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Recommendations in Glasgow not on RS tour

My husband and I will be traveling on RS Scotland 13 day tour at the end of June. It starts in Glasgow and will be able to see things not on the tour. Any recommendations? Any interesting places to eat? Great shopping?

Any recommendations on clothes from end of June into July??? Any suggestions appreciated! Thanks!!!

Posted by
5648 posts

We had a nice dinner at The Ubiquitous Chip. Interesting decor, great food, although the service was kind of slow. Maybe that was to allow lengthy dining? The ironic thing is that they don’t serve chips (french fries).

The outstanding ice cream parlor, Nardini’s, has sadly closed for good. Ice cream in Glasgow in a parlor setting was memorable, and going to one of the other parlors still around would be worth seeking out.

Posted by
21317 posts

Western Scotland tends to be a bit warmed and wetter than the east. You can check actual, day-by-day, historical weather statistics at timeanddate.com. Look at several years' worth of data to get an idea of the conditions you may encounter. I'm cold-natured and stayed warm during July 2019, despite often being caught in the rain, by wearing merino long johns and 97%-nylon slacks that were reasonably effective at shedding water (though not waterproof). I had a waterproof, hooded jacket and waterproof shoes. I also used an umbrella. My major rain issues were in Oban and on Skye.

Glasgow's weather for June 2021: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/uk/glasgow/historic?month=6&year=2021

Glasgow has a number of good museums, including the Hunterian Gallery, Hunterian Museum, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. There are others as well. There's a botanic garden that would be nice in good weather.

Glasgow is famous for its Charles Rennie Mackintosh buildings. Unfortunately, the Glasgow School of Art has suffered two catastrophic fires in recent years and is a long way from reopening (if it ever does). If you're interested in Mackintosh architecture you can get an overview at The Lighthouse, which used to do walking tours (book ahead). I tracked down most of his local buildings and had a great time doing so. Three of the best are the House for an Art Lover, the reconstructed home at the Hunterian Art Gallery, and Hill House. Hill House is in Helensburgh, about an hour from Glasgow by train then a decent walk from the most convenient RR station (I'd guess taxis are available; don't know about city buses).

Both the House for an Art Lover and Hill House had 2-for-1 deals available at the time of my visit. Both parties had to have rail tickets to qualify. Maybe you could use a return ticket from Helensburgh to qualify at the House for an Art Lover??

My shopping is limited to contemporary crafts, so this list may not help you. I haven't checked to see whether these places are still open; even in normal times, craft galleries don't necessarily have staying power.

In the center:
- Scottish Design Exchange, 220 Buchanan St, MC: Probably lower-end. https://www.scottishdesignexchange.com/contact
- The Roger Billcliffe Gallery, 134 Blythswood St, at Sauchiehall Ln: Heavy on art but also has some glass and other crafts. Website suggests calling first 0141 332 4027. http://www.billcliffegallery.com/
- ScotlandArt Gallery, 193 Bath St, just E of Douglas St: Art, jewelry, a few ceramics. https://www.scotlandart.com/
- Mary Mary, 51 Oswald St: Art. Tue-Sat 1100-1800. https://www.marymarygallery.co.uk/
- Koppe Astner, Suite 1-2, 6 Dixon St: High-end temp. exhibitions, might occasionally include glass or ceramics. https://koppeastner.com/

Merchant City:
- Briggait: Historic market building now with artists’ studios. 141 Bridgegate, Townhead.

West End:
- Nancy Smillie Jewelry Studio, 425 Great Western Rd. https://www.nancysmillieshop.com/
- Thistle Gallery Scottish Contemporary Art, 56 Park Rd, 1 block S of Great Western Rd. Art and crafts, including glass. https://www.thistle-gallery.com/
- Nancy Smillie, 53 Cresswell St, Hillhead: shops with Scottish products, including ceramics. https://www.nancysmillieshop.
- Annan Gallery, 164 Woodlands Rd, just W of West End Pkwy: Art and crafts, including glass by Scotland Glassblowing. http://www.annanart.com

Posted by
358 posts

Following on from ACraven’s Charles Rennie MacIntosh suggestions, have tea at either the Macintosh at the Willow Tea Rooms on Sauciehall (pronounced Sockiehall) Street or the Willow Tea Rooms on Buchanan street. Both tea rooms and their decor and furniture were designed by MacIntosh . Google Willow Tea Rooms for photos, menus etc. Buchanan and Sauciehall streets are the main streets for shopping in Glasgow. Check out the gift shop for interesting souvenirs.

You will need rain gear and good sturdy walking shoes. Layers are good. And always carry a spare pair of socks in your day pack just in case your first pair get wet!.

Posted by
1345 posts

For the weather, it can be both warm and dry, or cool and wet in July. One year we had temperatures in the low 30s another it did not break 20 for days on end, so be prepared for both.

Shopping the main shopping street is Buchanan Street with additions on Argyle Street or Sauchiehall Street. If you are in some of the shops on Buchanan Street you can hear the subway trains beneath them.

Restaurants and sites, it depends on your tastes. Would you be staying in Glasgow or using it as a base? Restaurants, Cyn mentions the Ubiquitous Chip which has a good rep though has the prices to match. So called because it does not sell chips which are ubiquitous elsewhere.

Posted by
5669 posts

it doesn't look like he takes you the to Tenement House which is really interesting. I've since been to the one here in NYC a few times. They are both great!

I have not seen the new Riverside Museum but the old one was amazing and the new one looks gorgeous. I guess it's not so new anymore....

So, Pollock Park is interesting. I was lucky enough to have a local drive me around and he took me here. I saw the Burrell Collection and we wandered. It was great!

If you like mysteries and historical ones in particular Pat Macintosh's Gil Cunningham series is excellent.

Pam

Posted by
597 posts

We really enjoyed our food tour with the Glasgow Food and Drink Tour. It was a wonderful opportunity to try Scottish traditional food in untraditional ways (Haggis Samosas anyone?), and see much of Glasgow, learning history along the way. I believe it was a good 3-4 hours. In addition to stopping at the Indian restaurant, we went to a bar and had gin and tonics made to order from different gins, a stop at a wonderful cheese shop, and of course a whiskey tasting too. I highly recommend it.

Posted by
11292 posts

I was in Glasgow in September 2016. It was part of a larger UK trip to Glasgow, Manchester, and Liverpool - one of my best ever. I spent 4 nights in Glasgow and didn't run out of things to do. Here's my trip report from that time; just skip past any sections that don't apply to you:

https://community.ricksteves.com/travel-forum/trip-reports/uk-trip-report-glasgow-manchester-liverpool-in-september-2016

I'm not a shopper, but in addition to the main shopping district in the centre (Buchanan Street, etc), there are lots of little independent shops in the West End (Byres Road and around).

Rick's Glasgow chapter in his Great Britain book or Scotland book (same chapter in each book) will give you even more ideas.

Posted by
1812 posts

Since I frequently have to entertain myself during the day while traveling with my husband, I’ve tried many hop-,hop-off tours. Glasgow had by far the best when we visited in 2016. We were there the first week in July and they arrived more frequently than the advertised 30 min. There were plenty of stops and I actually ended up seeing more than anticipated because the buses were moving so rapidly.

Posted by
4684 posts

The Riverside Museum is great if you are interested in city transport, but is not that easy to get to now as the dedicated bus service has been abandoned after the pandemic. The only ways to get to it are by expensive sightseeing bus, or via Partick or Kelvinbridge stations, both of which are quite a long walk.

Posted by
21317 posts

The Burrell Collection has been closed for years. The website is announcing a March 2022 reopening, but that should be checked shortly before your trip to be sure everything finished up on schedule. I was really sorry to miss that museum in 2019 and hope to see it on a return trip at some point.

Posted by
981 posts

Hi, Shelly,

Have to say I'm a bit prejudiced. I love Glasgow! As the song by Billy Connolly goes, "I wish I was in Glasgow, with some good old friends of mine."

Harold already mentioned Byres Road. It's out on the West End, and can be easily accessed by the "Clockwork Orange" (Glasgow Underground). There are a lot of hidden gems in the closes and side streets at the north end of Byres Road. However, if you are planning on doing some heavy duty shopping, the best place to do so is in the "Golden Z."

The "Golden Z" refers to the three main shopping streets of Argyle Street, Buchanan Street, and Sauchiehall Street. The layout is in the shape of the letter "Z," hence the name. You can find all of the Scottish chain shops there, plus lots of independents. If you are looking for an American style mall, the St. Enoch Centre is just off Argyle Street. The "Clockwork Orange" has a station there.

Be sure to check out Princes Square, which is just off the east side of Buchanan Street. It's a maze of small boutique and jewelry shops, with some esoteric restaurants thrown in for good measure. It's an old building, dating from around 1840, but it was completely refurbished in the late 20th. century. Three stories of shopper's delight.

If you're in Glasgow on a Saturday or Sunday, The Barras, which is a short walk from the east end of Argyle Street, is a Glasgow institution. It's worth the visit just to hear the merchants hawking their wares. If you like the look of something, examine it carefully to make sure it's not a knock-off! The Barras is a rabbit's warren of (mostly) second hand goods.

Unfortunately, my favourite Glasgow restaurant, Cafe Source at St. Andrews in the Square, has closed for good. I haven't been there (yet!), but if you like Indian food, Mother India has received really good reviews. Apparently it's a "go-to" venue for many Glaswegians.

As far as clothing for June and July, wear light layers, and bring a lightweight waterproof jacket. If you need something heavier, you can always get it once you're there, and contribute to the Scottish economy!

Best of luck. Shop 'til you drop!

Mike (auchterless)