Culcreuch Castle is located in the village of Fintry, 30 km from Glasgow. It's in the heart of the countryside, with a garden and grounds surrounded by a beautiful lake and a dense forest. The castle has a pub and a restaurant that you can use even if you don't stay in the hotel. It is a fourteenth century castle, and was home to Clan Galbraith for seven centuries. Today it is a hotel and is used for weddings. It's a romantic place with comfortable rooms. They have a special offer for two nights, with a candlelit dinner in the dungeon and another in the restaurant.
The Green is the oldest park in Glasgow. It is 20 minutes' walk east from the city center and dates back to 1450! A bishop inherited it and opened it to the public so that the people of the city would have somewhere to go to enjoy themselves. For a long time, it was the only park in Glasgow. This is where the football team The Rangers was founded, and there are several playgrounds, a museum and a winter garden in a greenhouse where you can stop for a hot drink. The park is now surrounded by factories and high-rise buildings, but it's still a great place to visit. The People's Palace traces the lives of Glasgow throughout the centuries. At the entrance, there is the largest terracotta fountain in the world, Collins Fountain, which was built in 1881 on another site, but moved to the Green in 2000. The 55 acre park is always open, but it's a bit like the Bois de Boulogne...perfectly pleasant by day, but better to keep away after dark, when it's not so nice.
The Transport Museum shows you different historical bike models, as well as motorcycles, Simcas, trailers, buses, and even upcoming models of trains! You can climb aboard some vehicles, and during the west end festival in June, I even had the opportunity to take a ride on a 70's bus through the neighborhood. An unmissable journey through history!
Life is a bit cheaper in Scotland, and you can see this in particular in the pubs! Alcohol here is far less expensive than in France, which could explain the problem with alcoholism in the country ... it's not a stereotype or a prejudice, our host in Glasgow freely admitted it between drinks. The Scottish tend to drink in small groups, rarely seated at the bar. My recommendations:
-The Loft (37 Ashton Lane). Adjacent to the theater district, this is a small student bar fully decorated with movie posters. Delicious cocktails for £ 2.50
-Driftwood (2, St. George's Road) Near the famous Sauchiehall Street, Driftwood offers a menu available, a dance floor and a nice bar. Perfect for Halloween!
-Aulay's Bar (8 Airds Crescent). A wide selection of whiskeys and beers. A map where you can find the national dish, haggis, and the famous British fish & chips.
This monument to Dolores Ibarruri can be seen as you walk along the River Clyde. It is dedicated to the men and women of Britain ve came to Spain to join the fight against fascism, in total, 2100 volunteers. 534 were killed, among them 65 from Glasgow. The monument was sculpted by artist Arthur Dooley and opened in 1977.
Mugdock Park is one of the largest and most visited parks in the Glasgow area, and can be found just outside the city. The lands and properties of two castles (Craigend and Mugdock) make up this park, which encompasses a dam, pond, lake and forest. It's beautiful, but almost impossible to see in one day. There are several spots for free parking, the largest near the visitor center, which is located in what was once the stables of Craigend. Here you'll find shops, cafes and restaurants, as well as a children's playground, a picnic area and a spot for barbecues. Endless activities can be enjoyed here: hiking, history, biology ... there are so many possibilities in this great park.
One of the biggest water areas in the park is the Mugdock dam, which has created a little lake in which you can fish. There is a parking lot next to it, and a promenade follows the shape of the dam, which many people use for jogging, walking their dogs or even horse riding. It surprised me to find a dam here, as there is plenty of water, with nearly 6 smaller lakes in the area. The dam belongs to the lands of Castle Mugdock. It seems that the Marquis wanted his own private fishing area, but permission was denied, so he reapplied for a dam. After a process that allegedly involved a few bribes, it was approved!
The ruins of Craigend Castle are just outside Glasgow, in what is now a part of Mugdock Park. The castle was part of the Barony of Mugdock in medieval times, but was sold to the family of John Smith, a rich book seller, in the seventeenth century. His chain, John Smith & Son, supply all univiersities in Scotland. In 1816 Smith's son James expanded the mansion with Neo-Gothic designs by the architect Alexander Ramsay. Craigend passed through the hands of several private owners until the early twentieth century, when Sir Harold E Yarrow ran a private zoo here until 1954. A rather suspicious fire led to it falling into ruins, and in November 2012 it went on sale ... it will be interesting to see what happens to these ruins, which I find rather romantic.
Once these were the Mugdock forests, the lands of the local castle. They were mostly cut down for building, but today there is an ongoing reforestation project. It seems that these once-dense forests served many purposes: not only did they help keep the castle inaccessible, but they were used for hunting, walking and the burning of witches. Today they are a lovely area, misty and romantic, that will transport you far from the city and into another era! I can't wait to go back.
Music, art, theater and more will take place in Glasgow in summer for Culture 2014. Held in conjuction with the Commonwealth Games, the famous sporting competition which takes place every four years, contested between the British Commonwealth Nations, this gives you a unique opportunity to enjoy both culture and sport. There'll be a six-week art festival starting in June in Corroborree.
Glasgow is the birthplace of many important architects, designers and artists, but the most famous has to be Charles Rennie Mackintosh, famous for his Art Nouveau work. This festival celebrates his creative genius, with exhibitions, lectures, tours, music, movies, dances, performances, workshops and activities for children. The event lasts the entire month of October, with some activities taking place in the buildings that Mackintosh himself designed.
The MTV EMAs, or European Music Awards, are held in a different European city each year. The lucky 2014 host will be Glasgow. This year is the 20th anniversary of the EMAs, so the night will be extra-special. It will be held on November 9 in the new SSE Hydro, a giant pavilion ready for thousands of spectators.
This old musical hall is a good example of the city's golden age, home to vaudeville and silent film screenings with live music. An amazing place hidden away on a side alley, it is open Wednesday to Saturday from 12 to 5.