I’ve had read that Glasgow means ‘Dear Green Place’ and it’s easy to understand why, as amongst Glasgow’s spectacular Victorian and art nouveau buildings, there are 90 parks and gardens which are all open to the public.
I arrived on Thursday afternoon and was treated to a right royal dining experience at the Dakota Hotel’s restaurant, followed by a visit to The Pot Still. Well, you can’t go to Glasgow without experiencing a traditional Scottish pub. As a Sassenach, I was overawed by the staggering array of whiskeys and, after savouring a couple of wee drams, I felt strangely at home on my first night in this wonderful city.
On Friday, a little retail therapy in and around Buchanan Street, the heart of Glasgow’s Style Mile. All the major brands can be found there.
As the temperature soared on Saturday we headed for the West End. Getting around Glasgow is very easy as both the trains and subway system run like clockwork.
Jumping off the train at Glasgow Central, feeling like a wee spring chicken still fuelled by last night’s Campbeltown single malt, before hopping on to the subway, disappearing briefly under the mighty River Clyde before popping out in Glasgow’s West End.
A visit to Glasgow would not be complete without a visit to the West End where there is so much to see and do.
With the sun beating down, we headed for the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, one of the fine wide open spaces of green within the city and home to an extraordinary edifice, the Kibble Palace. This 19th Century wrought iron framed glasshouse was originally constructed in 1861 at the home of the Victorian entrepreneur, John Kibble, Coulport House in Cove on Loch Long. Kibble offered it to the Botanic Gardens where it was re-erected and extended between 1872-1873. In 2014 the Kibble Palace was restored to its former glory, re-opening to the public in November 2016 and now spectacularly displays temperate plants from all over the world.
But the icing on my Glasgow West End cake was A Play, A Pie and A Pint.
On a boiling hot north of the border day, we descended into the bowels another extraordinary building… Òran Mór.
What more do you need to know? Ahh… what happened after our pie and a pint? We saw a mini-musical, The Thinkery, written by Brian James O’Sullivan, directed by Stuart Hepburn and starring Nathan Byrne, Jimmy Chisholm, Sandra McNeeley, Tom Urie and I can tell you it was the best bloody lunchtime I have spent in years.