While most tourists to Scotland may revel in the medieval landmarks of Edinburgh, Glasgow is also not lacking in inspirational architecture and design. From converted carpet factories to lush green spaces, Glasgow should not be seen as the poor cousin of it’s Capital counterpart. And we’re 100% not bias by the fact Mark is Glaswegian.
Taking a stroll through Glasgow’s city centre, the best thing to do is look up. The city’s buildings are lined with intricate stonework and architectural details. The City Chambers, located in central George Square, is a masterpiece of gothic towers and sweeping balconies. Also, over in the west, Kelvingrove Art Gallery is a striking building and is rumoured to have been built backwards – prompting the architect to kill himself (a tad dramatic…). However, just of Glasgow Green in the east side of the city centre, you’ll find Templeton’s Carpet Factory. Now housing offices and the famous West Brewery, the building is designed so the top brickwork emulates a design one would see on a carpet. It’s caramel and terracotta appearance remains as a warm reminder of Glasgow’s manufacturing legacy.
The sculptures and statues around Glasgow are worthy of note too. We spotted a fantastic terracotta fountain in the grounds of The People’s Palace. The largest one of the last remaining large-scale terracotta installations in the world, we couldn’t get too close due to it’s fragile nature (even the water is treated with chemicals to protect the stone), but you can see life-size figures from India, South Africa, Canada and Australia, to demonstrate Glasgow’s rich heritage of trade. We love the muted colours in the statue, created by the fragile stone.
As Glasgow is hosting this year’s Commonwealth Games, there is a real buzz in the air. Many temporary art installations have been created for the event. Located in Glasgow’s answer to Trafalgar Square, The ‘People Make Glasgow’ display has been created to be interacted with. We spied this huge creation over the course of the weekend and were desperate to get a photo with it – if only it wasn’t swarmed with children and climbing on it! You can imagine our excitement when we managed to grab this amazing snap after an amazing dinner with good friends at Cafe Andaluz – read about this later in a future post!
2014 is definitely Glasgow’s year, so we can’t recommend a visit highly enough! Londoners can easily zip up on the Virgin Pendolino like us in 4 hours and 30 minutes. Direct from London Euston to Glasgow Central, it’s certainly the most convenient way to travel, but book in advance to get the best fares. However, if you’re more of a plane person, you can fly from any of London’s airports in about an hour. We’d recommend flying from London City if it’s within your budget!
We think Glasgow S’miles better,
David & Mark x