Weekly City Spotlight: Glasgow

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, in fact, Glasgow is the third largest city in the whole of the United Kingdom. With a population of around 600,000 and a population density of 8,790 per square mile, Glasgow has the highest population density in Scotland. The entire region surrounding the city covers is roughly 2.3 million people, 41% of Scotland’s population.

Situated on the River Clyde in west central Scotland, Glasgow is a city renowned for its architecture, culture and friendly and welcoming people. There is a diverse collection of museums and art galleries, a huge variety of restaurants, loads of places to shop and some simply breath-taking pieces of architecture.

Glasgow was named the UK’s City of Architecture and Design in 1999, something that won’t surprise you when you see the city’s incredible Victorian buildings. Glasgow has gained a big reputation over the years for its participation in the live music scene, with many colourful parks scattered throughout the city.

The city was crowned the European City of Culture in 1990 and hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Glasgow is currently ranked as the 57th most liveable city in the world.

Historic Glasgow

Glasgow grew from a small rural settlement on the River Clyde to become one of the largest seaports in Britain. It became a major centre of the Scottish Enlightenment in the 18th century. From the 18th century the city also grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies.

With the onset of the Industrial Revolution, the population and economy of Glasgow and the surrounding region expanded rapidly to become one of the world’s pre-eminent centres of chemicals, textiles and engineering; most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industry.

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Additional information on Glasgow can be found on the Visit Glasgow website.

Famous Faces

A number of famous faces have originated from, or are connected to, Glasgow. Just a few famous Glaswegians are listed below:

Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman – British Prime Minister

Duncan Bannatyne – Entrepreneur

Sir Alex Ferguson – Former Manchester United manager

Kenny Dalglish – Former football player and manager

Andy Murray – Current World No. 6 & British No. 1 Tennis Player

Gerard Butler – Actor (300, The Phantom of the Opera)

Billy Connolly – Comedian

Sports (Football)

The world’s first international football match was held in 1872 at the West of Scotland Cricket Club’s Hamilton Crescent ground in the Partick area of the city. The match, between Scotland and England finished 0–0.

Glasgow has three professional football clubs: Celtic, Rangers, and Partick Thistle. A fourth club, Queen’s Park, are an amateur club in the SPFL League 2. The history of football in the city, as well as the status of the Old Firm, attracts many visitors to football matches in the city throughout the season. The Scottish Football Association, the national governing body, and the Scottish Football Museum are based in Glasgow, as are the Scottish Professional Football League


Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Cathedral is the only medieval cathedral on the Scottish mainland to have survived the Protestant Reformation of 1560 virtually intact. There used to be a chanonry around it – a precinct where the bishops and clergy had their residences. The most interesting part of the cath­edral, the lower church, is reached by a stairway. Its forest of pillars creates a powerful atmosphere around St Mungo’s tomb, the focus of a famous medieval pilgrimage that was believed to be as meritorious as a visit to Rome. A must-see when visiting the city.

Burrell Collection

One of Glasgow’s top attractions was amassed by wealthy industrialist Sir William Burrell then donated to the city and is housed in an outstanding museum, in a park 3 miles south of the city centre. Burrell collected all manner of art from his teens to his death at 97, and this idiosyncratic collection of treasure includes everything from Chinese porcelain and medieval furniture to paintings by Degas and Cézanne. Regarded by many as one of best museums in Glasgow.