It’s unsurprising that a city as captivating as Glasgow is a source of endless inspiration for creative folk. Emily Sweeney may have spent most of her life here, but the Dear Green Place never ceases to inspire. For over three years she has been taking different routes to her place of work in the city centre, finding amazing buildings, views and other hidden gems en route. Through this, her Instagram @lovefromglasgow was born, sharing stunning photos of the best architecture, restaurants, museums and everything in between. Emily let citizenM in on some of Glasgow’s unmissable sights and off-the-beaten-track finds. We’d double tap that.
1.The Hidden Lane
Glasgow has many covert lanes, but this is one of the best. You’ll find the brightly coloured lane in Finnieston, tucked away behind Argyle Street. It has some lovely little independent shops and studios, but don’t miss the Hidden Lane Tearoom – the cakes are amazing here. If you’re passing by it’s definitely worth the indulgence.
2.Glasgow City Chambers
One of the city’s many beautiful buildings, Glasgow City Chambers could easily be mistaken for a part of Hogwarts – just take a look at its grand marble staircase. Many people don’t realise that anyone can visit the building, and even less know that there are even free tours twice a day from Monday to Friday. Looks like the secret is out now.
3.University of Glasgow
Yet another building that looks like it should be part of a Harry Potter set – are you sensing a theme? – the University of Glasgow is perhaps one of the city's most enchanting buildings. The beautiful gothic architecture boasts towers which can be seen across the West End. Wander among the cloisters – they are especially beautiful too when decorated with lights come Christmas.
A hidden gem in the city centre, the Lighthouse is located in a small lane off Buchanan Street. It houses contemporary artwork as well as an exhibition on Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Best of all, however, is the view from the top – it’s a fitting reward after climbing the 134 steps of the Mackintosh Tower. See Glasgow from a different perspective as you look out over rooftops across the city.
With a renowned art school, one of the most expensive art collections on earth and having produced numerous Turner Prize winners and nominees, Glasgow is a haven for art. But you don’t have to be stuck in a gallery to see some of the best works. Follow the City Centre Mural Trail and discover colourful installations by local artists.
Speirs Wharf perches on the canal north of Glasgow’s city centre at Port Dundas. Though a lot of the buildings are residential here, there’s much for visitors to appreciate. Admire the 19th-century architecture of the former offices of the Forth & Clyde Navigation Co. and the City of Glasgow Grain Mills and Stores warehouse before visiting Ocho Delicatessen for locally sourced, seasonal dishes. Feel like relaxing? There’s a spa next door.
Since the late 18th century, George Square has marked the beating heart of Glasgow. It’s home to a collection of important statues and monuments, including those dedicated to Robert Burns, Sir Robert Peel and Sir Walter Scott. Visit during December when Christmas markets fill the square and witness the start of the annual Santa dash around the city. Just make sure you don’t get lost in the sea of red santas.
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8.Carlton George Hotel
Tucked just off the bustling boulevard of Buchanan Street, the Carlton George Hotel is a great spot if you fancy afternoon tea, lunch or dinner. Its rooftop restaurant boasts amazing views over which you can enjoy seasonal, Scottish menus featuring dishes such as Shetland blue shell mussels, Arran ice cream and – naturally – haggis, neeps ‘n’ tatties.
Stretching from Sauchiehall Street down to St Enoch Square, this pedestrianised boulevard forms the central stretch of Glasgow’s famed shopping district – it’s the second most visited street in the UK only to Oxford Street in London. Visit Buchanan Street on a sunny day to browse upmarket stores serenaded by street entertainers before stopping by The Glasgow Royal Concert Hall and Gallery of Modern Art.
10.Pollok Country Park
Ranked among the best parks in Europe, Pollok Country Park is the largest green space in Glasgow. Explore its extensive woodlands and gardens, each filled with rare flora and fauna. Pollok is also home to the eclectic art and antique Burrell Collection, but no one would blame you for spending all your time the Highland coos.