Extreme Sport!

Ever fancied doing something more exciting with your time at Glasgow? How about jumping from a plane in a sexy yellow jumpsuit? Or maybe partaking in a bit of equestrian jumping? Or maybe delving the deeps with the dive club is something you’ve always fancied.Below is our list of top-picks for Glasgow Uni’s more extreme Sports and Societies:

NOTE all students MUST become a member of GU Sport before they are able to join any of the following clubs – simply pop along to the Sports Reception in the Wolfson Building to check out the membership costs (£60/year – Free for students in Glasgow Uni Accommodation).

Glasgow Sub-Aqua

If you’ve ever fancied getting your PADI qualification and hitting the diving hotspots of the UK (yes they exist) then this is the club for you. The Sub-Aqua club accommodates new and experienced divers and offers a range of theory and practical courses alongside weekend trips. As the website says: ‘For banter and bubbles come and take the plunge with us!’

Glasgow Martial Arts

The University hosts a number of martial arts clubs from Aikido to Taekwando. All our martial arts clubs are an excellent mix of experienced teachers and keen new students. If you’ve been practicing your art for years or are trying to go from zero to black belt these friendly and welcoming clubs are the place to go. For a full list of styles on offer check out the Glasgow Sport website.

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Glasgow Cheerleading

A sport usually associated with our friends across the pond in the USA, Cheerleading has hit the British shores with a bang in recent years, with fun vibrant clubs popping up the breadth and length of the UK. While most of us probably have our ideas shaped by American media of elitist groups, the cheerleading society at Glasgow is fun and welcoming to new pompom practitioners. Cheerleader? Dancer? Tumbler? Gymnast? Beginner? Looking for a new challenge? Glasgow University Cheerleading Club has something for everyone. Sign up today!

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Glasgow Gaelic Football & Shinty

If you fancy trying some of Scotland’s more traditional sports then Gaelic Football (Like footbal, but not) and Shinty (Like Hockey, but not) are the clubs for you. These sports are fast paced and super fun with large teams and a vibrant atmosphere.

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Glasgow Mountaineering (GUM)

If bats and balls aren’t your type of thing then perhaps try your hands (and toes) at the Mountaineering Club. Scotland has some of the best outdoor climbing and mountaineering spots in the world and GUM embraces this with gusto. Mountain Biking, Mountain Climbing, Scrambling, Hiking – if you can do it on or around a Mountain then GUM will be there. The society organises a range of trips and equipment hire for beginners and experienced crag rats alike.

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Glasgow Riding Club (GURC)

Ever fancied yourself a bit of a Cowboy? Or maybe you imagine yourself prancing around on the back of a beautiful Dressage Horse? GURC is the place for you. The club offers riding lessons and events for beginners and seasoned equestrians alike and currently boasts around 100 members. The best part is, you don’t even need a horse! The club, through their host yard, allows students to test out their riding legs without having to invest in your own stallion. Who could say neigh to that?

Glasgow Surf Club

Scotland’s coast  has some of the best surfing in the UK, our seas may be cold, but our excellent waves makes taking the plunge totally worth it. The club offers a range of trips and lessons and also offers the chance for more experienced surfers to compete BUCS (British Universities and Colleges Sport) level. If a simple board doesn’t get your heart racing then never fear, the club also hosts Kite Surfing, Wind Surfing and any other water sport you can think of.

Glasgow Skydiving

Our final high octane mega adrenaline sport on the list is Glasgow Skydive. If you’ve ever wanted to know what a cloud looks like from the inside (white and damp apparently) or know the rush of flinging yourself from a plane door 4000ft in the air then this is the club for you. Jumps start from £25 and the club arranges weekly trips to dropzones around Scotland for you to try!

Hopefully one or more of these clubs tickle your fancy. If you want info on a different sport not offered here please let us know and we can find out!

– Alex

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Body Language

Some of our students have expressed that learning a new language through repetitive lessons and tiresome academic-speak can become a bit of a grind. Sometimes you need to unwind in order to speak freely! A few keen yogis have asked about any local classes or sessions they can join to make new friends and practice their new skills. Below is a list of local Yoga classes which you can try out in order to get your mind & body balance back on track!

Bikram Yoga

One of the more famous styles of Yoga, Bikram classes usually run for 90 minute sessions in a hot room (40°C) and flow through a mix of 26 different postures and breathing exercises. Currently there is a Bikram yoga studio just off of Byres Road at: 1 Dowanside Lane, Glasgow G12 9BZ. Currently the Bikram studio is promoting an introductory offer for new students: £30 for 30 consecutive days of unlimited yoga!

Infinity Hot Yoga

This boutique yoga studio located in the Merchant City is a beautifully designed space with excellent teachers trained in the practice of hot yoga – Bikram. Infinity is also offering an introductory deal of £30 for 30 consecutive classes, and charges £7 for drop-in sessions.

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Yogasarvasya Studio

Located in Partick the Yogasarvasya Studio is a smaller intimate option accomodating up to 16 students from beginners to intermediates. Their current 4 week block courses cost from £28 and up. This studio is all about embracing the philosophical and physical sides of yoga with weekend workshops and deep meditations. If you need to bring some calm to your life, this is probably the place for you!

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White Lotus Yoga

This small studio, again based in a lovely location in Partick, offers two styles of yoga practice, Tantra and Hatha. Hatha classes focus on the more physical and technical side of postures and practice while the Tantra style embraces the more energetic, meditative and spiritual elements of your yoga practice! Drop in classes are £9 per class, or a block of 6 weeks is £48 (£7, £35 for full time students).

Shanti Yoga

Located in the gorgeous ‘Hidden Lane’ area of Finneston, Shanti Yoga is one of Glasgow’s more well-known Yoga studios and offers a really wide range of courses from vinyasa style flow, pregnancy yoga, zen practices, restorative yoga and reiki. Along with their brilliant yoga classes, Shanti also boasts a range of massage treatments, always a nice treat after hunching over your desk for hours! All classes are currently 2 for £10 or if you are an absolute yoga-nut you can go for the £60 unlimited monthly pass and bend and twist to your heart’s content!

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Yoga Meditation Healing Centre

Located just off of Great Wester Road this Yoga centre does what it says on the tin: a special focus on meditative and healing practices this studio really gets to grips with the yoga fundamentals and shamanic philosophies of different styles. The centre also offers a range of meditation workshops and retreats – so if you’re getting tired of Glasgow Grey you can whisk away for a weekend of pure relaxation, perfect for exam stress! Single classes range from £6-9 and the centre also offers different block booking deals.

Yoga is a wonderful way to de-stress after a week, (or day!) of hard work. Give yourself a chance to meet new people and de-clutter your mind leaving you free and open to embrace new challenges.

Namaste! – Alex

Language Cafes, Clubs, and Resources

While the EFL Chat Club is the most obvious place to come and practice your new and blossoming English skills in a friendly environment, Glasgow has many welcoming places for you to try out your new conversational skills. Below is a brief list of places and clubs you can try if you fancy working on your communication skills outside of the common room!

The GUU hosts a friendly meet-up every Friday for the International Society (iSoc). The event takes place in the GUU Reading Room from 15:00 – 18:00 and provides free tea, coffee and biscuits (obviously inferior to those provided by EFL but still delicious). The event is for all international students at the university – not just Postgraduates so offers the opportunity to engage with people of all ages and cultures. The Language Cafe Team usually organises different activities, games and quizzes based on the different nationalities present so is a fun and informal place to make friends and work on your skills. In general iSoc is a great society to join as they organise weekly events and trips across Scotland.

The SRC hosts the Conversational English Project where students can meet for a 1-on-1 meeting with a volunteer tutor for an hour every week . These tutors are students at the University themselves and do not hold the same qualifications as your EFL tutors – they are here to help you with your confidence and enthusiasm while learning your new language! If you’d like to apply for a tutor just click the image below which will take you to the information page:

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The Language Hub Glasgow also provides the opportunity to meet with local people and other international students to practice your communication skills and work on that confidence! Lots of people from across Glasgow come here to learn new languages and work on their skills – perhaps you can help a new student learn your language!?

If daytime slots don’t work for your schedule then never fear, the Language Within project hosts a social English workshop from 20:00 – 21:30 every Tuesday and is run by CELTA qualified tutors.

The Glasgow Women’s Library also offers English language classes of 2 different levels – beginners classes are on Wednesdays and Fridays 10am – 12pm and the Pre-intermediate at the same time on Tuesdays and Thursdays. The Women’s Library is a fantastic place which seeks to support and encourage education with Women in the local community and in addition to language classes offers general support and advice.

The Tron Church in the City Centre offers free English classes from 7pm – 9pm every Monday and is organised by a group of church patrons and qualified teachers. The Church also welcomes students to attend their weekly bible study for those of you wanting to practice your skills or even just learn more about Christianity. The Sandyford Henderson Memorial Church also offers English language classes offering you the chance to learn English through the Bible (if that’s up your alley) meetings are again on Monday nights 7:30 pm – 9pm.

The final resource for your blossoming English language skills is mylanguageexchange.com this database and online forum allows you to meet with other EFL students in the area for face-to-face chats or work on your written conversational skills through penpals and text chat. You can even sign up to teach other students your own mother tongue!

If you know of any other resources, cafes or clubs, please do let us know so we can tell all of our other bright and vibrant students!

Alex

Hostels in Scotland

While Glasgow city is a wonderful place to live and study it isn’t surprising that many of our students want to explore further afield during their time in Scotland, but where to begin your adventure, and perhaps more importantly where will you stay!?

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First off, what is a hostel? If you’ve never stayed in a hostel before and have only ever seen the horror movie ‘Hostel’ you might be easily confused and worried about common hostel myths: that they are dirty, unsafe and rowdy.

NOT TRUE!

Hostels are a brilliant and vibrant place to meet new people and make friends. The usual layout of a hostel resembles a large scale college dormitory with either single sex or mixed room dorms available. The beds are usually either single or Bunk Bed style and provide an excellent opportunity to get social both within your group and with other people in the dorms.  Depending on the size of your hostel you will likely have a shared shower area or an en-suite per dorm.

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All hostels will have communal areas of sorts: kitchen, lounge area and maybe even a bar! These communal spaces are a great place to relax after a long day of sight seeing or hiking, and again give you the opportunity to meet new people and cook up a nice hearty meal.

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Most hostels provide residents with safe spaces for their luggage and personal items (lockers, bunks, safe behind the desk) however they are not as secure as a personal hotel room so keep your personal items secure with your own padlock. Unlike hotels you will also need to provide your own toiletries and towels so be prepared to pack these!

The top things to pack for hosteling:

– Passport (and copies of passport)

-Smart Phone

-Toiletries

-Padlock

-Travel Towel

-Power Converter

-Eyemask and earplugs (incase your new friends want to stay up all night drinking and socialising!)

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In general hostels are a much cheaper option than hotels across Scotland with prices ranging from between £8-20 per person per night.

Most places can be reserved online either for free (from solo travelers to group bookings) or a small reservation fee with the full amount paid upon arrival. Have a look at the following sites which can also be downloaded as apps for quick bookings on the go:

Hostel World

Hostel Bookers

Youth Hostel Associations (YHA)

Scottish Independent Hostels

Scottish Youth Hostel Association

Let us know about any of your adventures and experiences while exploring Scotland. We’d love to hear from you!

Things to do in Glasgow City this Easter!

Hello everyone!  I hope you are all having a wonderful time now that you have holidays from the EFL course here!  I thought I’d suggest some things for you all to do in a family, by yourself or with friends during the holidays.

FAMILY EVENTS

Saturday Art Club at the Gallery of Modern Art

Every Saturday between March 14th and April 25th the Gallery of Modern Art in Glasgow’s city centre is hosting Art Club for kids!  Between 10.30am and 12.30pm you can go along to the Gallery with your children and participate in fun art activities.  A schedule of the different events can be found on the website: http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/004824-gallery-of-modern-art-saturday-art-club/

The Gallery of Modern Art is located in Royal Exchange Square right in the heart of the city.  You may recognise the famous statue of the Duke of Wellington which stands in front of the building with a traffic cone on his head!  It is the most visited art gallery in Scotland with exhibits from all over the world!  There is also a café for hungry children and their parents!

It is free to attend the Art Club and you can go as many times as you want!  What a great way to spend Saturday morning with your family!

RSPB at Kelvingrove

Every Saturday and Sunday between March 7th and April 26th the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) are holding events at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum right here in the West End!  Events are aimed at children and are free to attend.  All events run from 1pm to 4pm on Saturdays and Sundays and will teach children about Scotland’s wildlife.  For more information and a schedule of events for each week, check out the website:

http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/005324-the-rspb-at-kelvingrove/

RSNO Teddy Bears’ Picnic

Join the RSNO (Royal Scottish National Opera) at Henry Wood Hall in Glasgow’s West End for a Teddy Bears’ Picnic!  The Picnic is taking place on 2nd April between 3.30pm and 4pm.  It will include wonderful music by Scotland’s National Opera, storytelling and interactive play for children under the age of 7.  Children will be able to sing, dance and clap along to the music with their favourite Teddy Bear!  The event costs £6 for 1 adult and 1 child or £8 for 1 adults and 2 children.  Extra adults and children are charged at £3 each.   For more information visit the website:

http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/015653-rsno-teddy-bears-picnic/

Riverside Museum Family Activities

Every Saturday and Sunday between March 28th and April 26th the Riverside Transport Musuem is hosting a programme of fun, educational events for all the family.  Events vary from drawing sessions to storytelling and all events are free!  The times of each event vary but most are held twice each Saturday/Sunday.  For more details and a schedule of the events visit the website:

http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/017787-riverside-museum-family-activties/

Family Storytime with the Scottish Youth Theatre

Between April 3rd and April 7th the Scottish Youth Theatre are hosting family storytime at the Old Sheriff Court in Glasgow’s City Centre.  The sessions are interactive and encourage children to laugh, play, jump and shout out parts of the story.  The events are aimed at children between 3 and 7 years and tickets are £5 each.  This year the stories are all by Rudyard Kipling (the writer of The Jungle Book) and are perfect for making children giggle and gasp.  More information can be found on the website:

http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/013245-family-storytime:-how-the-alphabet-was-made

ADULT EVENTS

Book Fair at the Botanics

Glasgow’s Book Fair (Books at the Botanics) is taking place between April 3rd and April 6th.  The fair takes place at the Hopkirk building in the beautiful Botanic Gardens in Glasgow’s West End.  The event is free and the fair offers a wide variety of books from classics, novels, reference, teenage and children’s books.  So pop along and buy yourself a cheap second hand book to practice your English!

More details, including directions, can be found at the website:

http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/015723-books-at-the-botanics/

Photographers Studio at the Riverside Museum

Glasgow’s Riverside Museum of Transport is home to a variety of the world’s finest cars, bikes, motorcycles, ships and trams.  The museum brings all these vehicles to life with interactive displays and even a reconstruction of a typical Glasgow street scene in the early 1900s.  From now until April 21st the museum is giving the opportunity to visitors to dress in historical costumes and have their photo taken in a replica of Edwardian Glasgow.  What a great chance to see the museum and take a little piece of history home with you!  Here’s the website if you want more information about the event:

http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/010973-photographers-studio/

Theatre

Glasgow is home to many wonderful theatres and concert halls.  Why not take time this Easter to see a play, musical or some comedy?  Most tickets are priced between £7 – £15.  One play that might interest you is called “All of Us: Stories that need telt” taking place on the first Tuesday of every month at the Tron Theatre.  Tickets are only £5 and you will likely hear stories like you’ve never heard before!  Sounds intriguing!  Here’s more information about the event:

http://www.whatsonglasgow.co.uk/event/017213-all-of-us:-stories-that-need-telt/

So, whatever you do this Easter HAVE FUN!!!

Amy xx

Glasgow’s Great Outdoors!

Easter Activities

The Easter break is a great opportunity to visit the wider areas outside of Glasgow and to enjoy the fresh spring air at one of our local country parks, Loch-side trails, or national cycle routes. The Surrounding Glasgow area has several Country Parks which are perfect for a relatively quick day trip giving you the opportunity to visit some of Scotland’s most beautiful landscapes and wildlife whilst learning more about the local heritage and history of the Greater Glasgow areas. All of these spaces are great for family day trips or solo excursions, just grab a pair of sturdy boots and go! Alternatively if you prefer to cycle, Glasgow has a number of affordable second hand bike shops (thebikestation and commonwheel) and there are several bike-hire services within the city: gearbikes.com 

 Mugdock Country Park: Just 10mins north of Glasgow via train or bus Mugdock Country Park covers an impressive 260 hectares of prime Scottish landscape with stunning views of the Campsie Fells. The park is home to a riding school and offers similar cycle paths and walking routes to other country parks located slightly further afield. The park also offers orienteering activities for budding cartographers allowing you to explore the countryside as a group and as you navigate your way through woodlands and meadows. The park hosts various creativity activities from painting and sketching to hand-craft workshops perfect for families and people of all ages! If you fancy getting out into the wild the Park Rangers host guided tours of sections of the John Muir way, allowing you to get into the heart of some of Scotland’s most beautiful trails.There is also a fun-packed Easter Egg-stravaganza on 5th of April free for all!

  

Pollock Country Park: Boasting extensive woodlands and wildlife Pollock Country Park is located just half an hour outside of the City Centre with frequent trains running up to every 15mins. Voted one of Britain’s Best Parks (2007, 2008) it is also home to Glasgow’s renowned Burrell Collection which features a wide range of sculptures, paintings and artefacts from around the world. The Park is also home to Pollock House, one of the most elegant family homes in Scotland. If this wasn’t enough to peak your interests the park also has a walled garden, Old Stable Courtyard and Sawmill which are open to the public alongside wildlife gardens, riverside walks, and bike routes.

 

Dams to Darnely: Again located only 30mins outside of the City Centre, Dams to Darnley is a new park in the Greater Glasgow Area covering 1350 acres of green space and open waters. The park is host to various fun events throughout April from birdwatching and butterfly surveys to Easter egg hunts and wildlife photography courses. The park hosts a number of heritage sites such as Darnley House, Pollock Castle, Darnley Mill, and the Barrhead dams allowing you to sink deeper into Scotland’s history.

Balloch Country Park and Castle: Loch Lomond’s only country park is located just 45mins away from the City Centre via train, or alternatively a few hours cycle down the national cycle path. The castle has recently undergone refurbishment and stands at the heart of Balloch Park with stunning views across the waters to Ben Lomond and the Trossachs. Across the bay from the park is the Loch Lomond Aquarium which is home to several local species of fish and wildlife, including otters! Just around the corner from the Sea Life attraction and shopping centre is the Loch Lomond Bird of Prey centre which gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Scotland’s most beautiful bird species from kestrels and buzzards to hawks, eagles and owls.

Get out there and have some fun!

– Alex

Doors Open Days – Glasgow 2014

Every year in Glasgow, heritage buildings and interesting places open the doors to the public free of charge for one weekend only. This is a wonderful opportunity to explore some of the places in this city which are normally closed or hidden. There are lots of things to do, for adults and children alike. The Doors Open Days website is here:

http://glasgowdoorsopenday.com/

Here’s an edited selection of some of the EFL Student Support Team’s choices for this year!

City Centre

Britannia Panopticon Music Hall

Britannia Panopticon

Britannia Panopticon

A wonderful relic of times gone by, the Panopticon is the world’s oldest surviving music hall, built in 1857. Hidden away from a busy street, you can see original costumes are artefacts, and a special First World War exhibit.

1st Floor, 117 Trongate, G1 5HD.

Open Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm.

Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Chambers

The headquarters of Glasgow City Council is attractive from the outside, but the interior is magnificent – decorated with marble, mosaics and stained glass and built in 1888.

82 George Square, G2 1DU

Open Sunday, 10am-4pm.

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow

All you BioMed students may enjoy this one! Built in 1820, the College is designed in an ornate Beaux-Arts style, with a great collection of rare books, medical instruments and historical items from the medical field on display.

232-242 St Vincent Street, G2 5RJ

Open Saturday, 10am-4pm

North Glasgow

Lambhill Stables

Lambhill Stables

Lambhill Stables

Originally built as horse stables in the 1830s, Lambhill Stables is now a community gathering place, with a beautiful garden and interesting exhibition about the area’s history. You can also sail down the river on an old-fashioned canal boat from here, with trips on Saturday at 11:30 and 2:30 (advance booking essential).

11 Canal Bank North, G22 6RD

Open Saturday, 10am-4pm

Mackintosh Church

Mackintosh Church

Mackintosh Church

One of the most beautiful buildings created by Glasgow’s most famous architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, the church was built between 1897 and 1899. Pianists will be playing music on a 1904 grand piano as you explore.

870 Garscube Road, Queen’s Cross, Maryhill, G20 7EL

Open Sunday, 10am-4pm.

South Glasgow

Fairfield Shipyard Offices

Fairfield Shipyard Offices

Fairfield Shipyard Offices

Built in 1890, Fairfield is often described as the most beautiful shipyard office in the UK. Many famous ships were built here, and it is a great place to learn about the history of what was once the biggest industry in Glasgow.

1048 Govan Road, G51 4XP

Open Saturday and Sunday, 10am-4pm

Pollok House

Pollok House

Pollok House

Built in 1752, Pollok House is one of Glasgow’s grandest old houses, which was originally the home of the wealthy Maxwell family. It has a wonderful collection of interesting artefacts and many Spanish paintings. You could also spend some time in the surrounding Country Park, with its cute Highland cows and beautiful walled gardens. The Burrell Collection museum is also located in the park.

Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, G43 1AT

Open Sunday 10am-4:30pm.

House for an Art Lover

House for an Art Lover

House for an Art Lover

Designed by the great Charles Rennie Mackintosh in the 1890s, and finally built in 1996, House for an Art Lover is a beautiful house with fascinating interiors and stunning gardens.

Bellahouston Park, 10 Dumbreck Road, G41 5BW

Open Saturday and Sunday, 9am-12:30pm

West Glasgow

Arlington Baths Club

Arlington Baths Club

Arlington Baths Club

This is the oldest private swimming club in Europe (built in 1870), and an example of beautiful Victorian architecture.

61 Arlington Street, G3 6DT

Tours: Sat from 10am – 4pm; Sun from 10.30am – 4pm; 40 mins. Meeting point:  lounge bar, adjacent to the building foyer.

St Bride’s Church

St Brides Church

St Brides Church

A beautiful red sandstone church, with peaceful interiors, designed in 1907. Live music will be played throughout the day on the church’s historic organ.

69 Hyndland Road, G12 9UX

Open Saturday, 10am – 4pm; Sunday, 12.30pm – 3.30pm

St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral

St Mary’s Episcopal Cathedral

A stunning Victorian church designed by Sir Gilbert Scott (who also designed the University of Glasgow’s Main Building). On Sunday between 1pm and 4pm, you can also visit the bell-ringing tower!

300 Great Western Road, G4 9JB

Open Saturday, 10am – 4pm; Sunday, 1pm – 4pm

The Tall Ship

The Tall Ship

One of only five Clyde-built ships still afloat in the world, the Glenlee is a fascinating vessel, which was built in 1896. You can explore inside and on deck, finding out about Glasgow’s shipbuilding history.

150 Pointhouse Place (next to the Riverside Museum), G3 8RS

There are also many guided tours and events listed in the brochure, as well as a photography contest (and we know you guys are pretty good photographers!).

Hope you find some exciting new places in Glasgow this week 🙂

Jenny