The city of Glasgow is not just the cultural hub of Scotland but is also a proud destination within the whole of the United Kingdom boasting a warm of friendly atmosphere, public diversity and of course, a whole lot of humour. Popular with art lovers and street performers, Glasgow takes itself very seriously when it comes to expressionism. There really is no finer way to enjoy a summers afternoon than wondering around the streets stemming from George Square – rubbing shoulders with the locals and taking in all that the city has to offer. You’ll be hard pressed to find a busker who isn’t insanely talented, too – which is an aspect of Glasgow that I love. A mix of old and new dominate the cities skyline, with rugged architecture sitting side-by-side with impressive modern day structures complimenting the cities historic, gothic charm.
Despite Glasgow’s rather hilly reputation, I was pleased to discover that the layout is not too difficult for getting around in the wheelchair. Sure – you might need to break a little bit of a sweat every now and again but with great public transport links, even the trickiest of routes can be made easier.
In terms of choosing where to stay, I would highly recommend a night or two at the IBIS Styles City Centre Hotel – which is perfectly situated just two minutes from the Museum of Modern Art and within eyeshot of Buchanan Bus Station. Staff at this hotel really do take customer service to the nth degree and will gladly ensure that you have the best stay possible – it’s all about the personal touches where IBIS Styles is concerned – traditional Tunnocks Tea Cakes and tasty Irn Bru await.
The décor in the hotel is also extremely pleasant, and the layout of the rooms leaves you feeling right at home. I enjoyed the minor details more than anything – such as the wall print of Glasgow’s famous horseman statue, behind the bed rest. Bedside tables that can be positioned over your body as you relax also afforded me with the opportunity to catch up on some much needed admin work. The breakfast which was on offer the next morning was one of the best I’ve had at a hotel in a long time (and I stay in a LOT of hotels). It’s also worth noting that the Ibis Styles Glasgow City Centre hotel is very affordable, offering competitive rates, especially given the fantastic location! I would definitely recommend a stay here and will be returning myself in the future.
Of course, no trip to Scotland is ever complete without a ‘wee dram of Whiskey’; and where else could be better to do so than in a bar situated inside an old church? Oran Mor has an air of Harry Potter as you walk in, with soft lightening and a steampunk style interior mixed with classical medieval furnishing. My favourite thing about this place is that the background volume wasn’t too loud – allowing for great conversation – and there was also full disabled access which is a mega plus!
So you’ve sorted out your accommodation and you’re feeling rather rosy cheeked after a few beverages; question is now – where to eat? Well I’ve got you covered – you should head over and check out the Hillhead Book Club for a gorgeous combination of live music and delicious food. I’d recommend the homemade nachos – but watch out, they’re a bit spicy!
While you’re in Glasgow you may wish to check out some of the major tourist destinations, in which case, here’s a brief rundown of some of the cities top spots!
Glasgow Cathedral – confirmed equal to Rome as a place of pilgrimage by Pope Nicholas V in 1451.
Glasgow City Chambers – one of the grandest structures in Glasgow and certainly one of Britain’s better council buildings.
The Necropolis – it’s not every day you see a graveyard being recommended as a tourist destination, but some of these tombs have to be seen to be believed.
Merchant City – where traders once made their fortune flogging shipments of tobacco, sugar and tea from far off distant lands, now stands an area filled with modern bars and top restaurants.
George Square – smack bang in the middle of the city, a great place to start any tour of the city. Also a very impressive place to sit and people watch.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum – take a look at Glasgow’s most frequently visited museum and discover the eclectic mix of treasures that they have housed there.
So there you have it – not only do you get a little taste of what my trip to Glasgow was like, but you also land yourself some top tips on things to see when you’re there. I hope this goes some way towards reiterating the fact that when visiting Britain, there’s more to see than just London!