With the Edinburgh festival season fast approaching tourists will be pouring into Scotland’s capital in their droves.
However just a short trip down the M8 there are many cultural treats which often go ignored by those distracted by the circus of the Edinburgh shows. With stunning parks, fantastic architecture and an enticing array of free museums, Glasgow is a top cultural destination.
It is a cathedral that makes a city and Glasgow has one to behold. People have been worshipping since the land was first consecrated in 1197 and the building itself is a superb example of Scottish Gothic Architecture. The Cathedral features a number of stunning stained-glass windows including an impressive depiction of “The Creation” by Francis Spear.
Glasgow’s newest attraction is the Riverside Museum which sits as part of a new development on the Clyde. This stunning building was designed by acclaimed architect Zaha Hadid. It is a fitting location for a museum which celebrates Glasgow’s transport history including its shipbuilding heritage. Moored outside visitors can enjoy the 19th century tall ship, The Glenlee, or even take a ferry across to Govan. Inside there are cars, bikes, trams and boats from a variety of eras as well as some stunning recreations of streets from Glasgow’s past.
There are of course many more museums to explore. Located within the fashionable west end of the city is the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Recently refurbished, this museum features a wide variety of displays including dinosaur bones, paintings from the Glasgow School and even a spitfire.
A visit to The Burrell Collection takes you out of the city centre. This impressive assortment was gathered by wealthy shipping magnate William Burrell who gifted it to the city in 1944. It includes artefacts from ancient civilisations as well as art works by masters such as Cézanne and Rodin. The Burrell Collection can be found in the vast Woodlands of Pollock Country Park, previously named as the Best Park in Europe. Also in the park is House for an Art Lover built based on plans drawn up by Charles Rennie Macintosh.
For a park experience closer to the city centre, Kelvingrove Park demonstrates that Glasgow really is a dear green place. This 85 acre park sits on the River Kelvin boasts expanses of lawns, monuments and many varieties of plants. If you can’t get enough then a short walk past the stunning University of Glasgow you can find Glasgow’s Botanic Gardens. Within the impressive and vast glasshouses are plants and flowers from all around the world.
Glasgow also boasts a number of architecturally significant buildings. The Glasgow School of Art was voted by the Royal Institute of British Architects as ‘Britain’s Favourite Building of the last 175 Years’. This Macintosh building continues to operate as a working part of the art school but tours are also available. For more architecture be sure to head to the city centre where the 19th century City Chambers impose over George Square.
Throughout the city there are so many attractions, not to mention the opportunities for shopping and fine dining. Glasgow is a city with culture all year round.