Glasgow? More like Glas- GO GO GO!
I haven’t been to Glasgow in twenty years. I have to admit it was the most scary place I’ve ever been to and I’ve been to a lot of scary places… We were followed, threatened and generally it felt unsafe. But recently a whole load of people have been raving about how it’s changed and so we just had to find out what they were on about.
And they were right.
Our first trip outside of England with our little human Alfie was a great success. He’s 20 months old now and we’ve not been ABEL to get him anywhere because of Covid. Now everything is starting to open up, we jumped at the chance. The car journey from Liverpool was about 4 hours and we stopped on the way at the services to run around and play with some dogs for a very welcome break.
We got ourselves an Airbnb in the NW of the city and I was surprised at how small the city seemed. Everything can easily be reached on foot (or pram in our case) but wow… who knew Glasgow was a city of hills! This post will be all about the things we did in the city with a toddler and the next post will be all about what we ate so read on to find out what to do!
The Gardens are stunning. Even though Glasgow is a busy urban city, its parks, open spaces and gardens are home to nearly 4,000 different plants and animals. We found two playgrounds to discover and the scenery is beautiful – from squirrels running around the woodlands, to fish in the ponds and bees buzzing around the flowers. Then we went into the Museum and got to see all the animals. Alfie just ran around pointing at the animals and shouting TIGER RAAA, ELEPHANT TRUMPEEEEEEET… it was hilarious. After an hour he was all done and we went back to the playground again. Everything was pram-accessible and free entry but pre-order tickets for faster entry.
Wow – what a beautiful place! From a children’s play area, to a herb garden, to a scented flower area to hills to run up and rocks to jump on… this place was incredible. We actually got here too late to go inside the free Glasshouses, but you can do virtual tour here. Instead we just ran around, had sandwiches on the lawns and stroked lots of dogs. We went at a weekend and it was so sunny – so it was packed full of locals playing frisbee and having picnics. It was bursting with really happy beaming people! There’s ice cream at the gates of course and a little teahouse for snacks as well. I got stung by a wasp under my foot (OUCH!) but even that didn’t stop us having a lovely afternoon here.
The River Clyde
Scotland’s most famous and important river – so much so that there’s a whole song about it that I sing every time we see it.
Oh the river Clyde, the wonderful Clyde
The name of it thrills me and fills me with pride
And I’m satisfied whate’er may betide
The sweetest of songs is the song of the Clyde
(There are actually a whole load of songs that mention the River Clyde but this is my fave one.) We found an area by the river with a huge playground and an ice cream van so we were sorted for an afternoon of fun. We also walked through the city centre on the way – you’ve got all your big brand shops etc. for all your shopping needs – so if you need anything at all you’ll find it here.
Such a fabulous idea – street murals are helping to rejuvenate streets and revitalise buildings and vacant sites that look a bit tired, reincarnating them as beautiful pieces of public street art. The murals are all in the city centre and are creating splashes of colour which brighten up lanes and streets. The Mural Trail features the diverse range of art within easy walking distance of the city centre. The huge range of artwork on display has something to suit all tastes – conservative to radical, quirky to bizarre. There is a map on the website so you can choose which ones to find or follow the whole trail and see them all! We got lucky as they were filming Batman so we even walked past the Batmobile – ooooooh!
So Alfie (and his dad Jason – lol) are completely OBSESSED with trains. Every single day they can be found at our local train station, waving at the drivers and shouting choo choo! So of course we had to try out the trains in another city – Glasgow has a circular subway system. It actually takes just 24 minutes to complete a full circle – we went on for a couple of stops and the train is tiny – it was so quaint I felt like a giant! Alfie obviously loved it and said hello to all the fellow passengers – it was a fun mini activity if you are tired of walking up and down hills!
The Duke of Wellington statue with a cone on his head
So it’s not a load of students on a night out who have put a cone on The Duke of Wellington’s head – apparently it’s ‘Glaswegian culture’ – and represents the humour of the locals. It’s one of the most famous local landmarks and you just have to see it – it’s located in front of The Gallery of Modern Art in the centre of town.
Sadly the boardgame cafe in Glasgow closed due to Covid, BUT we did find a gem of a game store called Static Games which was literally BURSTING with all kinds of games. The staff really know their stuff so if you don’t know what to pick up just ask for some recommendations. We picked up an EXIT boardgame – perfect for travelling as you can only play it once as you have to cut up bits of it and rip other pieces apart – they’re very unique and great fun for an evening challenge plus you chuck the game in the recycling once you’ve completed it so there’s no extra luggage – like an escape room in your own accommodation!
We are currently planning another trip up to Scotland before it gets too cold and dark – this time further North… stay tuned!