48 Hours in Glasgow by Sean Lafferty | Guest Blog
Having two young children, both below the age of three, makes you see things with a sense of wonder.
Suddenly, that train journey becomes exciting or that statue you’ve paid no attention to becomes a talking point with a child. In fact, taking a walk with children gives you the ability to view familiar places the same way a tourist would.
Commuting anywhere, even to Glasgow, can make you desensitised to the amazing architecture, attractions and environment in a big city. Travelling with a child however, can mean that the adventure starts as soon as you arrive at the station.
Queen Street station might not be much to look at while it’s being renovated, thankfully, Glasgow Central remains a stunning terminal where your train enters the station while you can take in spectacular views over the Clyde.
It’s not just Central’s stunning glass frontage or four-sided clock that can be marvelled at. The station now offers tours, every weekend and most weekdays, where you’ll get to delve down to the underground vaults and the disused Victorian platform. Poetically, the tour operators describe Glasgow Central as being more than a station, insisting it’s “a meeting point for countless romances, a crossroads of historical events and the first sight of Glasgow for millions”.
If that gives the kids a taste for underground travel, then they’ll love a trip on the 122 year old Glasgow Subway. And, unlike the London Underground or Paris Metro, you don’t need to worry about missing a connection on the single-line loop.
After all that time underground, you might want to take to the skies and see the best view of the dear green place from Glasgow Tower. Reaching 122m high, it’s the tallest freestanding building in Scotland. It’s designed to move in the wind, but because some visitors find the swaying sensation unnerving, the tower closes when wind speed exceeds 25 mph.
In Glasgow Science Centre itself there’s something to appeal to everyone. Curious about how your body works? Fascinated by physics? Are your children obsessed with outer space or do they get a buzz out of electricity? GSC really has it all.
Glasgow is also a great place for sporty kids and football enthusiasts. In fact, it’s a football mecca. You can take a tour of Celtic Park, home to the 1967 European Cup winners; a tour of Ibrox, where Rangers, the European Cup Winners' Cup winners, play; and of course Hampden, the national stadium, where in 1937, Scotland played England in front of 149, 451 fans, a European record!
Unfortunately, 48 hours in Glasgow, especially going at a child’s pace, only allows you to scratch the surface of what’s on offer. If possible, I’d recommend visiting again without the children and starting in the Willow Tea Rooms, to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea and an amazing homemade cake (or two!) in their beautiful surroundings at 97 Buchannan Street, or perhaps enjoying a trip out to the Glengoyne Distillery, to revel in 200 years of craftsmanship and of course, taste a dram of the finest whisky.
The vast choice can be overwhelming, but thankfully Glasgow Taxis offer a range of guided tours, which include Glasgow City tours and a Charles Rennie Mackintosh tour. Sounds great, with or without the children!