A short trip to Scotland three years ago left me wanting to see more, so I was pretty excited about getting back for another visit. Glasgow, the first of three stops in this amazing country, did not disappoint! Two days just wasn’t enough in this walk friendly city brimming with architecture, art, music, and shopping! Lesson learned… However, two-ish days were all we had, so we wasted no time making the most of them!
Our first afternoon, spent wandering aimlessly in the main part of town, gave us a sense of what to expect… We really enjoyed the architecture and window-shopping on Buchanan Street.
Glasgow School of Art
Tim was really exited to visit the Glasgow School of Art, which was founded in 1845 and is internationally recognized as one of Europe’s leading visual art schools. A fan of architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh he was most interested in seeing the school’s famous Mackintosh Building. However, a fire, set accidentally, during the 2015 end of term exhibition caused extensive damage and the building is currently closed for renovations.
The school does offer various walking tours and our guide, a current student, did a great job! We not only learned about the history of the school, the Mackintosh Building, and other Mackintosh works around town, but we viewed a collection of Mackintosh furniture as well. The Mackintosh building may be closed, but we did get an opportunity to visit the new Steven Holl building where we were able to view current student exhibitions of both fashion and jewelry.
Of course we had to visit the gift shop, which was filled with many lovely items all created by past and current students of the school. Elliot really enjoyed the children’s activities provided by the museum.
Having learned about Glasgow’s tea rooms during our tour of the Glasgow School of Art we decided to visit the Willow Tea Room located on Sachiehall Street. We enjoyed our traditional afternoon tea, cocoa, and for Simon, haggis surrounded by early 20th century decor.
Once our bellies were full with tea and cakes we wandered toward George Square, named after King George III, it is home to an impressive amount of statues as well as the city council’s headquarters. This is a lovely spot to stop and rest, or feed the many birds.
Glasgow’s Mural Trail!
A happy accident, we discovered Glasgow’s Mural trail on the way to our next destination! The trail, a series of paintings in just about every style imaginable, was created to reduce the negative impact of an economic downturn and to help bring new life and visitors to the city center. You’ll find these amazing works of art on the side and front of buildings both occupied and vacant. These are just a few of the many amazing pieces of street art on display! If you’re interested in the Mural Trail there is a handy map available and if you’re not up for walking bicycle rentals are always a fun option!
Hoping to capture a few great photos of Glasgow, we visited the Necropolis, a Victorian era cemetery located on a hill just east of the Glasgow Cathedral. Not only did we enjoy sweeping views of the city, but the Cathedral as well. We were fascinated by all the monuments, memorials and graves.
These are just a few of the 3100 monuments in the Necropolis, but there are as many as 50,000 individuals buried there!
We spent so much time wandering in the Necropolis the Cathedral closed before we could get in, but I really wanted to see it, so we decided on a morning visit on our way out of town. I’m so glad we made time! The details in the stonework and stained glass windows are stunning and if you have time I highly recommend it. Built in the 1200s it is the only medieval cathedral in Scotland to have survived the Protestant Reformation virtually unscathed.
We’ve Only Just Scratched The Surface…
Beyond the above sights, we wandered in Merchant City, enjoyed a number of memorable meals and even found time for a bit of relaxation in our hotel bar. I know that we barely scratched the surface of this lovely city and I hope to find my way back someday…
Blythswood Square Hotel
Our hotel, the Blythswood Square, was just a short walk from Buchanan Street and the Glasgow School of Art. The building had at one time been an automobile club, so was decorated with many car inspired accents. The perfect place for my automobile loving husband! The common areas were lovely and the service friendly.
The rooms, though not spacious were nice, with the exception of the bathroom, which was quite large and had an unusual opening into the sleeping area.
Like so many European hotel rooms the plug for the hair dryer was nowhere near the bathroom mirror and instead was located just next to the bed with an awkwardly placed mirror. I will say that the dryer was quality and the products, Neal’s Yard were nice!
My hilarystyle rating for Blythswood Square is:
Take me with you!