Scotland

“We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation.” ― Voltaire


Scotland is a new page and content is being added on a regular basis.  Coming soon, for example, is information on :

Cafe Andeluz | Castle Rock | Edinburgh | Glasgow | Highlands | Le Monde Hotel | Oban | Rosslyn Chapel | Trespass Performance Outdoor Clothing |  Ubiquitous Chip Restaurant…and more


Current Table of Contents :  Getting There | Airport Express | Angels Share Hotel Edinburgh | CitizenM Hotel | City Sightseeing | The Doulton Fountain | Gallery of Modern Art | George Square | Glasgow Cathedral | Glasgow Green | Necropolis | The People’s Palace | Royal Exchange Square | Waverly Railway Station


“Poetry, the reading of it, the writing of it, the saying it out loud, the learning of it off by heart…all of this matters deeply to ordinary Scottish people everywhere.” ― Liz Lockheed

© deviantart.com

Getting There.  There are a number of airlines which fly into Scotland’s Glasgow International, many of them via London’s Heathrow.  If you live in a US city served by Icelandair, particularly the major metropolitan ones on the East Coast, you may want to take advantage of their Stopover Program, allowing you to stay in Reykjavik for up to 7 days at no additional cost before you connect to your onward travel to the UK.  It’s easily one of the best travel programs one can find.


Once you have arrived and collected your luggage, you will need to make arrangements for transport to the downtown area.  There are myriad options and Glasgow International’s website provides comprehensive information.  If you’re staying near Buchanan Bus Station, located in the city centre across from the Royal Concert Hall, you’re in luck.  The city’s Glasgow Airport Express :

― operates every 10 minutes;
― is reasonably priced at £ 7.50 for a single trip or, as of this writing, CAN$ 12.53 / € 8.83 / US$ 9.40;
― is £ 10.00 for round trip travel within 28 days; and
― journeys to the centre in under 30 minutes.

Tickets may be purchased at the information booth near stance 1, or you may obtain the ticket directly from the driver.  The buses are clean, feature ample storage for luggage, have free wi-fi and each seat features USB ports.

© alexander-dennis.com

Edinburgh’s Angels Share Hotel, located on Hope Street, provided a 4-star stay and an extraordinary experience.  The small boutique property is located within walking distance of the city’s famous Prince’s Street and Waverly Railway Station.  What separates this hotel is not just superior customer service but the attention to details in each of its world capital-themed rooms.  We were originally scheduled to check into the Barcelona Room but promptly upgraded to Casablanca.  Roomy and spacious with good views and sitting areas, the accommodations featured a huge bathroom with a separate shower and tub; ample closet and storage space, along with ironing board; complimentary coffee and tea service; excellent bath and bed linens; a noteworthy selection of free local magazines; and of course, free wi-fi.  The customer service is exemplary; the price point, more than fair.


Hip, modern, and reasonably priced, one cannot go wrong with CitizenM Hotels.  Their Glasgow location redefines cool without the trappings of self-awareness and was, hands down, the greatest hotel experience in my travel adventures.  It’s as if the editors of Wallpaper* Magazine had been given blank canvases and been asked to design the ideal, communal living space.  The rooms, although compact, are brilliantly designed and feature personalized iPads which allow you to control ambient light for the shower pods, lights, music, room temperature, and window blinds.  There are myriad, pre-set moods, too, for specific lighting and music combinations.  The lounges scattered throughout the first and second floors invite long conversations, more often than not well into sunrise.  The hotel’s cantina is located on the second floor and features coffee beverages to order, great breakfasts, take away available 24 hours a day, and a bar staff next to none.  The entire staff, in fact, completely redefines excellent customer service.


Glasgow’s Buchanan Bus Station will quickly prove to be your new best friend.  The city is compact, the downtown city centre easily walkable, and Buchanan will provide you with access to a number of transportation features that will prove invaluable―like the airport express.  And City Sightseeing.  Like services in other cities, the bus service has a number of options, price points and routes.  I highly recommend it since it will give you, in most instances, unlimited travel across the city and allow you quick transport to charming neighborhoods and the sites defining this fantastic city.


The Doulton Fountain :


Walking a fine line between a museum dedicated to modern art and an institution celebrating an irreverent view towards authority and quirkiness is the city’s Gallery of Modern Art, known for the statue of the Duke of Wellington with a traffic cone on his head greeting visitors at the entrance.


Planned in 1781, George Square, the city’s central public space is surrounded by the City Chambers, the General Post Office and the Queen Street Station.


Looming large over the city is Glasgow Cathedral, or St. Mungo’s, named after the Scottish patron saint.  Haunting, foreboding but ultimately beautiful, the Cathedral, built in the 12th century, is a must-see as is its adjacent Necropolis Cemetery.


A diamond in the rough, Glassgow Green may catch you off guard.  Located southeast of the city’s famed Botanical Gardens and accessible via City Sightseeing, the Green is defined by a large public space, the Clyde River and the gorgeous Doulton Fountain.  Adjacent is the People’s Palace and Winter Garden, the latter of which may not initially impress visitors.  And therein lies its charm.  It not large or defined by any one spectacular showpiece.  But, it invites casual strolling and possesses seemingly endless charms.  We intended to stay just a few minutes and ended up staying hours.


Looming on the hills in Glasgow, adjacent to Glasgow Cathedral, is the city’s Necropolis Cemetery.  Modeled after the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise in Paris, this Victorian burial-place is accessed via the Bridge of Sighs.  Winding paths will take you past more than 3,000 ornate headstones and monuments and the views across the city are spectacular.  With Glasgow’s ever-changing weather patterns, don’t be surprised if your stroll through the cemetery is characterized by drizzle, fog and then unexpected bursts of sunshine.


The People’s Palace :


Royal Exchange Square :


Waverly Railway Station.  Edinburgh’s primary train station, Waverly is the main terminus for ScotRail’s service to / from Scotland’s capital and Glasgow :