The Complete Opposite of Edinburgh
Although Glasgow and Edinburgh, the two major cities in Scotland, are separated by a mere 46 miles, they are on opposites coasts and opposite ends of the tourist spectrum. Glasgow's roots were established in the fishing/shipping industries centered around the River Clyde, but now the city has transformed from gritty industrialism into a trendy metropolis of the arts. Glasgow has earned the labels "liberal" and "edgy" – thanks to the modernism found in art galleries and architecture. In addition to wielding the well-known Scottish dry humor, the Glaswegians are lively and friendly, and hold nothing back especially in their nightlife.
Glasgow has two mainline rail stations, both centrally located. The larger Glasgow Central services travel to Edinburgh and throughout Scotland. The First TransPennine Express takes travelers quickly to Manchester Airport and the Virgin Trains service to Birmingham and London's Euston station. The Glasgow Queen Street Station also operates trains to Edinburgh as well as trains to and from towns in rugged northern Scotland.
How about an overview of the city before setting out to see it all? The Glasgow City Sightseeing Tour takes you on board a hop-on/hop-off double decker bus. With 21 stops along this 75-minute tour, you can get off at each one or sit and watch the city go by.
Experience the Arts-and-Crafts style of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, including the Glasgow School of Art and the Glenlee Tall Ship on the River Clyde. See the historical industrial side of Glasgow in the East End. The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum houses one of Europe's great civic art collections and is one of the most popular free attractions in Scotland – not to mention the most visited museum in the UK outside of London. The 13th century Glasgow Cathedral miraculously survived the Scottish Reformation.
For a glimpse into the Glasgow life of yore, visit the well-preserved Tenement House. For over fifty years one of the first floor flats was the home of Miss Agnes Toward, who came to live there in 1911. Her life was in most respects very ordinary and it is just that which makes her story so interesting. She reminds us of people we have known: grandmothers, aunts, elderly neighbors. Her home offers a uniquely detailed insight into everyday life in the first half of the 20th century.
Oh, how she'd be surprised to see how her city has changed. The nightlife here pulsates – mostly due to those crazy college kids over at the University of Glasgow. The school, founded in 1451, is the fourth oldest in the English-speaking world and ranks among the top 100 universities in the world. Come share of a pint with students taking a studying break.
The rivalry between Edinburgh and Glasgow can be entertaining for the visitor although the locals tend to take it a bit more seriously. The bi-coastal digs happen in sports, politics, almost anything. Local Glaswegians will tell you "the best thing out of Edinburgh is the Glasgow train." With a trip taking approximately 51 minutes, use your Britrail Scottish Freedom Pass to find out for yourself after visiting Scotland's kilt loving, castle-dominating, whiskey-fueled capital.
Contributed by: Jean, Business Development; “The only way of catching a train I ever discovered is to miss the train before.” G.K. Chesterton