Cool Places - The best places to stay in the UK

The Best Places to Stay in the UK


Scotland’s largest city is a thrilling hub of creativity, the birthplace of such eclectic talents as Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Billy Connolly, with a palpable energy to its Celtic tinged culture that ripples through the grand Georgian and Victorian streets. It is a dynamic and diverse metropolis, where the new forest of glass and steel reflects medieval cathedrals, and 19th century merchant houses vie for attention with avant garde creations. This wealth of architecture is home to world-class galleries and museums, chic cafés and stylish restaurants, as well as what the famously stylish Glaswegians insist is the finest choice of shops in the UK outside London. Glasgow did not even have a tourist office until the 1980s, but the ‘Glasgow’s Smiles Better’ campaign in 1983 and European City of Culture in 1990 propelled it into the spotlight and today the self-styled ‘Scotland with Style’ is emerging as one of Europe’s hottest city break destinations. The Commonwealth Games in 2014 marked yet another milestone in this thrilling city's remarkable rebirth, with the year also seeing the city become a hub of Homecoming Scotland 2014 and host the MTV Music Awards, making it arguably the biggest year in Glasgow's history.

Quick History

Post-industrial Glasgow has come a long way since it was the rural idyll conjured up by the literal translation of its Gaelic name – ‘Dear Green Place’. Its first settlers were probably Christians in the 6th century and this is the period that its patron saint, St Mungo, hails from. The town was granted an official charter in 1175 and the university opened in the 15th century, but it was not until the 17th century that Glasgow really started to emerge as a major port. Its access to the Atlantic and the bountiful supply of cheap, skilled labour, coal and iron saw it emerge as an industrial hub and the world’s foremost shipbuilding centre during the Industrial Revolution. Much of its grandest architecture dates from this Golden Age as the Second City of the Empire. The world wars kept Glasgow’s heavy industries busy, but in the 1950s they soon plunged into a nigh terminal decline that lead to both social problems and unrest. Today Glasgow still retains a handful of shipyards, but it has also reinvented itself as a tourist hub, built partly on its lively cultural and social scene, vibrant nightlife and its famously gregarious inhabitants. It is also a major conference and business destination and the future looks bright for the 'Dear Green Place' after the highly successful staging of the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

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Scotland's most thrilling and creative city
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