As Scotland’s largest city, the period of urban decline that long plagued Glasgow is now on the upturn. A major trading and manufacturing centre since the industrial revolution, Glasgow today may still be primarily working class but it’s the friendliness of the locals and the lack of polish that’s all part of the charm.
Set along the Clyde River, and boasting some of the United Kingdom’s most notable examples of Victorian architecture, a visit to Glasgow is a welcome sojourn from other homogenous UK centres.
A diverse restaurant scene, not to mention several world-class galleries and museums, make Glasgow a sophisticated centre that many would otherwise not expect. Visitors can easily while away the hours exploring the nooks and crannies of vintage clothing precincts and stroll along the parklands and attractions on the banks of the Clyde River.
Major cruise ships visiting Glasgow call at the deep-water port of Greenock, approximately 40 kilometres away. Greenock Ocean Terminal serves as the major port for west Scotland and is located on Scotland’s Atlantic coast at the head of the Clyde River. A waterfront walkway connects the cruise terminal to the centre of town.
Passengers are likely to be greeted with the sounds of traditional Scottish bagpipes at the Greenock Ocean Terminal.
Within the port area, facilities include:
- Inverclyde Tourist Group desk providing maps and brochures
- Souvenir and convenience stores
- Internet access booths
- Taxi rank
- Currency exchange kiosk.
How to Get Around
Glasgow can be easily reached by train from Greenock, with trains leaving every 20 minutes from one of two main train stations in town. One-way fares to Glasgow are around £8, with the journey taking about 40 minutes. For those willing to stay in and around Greenock, the town can easily be explored on foot along the main esplanade, providing an excellent view across the highlands.
For those wanting to explore the attractions of Loch Lomand, The Scottish Wool Centre and the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, car hire, taxis or bus excursions from Greenock are the best way to explore the delights of the Scottish countryside.
Once in Glasgow, the city offers hop-on hop-off open-air bus tours, as well as a single underground metro loop serving the city centre, West End, and the area around Glasgow University. The downtown area is very pedestrian-friendly with plenty of streets reserved for foot traffic only. There are many foot-bridges that cross the Clyde River which runs through town.
Travel times from port:
- It is a 5 minute walk to Greenock town centre
- It is a 15 minute walk to the Greenock Central train station.
- It is a 40 minute journey to Glasgow’s city centre.
- It is a 35 minute journey to Glasgow Cathedral
- It is a 26 minute journey to Glasgow International Airport.
- Currency - Glasgow and the rest of Scotland use the pound sterling (GBP), which is available in 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1 and £2 coin denominations. Bank notes are available in £5, £10, £20, £50 and £100 denominations.
- Time Zone - Glasgow operates on Greenwich Mean Time Zone (UTC+0), which is the basis for modern civil time.
- Climate - Glasgow has an oceanic climate with cool winters with an average temperature maximum of 5 degrees Celsius during January. Snow, however, is rare. Summer temperatures can be unpredictable and long spells of warm dry weather are generally rare.
- Riverside Museum - Named the '2013 ‘European Museum of the Year’, Glasgow’s Riverside museum offers a comprehensive timeline of Glasgow’s transport and shipping history. Explore steam trains, horse-drawn carriages, early street car models and the Tall Ship – one of the only remaining of its kind still afloat in the world today. The museum is open daily from 10-5pm, with an 11am opening on Sunday.
- Victorian Architecture - Take a walking tour through Glasgow city centre to appreciate some of the UK’s most renowned examples of architecture from the Victorian era. Examples include Glasgow Grand Central Station, The Glasgow Cathedral and buildings along George Square and Queen Street. Many of the aforementioned sites can also be seen from the inside.
- Loch Lomond - A day trip from Greenock or Glasgow, Scotland’s largest freshwater lake is set among stunning hills with several mid-lake islands. The picture perfect conservation village of Luss is nestled on the shores of Loch Lomond and has been featured in many TV series. Shore excursions can be arranged through cruise ships or at the tourist information desks in the Greenock cruise terminal.
- Shopping in West End - Take the underground to Glasgow’s West End where vintage threads, handbags and bohemian jewellery are all on display. Full of boutiques and cafés, take your time wandering the streets, especially the intersection where Dumbarton Rd crosses Crow Road.