City Guide

Four hours in Glasgow: West End

30 Aug 2019 by Hannah Brandler

1 - Clydeside Distillery

The Clydeside Distillery, Stobcross Road, Glasgow, UK

It wouldn’t be right to visit Glasgow without acknowledging Scotland’s favourite drink. Opened in 2017, this family-run Scotch whisky distillery occupies the Old Pump House building on Queen’s Dock, from where the spirit was once exported around the world. We won’t spoil too much of the story, as a tour will reveal more of its past, but it’s worth knowing that this is the first dedicated single malt distillery to open in Glasgow in more than 100 years.

Finish your visit in high spirits by browsing the drams at the shop; select one of the distillery’s exclusive whiskies from the Highland, Lowland or Islay and you can get it personalised with a bespoke label. There’s also a café with a whisky flight menu, allowing you to sample four drams alongside Scottish delicacies. Open daily 10am-5pm; a one-hour tour costs £15.

2 - Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Argyle Street, Glasgow, UK

Take the overpass above the motorway to Eastvale Place to see lively murals splashed across warehouses and walls. Turn right down Kelvinhaugh Street and left on to Yorkhill Street, then carry on along Regent Moray Street until you reach Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. The red-brick building houses exhibitions on everything from ancient Egypt to one of Glasgow’s most famous sons, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The Glasgow Stories collection is a must for those interested in the city’s history, from its medieval beginnings through the industrial revolution to its modern transformation as a digital media hub. Another highlight is Sophie Cave’s Floating Heads installation – suspended in the foyer, it comprises more than 50 sculptures displaying different emotions.

Organ recitals take place in the Centre Hall at 1pm Monday to Saturday and at 3pm on Sundays – the 2,889-pipe organ has been in place since the museum opened in 1901. Open 10am-5pm (from 11am Friday and Sunday); free entry.

Kelvingrove Art Gallery

3 - Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park, Professors' Square, Glasgow, UK

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is set in the north-west part of this Victorian park, which was Scotland’s first purpose-constructed green space. Designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, of Crystal Palace fame, its 34 hectares are split by the River Kelvin and are home to a diverse range of wildlife and birds, including kingfishers, herons and cormorants, while there are also occasional sightings of otters.

Wander along the herbaceous and rhododendron borders, or check out the boarders and bikers practising their skills at the skate park. If you have the stamina, climb up the staggering granite staircase, which dates back to 1854. You’ll be rewarded with great views of the city and Glasgow University, plus the magnificent Georgian mansions of Park Terrace just outside the gate. During summer, ticketed musical performances take place in the art deco bandstand and amphitheatre.

Glasgow's Kelvingrove Park

4 - Artisan Roast

Artisan Roast, Gibson Street, Glasgow, UK

After working up an appetite from the steep climb, leave the park via Eldon Street in the north-east and you’ll find this charming café just across the bridge at 15-17 Gibson Street. There are plenty of fresh sandwiches and cakes on offer – try the fudgy date and caramel brownies – and the baristas roast their own beans. The brew bar offers a range of filter options, with its bean selection rotating weekly, and the café also sells its beans at the counter. The eclectic furnishings include rustic wooden pews and gramophones that have been repurposed as lighting. You’ll spot freelancers and students as well as friends catching up here over a brew. It’s open 8am-5pm (from 9am on weekends).

5 - Great Western Road

Caledonia Books, Great Western Road, Glasgow, UK

Duly satisfied by coffee and cake, turn right down Otago Street and then left on to the long stretch of Great Western Road for a spot of shopping. Browse second-hand tomes and collector’s items at Caledonia Books (number 483), a family-run store established in 1986, and old-school garments at the Glasgow Vintage Company (453). If you’re passing by at lunch or dinnertime, it’s likely that queues will be forming at Paesano Pizza (471), a city favourite offering authentic Neapolitan sourdough. If nature is more your thing, then head towards Glasgow Botanic Gardens, which are free to visit and open from 7am until dusk.;;;

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