Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Glasgow by bus

The other day, we took an open top bus tour around Glasgow. It was fun. The weather was great, too. I took lots of (blurred) photos but mostly missed the major landmarks. I didn't take photos for the first part because it took ages to sort out various children's earphone problems. The audio tour is good and available in many languages, plus a version for kids (ghoulish Glasgow).

We got on the bus at the Hyndland Rd stop, which is conveniently located for us. I am not entirely sure why the bus stops there, as there is nothing of notice to explore other than residential neighbourhoods. We took our earphone sets and made our way to the top of the bus. I am not too keen on riding on the top due to feeling travel sick but I was overruled democratically by the children. The bus took us from Hyndland Rd down Byres Rd and onto Sauchiehall Street, past the Kelvingrove Museum into town. Sauchiehall Street is one of my favourite roads in town, it is very diverse, hotels on one end, then leafy and no doubt expensive houses, followed by a stretch of bars and clubs before ending in the pedestrianized shopping zone. 

The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Galleries

Tenement houses along Sauchiehall Street

past the leafy expensive houses

passing Charing Cross

bar and clubs

view down the pedestrian zone before turning left

past the GFT (where you can see cool films other than blockbusters)

and Queen Street Station

onto George Square. These are the City Chambers.

anti pigeon spikes on George Square

On George Square, we stopped for a wee while and then we went up a steep hill towards the east end of town past the cathedral, the necropolis and the Tennants brewery (no photos, earphone problems).
From there the bus drove towards the Merchant City and back out east to Glasgow Green. 

Glasgow coat of arms (stylized)

a glimpse of the cathedral

towards the Merchant City

the back of City Halls on Candleriggs

down Candleriggs past the City Merchant restaurant (the only time I vomited during either of my pregnancies was in there)

down High Street towards Tolbooth Steeple

Tolbooth Steeple

into Saltmarket (never far from a pawnbroker)
the old Templeton carpet factory (now a business centre) on Glasgow Green. On the very left is WEST, where you can get really nice German pretzels.

Glasgow People's Palace and the winter gardens on Glasgow Green. People's Palace is a good place to find out about living in Glasgow now and then

I decided (not very democratically) to alight there and go for a spot of lunch and a play at the adventure playground. We had a fresh salted pretzels and chips for our lunch. I also enjoyed a sneaky half pint of beer. I felt that I deserved it. I was a bit frazzled because of children's earphone problems. After a while of exploring the big shoots on the playground, we wandered back to the bus for the second half of the tour. 

From Glasgow Green we drove back towards the city centre past St. Enoch Square shopping centre through parts of town that I didn't know very well. We passed some fairly impressive old and new buildings on our way to the part of Glasgow that is known as Glasgow Harbour.

St. Enoch shopping centre

Down by the Clyde we crossed the squinty bridge (I can't remember the official name), drove past the Armadillo (also known as SEEC) and the new Hydro (a venue for big concerts). 

the squinty bridge
a 60 metre shipbuilding crane (apparently it can lift a train).

From there we took the expressway for a few moments to reach the Tall Ship and the new Glasgow Transport Museum. By then, my camera battery was flat and I had more or less lost the will to live. A brief summary of the route is all I have.

Doubling back on the expressway, we reached Argyle Street where you can find some fine dining opportunities. It is in this neighbourhoodd where you can still find a Gaelic community. From Argyle Street we turned right onto Kelvin Way, which crosses Kelvingrove Park, a magnificent park with a great playground (I rate parks by their playgrounds). If you look towards the right on Kelvin Way, Park Circus is visible. There are some amazing houses there, overseeing the park. 
From Kelvinway we turned onto University Avenue past the Pearce Lodge. This is a building that has been moved from the original site of Glasgow University in the East End to the current location in the West End. I am not sure how they did this! From University Avenue we turned left onto Byres Rd and crossed Great Western Rd to drive past the Botanic Gardens, then, finally, back towards Hyndland, where we staggered off the bus for our final walk home. 

If you ever visit Glasgow, the bus tour is well worth doing. You can get two day tickets, allowing you to get off and on where your like, visiting some of the great museums or beautiful neighbourhoods. My kids didn't feel like doing any of this, being locals and all. I hope you enjoyed this brief tour through the city that has been my home since 1999.

Back soon! In the meantime, have a lovely time. Cxx


  1. I am new to your blog and am enjoying looking around. I especially like this post as I am visiting Glasgow in August with three kids. We are going to do the bus tour, looks fab!

  2. Great day out! Glasgow is an amazing city. We were very surprised by it when we visited a couple of years ago. I love the real mix of old and new. We stayed on the river right near the Squinty Bridge and ate some amazing Indian food right nearby. Good memories just like you made on your little us tour!

  3. sounds both wonderful and exhausting! xxx perhaps a relaxing day is needed next xxx

  4. Cool! We were in Glasgow yesterday (specifically to see Song of the Sea at the pictures but we also went for a wander round the Botanic Gardens). I saw quite a few tour buses passing and though it looked fun. We did a tour in London and it's an easy way to see the sights without the children grumbling about sore feet (as mine were yesterday) although the earphone issues don't sound good. Maybe we'll try it, I'd wait for a nice day though as I'd much rather sit upstairs in the fresh air...

  5. The boys and I did the open topped bus round Glasgow when they were a bit younger, it was so enjoyable,and I felt I learned a lot about the city.x

  6. I love a good bus tour, taking my mum to London in September so I will try & fit on in there. I recognise the 'lost will to live' phrase from days out when the boys were younger! x

  7. This is such a great idea. We have similar tours in Cape Town. I'll definitely do one once my 2 year old is a bit older - we're currently in that 'fun' tantrum phase of his life ;-)


  8. One day I will get to Glasgow and do a tour!

  9. Feel like I have just done it - Brilliant!! Jo x

  10. What a fun thing to do, Christina! Hop On, Hop Off type busses are a great way to find out about some interesting places, whether it's in a city you're visiting or where you live. Frustrating about the kids's headphones though. I can just imagine that scene until you got it sorted out. :-)

  11. It truly looks like a gorgeous city with so much history.

  12. This looks like such an interesting tour, Christina. I would really enjoy visiting Glasgow someday. I think the leafy house street was my favorite part, I've always liked the look of those house that are all in a row. We have some here in the older cities, but I especially love the way they look in photos I've seen in Europe and the UK, where they sort of curve along a street. I just think it's so beautiful. Thanks for sharing your tour!

  13. We've been to Glasgow a few times usually for the Celtic Connections music festival and have enjoyed visiting the city. This sounds like a good way to see a bit more of it.

  14. hi christina...thank you and your family for taking your blogspot readers on the glasgow bus tour...i may not travel to glasgow personally, but am able to "visit" via your photos and dialogue...a lovely and diverse major city...thank you all again for sharing of your travels...take care...sally

  15. I really like taking these bus tours, there are always great things to see that you wouldn't see otherwise aren't there. xx

  16. An open top bus tour is a great way to see a city. We've visited the Kelvingrove Museum and really enjoyed it.

  17. What a great way to see your own city. We did this in NYC and loved it. I hadn't done the one for our city, Savannah, until my sisters came to visit and I took them on the tour. Saw things I would never have thought to show them.

  18. What a brilliant way to see the city. The posh houses look delightful, and there are so many beautiful buildings. Glad you had a good time. CJ xx

  19. Hello! I found your post via Leanne at Today's Stuff. I've never been to Glasgow but the architecture looks stunning - definitely worth a visit if I'm ever that far North. I've enjoyed looking back through your older posts too. Hope you enjoy your holiday in Cornwall. xx

  20. Wonderful tour Christina - thank you! I lived in Glasgow during the 1970s so this has brought back some good memories, particularly of Sunday outings to Kelvingrove. x

  21. Thanks for the tour! I've never been to Glasgow except for passing through on the way to Inverness twenty years ago! I think you thoroughly deserved your half at lunchtime after the earphone kerfuffle :-) xx


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