End of Winter Travels Lead to Great Places, Glasgow

It’s winter snows or pounding storms in Glasgow, Scotland’s largest city, this March?It’s the dregs of winter, and should be spring. There’s been a bit of snow? Whether you are a end of winter traveler taking advantage of off season pricing, or a resident day tripping, finding your way to sights to see or experiences to get out of the winter doldrums of your mind are paramount. But remember, it’s Scotland, The UK’s version of PNW weather, wait a bit, it’ll change. This great city of Glasgow is a fabulous walking town, and the best way I found to get around is by taking the subway, fondly called Clockwork Orange still by a few, but just ask for the subway. It makes a big subterranean loop and can keep you out of the elements for a quick journey to a part of the city, climb up top and you are within walking distance of many out of the way entertainments. Explore alleys off Sauchiehall Streets’s West End, or stroll the parks as there are many. And just like the PNW, people rarely use a brolly. Up your hood and go.

For some unusual things to do, check out these places. Contact them direct for winter hours of operation.

Day

download-1Glasgow Necropolis Beautiful both in snow and rain, and well, if you sneak in at night, moonlight. It’s filled with some very old grave sites and commands a great view of the city. Situated just behind St. Mungo’s Religious Museum and Glasgow Cathedral, Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery flanks it. Drygate area, John Knox Street.

Fossil Grove This is a subterranean find that will get you out of the elements. Travel to Victoria Park and take in this fun and spooky view of 11 fossilized stumps.

Hunterian Museum Spooky and kooky exhibits from medical and strange things. Check to see they are in operation, as in 2017 the museum was shut for rework, and still has some exhibition pieces not available. If you can’t make it to Edinburgh, it’s one of the best collections of oddities outside the capitol city. Fun stories of resurrectionists and all kinds of odd things. The anatomical collection is by appointment only. Off the Glasgow University (Hogwarts) campus. Just off the Hillhead station of the underground.

imagesSharmanka Kinetic Theatre. An animatronic, kinetic field day can be had here. Created and run by a Russian emigre Eduard Bersudsky, this theatre is filled with macabre to delight all. It illustrates the history of Russia with a murky feel. The main attraction is the heart of the theatre, but there are traveling exhibits in many parts of the world. TRONGATE 103,Glasgow, G1 5HD

downloadGovan Hill Baths Back in it’s Edwardian day, this community resource was where you went to swim, at one of the three pools, and do your wash (Steamie). It was shut down in 2001, but the public had sit ins to protest the loss of the historical baths. After several years, the community rallied back and now the large pool has been repurposed as an arts installation and performance venue. It is still going through renovations, but you can see community and old history in action as productions for theatre and music are hosted here. 99 Calder St, Glasgow G42 7RA

Night

Riding Room/Jodownloadint on the Corner BurlesqueCabaret and other quirk-filled acts. 7 Days or nights a week. Food and drink. Reasonably priced in the Merchant City area. 58 Virginia St, Glasgow G1 1TX

 

 

The Riverside Museum, Glasgow

Glasgow Weekend

Holiday Markets: The Push, the Jingle, Music and The Food!

Many countries and cities have their version of a Holiday Market. While the countries’ population may vary greatly in religious custom, many cultures have a special Market in the winter, weather permitting. It’s a great way to take the holiday, whatever it is, and make it about people gathering for food and drink. So even if you are not one who celebrates the Christian Holy Days, you will find a Holiday Market chocked full of food, grog of some sort, and entertainment. Hopefully bands will play in halls nearby if not in the streets, and there will be entertainment for all. So grab a hot toddy or chocolate, make sure you wrap up, have a pal on your arm, and swing around the market.

Ireland

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Dublin Town has several Pantos already lined up, head to the Grafton Centre, a large trendy shopping area in Dublin. The performances of The Snow Queen will be on, and at the Olympia, Polly and the Magic Lamp will be on. Great fun for families. But what of the REAL Dublin markets. Each quarter will have it’s on festive wear and food will be everywhere. Head for the George’s Street Arcade, one of the oldest shopping areas in Dublin. The stalls harken back to days of old, and you will be fit to burst by the time you get through a bit of it, with food and fun for all ages.

Many other cities in Ireland have their holiday on as well, Galway, Cork, Limerick and Belfast all have big Holiday Markets. Dublin at Christmas.

London

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London, UK. Of course when we think of the Holidays, we tend to get Dickensian about it. Of course that means Scrooge and Holiday Trees and that feeling of olde time London. There may be that bit of festive feeling about, but London being the massive eclectic hub that it is, and people from all around the world making it up, you can find a festive holiday mood in many areas. There are several small areas with a local feel for markets, many pop-ups with food and wares that can fit any holiday, however many of them pop up seasonally for Spring/Summer and traditional Nov-December runs. Here are a few areas to check out. Remember, pop-ups are usually local people, not chain store, restaurants and that’s what is so great. Variety and helping out the real people of London is the thing.

Southbank Wintertime Market, gifts and food stalls.Continue walking the Thames and progress on to other shopping areas.

Christmas in Leicester Square, near Covent Garden, has a great many theatrical venues. While you may find a Panto advertised, it will be far from traditional. Heavy entertainment area and plenty of food and gift stalls.

London Holiday Markets

Scotland

Scotland can boast the classic Holiday markets and the Hogmanay celebrations as well. Hogmanay runs the week after Christmas, so if you are lucky to make it through the 25th and stay on, there is a lot doing in the run up to the new year.

Hogmanay in Scotland Festivals

Edinburgh

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Don’t miss the markets all over Edinburgh. If you are lucky enough to make it there for Holiday and Hogmanay stay, you’ll be stuffed to the gills. Stay from the scales! Markets to try out:

Christmas Market at the East End of Princes Street. There has been a bit of controversy over this area, as recently many trees were cut down for the market. So chose if you wish to support that decision by the city to take the trees away. Markets are open from 10am – 10pm. Markets open at 1pm on 17 November, close at 8pm on 24 December, are closed 25 December, open 12pm 26 December and 1 January.

Pop Up Seasonals will be at Multrees Walk in the fashionable side. Head to the downtown area centre for more magical treats.

Edinburgh’s Christmas

Hogmanay Festivals

Glasgow

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Head to George square for outdoor Holiday Markets, foodie festival fun at pop ups and gift stalls.

Markets

St Enoch Square Christmas Market
Fri 9 Nov – Sun 23 Dec
Mon – Wed, 10am – 9pm
Thu – Sun, 10am – 10pm (finish at 6pm on Sun 23 Dec) Christmas Village, German Bars

George Square Christmas Market
Sun 25 Nov –  Mon 31 Dec (closed Christmas Day)
Mon – Wed, 10am – 9pm (finish at 6pm on Mon 24 Dec)
Thu – Sun, 10am – 10pm (finish at 6pm on Sun 31 Dec)

George Square comes alive this Christmas with over 50 traders from across the globe, as well as closer to home, selling artisan products and high quality crafts.
And don’t forget Hogmanay
Every weekend, 11am – 6pm
Royal Exchange Square
Sat 1 & Sun 2 Dec, 11am – 4.30pm
The Briggait

 

 

 

NEWS: GLASGOW GIRLS TO MAKE KING’S THEATRE DEBUT — Glasgow Theatre Blog

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Cora Bissett and David Greig’s life affirming Scottish drama, Glasgow Girls is to run at the King’s Theatre, Glasgow next year. The production, which is based on real life events, will make its debut on the big stage from Tuesday 15 – Saturday 19 January 2019. Filled with song-and-dance-filled this true story tells of seven […]

via NEWS: GLASGOW GIRLS TO MAKE KING’S THEATRE DEBUT — Glasgow Theatre Blog

Glasgow Botanics: Spring Blues Cure All

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A Celtic Muse

It’s slowly crawling towards spring, but you know that last stretch seems to be a huge hill to climb. Especially with this past winter, Scotland has had record snows and storms.It’s a great time if it’s safe to do so, to seek out a place where you can get a tropic feel without having to fly. Whether you are visiting Glasgow or a seasoned resident, having a bit of green during the dreary grey and white filled months, that seem to include Spring, will help those with the doldrums spring. If you find your Seasonal Affective Disorder won’t let go, Glasgow has answers.

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Two of the best indoor flora venues are in this town, The Glasgow Botanics Gardens Kibble Palace and the smaller Winter Gardens, and the People’s Palace at the Glasgow Green. Both feature classic Victorian Green Houses and are free to the public, but if you have a fiver, please donate at these free venues and any other museum in the city. It all helps to give you a cheer when you have the grey throughout.

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Glasgow Botanic Gardens

730, Great Western Road Glasgow G12 OUE Tel:0141 276 1614 Open from 7am until Dusk Every Day, Glass Houses Until 6pm, 4:15 in Winter.

Easily accessible by public transportation, near the Hillhead Underground stop, and off the Great Western Road with plenty of bus access. It’s close to the West End and Glasgow University grounds and has great access to fabulous food and other activities in the area. The Heritage walk encompases the exterior gardens off the Kelvin River and links up with the Kelvin walkways. A great way to add to a day of walking the parks in this very walkable town.

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The Kibble Palace is a Victorian Glass House Arboretum that was founded in 1817 by Thomas Hopkirk, and was part of the university in its early days. The gardens began in another location closer to campus, offering support and the teaching of botanics to students. The current site has been in use since 1839, and has a grouping of large glass structures that house several collections of specimens from around the world. The palace houses the main collections, with several other glass structures surrounding it. Glass houses mean protection from the elements for the many plants that are tropic, and this means a great out of the elements exploration for you.

Each greenhouse features different world plant zones, from the tropics to the deserts of the world. There are plants from all of the continents. My favorite is the collection of Carnivorous plants, and any fun Orchid that is dangling. Every inch imaginable is packed with plants. There is even a seed exchange or purchase, but you’ll have to go soon, they are only available until about mid April.

Kelvin Walkway

Maps Courtesy Walk Highlands

The Kelvin Walkway extends the West Highland Way walking trails into the city proper, going through Minlgavie. This a nice river walk/hike that goes through the city and lets you pop up in several neighborhoods. The full pathways route is a good 17 Km. Keep an eye out for blocked access as some of the stairs are under repair and it may be a few streets before you can exit. You can walk portions of the river walkways and come up to view attractions or neighborhoods, there are great eats in the West End. You can start the full walk from the Riverside Museum and do the Botanics and other attractions along the way. Mind the midges.

The Riverside Museum, Glasgow

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Transport, it’s what Glasgow has been about for over a hundred years. Shipbuilding and the arts. A city filled with people, theatre and film. It has always kept moving, and that was aided by transport. What a city, and one that has been burgeoning in the last two decades, and soon may even have space travel. The best place to see this passage of history and the coming of the future is going to the Riverside Museum.

Riverside Museum, Pointhouse Place, Glasgow, G3 8RS Scotland UK

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Absolutely an architectural gem, but that’s just the housing. It’s what’s inside that will grab you,  for several hours at least. I have visited the eclectic transport museum twice, there is just too much to see about the life of Scotland’s transport and the culture that surrounded it. The museum is situated on the bank of the Clyde River and in a great area for an afternoon of fun, taking in the Glasgow Science Centre is another must in the area and will make for a very complete day.

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The Riverside is a transport history museum, filled with the rich history of this industrial town and its people, how they traveled about and lived their daily lives through recent years. Vehicles and  ships models are displayed here, with up close and personal viewings for most objects, when they are not stacked high against the walls. If you are a big fan of period dramas and love those 1960s British cars in Endeavor and Downton Abbey, or love anything to do with ships, you and your family or friends will be entertained for hours.

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The building was created in 2011 by the Zaha Hadid Architects in London. It is a phenomenal beauty to behold. The displays swoop and flow with the buildings architecture, and help to convey the movement of transport, the flow of the traffic feel even though the over 3000 objects are parked.

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I spent my first visit enamored of vehicles we just don’t see often stateside. I am a huge fan of cars from past eras, and find that commercial vehicles of the past such as milk floats, trams, a hearse with model horses, shop models you can walk in, full train engines, and the motorbikes display. I’m a big fan of UK motorbikes, and this museum has some rare beauties. They are stacked up a wall and extremely drool worthy. Can you say Motorbike Porn? Nortons, a Triumph Bonneville and other classic bikes from many eras are featured. You’ll want to grab one and take a ride.

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The displays are organized by Streets, where you can walk cobblestones and shops of old, The Clyde where the biological and human life of the great river is displayed.Transport and Leisure where the displays run from classic cars to the history of skateboards. There is a section on Made in Scotland, that shows the rich shipbuilding history of the area, and other transport build and developed in Scotland to be used in the UK and the world. The historical cars and other vehicles on display show the tastes and changes in technology that helped develop our favorite modes of transport. There are also some fun fashion displays that show what people wore while living with such great transport.

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When you exit, take a walk on the decks of the Tall Ship Glenlee. This makes for a very highly recommended day of exploration with family and friends, or just a solo wander while walking Clydeside in this amazing industrial town. Rain or shine activity.

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Ed Weber Photo ©2012

J. Canning Photos’s ©2017

Links

Riverside Museums Pictures of the Week

Riverside Museum GlasgowLive write up

Clyde Waterfront

Glasgow Museums

Glasgow Science Centre

Dreichy in Glasgow, You’ve Got Places to Go

IMG_0731I love visiting Glasgow. I keep going back and finding new experiences, and of course revisiting some old favorites. Scottish weather is lovingly joked about, just like San Francisco or Portland Oregon weather is. The fact is, any country with changeable weather must be taken with amusement, how else can you survive when it really gets bad? We love to comment on the weather. 

Rain, dreich, and more rain. We have that in Portland, other wise known as Puddleton. So when I keep traveling back to a land with the wets, people wonder why? The inhabitants are desperate to get to the Canary Islands or Spain, Italy, anywhere with a mild climate and that shiny orb in the sky. I get the question, “What, you live near California, why do you come here?” Simple, I love the place, can’t get enough. Lived in foggy, drippy port towns most of my life. Have that Viking ancestry and too pale of skin to go back to California. But mostly it’s places like Glasgow, teaming with life and music, food, culture and close proximity to magical day trips places like the Trossachs National Park that make it a great hub for exploration.

So what do you do when it is positively dripping, or worse, torrential? Most inhabitants bundle up inside and have tea, binge watch if not working, and some maybe while working. If you are one who gets restless when it pours and need to get out a bit, find whatever free entertainment you can for the best dreichy or drookit days. It’s heading into the Hols, so you need to save money where you can, or shop for gifts that help the museum out or become fun, white elephants. There’s plenty to be had in this town.

Museums

In my youth living in the San Francisco Bay Area, I found I developed a taste for museums, and they were always a day well spent. In the US, most museums charge fees to get in. In the UK and Ireland, admission to most museums are free of charge, with special exhibits having fees. So you can have a mostly free visit to many museums. Free can be highly entertaining.

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Kelvingrove Museum Argyle Street, Glasgow, Scotland

I keep coming back to this fabulous repository of artifacts and arts. Recently I went to the Frank Quietly Exhibit there, and the hours were well spent. The rest of the galleries will keep you busy with permanent or semipermanent collections, and a great way to keep the kids entertained for free. The museum has a classic European museum layout with many floors and galleries to disappear in, and a good place to have a tea half way through. The Life Collection features natural history, human history and prehistory sections, with the taxidermy animals being a favorite. The Egyptian area features interactive displays. One of the best spots is the technology and sciences galleries. A great place for the young and old alike.

In the Expressions Galleries, there are exhibits from painters and other artists. Monet, Gaugin and Renoir are featured. There are also many works from Scottish artists and The Glasgow Boys. This next year will be Charles Rennie Macintosh’s 150th birth year and an exhibition is being planned.

The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Scotland

A great museum on an amazing campus. Plan to spend quite a few hours in this beauty of a place, and a short walk from Kelvingrove. It’s a fabulous place with collections that should fit your every mood. James McNeill Whistler and Charles Rennie Macintosh have permanent collections there. The other collections feature art, archaeology, cultures, historical, coins and metal, fossils and a great medical exhibit. Check with the museum for hours of display and access since this is on the university campus.

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People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Aptly named of course for a great indoor garden experience and galleries of local history. This great local exhibition gets you in the feel for the history of Glasgow. From “Steamy” displays to local shops at the turn of the century, and other historical displays about everyday life. My favorite display was seeing Sir Billy Connolly’s famous Banana Boots after only seeing pictures and descriptions. The sheer size of the Big Yin’s unique foot equipage was boggling. 

The Palace has a nice Victorian Glass House with a great botanics display and tea house. The line can get quite long for the tea. But well worth it after a few hours spent looking at display rooms.

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Hidden Lane Tearoom, Finnieston, Glasgow

My favorite place to go back to for tea. This hidden gem has a great alley space with a eclectic food menu and great relaxation spaces, mismatched tables and chairs, and tea sets. Squeeze through the alley to get there, great to get off the Sauchiehall Street bustle for a bit, head to Argyle Street and spend a relaxing momment.  Their clotted cream is the best, the real deal. Cakes, biscuits, savories and soup. And peace.

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New/Used Bookstores

Ah, the very best thing to do when it rains and snows, brave the weather and find a book nook. Glasgow has many great new and used book stores. Problem is when you’re traveling you want to scoop up an armful, but really can’t fit it in. Just grab one or two, read and leave at your B&Bs with notes about your reading thoughts. You’ll have many dusty pages to chose from, at Voltaire and Rousseau(12-14 Otago Ln, Glasgow) it is quite a jumble to meander through, and that’s the fun. Don’t forget to look up Thistle Books, just in case you haven’t found everything imaginable to read. But once you have done two shops, you may as well do the rest.

Books Shops

http://visit-glasgow.info/shopping/top-ten-bookshops-in-glasgow/

Articles

Scottish Weather

http://www.scotsman.com/heritage/15-words-which-can-only-be-used-to-describe-scottish-weather-1-4104762

Hunterian https://www.gla.ac.uk/hunterian/collections/collectionsummaries/art/theglasgowboys/

Great Escapes From Glasgow

Frank Quietly Exhibit at the Kelvingrove, Glasgow

Glasgow Art Walk July 2017