Red7 , February 15, 2014
This is a big year for Glasgow, as the Scottish city hosts the XX Commonwealth Games from 23rd – 3rd August and the city prepares to have its summer in the world’s spotlight. Glasgow shrugged off its notorious reputation a long time ago, to become one of the UK’s most trendy and cosmopolitan cities. In 2014 however, as Glasgow starts repeatedly nudging into ‘World’s top cities’ lists across the net, this buzzing Scottish metropolis is set to truly come into its own. Here’s nine reasons why Glasgow should be top of your list of travel destinations in 2014.
Glasgow has always been a hub of creativity. The city’s architecture is a tribute to ‘father of Glasgow style,’ Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Scotland’s hugely influential architect, designer and artist. Mackintosh is the Glasgow School of Arts most famous alumni, and his masterpiece, the world famous Grade A listed ‘Mackintosh’ building has inspired generations of Britain’s creative minds. This year however, the GSA will be brought to the forefront of design again with the completion of the new Steven Holi designed £50 million building. Glasgow’s strong artistic heritage has diffused a creative, free-spirited vibe into the rest of the city, where the residents take their fashion seriously and the nightlife is eclectic and progressive.
2. Looking to the future
Scotland is fast becoming one of the most desirable and forward-thinking countries in Europe, as 2014 was the year that Scottish Paliament voted to legalize same sex marriage with an overwhelming majority. Scotland was only the 17th country in the world to do so.
Glasgow’s Style Mile is a shopper’s paradise, with everything from designer shops, boutiques, high street favourites, vintage and high end jewellers packed into the square mile in Glasgow City Centre, meaning that Glasgow is second only to London in the style stakes. After the shoppers have gone home, Glasgow’s bright young stylish things come to the Style Mile to enjoy it’s trendy club scene.
4. Going Green
Glasgow is the first city to take advantage of the government-backed green investment bank, taking out a green loan to install LED street lights. Sound futuristic, and it is. The lights will be brighter, light pollution to the sky will be reduced (so residents and visitors to the city will be able to see the stars at night), huge amounts of energy will be saved and Glasgow’s council will be millions of pounds better off. Not only does Glasgow get thumbs up for being environmentally friendly, but the city will be able to invest the saved money back into modernising itself even more.
5. King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (and other awesome live music venues) and clubbing your socks off.
King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut is Glasgow’s iconic live music venue, famous for showcasing up and coming British artists – Oasis were signed here in 1993 – and the club has since seen early performances by Blur, Franz Ferdinand, Manic Street Preachers,The Strokes and Paramore. King Tut’s is now so well established that it hosts King Tut’s Wah Wah Tent at music festival T in the Park. Name dropping aside, King Tut’s is one of Britain’s best and most-respected live music venues, and well worth a night out if you’re planning a weekend in Glasgow. Glasgow’s clubbing culture is also huge, with the city’s dance fans seeking out warehouses and huge basement clubs like Sub Club for nights of pure thumping hedonism.
6. Festival 2014
Glasgow is making the most of the attention it is getting in 2014. In celebration of the Commonwealth Games, Scotland’s coolest city will be showcasing it’s hottest music, theatre and artistic talents, as well as paying tribute to traditional Scottish culture. Highlights of Festival 2014’s programme of events include the amazing Spokesman Theatre Show, where the audience and cast will travel around the city on bikes during the Scottish storytelling performance, and Grit, a site-specific theatre, dance and circus performance set to the music of influential Scottish musician Martyn Bennett.
7. Golf, Golf and more Golf
Golf comes home to Scotland this year with the 2014 Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. Scotland’s vast stretches of rolling greenery and grand old hotels and castles make it perfect golf resort fodder, and none more so than in Perthshire by Glasgow. Other outstanding golf resorts close to Glasgow include Loch Lomond, Buchanan Castle and Haggs Castle. There’s no better time for a leisurely golfing trip in some of the most stunning scenery in Britain.
Want somewhere special to watch the Ryder Cup? Take a look at London’s best sports bars.
8. The Great Outdoors
The Clyde Valley is an idyllic place to experience the great outdoors. Towering pine forests, fairytale waterfalls, vast glassy lochs and bubbling brooks lie only a stone’s throw away from Glasgow. The country parks around Glasgow are great places for walking, cycling and even sailing. Clyde Muirshiel for sailing and kayaking, River Clyde and Clyde Valley Woodland Nature Reserve for waterfalls and scenic walks, Jones Hamilton Park for watersports on the 18-acre loch and bird sanctuary.
Whisky (Sorry, Scotch)
Scots take their Scotch to heart, and there are strict laws and guidelines as to what qualifies as a real Scotch whisky. Not to mention the differences between a highland, lowland, single malt, single grain and the compulsory 3 year oak barrel ageing process. The ins and outs of Scotch whisky are mind boggling (in more ways than one) and fascinating. No trip to Glasgow is complete without finding out how the coveted fiery golden liquor is made and getting down to some serious whisky tasting in one of Glasgow’s historic distilleries.