Tips from the Locals: Glasgow & Clyde Valley

Glasgow brims with character and style, spilling into its streets and etched into its buildings.  Vibrant, cosmopolitan, rich in historic treasures and beautiful architecture… and this summer home to the Commonwealth Games 2014.  As well as a host of treasures to discover in the city itself, Glasgow’s central location makes it easy to pack many more wonderful Scottish sights into your holiday suitcase.

As well as asking our holiday home owners for their suggestions on exploring Glasgow and the surrounding areas, we also invited photo blogger Dougie Baird and official #Team14 blogger Susanne Arbuckle to share their favourite hidden gem tips.


People that visit Glasgow love our museums, such as Kelvingrove Art Gallery, the Riverside Transport Museum and the super Science Museum.  They are wonderful places to visit when the weather’s not too kind but I would like to tell you about one my favourite museums – the Hunterian Museum.  The Hunterian, the oldest public museum in Scotland, is situated in Glasgow University, in the West End of the city close to Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

In 1783 William Hunter left his wonderful collections to our city’s university.  The museum first opened in 1807, in a specially built building off the High Street in the East End, adjoining the original campus of the university.  When the university moved west to its new site at Gilmorehill the museum moved too.  In 1870, the Hunterian collections were transferred to the Glasgow University’s present site and assigned halls in Sir George Gilbert Scott’s special building.

The newly opened Roman Scotland (The Antonine Wall) exhibition is wonderful, painting a picture of Scotland during Roman times.  It’s very interesting to see all the different items saved from so long ago. ~ Dougie Baird, owner of Great Travel Pictures.

Hunterian Museum by Dougie Baird

Hunterian Museum. Photo credit Dougie Baird ©

'The Antonine Wall: Rome's Final Frontier', exhibition at the Hunterian Museum. Photo credit Dougie Baird ©

‘The Antonine Wall: Rome’s Final Frontier’, exhibition at the Hunterian Museum. Photo credit Dougie Baird ©

To really understand Glasgow a boat trip on the River Clyde is a must.  See the city from the river that helped it grow from a small rural settlement to major industrial city thanks to transatlantic trade and shipbuilding.

For a birds-eye view over Glasgow head to one of these vantage points where you will be rewarded with vistas over the architectural rooftops to the surrounding hills.  The flagpole viewing platform at Queens Park on the southside and the Necropolis cemetery next to Glasgow Cathedral are wonderful viewpoints. ~ Susanne Arbuckle, Adventures Around Scotland

I was at the Kelvingrove Museum in April with my family and we really enjoyed the free organ recital at 1pm in the entrance hall.  It was lovely to stand there surrounded by works of art by Dali, Turner, The Glasgow Boys and enjoy some inspirational playing.  Check out the mirrors strategically placed to view the organists’ aerobic feet! ~ Gina FrancisTomich Holiday Cottages

Kelvingrove Glasgow

Kelvingrove Museum

Make sure you visit The Lighthouse, the stylish centre for Design and Architecture. The Viewing Platform offers stunning views of the city.  Current exhibitions include The Legacy of the XX Commonwealth Games.  ~ David Smythe, Cloag Farm Cottages

A trip to Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast is only just over an hour from Glasgow, and the drive is beautiful, looking across to Ailsa Craig.  The hidden gem is the Electric Brae.  Located on the A719 south of Ayr on the way to Culzean, it still amazes me and I am an engineer.  If you don’t know it, you have to experience it.  Your car in neutral looks like it is rolling uphill (but is on a decline).  It totally confounds visitors and Culzean is amazing as well.  ~ Alan Macdonald, Glasgow Green Apartments

Explore the Carmichael Estate, including a ruined castle site, as depicted on an 18th century map.  The Visitor Centre Farm Shop has the original map on display as well as information on these history walks. ~ Richard Carmichael, Carmichael Country Cottages


What hidden gems have you discovered in and around Glasgow?  Leave us a comment below.

For more ideas on exploring the surrounding areas, take a look at our 5 day trips from Glasgow.


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