Glasgow – A Scottish Jewel
Carhiremarket.com has some fantastic deals on and it won’t cost you the earth to pick up a cheap hire car and head for Glasgow, a fabulous and historic Scottish city packed with great things to see and do.
Edinburgh somewhat unfairly tends to hog the limelight when it comes to taking breaks in Scotland. True, it has its famously brooding castle and is the capital of this craggy country of glens, heather and proud highland clans. But consider visiting other cities here such as Aberdeen and Glasgow. These too have their unique attractions and are every bit as worthy a visit as their higher-profile neighbour.
Scotland is a great country for the motorist, and hitting the road to Glasgow will take you through some spectacular scenery whichever direction you approach it from. With purple slopes of heather and gorse fading into the higher reaches of majestic mountains on one side and plunging into secret glens on the other the scenery is truly breathtaking and there’s no better way of seeing it than by car.
The city was founded by a Christian missionary – St Mungo – in the 6th century, and the 12th century cathedral is appropriately dedicated to him. Glasgow University, founded in the 15th century, is also a major landmark here, and anyone who likes to fashionably knock the Middle Ages should remember that it wasn’t all slaughter and pillage, even this far north.
Today Glasgow is actually the largest city in Scotland. It was just a small cathedral town until the 18th century when the River Clyde was dredged and shipbuilding, manufacturing and trade really started taking off. Despite its burgeoning prosperity since then it retains a medieval atmosphere in the old town, which continues to huddle protectively around the cathedral and is riddled with quaint cobbled alleyways.
Be sure not to miss the Glasgow City Art Gallery and Museum. This houses the finest municipal collection in Britain, enriched by the gift of the Burrell Collection in 1944 and famous especially for its splendid suits of armour. From exquisite Chinese T’ang dynasty ivory miniatures to Renaissance golden chalices and Italian Gothic-style Milanese armour, the collections here rival anything you can see in London.
Archaeology buffs will find the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Museum especially interesting. Here you’ll find everything from Roman relics to antiquities from Palestine and Egypt. There’s also a lot of stuff that Captain Cook brought back from his South Seas adventures before he was topped by unappreciative natives in Hawaii, as well as a working model of James Watt’s famous Newcomen engine and a fabulous collection of gems and fossils.
Also be sure to pop into the Glasgow Science Centre, which is one of Scotland’s most challenging and exciting recent projects. The promotion of science and technology is what this installation is all about and it does a magnificent and innovative job of it. There are loads of interactive displays and exhibits including one of the world’s finest planetariums, spread over three floors and topped with a shining titanium crescent.
David Elliott is a freelance writer who loves to travel, especially in Europe and Turkey. He’s spent most of his adult life in a state of restless excitement but recently decided to settle in North London. He gets away whenever he can to immerse himself in foreign cultures and lap up the history of great cities.