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Glasgow - Rick's advice re: River Clyde area & safety

In his books Rick has written "Avoid the area near the River Clyde entirely (hookers and thugs)...."

Anyone know specifically the area he is referring to? Knowing the street boundaries would be nice since his warning is kind of vague.

Better - has anyone spent time in Glasgow in the last year or two and can confirm or refute the safety warning? I seem to remember seeing photos of a pub along the river in someone's trip report that looked like a nice place to hang out.

Any thoughts?

Posted by
2520 posts

River Clyde is a big area , maybe someone from Rick Steves could say which area but as a regular visitor to Glasgow I certainly would never worry about any part of Glasgow, yes some of it is a bit rough but the Weegies as we Edinburgh folk call them are generally a very friendly and helpful bunch and I have never had any bother any time I have been in the city.

Posted by
11275 posts

I'm looking at his new edition of Great Britain (dated May 2016), and in the Glasgow chapter under Safety, he says:

"The city center, which is packed with ambitious career types during the day, can feel deserted at night. While the area between Argyle Street and the River Clyde has been cleaned up in recent years, parts can still feel sketchy. As in any big city, use common sense and don't wander down dark deserted alleys."

He makes no other mention of the River Clyde in the Safety section. So, he seems to have changed his advice from a blanket "avoid the area entirely."

I'll be there in September, so I'll have first-hand experience then.

Posted by
1050 posts

I was there three days in June (this year) and never felt insecure :-)

BTW: I highly recommend the transport museum. If you go on a HOHO tour you can jump right off the bus and into the museum.

Posted by
1299 posts

The bit I think he is talking about is the stretch from the motorway to the High Court and Sheriff Court complex. It sort of runs the gamut from yuppified flats to cheap hotels to cheap flats to even cheaper hotels, to pubs, to casinos, to nightclubs, and the Catholic Cathedral. Really after dark I would not venture that much south of Argyll Street on foot as there is not much to see there, and isolation can be unnerving more than anything.

Posted by
1636 posts

I can only speak to the area along the Clyde from King George V bridge to SECC, which I walked yesterday. It just doesn't have that many people walking in that area. The river walk is actually quite nice, but maybe all the rain lately has kept people inside. There certainly are plenty of pubs in town in other areas. Currently, it is staying light well past 9 pm, so that makes things feel even safer.

Posted by
351 posts

Harold - Thanks - the Scotland snapshot edition I have is from 2015, I think. I'll check - it could be 2014 - not sure exactly when I bought it. Glad to see the 2016 edition has been updated. I'll be there in September as well. Perhaps we will unknowingly pass each other by the river.

l.p.enersen - I am picturing the HOHO bus slowing down at the transport museum and we all take a leap into the doorway. I'm sure my mental image is highly incorrect but I am amusing myself.

Unclegus - a bit rough doesn't bother me. Actually dangerous does but my overall impression of the UK has been "not dangerous"

MC-Glasgow & Patty - many thanks for the specifics. Sounds like we might steer clear after dark even if only because there isn't much going on. By 8 I'm sure we will be in a pub nearer to George Square, having a dram and a pint and thinking about bed.

Posted by
351 posts

The Snaphot Scotland book I was reading is an excerpt from the 2012 Great Britain. 2012!!! I swear I just bought it. Where does the time go? Time to buy a new edition.

Posted by
2520 posts

http://visit-glasgow.info/drinking/a-wee-dram-top-5-whisky-bars/
if you do fancy a wee dram then the above list is a good one. I can highly recommend the Pot Still which is walkable from George Square.
been in there many times but an infamous time was after a Whisky festival at Auchentoshan distillery, whole squad of us from the festival had gone there before getting buses/trains home and we were all pretty far gone, the barman just said to us" as long as you can pronounce it you can have it". Can't remember the trip home.
http://www.dcs.ed.ac.uk/home/jhb/whisky/pronounc.html
this link will help you actually pronounce them.
have fun.

Posted by
351 posts

O Frabjous Day!

I just found that the Scotland Snapshot has become a "full" guidebook. And the Kindle edition was available so I downloaded it. Not sure how much will have changed from the Snapshot version, but at least I have the latest edition!

Posted by
5574 posts

Let us know if it is more than Snapshot. I would think it would be as I think that the Snapshot books, basically took what was in the Great Britain book and added just a wee bit more. A full on guide book should be broader and have more depth. But if it doesn't look into getting one of the Footprint Guides to Scotland. I thought that they were terrific. (And yes, I like Rick's books, they just lack detail and breadth for me.

PAm

Posted by
1636 posts

We've become great fans of the food at Waxy O'Connors near George Square.

Posted by
351 posts

Pamela - I've been combing through the new Scotland guidebook's Glasgow section today to get more uptodate info for my trip. Based solely on the Glasgow section I'd say yes, this is definitely more than the Snapshot. It devotes more text to each sight and there is a new West End Walk when before there was just the Self-Guided Walk covering the city center.

Posted by
26373 posts

Motorgirl

Is the reference to "Avoid the area near the River Clyde entirely (hookers and thugs)...." still in the newest book?

Posted by
5574 posts

Glad to hear that he's expanded his coverage a bit. It was pretty thin--generally good, but thin. :)

Posted by
40 posts

I'd like to add a more specific question: Is the Govan area south of the Clyde still rather dodgy? I'm heading back to Scotland for my 2nd solo trip in 62 days (not that I'm counting!) I usually fly into Glasgow and head straight to Edinburgh; however this year I plan on taking the train to Glasgow at least one day. My boyfriend's grandparents were born/married in Govan, and I'd like to get some photos for him. Everything that I have read makes me believe that Govan is not exactly tourist-friendly. What about taking a taxi over the river for a bit? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Posted by
351 posts

Nigel - no, the new book has the same text Harold noted in the recent Great Britain book: ""The city center, which is packed with ambitious career types during the day, can feel deserted at night. While the area between Argyle Street and the River Clyde has been cleaned up in recent years, parts can still feel sketchy. As in any big city, use common sense and don't wander down dark deserted alleys."

Posted by
11275 posts

I am going to Liverpool and Glasgow on my next trip, so I went to the bookstore to compare coverage of these places in Rick's books on Great Britain, England, and Scotland (all had new editions in the past 1-2 months). I can report that the Glasgow chapter is identical in the Great Britain and Scotland books, and the Liverpool chapter is identical in the Great Britain and England books.

Posted by
351 posts

Thanks, Harold, for doing that legwork for us! Sounds like one still doesn't need both the GB book & Scotland book, or both GB & England. Since we're only hitting Scotland this trip, though, I don't need the whole GB book, and I am glad the Scotland material has been expanded a bit, even if it the Scotland "Guidebook" is functionally equivalent to the old "Snapshot"