A few years ago I visited Pitlochry, a stunning town in Scotland, and enjoyed it so much that a return trip to Scotland has long been on my ‘to do’ list. At the time I was at university up North and holder of a student railcard meaning the journey had been affordable and relatively short and it has always been the cost and time that has stopped me returning.
However whilst browsing flights one afternoon I noticed some great value flights from London Stansted to Glasgow, from Ryanair, for just £20 return at the end of July and decided to finally make that journey!
We were up early to head over to Stansted, leaving the car at Maple Manor car parking (which were really cheap and the transfers were very quick and easy), to catch our 8.45am flight. We’d left enough time to grab a breakfast at Giraffe (standard!) which I may or may not have ordered with a cocktail (is it even holiday if you don’t order your first cocktail by 7.30am?!).
Unfortunately we were delayed by an hour setting off but we landed at Glasgow airport around 11am. We were able to grab the airport express from the airport, which was very easy to locate. We paid £10 for a return ticket and it got us into the town centre in no time.
From the central station we had about a 15 minute walk through town to get to our accommodation, the Eurohostel. We’d gone for cheap and easy for this holiday and at just £30 a night for a centrally located hostel in a private room with an en suite it was pretty good value. We were still early to check in so we paid £1 to leave our luggage with the hotel and headed out.
One of the first things we noticed about Glasgow was its wide variety of street art, which appeared to be of a very high quality. It seemed like every side alley and backstreet revealed some artistic talent and it made exploring the town that much more interesting.
We walked down Buchanon street, one of the main shopping thoroughfares of the city, which was full of bagpipers, street performers and copious amounts of tartan. We popped into a tartan shop and found plenty of stuff with my surname (Bruce) which is a very popular clan name in Scotland, having produced two kings!
By this time we’d built up an appetite and headed over to Miller & Carter for lunch. Miller & Carter is a steakhouse, interestingly situated in an old bank. They’ve kept many features including the door of the safe, which now serves as the door of the toilets.
As it was between the hours of 12-5pm we were able to enjoy their lunch menu, two courses for £10.95. It was great value and the food was really good. I had salt and pepper calamari followed by burnt ends and pulled beef chilli. Monday to Wednesday they also run an offer where certain cocktails were only £4.95 so we certainly treated ourselves!
After dinner we visited the Gallery of Modern Art, which was free entry, and situated in a striking building in the centre of the city. It only took us about half an hour to make our way around it as there weren’t an enormous amount to see but it was worth the visit. When we went the exhibition that had meant to be in the main space had been cancelled so that may have accounted for the lack of content.
Our next arty stop was the Lighthouse, Scotland’s centre for design and architecture. Its set in some former offices that were designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1895 and features a gift shop with lots of Mackintosh bits. I really liked the centre, once again it was free entry, and there were lots of funky art to see. It took us about 30 minutes to get around as some rooms were closed for private events.
After stopping at the American sweet shop on Buchanon Street to get ourselves some treats we headed back to the hotel, checked in properly and made our way to our room. It was clean and had everything we needed and after freshening up we headed out to dinner.
We visited ‘Two Ladies at the Buttery’, a restaurant I’d seen mentioned on many guides. We visited at 5.00pm meaning we were able to grab their pre theatre menu which runs from 5-6pm and offers 2 courses for £16.95.
The service was absolutely exceptional, the restaurant was very smart and intimate and the food was unbelievable. I had a feta salad to start which melted in the mouth and then a beautiful risotto for my main. Adam had some haddock and he was impressed with both the quality and quantity of his meal. I would absolutely recommend a visit here.
One thing I had on the bucket list was to enjoy whisky in Scotland and so once our dinner had digested we made this our goal. ‘The Pot Still’ offered the perfect place to tick this off the list with over 700 whiskies on offer! It was about 7pm when we arrived and the bar was pretty busy although we managed to grab some seats.
I didn’t even know where to start but the bar offered some staff recommendations so I ordered some drams from the choices and we spent the next hour making our way through a selection of whiskies, from the affordable to the very expensive.
At this point our 4am wake up started to catch up with us and we NEEDED our bed so we grabbed some haggis crisps to soak up the alcohol and made our way back to the hotel for some essential sleep!
Steps walked: 19,181