On our Glasgow city tour we take you from east to west and back again, visiting the most memorable and iconic areas and buildings of this beautiful Victorian city.
We start our Glasgow city tour at Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis which are situated at the eastern side of the city centre adjacent to the Strathclyde University campus. The cathedral itself is one of the best examples of medieval religious architecture in Scotland. The Necropolis which sits behind the cathedral itself, offers fantastic views of the city as well as grand monuments and crypts. Opened in 1833 it was the first of it’s kind in Britain and was modelled on Paris’s famous Pére Lachaise. Adjacent to both the Cathedral and the Necropolis is the Glasgow Museum of Religious Life and Art and also Provans Lordship which is the oldest building in Glasgow dating back to 1471.
Moving in to the centre of town we visit George Square the city’s main civic area and home to the beautiful City Chambers designed by William Young in 1882. The chambers were built to house the city fathers and council leaders and a tour of the building can be organised. Around the square are various monuments to famous Scot’s such as Sir Walter Scott, the engineering pioneer James Watt and the national bard Robert Burns.
Close by to George Square is Royal Exchange Square which is home to the Gallery of Modern Art and the Wellington Statue with the iconic traffic cone on his head in Glasgow tradition. There is also world classing shopping here with high end retail and boutique outlets in both Buchanan Street and Ingram Street.
Moving again west we can travel up Bath Street where there are several buildings by Alexander “Greek” Thomson who was another famous and visionary Glasgow architect from the Victorian era. Next stop is the Willow Tearooms which is one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s signature buildings dating from 1904. Close by is the second Mackintosh masterpiece the Glasgow School of Art with it’s ingenious design. This world famous building was tragically damaged by a fire in 2014 but is currently being painstakingly restored.
Kelvingrove park and the adjacent Kelvingrove Museum dominate the west end of the city along with the grand old buildings of Glasgow University. The beautiful park on the banks of the river Kelvin is lovely to wander through before a visit to the museum which has been Scotland’s most popular free-to-enter visitor attraction since it’s refurbishment in 2003. The museum holds one of Europes great civic art collections including works by Salvador Dali as well as pieces by the Old Masters, the French Impressionists, Dutch Renaissance and Scottish Colourists.
Next stop is the recipient of the “2013 European Museum of the Year Award”, the Riverside Museum, which also houses the Glasgow Museum of Transport. The museum is located on the former site of the A. & J. Inglis shipyard on the north bank of the river Clyde, with it’s rich heritage of shipbuilding since the 1800’s. Moored alongside the museum is the SV Glenlee also known as the Tall Ship. This steel hulled, three masted ship, was built for Glasgow owners in 1896 as a cargo ship and also served as a sail training ship in the Spanish Navy.
Heading east back towards the city centre we come to the Glasgow Science Centre on the south bank of the river. The science centre is one of Britain’s most popular visitor attractions and features the Science Mall and also an IMAX cinema. The iconic SSE Hydro concert venue is also located close to here, as well as the headquarters of BBC Scotland in the media quarter.
The final stops on the tour can include a trip to Glasgow Central train station which opened in 1879. The famous victorian structure is a category A listed building and features many unique architectural features. There are now sightseeing tours of the station available which can be booked in advance. A little bit east further along the river we reach the huge expanse of Glasgow Green which is the oldest park in the city, running alongside the River Clyde, and home to the Peoples Palace, a beautiful social history museum. The Winter Garden adjoining the museum is a fantastic glass structured botanical garden perfect for relaxing in, in all weathers. Also located close to here on the Green is the Doulton Fountain and the needle shaped Nelson’s Monument, which was the first civic monument in the UK to commemorate Nelson’s victories.
With all that sightseeing we expect you will be in need of a refreshment, so we recommend you finish your Glasgow city tour at the West Brewery and Beer Company, which is located in the old Templeton Carpet Factory, a beautifully refurbished and colourful former industrial building. The building now houses one of Glasgow’s foremost beer brands, West Beer, who brew their delicious range of ales on the premises and offer tours and tastings.