services most of the city and surrounding area. Hampden Cabs can be contacted on +44 141 649 5050.
There is now a [River Bus service], which picks up tourists from central Glasgow (Broomielaw Pontoon) and takes them to, among other sites of interest, the Glasgow Science Centre, and the Riverside Museum. There is also a [ferry] from Yoker on the north bank of the River Clyde to the town of Renfrew on the opposite bank which is within walking distance of Braehead shopping centre and the Xscape leisure complex.
As befits a city that was at its richest through the 19th century and at the beginning of the 20th, the centre of Glasgow has a fine legacy of Victorian and Edwardian buildings with their lavish interiors and spectacular carved stonework. Outside of the central area the main streets are lined with the legendary tenements - the city's trademark 2 or 3 story residential buildings built from red or blonde sandstone which positively glow during the summer. The decline of Glasgow's economy during the mid to late 20th Century led to the mass construction of high-rise tower blocks and concrete housing estates during the 1960s and 1970s. The dramatic and striking Red Road Flats form the tallest residential property in Europe. Many 1970s office buildings in the centre have been cleared away by state-of-the-art glass structures as Glasgow's burgeoning financial services industry continues to grow. For more information on Glasgow's architecture, try and get hold of a copy of Central Glasgow: An Illustrated Architectural Guide, by Charles McKean and others.
Glasgow was also the home of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of the "Glasgow Four," a group of leading proponents of art nouveau architecture. Indeed, during his lifetime, Mackintosh was probably better regarded abroad than he was in his native Glasgow, even apparently inspiring Frank Lloyd Wright. However, he was recently resurrected as one of the cities most beloved sons. You will notice, along with quite a few of his buildings to see in the city, including his magnum opus, the Glasgow School of Art, many other knock-offs and impersonations exist. However, despite the 'cult' of Mackintosh, Glasgow produced many other fine architects, the best known of whom is probably Alexander 'Greek' Thomson.
The following list is a selection of significant buildings in Glasgow, roughly arranged starting in the City Centre and moving west and south:
- There are a number of interesting bridges over the River Clyde in the City Centre. The Tradeston Pedestrian Bridge crosses the river west of the M8 motorway and is nicknamed the "Squiggly Bridge" by locals because of its distinctive S-shape. Nearby, the Kingston Bridge carries the M8 motorway across the Clyde. Built in 1969, the bridge is far more spectacular to stand beneath than drive over, with an almost cathedral-like vista and a strange aura of calmness that betrays the likely traffic chaos that is going unseen directly above your head. Further west, the Clyde Arc is a relatively new and prominent bridge over the River Clyde that has an elegant curved design and is unique for how it crosses the river at an angle.
- Atop a steep hill across Kelvingrove Park from the university is Park Circus, an area of Georgian townhouses laid out in a radial pattern similar to the English city of Bath. This neighbourhood has made the transition from originally being an upmarket residential area to a prestigious office district for mainly legal and consultancy firms, although in recent years there have been moves to encourage the companies back into the city centre and return the buildings to residential use. If you make the effort to walk through Kelvingrove Park, go up to this area as it is worth descending down the grand Granite Staircase, on the south side of the hill facing the river.
- Scotland Street School
225 Scotland St, subway: Shields Road, http://www.glasgowlife.org.uk/museums/scotland-street-school/, phone: +44 141 287 0500
Charles Rennie Mackintosh's last major building - thoughtfully designed, with an excellent museum covering both Mackintosh and the changing faces of schools.
- Holmwood House
61-63 Netherlee Road, in Cathcart, in the South Side of the city, http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Holmwood/, phone: 0844 493 2204
Now run by the National Trust, and currently in the process of being renovated, Holmwood House is one of the best examples of the work of Glasgow's other great architect: Alexander 'Greek' Thomson.
Museums and art galleries
The Victorians also left Glasgow with a wonderful legacy of museums and art galleries, which the city has dutifully built upon. The following list is only a selection. The city council alone runs several museums and galleries. Visitors should be aware that most of the galleries appear to be closed on Sundays, and that - to the understandable annoyance of many visitors to Glasgow - most of the museums shut their doors at 5PM.
For a large city, Glasgow has a surprising number of parks and green spaces; there is more parkland here than in any other British city.
- Bellahouston Park
- Mugdock Park
- Strathclyde Country Park
- Victoria Park
- Fossil Grove
Victoria Park, http://www.glasgow.gov.uk/en/Residents/Parks_Outdoors/Fossil+Grove.htm, phone: +44 141 276 1695
The remains of an ancient forest, around 330 million years old. This is the only example of a preserved forest from this period on Earth.
There are many nightclubs, concerts and festivals in Glasgow.
Glasgow's been famous for its music scene(s) for at least 20 years, with some top acts literally queuing to play at venues such as the Barrowlands or King Tut's. There's plenty of venues where you're likely to see a good band (and lots of bad bands too); on any day of the week there should be at least several shows to choose from throughout the city, with the number increasing to an even greater variety on Thursday, Friday & Saturday. In no particular order, here follows some pop/indie/rock-orientated venues:
The [Scottish Exhibition & Conference Centre] ( rail: Exhibition Centre) is the city's premier music venue for major headline acts, even if the acoustics of the halls have always been questionable. More intimate gigs are held in the neighbouring Clyde Auditorium (the armadillo-shaped building). [SECC Tickets] sells tickets for these.
Arts and theatrical venues
- The [Glasgow International Jazz Festival] is held every year in June. Other arts or music festivals of note include The West End Festival, the Merchant City Festival and numerous others. As always, consult the listings magazine The List for further details.
There are two main venues for stand-up comedy in Glasgow.
- The Stand on Woodlands Road (West End)
- Jongleurs in the City Centre
Although other pubs and clubs frequently hold comedy events: see the listings magazine The List for details.
CF also the Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival held yearly thoroughout March/April.
The most interesting films in Glasgow are shown at:
- Mainstream films can be seen at the [Cineworld] on Renfrew St, which is the tallest cinema in the world.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games are being held in Glasgow from 23 July to 3 August 2014. Hampden Park, Ibrox Stadium and Celtic Park are being used for the games, and so the tours listed here may not be available in summer 2014,
Glasgow also has the 3 biggest football stadia in Scotland. The major events in the football season are the clashes between the two Premier League clubs; Celtic and Rangers. Known as the "Old Firm", with their sectarian undertones, these 90 minute matches produce a profound effect on the city, occasionally, but less frequently in recent times; resulting in violent clashes during or after the game. The Old Firm Derby is generally considered to be one of the best derby matches in the world, in terms of passion and atmosphere generated by both sets of fans, and is considered by many neutrals to be the most intense rivalry in all of Britain. The match itself is always highly anticipated and much talked about before and after. Cup (non-league) ties between these two giants are quite frequent, raising the tensions further. Be aware that getting tickets for "Old Firm" games can be difficult and cup ties near impossible. If you do go to one of these matches it is advised that you do not wear team colours (blue/red/white or orange for Rangers, green/white for Celtic) after the match.
Glasgow has three universities:
- [University of Glasgow]. Located in the west end of the city, this university has served Glasgow since 1451 and is the fourth oldest in the United Kingdom, and also one of the country's most prestigious.
- [University of Strathclyde] is situated in the north-east of the city centre and was originally founded in 1796 as Anderson's University, and later became the Royal College of Science and Technology (affectionately nicknamed "The Tech" by Glaswegians) before finally gaining full University status in 1964. In 1993 it absorbed the former Jordanhill College of Education, and gained that institution's campus in the West End.
- [Glasgow Caledonian University], to the north of the city centre, is Glasgow's newest university. It was formed from the merger of Glasgow College of Technology and Queens' College in 1992. Literally a couple of minutes away from Buchanan Bus Station.
Jobs in Glasgow can be found through the government-run JobCentres. Be aware that you will need a National Insurance number and, if you are not a citizen of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, the correct type of work visa to work legally in the UK. Your employer should require this to ensure you pay the correct rates of income tax. However if you ask around you'll find a lot of bars and nightclubs offer work cash-in-hand. Some of the many temp agencies in the city centre aren't too fussy about immigration niceties either. With the city's growing financial services industry, there are quite a lot of opportunities for office temps, though this has changed with the global economic downturn of the last few years.
Glasgow has positioned itself as an upmarket retail destination, the shopping is the some of the best in Scotland, and generally accepted as the No.2 shopping experience in Britain after London. Buchanan Street is the 7th most expensive place for retail space in the world, which means that there's an increasing number of designer clothes shops in areas like the Merchant City. Alongside this, the Council is putting pressure on more traditional shopping centres like the Barras where you can get remarkably similar-looking clothes for a more sensible price.
The nucleus of Glasgow shopping is the so-called "Golden Z", made up of the continuous pedestrianised thoroughfares of Argyle Street, Buchanan Street and Sauchiehall Street. Here, virtually all of the major British big name retailers are represented. Buchanan Street is the most upmarket of the three, with prestigious names such as House of Fraser, Apple Store and Zara and other specialised designer stores. Ingram Street in the Merchant City has seen a boom in recent years for attracting more exclusive, premium brands like Bose, Bang and Olufsen, Ralph Lauren and so on.
Bath Street and Hope Street run parallel to the main pedestrianised streets, and if you want to get away from "chain store hell", they have a fine selection of more quirky, local independent retailers selling everything from fine art, Scottish clothing, antiques and specialist hi-fi.
There are larger shopping malls on the city outskirts at Braehead, Silverburn and Glasgow Fort.
- The [Barras] in the East End is the essential Glasgow shopping experience. Hundreds of market stalls selling everything you could possibly want and a load of other stuff too. Free entertainment available from time to time when the Police raid the place for counterfeit goods. Open 10AM - 5PM every weekend; weekday opening in the weeks immediately before Christmas. The market is notorious for counterfeit good; especially DVDs and clothing. Pirated DVDs should be avoided at all costs, as the quality is often very poor.
- The [Buchanan Galleries], Buchanan Street, is a large shopping mall in the heart of the city centre which has all the usual British high street stores, its anchor tenant is John Lewis.
- The [St Enoch Centre]. Europe's largest glass roofed building - this huge mall is on St Enoch Square between Argyle Street and Buchanan Street, and a major extension and refurbishment programme was completed in 2010.
- Princes Square is an upmarket mall just off Buchanan Street in the city centre. Specialises in designer clothes shops, jewellery and audio equipment. Note, Grande Dame of British Fashion Vivienne Westwood has a store as well as a separate jewellery concession in Princes Square.
- The Argyle Arcade is the city's jewellery quarter housing Scotland's largest collection of jewellery shops. The L-shaped arcade connects Argyle Street and Buchanan Street. Shops here vary considerably - there are a selection of cheaper jewellery shops and a selection of luxury prestigious jewellers. Very commonly used as a short cut for shoppers between Buchanan Street and Argyle Street.
- De Courcy's Arcade is an unusual little shopping arcade by yer maws with lots of second hand music and book shops and independent gift shops. Located just off Byres Road in the west end ( subway: Hillhead)
- Byres Road
Check out the chichi shops and vintage stored in the West End
The city has won the title "Curry Capital of Britain" two years running and has a huge and dynamic range of restaurants, Indian or otherwise. Despite Glasgow being the home town of culinary hero Gordon Ramsay, there are no Michelin-starred fine dining establishments in the city (Glasgow's sole Michelin starred restaurant, Amaryllis - owned by Ramsay himself - embarrassingly folded in 2004), nevertheless there are scores of highly regarded eateries in the city. The restaurants below are some of the culinary highlights of Glasgow.
- The Ubiquitous Chip
12 Ashton Lane, West End, Subway - Hillhead, http://www.ubiquitouschip.co.uk/
Of all Ashton Lane's establishments, "The Chip" as it is popularly known by locals is certainly its most celebrated and most famous. Established by the late great Ronnie Clydesdale - a local legend - this local restaurant has been serving up top quality food using Scottish produce since the early 1970s and is frequently lauded as one of Scotland's finest restaurants. On the expensive side, but well worth it. Booking absolutely essential.
1 Merchant Square, Candleriggs, Merchant City,, nearest railway: Queen Street, http://www.arisaigrestaurant.co.uk/
Another celebrated Glasgow eatery, bar and brasserie notable for its extensive list of wines and Scottish malt whiskies. Also has music nights.
- The Red Onion
247 West Campbell Street, nearest railway - Central/Charing Cross, http://www.red-onion.co.uk/
Perched high up on Blythswood Hill, this locally owned restaurant uses local produce within international dishes produced by recognised chef John Quigley.
11 Exchange Place, nearest railway: Queen Street, http://www.roganoglasgow.com/
Legendary seafood restaurant just off Buchanan Street, and Glasgow oldest eatery - surviving since the 1930s with most of its original Art Deco interior still intact.
- The Grill Room at The Square
29 Royal Exchange Square, nearest railway: Queen Street, http://grillroomglasgow.com/chef.html
Just along from Roganos, this classy establishment has made a name for itself under the leadership of chef David Friel. Quite pricey but worth it.
- The Chardon D'Or
176 West Regent Street, http://www.brianmaule.com/
Owner and head chef Brian Maule is a former business partner of local hero Gordon Ramsay. When Ramsay began his TV career as a celebrity chef, Maule took the chance to branch out on his own and is now a very highly regarded local institution. The result is Chardon D'Or, opened in 2001 and widely recognised as one of the very best quality restaurants in Glasgow. Owner Brian Maule is also well known for strong links with musicians and entertainers, and his restaurant often offers deals combining concerts or shows with fine dining for one fixed price. A popular choice with local businessmen.
- Cafe Gandolfi
64 Albion Street, http://www.cafegandolfi.com/
A real Glasgow institution, serving fine locally sourced food in a relaxed atmosphere. Great food and great service.
Takeaway/Fish & Chips
Glasgow has taken many different cultural foods and combined them into a unique dining experience. Most takeaways offer Indian dishes (pakora), pizzas and kebabs as well as the more traditional fish and chips or burgers. This has resulted in some takeaways offering a blend of dishes like chips with curry sauce, the donner kebab pizza, the battered and deep fried pizza to name but a few.
Fish & Chips (aka "Fish Supper") is a perennial favourite, and there are a healthy number of fish and chip shops around the city. As mentioned above, many will also offer Asian or Italian dishes alongside the traditional chip shop fayre. Given the Glaswegian's famous fondness for anything deep fried - "bad" establishments don't usually last long. In the centre of town, four of the best "chippies" are:
On a side note, the now infamous deep fried Mars Bar - served up in many Glasgow chip shops - did not originate in the city, contrary to popular belief. It was in fact invented in Stonehaven in Aberdeenshire.
- Jack McPhees
in City Centre on Hope Street, near Theatre Royal; and West End on Byres Road,
Chain of sit down restaurants with table service. Slightly more expensive than a takeaway, but excellent quality.
- The Coronation
Gallowgate, just beyond Glasgow Cross under the City Union railway bridge,
A Glasgow institution sitting at the gateway into the Barrowlands area - the usual friendly Glaswegian reception and competitively priced.
- Da Vinci's
Queen Street, City Centre,
24 hour dining in this handily positioned sit-down takeaway near many of the city's nightclubs.
- Oriental Yummy, 96 Queen Margaret Drive, [Menu and prices]. F-Sa 17:00-23:00, Su-Mo 17:00-22:00, W-Th 17:00-22:00 Home deliveries.1284 Argyle Street, near Kelvingrove ), the Ashoka at Ashton Lane or Kama Sutra (Sauchiehall Street ) - all of which are owned by the local [Ashoka] chain. Glasgow's top Indian restaurants include:66 Woodlands Rd, - arguably one of the finest Indian takeaway in the West End with a proud record and loyal following. Home delivery daily until midnight (Sa-Su 04:00). Order on-line to save.337 Byres Road ) Formerly Antipasti. Excellent quality restaurant; does not offer table bookings—just show up and ask for a table. You won't be waiting long.35-41 Sauchiehall Street, immediately opposite Cineworld and Royal Concert Hall ) One of Glasgow's oldest and best known Italian restaurants. Good quality and friendly service.2nd Floor, Princes Square, 48 Buchanan Street in the city centre [http://www.princessquare.tv/italian-restaurant-glasgow-zizzi], and8 Cresswell Lane in the West End [http://www.zizzi.co.uk/restaurants/glasgow-west-end]11 Exchange Place ), Sumptuous 1930s style architecture for a total dining experience. Rogano is a Glasgow institution, but beware, especially if you get sucked into their vintage wine list, this place can be extremely expensive.George Square – near Queen Street station ) formerly a flagship branch of the Bank of Scotland, you can drink here in the splendour of this old Victorian banking hall. Converted into an open plan bar by the Wetherspoon chain, it’s popular with tourists and locals alike, with quirky features such as the bank vault now being used as a wine cellar.Jamaica Street – near Central Station and the Jamaica Bridge ) Another Wetherspoons establishment, good for evening football; and good place to meet up if you are heading across to the O2 Academy or the Citizen’s Theatre on the other side of the river.Within the Carlton George Hotel on West George Street, next to George Square/Queen Street station ); vaguely Irish themed bar with its curious 'Lord of the Rings'-like setting. Spread over six bars, nine rooms and three floors. The premises is a fun place, with steps and stairs running up and down through the maze of rooms and bars, and a rather eclectic mix of "tree trunk" and church gothic interior décor.Candleriggs – Merchant City; inside the Merchant Square complex ) Wide range of local and imported beers both in bottles and draught form.on the corner of Bell Street/Albion Street – Merchant City ) Great range of local and other beers/ales both in bottles and draught form, sometimes does live music.Partick Cross, West End – on the intersection of Byres and Dumbarton Roads – nearest Subway: Kelvinhall ). Lovely West End establishment with a continually changing board of ales from all over the UK on tap as well as a cider. They also have a fantastic selection of imported bottled beers in the fridge and Frambozen on tap.Glasgow Green, East End in the Templeton Building ). A Restaurant and micro brewery serving traditional food and German style larger beers.Waterloo Street ). This bar has a very good selection of beers both on tap and bottled. It is also popular for live music as well. Just round the corner for hope street and they proudly don't sell Tennent's.North Frederick Street – close to George Square ) and The Hall (457 Sauchiehall Street - rail: Charing Cross, Subway: St. George's Cross ), catering for Strathclyde/Caledonian Universities and Glasgow School of Art respectively are both part of the [Scream] chain of student pubs with their famous "Yellow Card" promotions. Note that entry may be restricted to NUS cardholders only during peak times.GUU – at the bottom of University Avenue nr the junction with Kelvin Way, QM – University Gardens at the top of Ashton Lane ) The University of Glasgow's two official student unions are very different, from the “establishment” GUU to the more quirky and laid back QM. Open to matriculating students from any one of the city's three universities.408 Sauchiehall Street ) – The original branch on St. Vincent Street is now closed - and mourned by its fans for being arguably far more atmospheric than its successor, but still a quirky style bar with bags of character.Ingram Street – Merchant City – nearest railway: Queen Street ) – Wickedly pretentious bar/restaurant converted from and old bank in the centre of Glasgow’s designer shop district with beautifully restored interior fittings. Food served is of a high standard, although drinks can be expensive. Note that a dress code (smart/casual - no sports footwear) is strictly enforced after 6PM.158-166 Bath Street; nearest rail - Charing Cross ) Meditterrenean basement theme bar, restaurant and nightclub. Close to King Tut's Wah Wah Hut. Student friendly.16-18 Blackfriars Street – Merchant City; nearest railway - High Street ) – Notable for its fine range of imported lagers, the bar meals are excellent. You can even sit outside in the quaint little beer garden (when it is not raining)St Vincent Street; nearest railway: Glasgow Central ) - independent Irish themed pub and a good place to have a banter with the locals. Like most Irish themed pubs in the city, it gets impossibly crowded on Celtic match days.167 Stockwell Street ). Pub specialising in traditional folk and blues: live music five nights a week.-->25 Hope Street ). Great little bar with classic fast service and local banter.Nearest Subway: Kelvinhall ), adjacent to Glasgow University and Kelvingrove Museum.Munro'') for great views. It's a 40 minute drive on the A82 road from the West End. Trains to Balloch (on the southern shore of the loch) leave Queen Street (Low Level) every half hour while Ardlui on the northern tip of the loch is accessible via the West Highland Line from Queen Street (High Level).
- Take a boat trip outside the city, either on a [powerboat] or on the [Waverley (the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world)]. Both of these services go to many destinations throughout Scotland.
- Take a [seaplane trip to Loch Lomond], or even further afield
- Edinburgh, Scotland's capital city, is 46 miles to the east of Glasgow and is reached easily by train or bus.
- The historic city of Stirling lies 28 miles to the north east of Glasgow - best known as the spiritual home of Scottish national heroes William “Braveheart” Wallace and Robert The Bruce. A natural gateway to the Central Highlands, the city’s famous castle is well worth a visit. Trains leave every half hour from Queen Street (high level) railway station, and is easily reached by car or bus via the M80 motorway.
- Ride the West Highland Railway, perhaps the most scenic rail journey in the world.
- Walk the West Highland Way from Milngavie (an upmarket suburb of Glasgow) all the way to Fort William. The scenery on the latter half of the walk is absolutely breathtaking and takes you through the heart of Glen Coe, generally regarded as one of the most beautiful areas of Scotland. Reachable via train from Queen Street (Low Level)
- The Ayrshire coast towns of Largs, Saltcoats, Troon, Prestwick and Ayr are typically old fashioned holiday seaside resorts. Whilst most Glaswegians themselves have long abandoned them in favour of package holidays to the Mediterranean, they all have an individual charm of their own. South Ayrshire is the spiritual home to Scotland's literary hero and national "bard", Robert Burns. All are easily reachable via regular train services from Central Station.
- Take a day-trip to the Isle of Arran. It is possible to obtain train/ferry combo tickets to reach this destination. The Isle of Arran is known as "Scotland in Miniature" due to the fact it contains many features of mainland Scotland in microcosm. Brodick Castle is home to beautiful gardens and has a path connecting to path up Goatfell, the highest point on Arran which offers stunning views of Brodick bay during the summer (Castle is located at the north end of Brodick, student discount available). The island is also littered with sites of archaeological and historical interest including many circles of ancient standing stones. Take one of the circle island buses to see it all, watch your time though- know the last bus and ferry of the day. There is a beautiful bay with a castle in the middle on the Northeast in a village called Lochranza.
- Take a day trip to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute on the [paddle steamer Waverley]. You can catch the Waverley at the Broomielaw on the banks of the River Clyde, just a short walk from the city centre. Alternatively, [regular scheduled ferry services] leave from Weymss Bay, served by an [hourly rail service from Central Station].
- Owned by the [National Trust for Scotland], Greenbank House and Gardens make for a pleasant day out in one of Glasgow's leafier suburbs. It's a 30 min walk from Clarkston railway station (catch the train from Central Station (high level)). The garden's have proven to be an inspiration to gardeners throughout the world.
- A short (30-40 min) bus journey West-bound down the M8 towards Houston is a good day out. Houston is a traditional Scottish village steeped in history (and is nearby to both traditional leather tanning town Bridge-Of-Weir and upmarket Kilmacolm, home to many local celebrities), but its main draw is the Fox & Hounds Pub, home to [Houston Brewing Company]. You'd be amazed how many Glaswegians have made this same short journey to sample the ale and traditional Scottish beers of Houston! Several brews are available all year round, with seasonal specialities on tap depending on the month. Tours of the small but well respected brewing operation are available. This is one of Central Scotland's most well regarded brewing communities, and well worth a trip. Houston is well served by two bus companies, but watch out as last service back into Glasgow ends around 23:00.
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