On a wet and windy March day we hopped on the bus to Alloa and then (after having lunch at D’nisi) caught the train directly through to Glasgow Queen Street. We headed through the rain soaked streets to Central Station and just down the street from the entrance found the Grasshoppers hotel where we would be staying the night.
After checking out our room we headed straight back out to the Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Design and Architecture which was just a couple of streets away. Housed in the former Glasgow Herald building, designed by Mackintosh, there are a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions.
We headed up the illuminated escalators to a small exhibition on the use of wood and other traditional construction materials and techniques that are being used for a range of structures across Scotland.
Besides the Mackintosh exhibit we found a delightful series of paintings and sculptures by Scottish artist Siobhan Healy whose work explored glass and light.
We then headed up the magnificent spiral staircase that winds up the main tower to a viewing platform high above the Glasgow rooftops.
Although it was murky in the rain it was still a good spot and we made our way around the whole tower to get views in different directions.
We descended the stairs and made our way back down exiting through the giftshop into the rainy evening streets.
On the walk back to the hotel we picked up beer and then spotted a new doughnut shop (Tantrum Doughnuts) that was opening for the first time to customers. We picked up a couple of delicious items and took our spoils back to our room where we were very glad to dry out
That evening we ventured back out for dinner, going to The Spiritualist on Miller Street. The atmosphere was excellent, service good and the food sublime. For starters we shared a mixed Scottish seafood platter that had smoked salmon, rolled herrings, soft shell crab, mussels and prawns. Served with sourdough bread it was almost enough for a meal in and of itself!
Walking back to the hotel we got to enjoy some Glasgow Saturday night atmosphere with a boisterous crowd around a busker who was belting out Ed Sheeran, and enjoying the lights strung above the Royal Exchange.
After all of the rain it was pleasant to wake up to sunshine the next morning. We checked out of the hotel and headed around to Bill’s for a hearty breakfast. Unfortunately we hadn’t taken into account the fact that it was Mothering Sunday so it was busy and service was a little slow but it was fun seeing the Mum’s enjoy their complimentary prosecco.
Our destination for the day was the People's Palace and Winter Gardens located on Glasgow Green. We walked through the city centre and then out towards the river. We walked in to the Green past the Commonwealth Games sculpture and then got caught up in the very end of a charity run. Beyond all this were the Winter Gardens which we were glad to enter - despite the weak sunshine it was still a cold morning with a biting wind.
It was pleasantly humid inside the Gardens. It is a single, large glasshouse with beautiful architectural details and a pleasant, light feel. We wandered the walkways and then sat down on a bench in the large central space under towering palms. It is a delight.
Next we headed into the People’s Palace itself, a museum dedicated to the history and lives of Glasgow residents taking you from housing, to jails, to work in the shipyards, to holidays along the Clyde. It is packed with great exhibits and lots of information.
From the upper floor there is also an excellent viewing area out over the Winter Gardens and beyond to Glasgow Green itself which looked better under the brightening sun.
After exploring the upper floor we headed outside and made our way back towards the city centre, Queen Street Station and the train back to Alloa.