It's maybe not an obvious destination but the stunning range of colours in Kelvingrove Park, Maxwell Park, Queen's Park and Pollok Country Park is well worth an autumnal visit. Spend some time at the Glasgow University cloisters, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum or, if you head south, at the Burrell Collection. When it gets darker and chillier make sure you find yourself a wee table at cosy Kember & Jones on Byres Road - their coffee and cakes are to die for!
134 Byres road, Glasgow, G12 8TD
+44(0)141 337 3851
Google map: bit.ly/QODgQ4
The Burrell, Kelvingrove, Mackintosh, lots more free galleries/museums, amazing architecture, sensational shopping, vibrant culture and cafes and a suburban transport network that takes you to the shores of Loch Lomond and the slopes of the Arrochar Alps - where else but Glasgow?
An Clachan is everything a cafe should be. Set in a (previously unloved) section of the beautiful Kelvingrove Park, An Clachan has really lovely home made cakes (the best chocolate chip cupcakes I've had), hot and cold food (again, home made), good coffee, great welcoming staff and healthy snacks and drinks for children. It's even near a small play park, and believe me, good coffee and kids play areas are rarely found together.
The Yarn Cake is a yarn and cake shop, or a knitters cafe, or just somewhere to sit out of the rain, squish wool, or have a hot choc on-a-stick.
It's on Queen Margaret Drive, which is growing into a quirky neighbourhood, a bridge between the arty West End and down to earth Maryhill.
The Yarn Cake itself is bright, the large window revealing three tables, and shelf after shelf of yarn, knitting books, and knitting supply. There's a large loo, unusually for the size of the place, which is easily wheelchair accessible and has baby changing facilities.
You'll usually be welcomed by staff and regulars before you get a step into the place. If you come on a Saturday, you might get press-ganged into helping with the Saturday Guardian quiz.
The yarns range from cheap but good quality (Drops) all the way up to hand-died hanks from local indy dyers.
The teas and coffees are also from local suppliers, with half a dozen teas and two coffee blends, ground to order. The hot choc on a stick can come in anything up to four varieties, depending on how quickly they're selling out that day.
Cakes are home made, on the premises, with German tarts and loaves a speciality (though I love the baked cheesecake most).
All in all it's a very welcoming place for knitters and cake fans alike.
A city with a big heart, from home made chocolate snowballs at The University Cafe (a Glaswegian institution that hasn’t changed since it opened in 1918) on Byres Road, a stroll round the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, lunch in the Merchant City, a peruse down the ‘style mile’ in the afternoon and a candle lit dinner at night. This is a city you can enjoy being lost in. But, ultimately, it’s the people that make Glasgow - even in the rain they have a smile for everyone. I would absolutely recommend No.1 Devonshire Gardens, an indulgent experience, where they will do their best to upgrade your room for free. My boyfriend doesn’t believe in Valentines Day - he says I hoodwinked him into it, but I know this city will always hold a special place in our hearts - may even move there one day.
Devonshire Gardens, Glasgow, G12 0UX
+44(0)141 339 2001
Google map: bit.ly/GYs8vd
24 Candleriggs, Merchant City, Glasgow, G1 1TD
+44(0)141 552 1114
Google map: bit.ly/GYG5FE
Kelvingrove Art Gallery
Argyle Street, Glasgow G3 8AG
+44(0)141 276 9599
Google map: bit.ly/Hidn1z
It’s not quite a trip to the jungle, it’s not a tour through sparkling snowy waste, but exploring the side streets of Glasgow can be just as much a life-changing experience. It’s the music that does it, as I discovered on trips to the city in the last year. Live music happens in every street; not just in grand concert halls but in basements bars and attic clubs, in ageing art deco cinemas and old variety theatres, in subterranean tunnels where gigs are punctuated by passing trains, in vegan (yes vegan) cafes which would not look out of place in San Francisco. Live music transforms even the most battered parts of the city into an unforgettable experience – O2 Academy stands like a beached liner, a defiant dazzler on Gorbals edgelands. Barrowland is a beacon for rock bands the world over, The Arches and Sub Club rock the city underground and even the Apollo, long gone, absolutely refuses to die. All adding to the gritty, almost industrial strength of Glasgow’s cultural life. No wonder this is the UK’s first UNESCO City of Music. I explored Glasgow with the help of Walking Heads audio tours who have just produced Glasgow Music Tour as a free app.
You can walk up the see the Falls of Clyde where there is a manned area with telescopes by the Scottish Wildlife Trust. We saw the mother feeding her newly hatched chicks.
I took my partner there last week for a wonderful meal. Even though it's in the futuristic Xscape building, the inside of the restaurant is as traditional Italian as you can get. The meal and wine were fantastic!
The Barrowland Ballroom is a hot, sweaty venue with a low ceiling which is virtually unchanged since the ballroom was rebuilt in 1960. It has excellent acoustics and a sprung dance floor (because of its original role as a ballroom) and is just the best place to see live bands. Although its capacity is limited to just under 2,000 it attracts big name bands because of the fantastic atmosphere - a reason it has remained popular with the punters for 50+ years. Have a look at the 1983 video of Simple Minds' single Waterfront, which was filmed there.
If you're in Glasgow check out who's playing in the local paper and go along if you can. Have a drink in the Saracen's Head pub, opposite, to sample the full flavour of a Glasgow night out!
The building was discovered languishing as a council car park by Jim Smith, director of the Glasgow Jazz Festival in 1992. Since then the Old Fruitmarket has been reinvented as one of the most atmospheric venues in the UK. With its wooden boat-like roof, huge old clock and still retaining the old stallholders billboards from the time when it really was a market hall, the Old Fruitmarket is now a thriving venue for music, comedy and for festivals such as Celtic Connections and the Glasgow Jazz Festival. A refurbishment got rid of the cobbles that threatened many a high heel, strengthened the balcony, improved the heating and sealed the roof against the pigeon squatters, but did nothing to dilute its essential character. It's a large enough auditorium to hold 1500 standing, but still works cabaret style for under 100.
Very good Scottish restaurant. Pleasant interior, attentive service and very good value pre theatre menu and tasty food. Has other branches.
Voltaire and Rousseau is a bit of a mess. Books are piled floor to ceiling with no sense of hierarchy or order. Some books are buried so deep that it's unlikely that anyone will ever buy them. But that's also what's so great about the shop - you never know what literary treasures you might uncover. Watch where you step, though - the owner's cats are as much a part of the shop as the books and love to wander around the stacks.
12-14 Otago Lane, Glasgow, G12 8PB
+44(0)141 339 1811
Near Kelvinbridge Subway
Google map: bit.ly/cqCN4a
Theatre of kinetic sculptures by Eduard Bersudsky. The models are made up of carved figures and pieces of old scrap which mechanically move to music in a short 35-minute show accompanied by classical and Scottish celtic music. Grotesque, Tim Burton-like figures and animals toil in their ceaseless lives. Quirky and unique, the joy is in identifying the "junk" - old typewriters, sewing machines, bottle openers - and watching the imprisoned mechanical mice, ever struggling. Children go free when accompanied by an adult.
Trongate 103, Glasgow, G1 5HD
+44 (0)141 552 7080
There's an underground and a quite good bus network in Glasgow, but take a walk if you want to get the best impression of the city. It takes about an hour to walk from the Science Centre (outer west end) to Glasgow Cathedral (east end). See a few of my pictures here.
This little cafe has recently been taken over by my new boss who has completely turned it round for the better. There are still a lot of ideas that the new owner has to put into action but already they have improved the menu ten fold with Scottish produce and home baking. They also have a lot of exciting plans for getting local artists in to design and make paintings and artwork for the walls. Come check it out!
531 Sauchiehall Street
the nearest train station is charing cross, but we have a map on the website to help you find it;
Vegan restaurant that serves great food at real value for money prices. The food can be washed down with an excellent range of bottled beers. Table football is available to help you burn off the calories!
Service was excellent with a very warm welcome on the two nights we ate there.
12 Kings Place, off Trongate
Its a small cocktail bar attached to the Abode Hotel, right in the centre of town. In my opinion, it beats off any competition regarding quality of cocktail in the city centre and merchant city. There are other bars with better atmosphere perhaps, but due to it never being too busy, the bartenders can spend more time with each customer to find out exactly what they want.
129 bath Steet, G2 2SZ
An independent tearoom in the West End of Glasgow, the best spot I know to chill on a busy day or warm up on a cold one. Shisha pipes on the terrace, books and games inside, 80 types of tea, good vegetarian grub and sinful cakes by request.
42 Otago Lane, Glasgow G12 8PB, (0141) 357 4524
City sightseeing tour with live guide or multi-lingual commentary. It is amazing! Takes you on a huge sightseeing tour of the city and we hopped off at the People's Palace and Mitchell Library which were superb. Recommend also visiting Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow Cathedral, University West End area of Byres Road. Fantastic value for money. Interesting. Breathtaking architecture. Your ticket is valid for two consecutive days.
www.citysightseeingglasgow.com or Tourist Information, George Square also Buchanan Bus Station. You may also pay as you get on the bus.
1- Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum
Kelvingrove is the most visited museum in Scotland and the most visited in the UK outside of London. It recently underwent a massive refurbishment which has added new collections to its already impressive invitory.
2- Museum Of Transport
Everything from a horse and carriage to vintage steam trains are available here. A great place for kids or for a family day out, plenty to see.
3- Glasgow Cathedral
Worthwhile just to see the building itself, it is hundreds of years old and still looks magnificent, not bad inside either.
4- Burrell Collection
Located opposite the Kelvingrove Museum and well worth doing along with its more popular neighbor. Plenty to see from Ancient Egypt to information on Sir William Burrell who donated the collection.
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