A beginners guide to Glasgow

Where to start telling you about Glasgow?!

Well, its population, ‘Weegies’, are renowned for their friendliness and humour. Ask your average Glaswegian where something is and the likelihood is that they’ll chat away for ages giving you directions or, indeed take you there themselves! As for humour, think Billy Connelly and Kevin Bridges for a mix of self-deprecation and some cracking one-liners.

A beginners guide to Glasgow

But it isn’t just the people that make the city unique, its vibrant music scene, great shops, fantastic restaurants and huge number of museums and galleries, many of which are free, that also make Glasgow an ideal ‘short-break’destination.

Glasgow has come a long way from the dark old days where organised crime and the disintegration of traditional industries left many unemployed. And that’s the great thing about it – it is constantly adapting and working on making itself better with huge success. Just look at the redeveloped Clydeside to see this success, the beautiful new home of The Transport Museum or, the wonderful new music venue – The Hydro – where international acts come and thrill the home crowds as just a few examples.

So, if you like nice food, a bit of shopping, the arts and some culture there probably isn’t a better place to head to.

And if you don’t want to spend valuable time trying to figure how to cram all this in to a day or weekend, just hop on board our City Sightseeing Glasgow open-top tour which offers transport to most of the places you’ll want to go to as well as great views of the city on your journeys.

One of Glasgow’s most famous sons – Charles Rennie Mackintosh

Glasgow has no shortage of famous sons and daughters – from scientists to actors and writers – but Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the architect, designer and artist, has to be one of the most famous and internationally celebrated.

Many visitors to the city have him front of mind when planning their itinerary as his home city has some fabulous examples of his work – from The Willow Tearooms to Glasgow School of Art.

Born in Glasgow on 7 June 1868, Mackintosh was apprenticed to a local architect, but in 1889 he transferred to the larger, more established city practice and complemented this by enrolling for evening classes at the Glasgow School of Art where he pursued various drawing programmes.

Unlike his contemporaries, Mackintosh argued that architects and designers be given greater artistic freedom and independence. He himself experimented with a range of decorative forms, producing designs for furniture, metalwork and the graphic arts.

Throughout his career Mackintosh relied on just a handful of patrons and supporters. The Glasgow businesswoman Catherine Cranston proved to be one of his most influential and her series of tearoom interiors (designed and furnished between 1896-1917) provided him with a virtual freedom to experiment. Responsible for their ‘total design’ Mackintosh provided the tearooms with furniture (including the dramatic high-back chairs), light fittings, wall decorations and even the cutlery.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Kelvingrove Glasgow

Despite success in Europe and the support of clients such as Cranston, Mackintosh’s work met with considerable indifference at home and his career soon declined. Few private clients were sufficiently sympathetic to want his ‘total design’ of house and interior.

By 1914 Mackintosh had despaired of ever receiving the level of recognition in Glasgow that he felt he deserved. A move to the South of France in 1923 signalled the end of Mackintosh’s three-dimensional career and the last years of his life were spent painting. He died in London on 10 December 1928.

To find out more about where you can see Mackintosh’s work, visit www.crmsociety.com.