I lived in Glasgow for four years; for three of those years my life was pretty much contained in what I called ‘The Golden Square’. Everything I needed was within the square mile between University Avenue, Byres Road, Great Western Road and Otago Street- my entire life in a West End bubble. And if you’re planning a trip to Glasgow, I’d say that it’s a good place to start.
Go for breakfast at Left Bank, Gibson Street and then wander along to Voltaire & Rousseau- a beautiful unique secondhand bookshop, next door to T’chai Ovna (which I been told has changed quite a bit and is no longer the bohemian retreat I once knew) then stroll up university avenue and take in Glasgow University in all its historic, Harry Potter esque glory. Pop into the Huntarian Museum and learn a thing or two, see the super old staircase and acknowledge Kelvins home- the first house to be lit with electricity, before wandering further along until you come to university gardens.
Go past the vagina statue then take the stairs down by the QMU (the student union for both sexes to counter the misogynistic male only GU- even in the 1980s about 30% of the board voted against letting women in- boo!) You’ll end up on the very lovely Ashton Lane (good for food, cinema and cocktails), keep on the cobbles and carry on to Cresswell Lane with some really cute shops including my favourite Nancy Smile. Take a right out of Cresswell Lane onto Byres Road. If you’re thirsty pop into Hillhead Bookclub and sup on £2 strawberry mojitos while you play table tennis and vintage video games. Once you’re tired of being a hipster- carry up Byres Road to the Botanic Gardens. There’s a Venus fly trap, fish and an amazing tropical greenhouse. Pose for photos under the palms and then get ready to brace yourself for the Glasgow weather again.
If you like whisky pop into the converted church on the corner by the gardens-but if not carry down Byres Road. Hungry? Plenty of places to eat, whatever you fancy. Call in at Hillhead subway station and admire Glasgow artist and authors epic mural. You’ll end up on Dumbarton Road, follow it to the right and onto Argyll Street and continue til you get to the magnificent Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Go in, enjoy. It’s brilliant. Play spot the Haggis.
Then grab an uber back to your hotel. Need a recommendation code for a free ride? Let me know?
I recommend dinner at the centre for contemporary arts (book in advance) and then cocktails at Gin71. (I’ve not been but I’ve heard good things).
So that would be my perfect day.
- The Transport Museum
- The Burrell Collection
- Glasgow Necropolis
- Glasgow Green/ People’s Palace
- Loch Lomond
- Pollock Park