- Cityscape Nouveau richness
- City life Hard man, soft centre
If character and personality won prizes, Glasgow would be rightfully awarded the attention normally showered on the more obviously beautiful Edinburgh.
Glasgow's unique sandstone façades are the legacy of a rich architectural and design heritage, and local boy Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s art nouveau influence is visible everywhere from the imposing Glasgow School of Art building to the elegant decor of the Willow Tea Rooms. But it’s the people that give this most Scottish of cities its heart of gold: shipbuilding bred them tough, generating an underlying black humour and an anarchic energy that still fuels the brilliant music and comedy scenes. Warm-hearted and welcoming, Glaswegians may have a reputation for hard drinking, hard living, and deep-fried indulgence – but that’s only because this fun, energetic town, with its stony face and steely soul, just doesn’t believe in doing things by half measures.
Do go/Don’t go
Don’t come for Hogmanay unless you can cope with hard, boisterous, over-the-top partying everywhere you look.
Planes British Airways | BMI | KLM | Air Berlin | Flybe and easyJet all operate regular flights to Glasgow from London | Manchester | Bristol | and many other regional and international hubs. KLM and Air Berlin fly in from Stansted; easyJet flies in from Luton and Gatwick. Careful | though – some operators fly to the smaller | less convenient Prestwick terminal (www.gpia.co.uk) rather than Glasgow’s international airport (www.glasgowairport.com).
Trains There are regular services to Glasgow Central and Glasgow Queen Street (both in the city centre) from all over the UK with Virgin and GNER, as well as a sleeper service with First ScotRail (www.firstscotrail.com).
Automobiles From England | head for the M6 | M74 | M73 and then the M8. It’s about a seven-hour drive from London (or four from Liverpool) | but it’s only worth taking the car if your stay is part of a wider jaunt around Scotland.
- Taxis The city is well served by black cabs; Glasgow Taxis is on +44 (0)141 332 7070. If you’re going out late on a Friday or Saturday, it’s worth booking to avoid the queues at ranks.