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Discover Magical Glasgow

Glasgow grew from the medieval Bishopric of Glasgow and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow, which contributed to the Scottish Enlightenment. From the 18th century the city had become a hub of transatlantic trade with the Americas. With the Industrial Revolution, the city and surrounding region grew to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of heavy engineering and shipbuilding.

Magical Journeys to Glasgow

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» Buchanan Street

Buchanan Street, Glasgow

Sweeping through the heart of the Style Mile in Glasgow city center, Buchanan Street hosts some of Scotland's best shopping, bars, restaurants and cafes. A hodgepodge of high street and designer names tucked inside some of Glasgow's grandest Victorian buildings, Buchanan Street is especially busy on Saturdays, when the young and glamorous hunt out new fashions and street performers entertain the crowds. At the north end is the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall …

» Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park, Glasgow

A wild landscape of granite mountains, heather-covered moors and gentle glens covering 1,500 square miles of the Scottish Highlands, Cairngorms National Park was named one of the world's 'Last Great Places' by National Geographic. Formed 40 million years before the last ice age, the Cairngorms are especially popular among mountain bikers, snowboarders, sea kayakers and hikers. They're also a hit with the Scottish Queen: she spends every summer there at Balmoral …

» Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle, Glasgow

Perched on a cliff looking out to sea and surrounded by 600 acres of manicured gardens and forests, Culzean Castle (pronounced Cullane) is one of Scotland's most impressive stately homes. It's been in the hands of the Kennedy clan since the 14th century, though it wasn't until 1777 that Culzean went from windswept medieval castle to the neoclassical dream seen today. No expense was spared during Culzean's 18th-century redesign …

» David Livingstone Centre

David Livingstone Centre, Glasgow

Glasgow's David Livingstone Centre is devoted to the famous Scottish explorer and missionary who opened up interior Africa over 150 years ago. A biographical museum dedicated to his life and work, the center is housed in Shuttle Row where Livingstone was born and raised in poverty with 23 other families back in the early 19th century. At the museum you'll see many items related to Livingstone's Africa explorations, including journals, letters, navigational equipment, and dioramas of significant moments in his travels …

» Dunure Castle

Dunure Castle, Glasgow

Peeking out from the rocky seashore of Ayr Bay, the dramatically situated Dunure Castle was once the seat of the Kennedys of Carrick and the notorious site where the last abbot of Crossraguel was roasted on a spit. Today, the castle's bloody legacy is all that remains and the once-mighty stronghold lies in ruins, but it's none-the-less an enchanting spot, with elements of the stone-brick 13th-century castle still clearly visible. It's none-the-less an enchanting spot, especially at sunset, with the crumbling guard-tower framed by rugged coastal cliffs …

» Gallery of Modern Art

Gallery of Modern Art , Glasgow

A multimedia mixed bag of paintings, ceramics, furniture and sculpture come together at the Gallery of Modern Art, one of Britain's most popular contemporary art museums. Temporary exhibits mix with the fine permanent collection of works by the likes of Hockney and Warhol. GoMA is housed in a straitlaced neoclassical building complete with pedimented and pillared facade, the perfect foil for the challenging, fun and inspiring artworks that lie within …

» Geilston Garden

Geilston Garden, Glasgow

A typical country estate garden with a burn winding through its woodland glen toward the River Clyde, Geilston Garden was landscaped over two centuries ago and it's typical of small country estates of the time. Geilston has its own walled garden that's become known for its 100-foot Wellingtonia tree in the middle of the lawn, and come springtime, its azaleas and heathers. There's also a kitchen garden which comes alive every April with the first sowings of carrots, parsnips and beetroot. In season, you can buy the garden's produce …

» George Square

George Square, Glasgow

Dwarfed by haughty buildings on all sides and surrounded by statues of great Scots, George Square makes sense of poet John Betjeman's claim that Glasgow is 'the greatest Victorian city in the world.' Named after King George III and built in 1781, George Square began life as little more than a muddy hollow used for slaughtering horses. Today, it's surrounded by some of grandest buildings in the city, not least the imposing Glasgow City Chambers on the east side …

» Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral, Glasgow

There are many reasons why Glasgow's Gothic Cathedral is an important building. It's the only Scottish cathedral on the mainland to have survived the Reformation relatively unscathed. Dating back to the 15th century, the building stands on a historic site blessed by St Ninian in 397. Another reason to visit the cathedral is found in the lower church, where the tomb of St. Mungo lies amid a forest of Gothic stone pillars …

» Glasgow West End

Glasgow West End, Glasgow

Relaxed and trendy, lively and culturally diverse, the West End area offers some of the best things to do and see in Glasgow. Its Victorian architecture and cobblestone alleyways keep with tradition, while its many boutique shops, coffee shops, and Bohemian cafes present the modern side of the city. While vintage and antique shops keep the past alive, the student scene of the nearby, world renowned University of Glasgow keeps things current. Other don't-miss sights include the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, the Botanic Gardens, and the famous Grosvenor Cinema …

» Holmwood House

Holmwood House, Glasgow

Designed by the renowned Scottish architect Alexander 'Greek' Thomson in 1857, Holmwood House is a unique Victorian mansion that's said to be the best of his designs to be built on Scottish soil. Based on classical designs and built for local paper manufacturer James Couper, the house includes many grandly decorated rooms of marble. And in the original kitchen and pantry by the banks of the river Clyde, travelers can visit the Holmwood House gift shop. In season, produce can be bought from the kitchen garden as well …

» Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery

Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery , Glasgow

While you're visiting Glasgow's lively university quarter, take the opportunity to drop into the hallowed Hunterian Museum & Art Gallery. Scotland's first museum, the Hunterian opened in 1807. Displaying the collection of renowned physician William Hunter, who spent time at the university as a student, the museum exhibits an idiosyncratic array of artifacts, from coins to fossils, scientific instruments and curios …

» Isle of Arran

Isle of Arran, Scotland

The Isle of Arran sits off the western coast of Scotland. Since the line the divides the Scottish Highlands from the Lowlands runs through the island, its landscape reflects this, and the island is often referred to as Scotland in miniature. The northern part of the island is more rugged and mountainous and sparsely populated. The southern part of the island has more rolling hills, and the majority of the island's population reside here. The island boasts many attractions for visitors. Castles, such as Brodick Castle and Lochranza Castle, are located here …

» Isle of Islay

Isle of Islay, Hebrides

Known as the Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is Scotland's fifth-largest island and lies off the country's west coast in the Inner Hebrides. Avid birdwatchers often make the trek to Islay, which is home to many species of birdlife, including the barnacle goose and the Greenland white-fronted. However, it's the malt whisky that really draws the visitors. Islay is one of Scotland's main whisky-producing regions, and it's a whisky-lovers paradise, with nearly 10 distilleries you can tour …

» Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Glasgow's grand Victorian cathedral to high culture, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum boasts an excellent collection of Scottish and European art. Displays are spread over two floors of this impressively grand red sandstone building, whose marble, mosaics and Spanish baroque details have recently been restored. Traveling exhibitions are also hosted, along with the permanent collection of treasures. Take a tour of the gallery highlights …

» Kilchurn Castle

Kilchurn Castle

On a tiny peninsula at the northern tip of Loch Awe surrounded by glens, Kilchurn Castle is one of the most photographed spots in Scotland. The castle of 1,000 calendar covers, Kilchurn has had many lives: it served as the powerhouse of the Campbell clan from the year 1440 and was even later used as barracks able to house up to 200 troops during the Jacobite Risings. In the 1750s, however, a huge fire caused by lightning ran right through the castle …

» Loch Ness

Loch Ness

Loch Ness Monster - fact or fiction? Find out for yourself when you visit this infamous Scottish loch! An enjoyable day trip from Edinburgh, your journey to the loch will take you through the lush Scottish Highlands, providing you with plenty of sightseeing and photo opportunities of castles and the countryside along the way. Once at Loch Ness, take in the views from the shore of this vast freshwater pool or even take a boat ride across--just look out for "Nessie"! …

» Lochranza Castle

Lochranza Castle, Scotland

Lochranza Castle is a medieval castle on the Isle of Arran in southwestern Scotland. It sits on a narrow strip of land that juts out into Loch Ranza, and even though it is in ruins, it is still a fascinating castle to visit. Originally the castle was an old hall house built in the 1200s, but in the late 1500s it was incorporated into a newer tower house. The older castle had its main entrance one level up from the ground level. It was accessed by wooden stairs that could be removed if the castle was under attack …

» Machrie Moor Stone Circles

Machrie Moor Stone Circles, Scotland

Comprised of six stone circles, Machrie Moor is a collection of prehistoric monuments dating back to the Neolithic period and the early Bronze Age. They were found and first recorded in 1861 by Irish naturalist James Bryce, who numbered them from 1 to 5. In addition to the standing stones, there are hut circles, ancient cisterns and burial cairns on site. It is believed that the most prominent stone circles were strategically placed so as to be as widely visible from every vantage point nearby. Rising starkly from the middle of rural fields …

» Merchant City

Merchant City, Glasgow

Glasgow's Merchant City buzzes with cool bars, hip restaurants, boutique hotels and designer stores. Stretching from Merchant Square to Royal Exchange Square, the whole area is perfect for a stroll and popular for its high-end shopping centered on Ingram Street and the Italian Centre, the home of the UK's first Versace. With its piazzas, arches and pavement cafes, the city center district has a decidedly continental feel - a surprise in the heart of Scotland's biggest city …

» Oban

Oban, Scotlalnd

Surrounded by castles, beaches and west coast islands, the seaside town of Oban is bursting with visitors enjoying fish and chips and peeking into the town's tearooms and craft shops. For most visitors, Oban is the jumping off point for a holiday in the Hebridean isles. Ferries run to Lismore, Colonsay, Islay, Coll, Tiree, Mull, Barra and South Uist, with Oban being by far the most popular port on Scotland's northwestern coast. With activities like diving, sea kayaking, hiking …

» People's Palace and Winter Gardens

People's Palace and Winter Gardens, Glasgow

Glasgow's oldest city park, the People's Palace and Winter Gardens, was built in 1898 as a cultural center. Now a museum telling the story of Glasgow's social history over the centuries, it's a fascinating place to while away a few hours. Paintings and photographs trace the city's story, and reconstructions of tenement life bring the tale to life. The Winter Gardens surrounding the museum feature a Victorian conservatory filled with tropical plants. The Doulton fountain in front of the museum is the largest terracotta fountain in the world …

» Pollok House

Pollok House, Glasgow

Known as 'Scotland's answer to Downton Abbey,' the Pollok House gives a taste of 1930s upstairs/downstairs life. Upstairs, visitors will find period furniture and furnishings, as well as one of the finest collections of Spanish art in the United Kingdom, with Goyas, Murillos and El Grecos all on show. William Blake paintings are also part of the collection. And downstairs is home to the huge servants' quarters. Set in Pollok Country Park and said to be one of Scotland's finest Edwardian country houses …

» Provand's Lordship

Provand's Lordship, Glasgow

The oldest house in Glasgow, the eccentrically named Provand's Lordship was built in 1471 for the chaplain of St Nicholas Hospital. The city's only medieval building to avoid the wrecking ball, the house is now a museum. It's a fascinating place to see period details in situ, from 16th-century furnishings to a 20th-century sweet shop. The building also hosts a series of rotating exhibitions. The garden surrounding the medieval house re-creates a medicinal herb garden …

» Robert Burns Birthplace Museum

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, Glasgow

Set among four hectares of Ayrshire countryside in the village of Alloway, the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is a celebration of the life and work of Scotland's most famous wordsmith. The extensive museum contains a collection of over 5,000 artifacts relating to the Bard's life, work and legacy. Visit Burns Cottage, where the poet was born, see the grand monument dedicated to him, and wander the commemorative gardens created in honor of the great 'Rabbie' Burns. From the lawn, you can also see the famous Brig o'Doon …

» St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art , Glasgow

From Hindu deities to the Buddha, Zen design and Christian artworks, the St. Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art explores religions from around the world. This somewhat controversial but award-winning museum examines the role of religion in daily life over the centuries, focusing on the world's main religions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism. Interactive displays bring voices from around the globe to life …

» Tenement House

Tenement House, Glasgow

Providing a glimpse into early 1900s working-class Glasgow life, the Tenement House, restored by the National Trust for Scotland, shows how Miss Agnes Toward lived for over 50 years in the four-room home she shared with other lodgers. The Victorian flat maintains much of its original fittings, and you'll see fascinating details, such as the old straw beds and blackened ball of soap, providing an insight into another time. On a visit, you'll see how an independent woman lived in a time of gas lighting, and on the ground floor you'll get to peruse Miss Toward's extensive personal archive …

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Glasgow is the most Scottish of cities, with a unique blend of friendliness, urban chaos, black humour and energy. It boasts excellent art galleries and museums, as well as numerous good-value restaurants, countless pubs and bars and a rollicking arts scene. Although Glasgow lacks the instantly inspiring beauty of Edinburgh, it's one of Britain's largest, liveliest and most interesting cities …

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The heart and soul of any great city is its people, and the environment in which they live. Whoever is interested in dining out, theatre, cinema, music, dance, art, architecture and shopping will find delight in Glasgow, a city that ranks with the best that Europe has to offer . …

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