It was almost instant, as I stepped of the train and into the misty hazy, clear that my luck with blue Scottish skies was over, I loved this city. Much less adored than its smaller neighbour Edinburgh, Glasgow is talked about with lack lustre affection and touted as missable. However, never one to follow advice I made my way here regardless, to see what the lack of fuss was about.
It very much feels like a city. It feels liveable, vibrant, enjoyed. Don’t expect the in your face beauty that Edinburgh commands, there is no castle or Royal Mile, but in my opinion Glasgow wins hands down, and dare I call it, it is my favourite UK city to date. With its long, wide streets reaching out in every direction, framed by building after building of clean, detailed architecture it’s beautiful in a different way, in a way that feels real and not like a tourist attraction, be assured that you will be surrounded by that fantastic (read inaudible) Glasgow accent rather than the various harmony of a world wide chorus, a refreshing change.
You may have to look a little deeper here, try a little harder to find the gems, to feel the magic but it certainly is there. With the city centre a wonderful maze of shopping, cafes and glorious Glasgow pubs it will have you entertained for an undisclosed amount of time in accordance with how long you can shop/brunch/booze. We all have one talent. Like all cities though, the real gems lie outside that bustling boundary; in Glasgow it’s known as the West End. Only a 15 minute bus/train ride from the city West End is all things ‘cool’ and where you will likely encounter the undercut crowd, ya feel. It’s the hub for vintage, artisan roasts and craft beers. Hit up Papercup (trust me I’m Australian) for a decent coffee and Anzac bickie, a welcome escape from the rain and gloom. The Crafty Pig is a bloody gem with a great selection of taps that are hard to go wrong on, and a chance to sample some of Scotland’s best on the craft beer scene. Inn Deep is a great place if the weather is in your favour thanks to its (again) great selection of craft beers with the added bonus of a terrace overlooking the River Kelvin and Kelvin Bridge.
To get into nature head to the Botanical Gardens, also located in this West End district of town. If the weather permits a picnic should defiantly be on the cards, if the more likely rain shows itself the glass houses are the perfect escape into a world of tropical forests, desert landscapes and dreamy floral heaven. Kibble Palace, the main glasshouse is a wonder of plant filled architecture.
In a slightly more sombre landscape, the Glasgow Necropolis is a peaceful treasure that sits just north-east of the central district and is the best place to look out over the city or simply escape for just a while.
To be completely honest I don’t know why I love this place so much, but I certainly know that is is a must visit, if not simply to see a society that embraces topping the ‘in every European city man on a horse sculptures’, with witches hat/road cone/orange cone. If that doesn’t say ‘bloody legends’ live here, then I don’t know what does.