fbpx

Our city guide to Glasgow

Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow is a thriving urban centre home to the hallmarks of a rugged history of trade and industry whilst remaining at the fore-front of modern Scottish culture. Awarded European City of Culture in 1990 the accolade is testament to this unique city’s diverse appeal.

Straddling the banks of the river Clyde, Glasgow owes its fortunes to its waters having boomed both as a trade centre (most notably of tobacco) in the 1600 and 1700s and again later as a result of shipbuilding at the turn of the twentieth century and throughout the industrial revolution. The result is that Glasgow remains today Scotland’s most populous city and is home to a wealth of culture and contrasting architectures, including the distinct design of Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Glasgow city centre is dominated by the glorious Victorian era George Square home to a procession of opulent statues and flanked on the East side by the glorious facade of the city chambers.

The city does hold some older history however, exemplified in the Cathedral quarter where the 12th century St Mungoes Cathedral and St Mungoes Museum of Religious Life both offer intriguing visits. The labyrinth of alleys winding up the hill through the eerie Necrolpolis behind the cathedral will take you to a stunning vantage point from where to appreciate views over the city on a clear day.

The more affluent West End of Glasgow is an absolute “must” for visitors to the city. Here the wide streets are lined by grandiose Georgian town-houses and a bustle of shops, cafes, bars and restaurants along Byres road and the alleys nearby. The area is home to Glasgow’s Victorian botanical gardens but centres around the glorious architecture of Glasgow University whose gothic tower overlooks the greens and pathways of Kelvingrove Park. The renowned Kelvingrove Museum itself plays host a stunning array of artefacts and artworks from all over the world alongside a range of exhibitions.

The Clyde has always played an important role in Glasgow life and continues to do so today, home as it is to a number of cultural highlights from the traditional People’s Palace in the East to the ultra modern developments at the Glasgow Science Centre and The Riverside Museum: Museum of Travel and Transport which is now also home to The Tall Ship which sits on the waters.

Glasgow is Scotland’s primary commercial centre and Britain’s second largest outside of London and therefore offers a galaxy of shopping options from international brands along Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Street and in the larger shopping centres to a clutch of independent boutiques housed in the old trading buildings in the up-and-coming Merchant City area which is also home to cafes, restaurants and bars.

On the outskirts of the city you continue to find cultural gems; learn how Whisky is made at the Auchentoshan distillery (or Glengoyne distillery just north of the city) and experience a world class museum and exhibitions at the Burrell Collection to the south. Around 40mins south in the depths of the Clyde Valley, you’ll find the World Heritage Site at New Lanark.

Offering the best shopping and nightlife in Scotland as well as modern exhibitions and development along the banks of the Clyde, Glasgow is also home to traditional and unique architecture, world renowned museums and some Scottish icons.

Related Guides

Relevant Tours

Tours of Scotland - Edinburgh Castle

Travelling by train explore central Scotland and three of her iconic cities; uncover stark contrasts as you uncover the dynamic urban centre of Glasgow and the historic charm of Stirling not to mention the nation’s famous capital in Edinburgh.

Tours of Scotland

A Driving Tour to Skye – Our Skye and the Highlands tour does what it says on the tin offering an itinerary which takes you away from the bustling cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the remote wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. Experience the enigmatic scenery of Glencoe Valley, Scotland’s West Coast and the majestic isle of Skye. Then onwards along the Great Glen to the capital of the Highlands itself! Along the way you’ll see sparkling lochs and ancient castles, the perfect Highland escape.

England Tours - Stonehenge

The British Journey tour is a Britain driving tour that takes you on an expedition from the capital of Scotland to the capital of England touching upon Wales and enjoying a wealth of cultural highlights along the way. Explore Scotland’s “Highlands in miniature” and the historic city of Edinburgh before passing south through the inspiring landscapes of the Lake District, Cotswolds and Wye Valley to glorious historic cities including Chester, Cardiff, Stratford upon Avon and Bath. Your trip ends in the thriving metropolis of London.

Scotland Tours Loch Awe

An Orkney Coach Tour -  Enjoy a journey through majestic Highland scenery and explore Scotland's remote islands on this comprehensive tour of Scotland. Experience the tranquillity of the Isle of Skye, the undiscovered wilderness of the Isle of Bute, the dramatic landscapes of the Northern Highlands and the ancient pre-history of the Isle of Orkney, not to mention the beautiful city of Edinburgh.

Tours of Scotland Inverness

Ride the scenic Scottish rail routes through the heart of the nation to the stunning Highlands and back again taking in some of Scotland's most visited heritage towns and cities along the way.  The Heart of Scotland tour takes you from the Grampian Highlands and the Cairngorm National Park to Stirling, Inverness and the beautiful capital of Edinburgh.

  Improved Itinerary  
England Tours of Oxford

A Great Britain driving tour - experience all that is great about Britain on the ultimate tour of England, Scotland and Wales. See it all, from the thriving capital cities of London, Edinburgh and Cardiff to the remote Scottish Highlands, tranquil Lake District an d spectacular Snowdonia National Park. Along the way you’ll experience diverse cultures and histories and see world-famous landmarks including Stonehenge, the Roman Baths, Cardiff Castle, the Cotswolds, Hadrian’s Wall, Loch Ness and Edinburgh Castle.

Scotland Rail Tours Glenfinnan

Experience some of Britain's most spectacular and scenic rail journeys as you explore Scotland and the Highlands by train.  Cross the Glenfinnan viaduct on the famous West Highland way and visit famous destinations including the Isle of Skye, Inverness and the capital city of Edinburgh.

Tour of York England

Discover English and Scottish landscapes and heritage on this rail journey through two great nations. Taking you from vibrant London to romantic Edinburgh and a host of English and Scottish towns and cities on route, you'll also enjoy the British countryside at its most majestic.

  Improved Itinerary  
Scotland Tours Loch Awe

One of our best Scotland Driving Tours – Scotland Explorer offers a comprehensive itinerary taking you on a journey to the corners of this beautiful nation; see Scotland from the bustling cultural and historic cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the expansive wilderness of the Scottish Highlands. From the rugged beauty of the West coast and Isle of Skye to the cultural sites of the East Coast and Aberdeenshire. Along the way see sparkling lochs, towering mountain ranges, ancient castle ruins, and whisky distilleries – a truly Scottish experience.

  New for 2020  
Scotland Tours - Isle of Skye

A Scottish Isles Driving Tour – Take the road to the isles along Scotland’s stunning West Coast to explore the beautiful inner Hebridean islands of Skye and Mull.  On these secluded Scottish islands, you’ll enjoy spectacular natural beauty - pass dramatic mountain ranges, see sparkling lochs and experience an abundance of wildlife on land and in the coastal waters. Skye and Mull are also peppered with unique archaeological features and intriguing historic sites just waiting to be explored.

Castle Tours - Blenheim Palace

A Britain Castle Tour - Indulge in the history and heritage of England, Scotland and Wales by day and see its character reflected in your unique and distinguished accommodation each night on this deluxe tour of Britain. With your overnight accommodation in quality castle or manor house hotels, your tour will take you through the elegant cities of York, Bath, Oxford and Edinburgh as well as the natural beauty of the Cotswolds, the Yorkshire Moors, the Scottish Lowlands and the mountains of Snowdonia.

A Brief Scotland Tour - Enjoy a flavour of Scotland visiting the principal cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow and a night in the enchanting Scottish Highlands. Along the way you'll experience the highlights of Scottish history, heritage and natural beauty -  you’ll enjoy a loch cruise, sample single malt whisky at a Highland distillery and indulge in a traditional Scottish night of food, music and dance.

Coach Tours of Scotland

Scottish Highlands Coach Tour - Enjoy this leisurely trip of Scotland which focusses on the spectacular history, culture and scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Discover a host of iconic and lesser known Scottish castles, the seats of royalty and ancient clans, cruise on misty lochs and take a stunning highland rail journey. The leisurely pace offers stays of a minimum of two nights in each location.

  New for 2020  
Scottish Islands Tour

A Scottish Islands Coach Tour - A truly unique experience, venture off the beaten track on this journey of discovery to Scotland's enchanting Western Isles. The Outer Hebrides lie on the edge of the Atlantic Ocean and are home to some of Britain's most remote communities, wildest landscapes and an ancient Gaelic culture. Our journey will take us from the bright lights of Glasgow and Edinburgh and to the wilderness of no fewer than six of Scotland's remote islands including Barra, Benbecula, Lewis and Harris.

Scotland Toura - Scottish Dancing

A Scotland Coach Tour - Experience the Scottish Highlands and the heart of Scotland on this eight day journey through this small but characterful country. From the cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow to the remote Isle of Skye, Loch Ness, the Cairngorms and central Scotland, you'll see ancient clan seats, baronial manors, remote castles, royal palaces, ancient battlefields, malt distilleries and the spiritual home of golf.

Tours of England - Liverpool

A driving tour of England and Scotland - indulge in a unique trip taking in two of Britain’s most unique nations.  Your self-drive vacation will take you through the rural landscapes of England and Scotland before returning your vehicle in Edinburgh and returning to London by rail. The trip will take in the beautiful landscapes of the Cotswolds, Yorkshire, Lake District and Scottish Highlands not to mention a host of elegant cities including York, Glasgow, Edinburgh and London.

Contact us