Guiding Guests Around Glasgow
British summertime is often unpredictable, but if there’s one constant, its that this is usually the time of year when friends and family decide to come and visit, and if you’re like me, I often find myself transitioning from PhD student to Glaswegian Tour Guide. Of course summertime is a great time to visit Glasgow, as with the improved weather, there’s a real explosion of events around the city to experience. So whether you have visitors or simply want to use the summer to explore Glasgow, here are a few places and events you may like to consider.
Glasgow West End Festival
Celebrating its 23rd year, the West End Festival takes place throughout June and hosts an enormous variety of events that include exhibitions, performances, workshops, guided walks, music and more. The events take place at various sites in the popular West End and most are free and many are child-friendly . This year’s festival is set to host an enormous 350 events at 75 various sites across the West End so there’s sure to be something to pique your interest. Head over to the West End Festival website and see what‘s going on for the rest of the month.
Celebrating 4 decades of gaming, GamesMania is an event that gives you access to 150 gaming platforms, including PCs, consoles, old-school arcade machines, and modern VR technology. Visitors will be able to play various titles across these different platforms such as Halo, Mario, Minecraft, Space Raider,s and Pong, to name just a few. As well as providing entertainment through gaming, the event also allows participants to learn a little programming so they can get a better idea of what goes on behind the ‘screens’ of the games they love to play. The event takes place everyday at the Glasgow Science Centre from June 27th through to July 16th. This is a paid event and tickets will cost either £8 to attend the event during the day for a 90 minute session or £15 to attend the 3 hour adult only sessions held at night. More information can be found on the Glasgow Science Centre website.
The Tall Ship
Built in 1896, the Tall Ship SV Glenlee worked as a cargo ship for 20 years and circumnavigated the globe four times within its working life. Now it functions as an accredited museum and welcomes visitors of all ages to come and explore its decks. The ship is open all year round and provides a variety of events and activities as well as talks and tours. There is a modern lift installed so the ship is also entirely accessible to wheelchairs and those with mobility challenges. The ship is free to enter for individuals and families but larger groups (larger than 8) are required to book in advance.
Of the many architectural landmarks in Glasgow, few are as iconic as Glasgow Cathedral. This medieval Cathedral was constructed between the 13 – 15th centuries and marks the birthplace of the city that has grown up around it. Often noted for its breathtaking stone carvings, arches and stained glass windows, this gothic masterpiece is a must see. After you’ve enjoyed the inspiring architecture of St Kentigern’s tomb (St Mungo is is in the crypt too - patron saint of Glasgow) or Blackadder’s aisle ceiling within the Cathedral, take a step outside and continue your architectural journey through the ages as you wander through the Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery located adjacent to the cathedral. You can also book tours with guides that will tell you many interesting facts and stories about the Cathedral and Necropolis.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is another great (and free!) place to visit all year round but it’s also a great choice for those rainy summer days when you’re looking for something to do indoors. The museum itself stands as a testament to the wonderful architecture that you’ll find throughout Glasgow. Inside, there are various exhibitions and art galleries to cater for a variety of interests, so it’s easy to spend a lot of time here wandering around and taking everything in. The exhibits include natural history, ancient Egypt and arms and armour with artwork from artists such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, and Salvador Dali also on display. The organ displayed in the main hall is also a sight to behold - and not just a relic that gathers dust - every day at 1 pm (Sunday at 3pm) there are free organ recitals for all to hear. Also the 150th celebration of Charles Renee Macintosh is there all summer (fee for entry).
So here’s a few ideas of places/events to visit this summer to get you started. What are some other places that you like to take visitors when they visit Glasgow? Comment below or tweet us @UofG_PGRblog.