Explore Glasgow on the Clockwork Orange

Glasgow is a major destination for travelers looking to experience great architecture, country parks, and a lively food & music scene. It is also one of the friendliest cities in the world – after all our city slogan is ‘People Make Glasgow’. Now let’s kick off our adventure around the city via the Glasgow Subway.

Aerial view of Glasgow

It’s a little known fact that the Glasgow Subway is actually the 3rd oldest subway in the world after London & Budapest but it also happens to be one of the most complicated systems as well. The subway is affectionately known as the ‘clockwork orange’ as its route is a circular, orange line!

Start your day in Glasgow’s West End – arriving at the former Kelvinbridge Station, named after the bridge crossing the River Kelvin. Once you walk out of the station you will be amazed by the Lansdowne Parish Church dominating Great Western Road, built in 1863, the spire, of 218 ft, is one of the slimmest in Europe.

View of the South Portland Street Suspension Bridge

Take a walk across Kelvin Bridge to enjoy the beautiful green views. You can usually see ducks swimming and birds drinking water from the river.

One of the best things about Glasgow’s West End is the variety of attractions in this area. Spend your morning window shopping your way through vintage and charity shops. Take a break for lunch at La Lanterna and enjoy the freshly made soup and grilled goats cheese to start.

After a satisfying lunch, continue on to explore I.J. Mellis Cheesemonger. This store has a cute nostalgic style to it and comes with the friendly ‘Glasgow patter’ from its staff. (patter is the local word used for Glasgow speak)

Latte with a heart in the foam.

Get a quick dose of energy from Black Pine Coffee shop. The West End is known for supporting independent and local producers and this café serves delicious coffee from The Good Coffee Cartel as well as others.

Continue down to the corner of Great Western & Byres Road towards one of Glasgow’s greatest landmarks – Òran Mór, Gaelic for ‘great melody of life’ or ‘big song’. This is a bar, restaurant, and entertainment venue all in one!  Visit at night and look up at the spire to see a colored halo surrounding the top. This is a great place for whiskey connoisseurs, they have over 280 different varieties and the staff is full of knowledge to help you pick from their long menu. I suggest trying the Highland Park (produced on the island where I grew up), Laphroaig a rather Smokey and peaty tasting whiskey and Auchentoshan.

Sunset view of Glasgow through a window.


For the Gin fans in the group, walk across the road to BeGin which has over 90 gins from around the world including a large selection of local Scottish varieties. They also won Best Bar & Pub of the Year in 2017.  Order a gin flight to sample a variety of 3 gins, this will help you narrow down your new favorite libation.  I convinced my friends to celebrate my highland roots by trying the Kirkjuvagr (also produced on the Island where I grew up) a Shetland Reel and a Harris Gin, well known for its distinct bottle as well as its taste. After cheese, whiskey, and gin, I suggest taking a short walk down Byres Road to Hillhead Underground station where you can jump back onto The Clockwork Orange to make your way back to your hotel for an afternoon nap.

Two ladies standing at a bar

Glasgow is full of so many attractions, it is a great place to visit with a large group of friends or family. The Glasgow Subway makes getting around the city easily accessible as you visit top attractions, dining options, and much more!


This post was written by Hilton Suggests Team Member, Sheetal R. Are you interested in traveling to Glasgow? Let us know if we can help you with any other recommendations. Tweet us for more great local travel tips!

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