Rhonwyn Newson

Weekend editor of the Herald Online and writer of The Herald List

Scotland: Ten reasons to visit Glasgow

Glasgow's 'Squinty Bridge' and buildings alongside the River Clyde are illuminated at night. Photo / Thinkstock
Glasgow's 'Squinty Bridge' and buildings alongside the River Clyde are illuminated at night. Photo / Thinkstock

Attending the Commonwealth Games shouldn't be the only reason to visit Glasgow. Vibrant, dynamic and fun, the city is renowned for its arts, entertainment and architecture.

Glasgow was named the number one UK destination "on the rise" by TripAdvisor, and the third best destination in the UK, in the 2013 Travellers' Choice Awards.

Here are 10 reasons you should visit Glasgow ...

1. 350 whiskeys to try

With 800 different varieties of ale and over 350 types of malt whisky The Bon Accord pub is a must-see if you fancy a tipple. Craft beer tastings and whiskey nights occur regularly.

2. Practice for the zombie apocalypse

We know it's coming, but at 2.8 Hours Later you can get in some great practise.

The website describes the game: starting from a secret border location, you are issued with a map and the address of the first location you must reach, somewhere in your quarantined city. Each location will immerse you further into the world of 2.8, where being bitten by a zombie doesn't just mean infection, it could mean quarantine.

As you journey further into the game you uncover clues to the location of the mysterious Asylum. Once there, you will be scanned for infection - if you are infected you are transformed into one of the zombie horde. Asylum is a place of refuge for the infected and non-infected alike, where both can live in harmony and get down at the Zombie Disco - THE party at the end of the world.

3. Who doesn't love The Dude?

Lebowskis in Glasgow serves white Russians, burgers and lots of meaningful advice. Its Facebook page sums up what this establishment is about: this is the page for those who have dabbled in pacifism and dislike people peeing on your rugs.

4. Visit The Barras

A world-famous market, The Barras is a mixture of street markets, indoor markets, shops and pubs. Just about anything can be purchased at the Barras, and it takes a good couple of hours to wander around.

5. A bookshop like no other

Voltaire and Rousseau is no bigger than a living room, but has piles of books, stacked up high and higgledy-piggledy. A booklover's delight, titles from every genre can be found here.

6. Wander through a 330 million-year-old forest

Discovered by accident, fossil trees were uncovered here following removal of the surrounding rocks. They are the remains of an ancient forest, around 330 million years old. And you can visit them at Fossil Grove.

7. See where St Valentine rests

In 1868 a small wooden box labelled 'Corpus Valentini Martyris' was dropped off at the Gorbals. It turns out the bones of St Valentine were inside, and the box now sits at Blessed John Duns Scotus church.

8. Have a house party ... in someone else's house

Flat 0/1 on Bath Street has a double-bed, half a bathtub and plenty of cheap booze According to its website, Flat 0/1 is where council tax letters are turned into paper aeroplanes and eviction letters into ... something else.

"We won't be up for lectures in the morning, there won't be a flat inspection from the landlord."

9. Try a very Christmassy ale

Alloa brewers Williams Brothers have an inventive selection of beers and ales on offer at Inn Deep. Perhaps the most famous, Nollaig, is a 7 per cent tipple with ingredients derived from Christmas spruce.

10. Visit a lighthouse ... in the city

The Lighthouse was the first public commission completed by the famous Charles Rennie Mackintosh. It has been described as a beacon for the creative industries in Scotland and promotes design and architecture through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events. Admission is free.

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