An Insider's Guide to... Glasgow 6 years ago

An Insider's Guide to... Glasgow

If you’re in the mood for a pre-Christmas city break, we have just the thing.

Striking a balance between the hustle and bustle of city life and some much needed downtime isn’t always easy but Glasgow is one place you can do just that.

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The vibrant city has plenty to offer including multiple music venues, every type of restaurant imaginable and a rather impressive shopping area, otherwise known as the ‘Style Mile’.

We’ve got a few insider tips which should help you make the most of your time in Glasgow.

Making music 

Glasgow is responsible for the discovery of some notable names. Oasis were first spotted at King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut and regulars say it’s a fantastic spot for seeing new acts before they make it big. Noel Gallagher has been known to drop in for a pint so you never know who you might run into here.

If the Barrowland Ballroom could talk, it would tell some fantastic stories and it’s a must see if you’re in the mood to soak up some music history. It originally opened in 1934 and is situated right beside the Barras market, otherwise known as the Glasgow Barrowland market, where you can pick up all manner of goods. It’s instantly recognisable from the neon sign which lights up every night there's a gig on.

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Music lovers should check out the Walking Heads tour, you’ll get insider info on up and coming acts and if you're into your vinyl records, the guys on this tour can introduce you to all the best places.

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The SSE Hydro, the venue for this year’s MTV EMA awards, opened in 2013. It’s seriously cool and pretty much looks like a modern spaceship with multi-coloured lights landed in the city. No matter where you’re seated in this venue, you’ll be awestruck by the cool design and sheer size of the Hydro.

The SECC Hydro arena designed by Foster and Partners.

Inside Tip: Check out the Barrowland Park album pathway designed by Jim Lambie

Shop till you drop

We do love to shop and no city break is complete without indulging in some retail therapy. Glasgow won’t disappoint on this front, the ‘Style Mile’ includes over 1,500 shops making it the second best shopping experience in the UK (the number one spot goes to London). If you’re looking for designer names, check out Princes Square and Ingram Street while Sauchiehall Street and Buchanan Galleries house all your high street favourites.

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Inside Tip: The Mulberry shop on Ingram Street is a must for handbag obsessives

Impressive architecture

Glasgow has some architectural gems such as the city’s cathedral, the Glasgow City Chambers and a number of buildings designed by renowned artist Charles Rennie Mackintosh including the Willow Tearooms and Glasgow School of Art. We couldn’t help but be impressed by the stately buildings and towering clocks dotted around the city. A weekend really isn’t enough to see everything which is why Glasgow is a destination people return to again and again.

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Inside Tip: Count the clocks…there are a lot!

The lovely Loch

While cities are great for shopping, gigs and nightlife there’s a lot to be said for R&R too. If you don’t fit in some rest and relaxation, then the chances are you’ll return from your break feeling worse than ever. We’ve found a way to rectify that though and believe us when we say, it’s a little piece of heaven. A forty minute drive from Glasgow, Loch Lomond is a peaceful haven of calm.

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LOCH LOMOND, ARGYLL.

As soon as we arrived at Cameron House, the sight of the loch and its majestic surroundings had us wishing we could extend our stay for a considerable amount of time. Stunning views, walking trails, an impressive golf course, mouth-watering food and spa facilities… we’re already planning our next visit.

Inside Tip: The Moёt bar in the Cameron Grill is the epitome of luxury

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Once in a lifetime

It’s not every holiday option that can provide you with a ride on a seaplane. Take off from the grounds of Cameron House and you’ll be provided with stunning views of the loch. Minutes later, you’ll see Glasgow from the air with your pilot pointing out the city’s various landmarks. Taking off and landing from the water is a little different to your standard flight and it’s definitely something to tick off the bucket list.

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Inside Tip: Remember to charge your phone, there are some amazing photo opportunities

Ease of travel

As fun as they sound, city breaks aren’t the easiest things in the world to organise when there’s a million and one other priorities on your to-do list. The great news is a flight from Dublin to Glasgow will only take you an hour and Glasgow airport is a 15-20 minute taxi/ 25 minute bus journey from the city centre. This means you'll be there and back in next to no time, now what’s not to like about that?!

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Inside Tip: Booking in advance means cheaper flights but watch out for last minute deals too

If you need more details before planning your trip, the Visit Scotland website is a mine of information.