Glasgow, Edinburgh & Stirling

These three cities are each a short train ride away from Croy station (Glasgow -15 mins, Stirling – 20 mins, and Edinburgh – 35 mins. Each has so much to see but a few of my ‘day-out’ highlights are below:

Glasgow

The Burrell Collection, Pollok Park and Pollok House – the Burrell, one of the UK’s foremost collections of art by an individual, has reopened after an £68 million refurb and Pollok House, a Georgian mansion in landscaped grounds also is home to an extensive art collection.

The Merchant city for the enigmatic Panopticon, the world’s oldest surviving music hall, and the Sharmanka Gallery’s incredible and dark kinetic sculptures followed by Café Gandalfi to dine in Tim Stead’s amazing interior. If you have time visit GOMA, the Gallery of Modern Art.

Kelvingrove Museum, Kelvingrove Park, Glasgow University and the Hunterian Museums – a whole day of fun to be had, combine with the cafes of the west end and a walk along the Kelvin walkway to the Botanic Gardens

The Transport Museum, the Tall Ship and a ferry to Govan old kirk for the Norse hogback stones: take the free ferry from Zahra Hadid’s architectural masterpiece housing 100s of years of Scotland’s transport history to historic Govan, the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde to visit the 1000 year-old Govan Stones. Café 13 by Govan underground is a lovely place to visit right by the statue of Mary Barbour.

I’ve always wanted to do the underground tour of Glasgow Central Station but never got round to it – people tell me it’s really good.

Stirling

The old town is tiny but there is loads to visit. Stirling Castle would take the whole day in itself, with museums and a fantastic restoration of the main building where actors dressed as key characters take you though the history of the castle. There are wonderful views and also walks nearby along the steeply wooded sides of the volcanic plug which the castle sits on. The ticket will also get you into Argyll’s Lodging, a historic townhouse.  Also in the area of the castle is Mar’s Wark, a ruined 1570’s townhouse, the Church of the Holy Rude and the Stirling Old Town Jail, a restored 1840s prison.

Edinburgh

If you want to spend a day immersed in Edinburgh’s history then start with Mary King’s Close where you will enter the history of the old town by accessing long-sealed streets and houses cut- off when new houses were built on top in the 18th Century. Then visit Gladstone’s Land, a historic house on the Royal Mile, and of course Edinburgh Castle. For teenagers, the gruesome history of Edinburgh via the Edinburgh Dungeon will be popular

The Gallery of Modern Art with the landscape sculpture of Charles Jencks outside followed by a walk down the water of Leith walkway will get you away from the busyness of the old town. On the way back to the station, visit the Edinburgh Botanic Gardens and perhaps have one of their famous afternoon teas.

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