JOIN US IN AN INTERVIEW WITH LEWIS CAMERON FROM GLASGOW, SCOTLAND!
Lewis is a travel enthusiast from Glasgow, Scotland. He has done a fair bit of traveling in only 20 years. He took a gap year from university and that then became an extended break from education. In his day to day life – he is a support worker for children and adults with additional support needs. His job allows him to take time off without taking holidays so he has used this to his advantage to travel the world.
Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland and Greater Glasgow has the third largest population in the United Kingdom. It is situated in the west of Scotland on the River Clyde which separates it in two.
Glasgow is known as “The Dear Green Place”. This is due to the abundance of parks here. The city has pride in its rich Victorian architecture, its heritage in ship building and its two main football teams, which like the river, divides the city in two.
Rangers and Celtic are a massive part of Glaswegian culture. They are both among the oldest and most successful clubs in the world.
When is the best time to visit Glasgow?
Summer is the best time to see Glasgow. In the last few years Scotland as a whole has managed to reach temperatures of 25°C. If I had to pin it down to one month, I would say May is the best time to visit. In May, the weather is always good, for Scotland that is. The schools are still in session so you don’t have as many people at the popular sites and shopping areas during the day as you would in July/August.
Which is the most convenient and favored transport of Glasgow?
In Glasgow there are trains, buses and the underground. If you want to get around the inner city then the underground is the best way, or on foot to see the wonderful place in action. If you are going further afield, to say Edinburgh, the train is the easiest way but buses will also take you there and are slightly cheaper but take much longer.
From the airport, you can get buses or taxis. There are no trains. You can get a shuttle bus from the terminal direct to the heart of the city – this is, of course, much cheaper than getting a taxi.
What are the top three must visit places in Glasgow?
Glasgow is home to nine award-winning civic museums, the Glasgow Club which is Scotland’s largest fitness network, the Mitchell Library and many more community Libraries. There is plenty to see and do in the wonderful city of Glasgow.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery is an gallery and museum situated in the West End of Glasgow. It sits next to Kelvingrove Park and on the River Kelvin. It is one of Glasgow’s (and Scotland’s) most visited attractions. The Museum is full of exhibitions for all ages and interests – from dinos to Dali. A great thing about Glasgow’s Museums and Art Galleries is that they are all free of charge. At the Gallery, you can leave a donation if you wish but there are no fees upon entry.
Glasgow Cathedral, also called the High Kirk of Glasgow or St Mungo’s Cathedral, is the oldest cathedral on the mainland of Scotland and one of the few chapels to make it through the Reformation. This medieval church is also the oldest building in the whole of Glasgow and is a must see. It was built on the tomb of St Mungo and you can still see his crypt today. The interior is phenomenal but it is frowned upon to take pictures inside.
The Riverside Museum of Transport was opened in 2011. It was previously located across from the Kelvingrove Art Gallery but a more modern building was constructed. This is a free museum. Most of its exhibits are interactive and they are very informative. The Glenlee, or The Tall Ship as its more commonly known, is another part of the Riverside experience. You can take a look around the 19th century vessel if you go to the very back of the museum and out the sliding doors.
What are the best day trips for nature, culture and history from Glasgow?
Loch Lomond is only around 40 mins by car or train form the city centre. It has unreal scenery with forests and hills surround the loch. You can view the loch from the surrounding towns and villages such as Balloch and Luss. The best view has got to be from the top of the nearby Munro (mountain above 3000 feet), Ben Lomond or its much smaller neighbor Conic Hill.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland. It is no more than an hour away by various modes of transport. A trip to Scotland wouldn’t be complete without visiting a castle. If you go to Edinburgh during August then you will be able to go to the Fringe Festival. Also, the Christmas market in Edinburgh is rated one of the best in Europe!
What is the most celebrated holiday of the year in Glasgow?
Christmas is celebrated massively in the city. The centre of Glasgow turns into a winter wonderland with lights, decorations and market stalls popping up in George Square and St Enoch Square. During the festivities of Christmas is a great time to visit the city.
Guy Fawkes/Bonfire/Fireworks Night is a British tradition where we celebrate the fact Guy Fawkes’ plot to blow up the houses of parliament was foiled. This takes place on the 5th of November. There are many fireworks displays in the parks all over Glasgow and people create bonfires too.
We also celebrate Scottish events such as Rabbie Burns Day or St Andrews Day. These take place on 25th of January and 30th November respectively. We don’t really do much for these events but there are more haggis on sale in the supermarkets at this time.
What is the most loved local food, savory and sweet of Glasgow? Is it a vegetarian friendly city?
I regret to inform you it is a myth that all the Scots eat is haggis and deep fried Mars bars (we also don’t all wear kilts everyday and play the bagpipes), sorry to disappoint you. We love our sweet things as much as savoury. So there are many restaurants in the town where you can appreciate both. Most people enjoy a takeaway in the form of Indian, Chinese or Chippy.
Irn Bru is the national drink of choice and is one of a few countries in the world where Coca Cola is not the top selling soft drink. So it is my duty as a proud Scotsman to recommend you try the amber goodness.
I have lots of vegetarian and vegan friends who find lots of restaurants to their liking here.
Where to head for shopping in Glasgow?
There are many shopping areas in Glasgow. There are many large malls and shopping districts to visit. The largest ones Braehead, Silverburn, The Forge and The Fort. These are located out of the city centre, or Town as we call it, but are easy to get to by public transport.
In the centre of Glasgow you have Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch Centre as well as the pedestrianised streets surrounding. Town has no lack of stores, you can find anything you are looking for with no bother.
Which is the local craft or souvenir of your city?
Shortbread is very popular as a souvenir for tourist to take home with them. If you paired this up with some other traditional Scottish things such as: Harris Tweed, Irn Bru and a Glasgow magnet, your loved ones back home won’t be disappointed.
Which are the best streets in Glasgow worthy of taking a stroll on?
Buchanan St, Argyle St, and the one that tourists find hard to say, Sauchihall St (pronounced saw-key-hall but suckyhall to Glaswegians). These are the main streets in town for shopping, night life and eating. They are mainly pedestrianised so there are lots of performing buskers and interesting characters you can sit and people-watch.
The West End of Glasgow is popular with students and has a sort of edgy vibe to it. Byres Road is the main street there. It is loaded with charity shops, food joints and cool cafes. Just off Byres Road you have Ashton Lane. This is good for a few drinks and some food.
Glasgow University is in the West End too. This is an amazing place to visit for the ancient architecture – tourists have likened it to Hogwarts. Built in the 1400’s, it is one of the oldest universities in the English speaking world.
Can you suggest a place from where one can get the best view of the city?
The Lighthouse is a building designed by famous Glasgow-man, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It is a museum for Design and Architecture. It boasts one of the best views in the whole city of the Glasgow skyline. There are two viewing points at the Lighthouse from where visitors can see across the city of Glasgow. Either you can take the helical staircase at level three to reach the outdoor viewing platform or use the lift to the indoor view from level 6.
Do you suggest any shows on music, culture or art performed by the locals? Where can one spot street art in Glasgow?
There are live music performances in small venues all over town. If you would prefer seeing any of the touring top musicals then head to King’s Theatre. For ballet and opera Theatre Royal is the place. Tramway, Glasgow’s old tram depot in Pollokshields turned into a centre for contemporary visual and performing arts. It hosts as well as commissions a number of projects and there is something you will find running whenever you plan to visit.
If you can collide your dates with music festivals like TRNSMT and Riverside which are both held in the summer then you are in for a treat. TRNSMT is a Scottish rock and indie music festival held for three days on Glasgow Green. Riverside festival is held in the grounds of the Riverside Museum on the banks of the river Clyde. It brings together the best electric artists and is considered as Scotland’s biggest electronic music festival.
Street art is all over the city. You can find it in the town centre, west end and further afield.
Would you recommend any local apps for food, transport or hidden gems in your city?
PeopleMakeGlasgow is the official website of Glasgow which visitors can access for some real trip inspiration.
Food : Deliveroo and UberEats for food delivery.
Transport: ScotRail (for train schedule), FirstBus (nearest bus stop and to calculate routes) and Uber are handy for getting around.
Do you want to give any suggestion/tip to tourists coming to your city?
Glasgow has over 90 parks, gardens and green areas. You need to take advantage of the massive amount of parks in the city. Glasgow Green, the Botanical Gardens and Kelvingrove Park are jut some of the parks worth having a visit.
Also, it worth noting that trains in Scotland are often delayed due to weather and sometimes cancelled without notice. They are very temperamental.