Some 40 miles along the M8 motorway, Glasgow is Scotland’s most populous city, home to some 598,830 people. Thanks to its notable history as a pre-eminent centre of chemicals, textiles and engineering; most notably shipbuilding and marine engineering, and its trading port, Glasgow is known as Scotland’s industrial capital, which does it a disservice. Yes, it was here that such ships as the Comet, the Cutty Sark, the Queen Mary and the QE2 were built and the city was known as the ‘second city of the Empire’ but Glasgow was also a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment and a source of inspiration for artists as diverse as John Knox and L.S. Lowry.
Today, whilst an industrial edge to the city endures, Glasgow is widely recognised as Scotland’s style capital, with designer boutiques aplenty along the ‘Style Mile’ and a more ‘in your face’ attitude to fashion in comparison with Edinburgh’s more refined approach.
It is also home Scotland’s music scene. The SSE Hydro, recently voted the best mid-sized venue in the world, has hosted artists such as Beyoncé. Bruno Mars and Celine Dion as well as the MTV Europe Awards. Hampden Park, home of the Scotland National Football Team, is where the likes of Rihanna and Coldplay visit when they want to perform a stadium concert. And smaller, independent venues such as the Barrowlands and King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut are legendary venues where the likes of Oasis have been discovered. Indeed, Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music and its creativity is evidenced by having the greatest concentration of creative industries in the UK outside of London.
Glasgow is by its very nature competitive and the very first game of international football was played here between Scotland and England in 1872. The Scotland National Team has been resident on the south side of Glasgow for more than 140 years whilst arguably the biggest rivalry in world football, The Old Firm of Celtic and Rangers, has been contested in the city since 1888.
With the Glasgow Science Centre. plenty of culture courtesy of Riverside Museum, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the Gallery of Modern Art and more, the Concert Hall, Botanic Gardens, shops and with a vibrant nightlife there offering more than 2,000 bars and restaurants there is plenty to see and do in Glasgow, and its proximity to Loch Lomond and the west coast offer up more adventures. But nothing defines Glasgow more than its humour. Scots are well-known for their warmth and good humour, but in Glasgow it seems everyone is born a comedian and none more so than Sir Billy Connolly, a performer who changed stand-up comedy forever, influencing countless household names in the process.