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31 Things About Glasgow That Will Surprise You

Two words: brie pakora.

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1. The best view of Glasgow is actually from a car park.

The Robertson car park (aka the car park in the sky) at Glennifer Braes in Paisley offers a panoramic view of Glasgow you just can't get anywhere else.

2. And the view from the cinema is pretty great too.

The 200-feet-high Cineworld on Renfrew Street is the world's tallest cinema.

3. There are hidden gardens nestled around the city.

Who needs a park when you can picnic in this gorgeous, charity-run garden to the rear of the Tramway arts trust instead?


4. You can jump off the Titan Crane.

Book a bungee slot by contacting Highland Fling Urban. If you dare.

5. Or ride a zip slide across the Clyde.

Only if you're being sponsored for a charity though. You can sign up to do it for children's cancer organisation CLIC Sargent here.

6. We have a vintage roller disco called Rollerstop.

It's Scotland's only dedicated roller rink, and it's amazing.

7. You can sample brie and spinach pakora at The Balti Club.

They also sell mozzarella and cashew nut pakora that aren't to be missed. You can get 50 pakora for just £12.95; handy if you're throwing a party.


8. There's a secret Victorian flat you can actually visit.

If you ever wondered what tenements looked like when they were first built in Victorian times, you can find out at this National Trust for Scotland property.

9. Or grab a drink at a more modern version.

Flat 0/1 is a hidden basement bar that's designed to look like a scruffy party flat.

10. You can watch a Russian kinetic theatre.

These imaginatively bizarre animated sculptures were created by a Russian sculptor-mechanic called Eduard Bersudsky in 1989 and tell fantastical stories.

11. There's an amazing women's library that focuses on Scottish women's history and achievements.

A women's lib-rary, if you will. The library runs events like this women's heritage walk around Glasgow and this re-enactment of a suffrage march.


12. You can drink a pine needle pint beside the river.

Inn Deep is a craft beer hall housed under arches beside the river; they serve hundreds of quirky beers, including Williams Bros spruce and pine ale.

13. Or prop up the longest bar in the UK.

The ornate, Victorian Horseshoe Bar on Drury Street is officially the longest bar in Britain; it's an impressive 104 feet and three inches long. The pints are fairly cheap too.

14. You can visit 330-million-year-old trees at Fossil Grove.

The grove of fossilised trees at Victoria Park pre-dates the dinosaurs by around 100 million years.

15. Or a Roman bath house at Bearsden.

These second-century baths were uncovered when some Victorian homes were bulldozed in the 1970s. They were part of an old Antonine Wall fort.


16. There's a church designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

The beautiful and atmospheric Mackintosh Church at Queen's Cross isn't the Glasgow artist's most famous building, but it's still a total delight.

17. In fact, there are beautiful historic buildings and stately homes around every corner.

Like Pollok House.

18. You can drink cocktails in a 1900s cinema.

Hillhead Bookclub used to be a beautiful and grandiose cinema called The Salon that was built in 1913. It's now an equally beautiful bar.

19. We have an awesome street art trail.

The mural trail was created by the council and features dozens of amazing creations, like this one.


20. You can try a bit of life drawing in Glasgow's oldest pub.

All the Young Nudes is a free life-drawing club that meets in Sloan's (an inn dating back to 1797) every Monday night.

21. You'll find the literary love of your life at Thistle Books.

This labyrinthine treasure trove of second-hand books is tucked away in an alley, so it's easy to miss. Try not to though, because it's amazing (and cheap).

22. You can order a giant pizza at Toni's Pizzeria.

Twenty-seven inches of fun. It's free if you finish it in an hour and a half – or share it with nine friends for just £3 per person. Bargain.

23. Or, if you want to be more refined, The Willow Tea Rooms serves one of the cheapest afternoon teas around.

This spread is just £12.95; the average price in Glasgow is around £18. Plus, you get to enjoy the Rennie Mackintosh-designed interior.


24. You can see (but not hear) a film at the world's oldest surviving music hall.

The Britannica Panopticon was built in 1857, is filled with Victorian memorabilia, and hosts silent movie nights and traditional music hall performances.

25. We have our very own Grand Ole Opry.

Who needs Nashville? The country and western scene in Govan is much better.

26. You can explore abandoned train lines and platforms on a tour of Central Station...

The station was first built in 1879, so there's plenty to explore. The tour takes in subterranean passageways, hidden railway vaults, and even the glass roof.

27. ...take a tour of the BBC Scotland building...

And pretend to be a newsreader. You can book a tour here.


28. ...or stroll around the Tennent's factory.

"Customers who are believed to have consumed alcohol before commencing the tour will not be admitted to the premises and the refund policy will not apply."

29. We have a gourmet chippy serving Belgian fries.

Twice-cooked rosemary-and-thyme-seasoned frites with Belgian garlic mayo for only £1.95? Yes. Everyone needs to visit Pommes Frites.

30. You can go to gigs, art exhibitions, and pop-up dining nights in an abandoned swimming pool.

Govanhill Baths was built in 1912, closed in 2001, and is now used as an event space and community hub.

31. Or take a dip at the oldest swimming baths in the world.

Founded in 1870, this fancy bathing club features a skylit pool, saunas, and hot tubs. London, you can keep your lidos.