homeScotland > Glasgow travel guide
Glasgow guide
Traveler café 
Travel directory
Last updated : Nov 2009
Glasgow Travel Guide
Glasgow Travel Guide and Glasgow Travel Information -
‘Heart of the ancient celtic kingdom’

Glasgow has seen more changes in the past twenty years than almost any other British city. From a declining industrial centre with pessimism about its future, Glasgow has been transformed into a forward-looking city and one of the hippest cities in Europe. There has always been an enormous sense of pride in the Glasgow’s history – the list of inventors, engineers, writers and architects of the 19th and 20th centuries were part of the driving force of industrialisation, tamed by progressive values in the ‘second city’ of the British Kingdom.

With ports on the Clyde providing access to the Irish Sea, Glasgow was an important shipbuilding centre and well known for large engineering works, where the locomotives of the nation were produced. Its former wealth can still be seen in the architecture of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson and the Art Nouveau style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. During the 19th century, the grid of the centre streets was laid out to the west of the Merchant City, whose mansions had been commissioned by industrial barons in the previous century. The West End – the area surrounding the hill, where the University of Glasgow sits – is separated from the commercial centre by the Kelvin River and the expanse of Kelvingrove Park.

In the post-war period, the city suffered a decline and the population halved from its peak of 1.1 million in 1939. Bleak council estates in the city suburbs, poverty and widespread unemployment led to problems with the razor gangs and a general malaise in the city. In recent years, Glasgow has picked up and there seems to be a spring in its step. The city is turning its economic fortunes around, as heavy industry gives way to technology, with call centres, financial services and information technology. The driving forces of this revolution have been the cultural and artistic fields. Scottish film, writing, theatre, music and design are all pushing boundaries and capturing worldwide attention. The opening of the Burrell Collection in 1983 – with an art collection gifted by a shipping magnate – inspired the growth of a thriving museum and gallery scene that has helped push Glasgow into becoming a top tourist destination.

With a world-class art gallery and excellent museums as a starting point, Glasgow was chosen as a European city of culture in 1990. From here on, the various strands of its post-industrial economy and burgeoning cultural sector, combined with a large student population, have given the city a youthful, progressive character. For visitors that tire of the city’s delights, there is easy access to some of Scotland’s beautiful mountains, glens, lochs and unspoilt coastline. Loch Lomond, for instance, is only 32km or 20 miles away.

The city’s northern latitude means that although summer days are long and light, the weather can be unpredictable throughout the year and tends to be particularly cold and wet in winter.
Useful travel links
Official tourism website for Glasgow
Official website for Scottish Tourism