Me and my fiancée had loved our little trip away to Edinburgh, we fancied a break before 2 become 3 and had heard good things about Glasgow. EasyJet and a nice cheap air bnb bolstered the decision. It was off to the second city of the empire where we hoped the temperature wouldn’t drop too much especially after the beating our fair isles suffered from the recent Beast from the East savaging.
It was expectedly cold in Glasgow, but not unbearable just plenty of times we were blasted by cold winds especially as we walked up Duke Street, which ain’t short, to Denistoun ( a trendy east-end district just past the Tennent’s brewery ) to our air bnb.
Without a doubt air bnb was a great choice and great value, the cost of a decent room for 4 nights cost less than a budget hotel. Firstly we ended up in a part of the city that has some great bars, restaurants and one of the best burger joints in Glasgow. But also for the price we got a great big room, a shared living room with several comfy sofas and a kitchen which included free cereal and condiments but also meant not all meals had to come from a menu.
From our building with it’s secure push button code access door, cold tiled corridor and three storey climb we could look down onto the street and people watch, one early morning getting a near perfect aerial view of a giant pavement penis someone had drawn in the snow outside someone’s front door. On the corner of a street was a busy Italian restaurant which we had to try on the first night. Although haggis lovers may sniff at this, I ordered the pizza Scozzese haggis and black pudding pizza. You wouldn’t eat it often, but the flavours really grew on me.
Not far from Dennistoun is the magnificent Glasgow cathedral, steeped in history both fascinating and foreboding, you step into the same tranquility and calm of an untouched tomb. Everywhere there was something interesting to lay eyes on and plenty to explore, definitely a lot to learn. Over the bridge and unmissable was the necropolis where a mere 50,000 people have been laid to rest, there is a calm in such a place you only really feel where the deceased are laid to rest, walking around beautiful grave stones and statues dedicated to loved ones, it was humbling and such a privileged view of the city.
Glasgow has some amazing museums! We walked through the modern art gallery where you pondered just what a huge plant pot in a huge barrel with a bucket on a nearby shelf linked by what I recall as rope ( and am probably wrong ) , meant! There’s the Kelvingrove museum that covers everything from art to animal, down by the Clyde the river station museum is like a giant’s toy box packed full of steam engines, buses, model streets, the walls lined with shelf upon shelf of motor vehicle. The people’s palace , another museum that really must be visited has enough local information crammed into several floors that help gain more insight into Glasgow but just to add an unneeded but much welcomed sweetener it also has a mammoth green house with an impressive range of exotic plants , even if you do very little just strolling amongst that kind of greenery feels good for the soul. Then there is the lighthouse where you can test your mettle climbing up the steep tower for impressive city views. All those places will set you back whatever you wish to donate , free to all.
We also found Glasgow really friendly, you never felt particularly uneasy anywhere in the city , of course we didn’t venture anywhere obviously rough and I don’t doubt parts of the city aren’t great, but the general feel of the place and the people was great.
When it came to bars there were loads of decent places to try out a caledonian rare red, coffee stout or the humble pint of tenants, it’s small effort to find somewhere that suits your mood. As it was St Patricks day and the 6 nations England v Ireland ( who had already won anyways ) was playing we had to find somewhere to catch the match and fell upon the shilling brewing company where a huge bar area , I’d estimate 3 storeys high , boasted a large projection of the match minus the sound so it didn’t dominate the atmosphere, behind the bar huge beer barrels tilted my perception of the place as unintentionally steam punk-ish, the brews themselves pretty damn tasty. We visited quite a few different bars , Redmonds in Dennistoun being my personal favourite but Glasgow’s bars are ace, you just can’t struggle to find a quality boozer or craft ale bar.
Travelling around the city felt effortless with one of the most efficient tube systems in the world, but to walk from the east to the west-end helps give some perspective on the size of the city and the west-end has some glorious parks overlooked by fairy-tale towers.
A definite recommendation is the quaint Ashton Lane a cobbled street where as the evening draws in fairy lights twinkle above adding a little magic to the place. Hosting several bars and restaurants one of which is the highly recommended ubiquitous chip a gorgeous little pub, a brasserie and a beautiful restaurant chock full of greenery and a fish pond. The food was really really good , but then you wouldn’t have such an amazing venue and not get your dining experience on offer to match, we both had the haggis lunch special with it’s unique meaty creaminess this time with a strong peppery kick washed down with a Scottish ale, it was actually our last meal of our little trip and UC was the perfect finish to a memorable city break.
Glasgow rocks and four days gave us a nice little intro to the city, but I’d quite like to return as I regret not getting out to the nearby Lock Lomond or doing some kind of training like one of the cities Saturday morning parkruns to help earn a hearty plates of food in the evening.
It’s true what they say , Edinburgh can be done in a day Glasgow has way more to offer, but I’ll be wanting to revisit both places again soon, Scotland is a great country.