Glasgow and other Scottish Cities, UK

Glasgow's Clyde Auditorium, Scotland, UK

Glasgow’s Clyde Auditorium, a concert hall designed to reflect the city’s shipbuilding heritage, even if it is known as the Armadillo by most of the citizens.

Glasgow

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and the third largest in the United Kingdom, sharing the central belt of the country with Edinburgh.

There are a handful of medieval buildings in the city – 13thC St Mungo’s Cathedral and 15thC Provand’s Lordship – but most of the impressive architecture is Victorian or Edwardian, with occasional bursts of space-age whimsy such as Norman Foster’s Armadillo and the Clyde Arc bridge.

Glasgow is not short of green space with more parks than any other city in Britain.
Although Glasgow had a reputation for industry and low-life slums, in particular the notorious Gorbals, urban renewal programs have been largely successful and tourism is increasingly attracted to the style, culture and vivacity of this city.

Some Glasgow Sights

Glasgow’s grid formatted city centre is easy to get around on foot and provides plenty of interest in the way of art galleries, museums (usually free), theatre, concert halls and first-class shopping while the West End is more bohemian, offering tree-lined streets, wacky bars and boutiques, live music pubs and restaurants as well as interesting structures including both the Kelvingrove Museum and the Armadillo.

The Mitchell Library, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

The Mitchell Library, one of Europe’s largest public libraries is a city landmark that also houses the Mitchell Theatre, an exhibition hall, and the Herald Café Bar.

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, Scotland

Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, Glasgow, a fine example of Victorian architecture with some bizarre displays alongside the more traditional exhibits. Photo by Johnbod.

The Clyde Arc bridge, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

The Clyde Arc, known locally as the Squinty Bridge. Photo by Macieklew.

Getting around: the key central areas are pedestrian-friendly and reasonably close, so walking is a good option. Otherwise the subway (metro) is efficient and covers the city centre easily, though only until 9. 30pm. Buses travel just about everywhere during the day but travellers need exact change for the fare. Night rides will require a taxi.

Attractions near Glasgow

Edinburgh is only 50 minutes away (46 miles) by train.

• Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond mountain; hikers will love the West Highland Way running from a Glasgow suburb (Milngavie) to Fort William, including the staggeringly beautiful Glen Coe section.

• Take a train/ferry to the Isle of Arran – also known as Scotland in Miniature – an island of ancient sites, castle, gardens and spectacular views.

Aberdeen

Aberdeen's Union Terrace Gardens, Scotland

Aberdeen’s Union Terrace Gardens. Photo by Ragazzi.

Aberdeen, on the coast of northeast Scotland, one time ‘Oil Capital of Europe’ . The city enjoys fine granite architecture, parks and beach, but the weather is frequently grey to match the buildings and chilly due to North Sea winds.

Aberdeen port, Scotland

Aberdeen Harbour and a major hub for North Sea oil production and Aberdeen’s cash cow. Photo by Ragazzi. With the collapse of oil prices in 2014 Aberdeen’s time in the sun looks to be over for the moment and unemployment must be on the rise.

Dundee

Dundee is a sheltered port on the River Tay on the east coast of Scotland between Edinburgh and Aberdeen. There’s plenty for tourists to do in the region but not a lot in the city. Dundee is kept busy by leading biomedical and technological industries and doesn’t have a lot of interest in developing tourism, though it is self-styled as ‘One City, Many Discoveries’ in honour of Scott’s Antarctic exploration vessel that was built in Dundee and is now berthed in the harbour.