Year of Young People – A Weekend in Glasgow
Did I ever tell you I had a thing for Glasgow?
I know I’ve kept it fairly quiet but Glasgow and I have been in a bit of a long term affair. Although I toddle all over Scotland, dancing in Inverness and flirting with Edinburgh, Glasgow has always had my heart. That’s because Glasgow is the friendliest and most honest city in Scotland. Before you even get down to the real time-filling nitty gritty, you’re sure to get a right warm welcome in Glasgow. It is the only city in Scotland where you will see kilted flame throwers walking on tight ropes whilst you pop out for your messages (shopping). The phrase often associated with the famed city is ‘People Make Glasgow.’ The locals are funny, honest, warm and cheery (well, most of them). I have never had a bad time in the Glasgow.
Be Our Guest
I couldn’t wait to see my Scottish City lover again, so when Visit Scotland invited us along to be part of a campaign to celebrate the upcoming Year of Young People 2018, I couldn’t wait to GlasGO. The campaign consisted of 30 bloggers from all over Europe and its purpose was to present some of what Glasgow has to offer.
After a fairly standard 3-hour train journey from bonnie Aberdeen to Glasgow, Scott and I were itching to get to our hotel. Like Christmas Dinner, it was worth the wait.
The ABode Hotel
The ABode is a 4-star classic, yet modern hotel on Bath Street in Glasgow. It is a stones throw from all the hustle and bustle, with Central Station less than a 10-minute walk (downhill) away. Although you do have to walk back up the hill afterwards. Glasgow is a pretty hilly place, with lots of one-way streets so it’s good on the thighs after eating at one of the cities many eateries. There are lots of amenities nearby the hotel such as shops, takeaways, restaurants and bars. However, the hotel itself is that nice that you might not even want to leave. The ABode have done their utmost in tempting you to stay in. Along with a brasserie and bar for cosy, tasty meals, there is also a separate bar below the hotel, named the Pie & Brew.
All that and I haven’t even shown you the photos. We were lucky to receive a last minute upgrade to a junior suite which, without bragging, was absolutely amazing!
The Wheels on the Bus
It is safe to say that there is no rest for the wicked and so we were soon clean out of the hotel on our next adventure. The sightseeing bus tour was led by one of our lovely hosts from Visit Scotland who packed us full of facts about the history and architecture of Glasgow. As we were touring Glasgow at night, we got a cheeky wee peek at the bonnie Christmas lights. George Square around Christmas has a smashing Christmas Market with sparkles for days. So whilst I was enjoying the architectural facts, like a magpie, I live for glitter.
This gave us another chance to become slightly more familiarised with our European counterparts. Unfortunately, my hearing is pathetic and I often mishear Scottish (running joke amongst pals), so I think there may have been veins popping oot of my brainbox as I strained to understand the accents. We live a sheltered life, us Highlanders.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery And Museum
I’ve heard about Kelvingrove but I would be telling porkies (lies) if I said that I was visiting Glasgow pre-Blog for cultural purposes. I had a good few pals down in Glasvegas and we often painted the town various colours of the rainbow. Thankfully for my case, and yours, I have nose-dived out of my comfort zone and this has led me to have a new attractive cultural appeal. Besides, I didn’t quite realise that Kelvingrove boasts an absolutely spectacular exterior and even more extravagant interior. Mind blown.
Ain’t no party like a Scottish party
Following on from a pretty special tour round Kelvingrove, we were back on the boogie bus with thirsty throats and peckish tums. Thankfully, our hosts managed to organise a kiss up in a brewery. Not just any brewery, but one of Scotland’s most famous boozers. Only Tennants lager! We weren’t just there to drink pints, (although we most certainly did), we were actually there to celebrate Celtic Connections, a Glasgow winter folk festival which kicks off at the end of January. Donald Shaw, from Capercaillie was there to welcome everybody to the event in the Molendinar Hospitality Suite. Bands such as Tannara, were there, fiddling and harping to their heart’s content.
We couldn’t help but notice that some of our European friends had nipped off early to hit the hay. Being a Scottish sort takes good practice. Thankfully, we were in good company and were joined at the back of the bar by Susanne from Adventures Around Scotland, Kay from The Chaotic Scot, Neil from Travels with a Kilt and Sonja from Migrating Miss. There certainly has been worse company and with the Scottish lot at a table decorated with golden pints, we were only really emerging for top-ups and a boogie.
The end of our night saw us take to the Pie & Brew bar underneath the ABode for a quick night cap before slumberland called.
The next morning, our group of bloggers were split up into smaller groups and sent on different city tours. We were lucky enough to embark on a music walking tour to learn about Glasgows top venues, festivals and musical exports. Sights included the world famous Barrowlands, the newly revamped St Luke’s Church and the historic Fruit Market which plays host to Glasgows Jazz Fest and Celtic Connections.
Our tour ended at the A’challtainn fish restaurant and bar, where Scott (who loves seafood) for reasons unknown to anyone, ordered the least fishy dish on the menu – mushrooms with goats cheese.
Poised, shiny and new by the famous River Clyde stands The Clydeside Distillery. The Distillery had only been open for a week when we were invited in for a brand-spanking new tour and whisky tasting. As anyone who knows a thing about whisky will understand, whisky is an aged drink. As the Clydeside is brand new, their homemade whisky won’t be ready for another 3-4 years (set those alarms!) Thankfully, there are a range of whiskies available at the Clydeside and 3 different ones to taste.
The Clydeside Distillery was built by the descendants of the man who built The Queens Dock, the booze hoose is housed within the Old Pump House and the tour itself provides lots of historical information about both the Clydeside and the city of Glasgow.
Year of Young People 2018
We had a brilliant time exploring Glasgow from more of a tourist point of view and will be returning in the near future for further adventures. The Year of Young People kicks off in 2018 with a whole year dedicated to getting Scotlands young people more involved. We will no doubt become more involved with these events and look forward to sharing them with you lot!