Have you ever travelled to a city only to have the weather ruin your plans? Be it constant, heavy rain, or freezing temperatures and ice, or even a heatwave that makes you run away from any asphalt areas into colder shades of nature (or aircon space).
Glasgow was the first stop on our Scotland road trip. We arrived Saturday afternoon and this was the only dry weather we had. We had an absolute downpour the next day. It looked like a shower curtain when looking out of the window. Also, it was windy and cold. It wasn’t much better the other days but at least we had some short breaks in the weather.
You might think “well what do you expect from Scotland?”. Not the need to call Noah to give us a lift in his ark, that’s for sure! Nevertheless, the rain caught us unprepared; the majority of the places we wanted to visit were out in the open (like the Necropolis, Pollok Country park, the mural trail etc). And, it still being semi lockdown, we couldn’t sit in a pub with a pint for an hour or two.
Take our unpreparedness and turn it into an amazing”Glasgow within 4 walls” plan! Let’s get to it.
The oldest cathedral in Scotland and the oldest building in Glasgow. The Cathedral was our stop mostly because it’s right next to the Necropolis, a Victorian cemetery and, when we got there, the rain was just starting. Note, a visit to the Necropolis is NOT a rainy day activity! We had an umbrella, but the wind reduced it to a pile of broken wires within a minute.
As with most other cathedrals, this one too had beautiful stone arches, crypts, stained glass windows, etc etc. One thing that made this cathedral a bit more special is a connection to Blackadder. Yeah, Blackadder, one of the best series to come out of Britain.
In season 1, there is an episode where Edmund Blackadder becomes an archbishop. I thought it was all codswallop but it turns out there actually was an archbishop called Blacader and he added the vaulted ceiling to a chapel inside the cathedral in 1500. And they say TV taught us nothing good!
Were we absolutely in love with the Cathedral? Not really, but it is a nice place to visit. However, if the weather is nice and you don’t have too much time, don’t feel bad for skipping it.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Now, this is a place we did fall in love with! We love a good museum. We can spend hours and hours going through artefacts and reading about the artists and the inspiration behind their works of art. Kelvingrove was on our list and we would have gone even without the rain. As luck would have it, we could spend a few hours there without FOMO.
The museum is located in a gorgeous, massive mansion fully refurbed back in 2006. It houses several thousand objects, from examples of taxidermy and full sets of armour to paintings from different art movement eras. One of the most famous paintings is Dali’s “Christ of St John of the Cross”. They also have a full-sized Spitfire plane, a figure of the King of Rock and Roll, and, for some reason, a load of floating heads showing emotions.
We could easily spend a full day here. Definitely pop by when in Glasgow.
For some reason, the husband and I love visiting botanical gardens. One of the best ones we’ve been to is in Berlin. There is something soothing, almost magical, about walking among plants; some of them familiar, but much bigger than the ones you have at home, some completely new species.
And there is no better place during cold wet weather than the tropical greenhouses 😀
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens were founded over 200 years ago, in 1817. Unlike the Berlin ones, they are not as massive space-wise but they are, nevertheless, a good way to keep yourself dry and warm for a few hours. and they come with a little cafe.
The Kibble Palace is a white glasshouse that looks like it was transported from a Victorian era. Once inside, you can imagine Victorian Glaswegians strolling among the fern trees and palms, admiring the statues hiding in the green. At the entrance, where most would put a fountain, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens team put a magnificent palm tree.
The other glasshouse (the brown one) has more plant species and looks more fit for a scholar than a lady out with a chaperone. It even has a family of mice running around the plants :D. Don’t worry, they only come out when they think they’re alone.
There are other indoor places you can visit in Glasgow, but a lot of them were closed while we were travelling due to lockdown. We wanted to visit the Crossbill gin distillery, Glasgow Beer Works, the Mackintosh House and the Mackintosh Lighthouse, but all were closed due to Covid.
Have you ever been to Glasgow? Did you visit any other good indoor spots? Let us know in the comment section.