REGISTRATION & HOTELS
IN THIS DOCUMENT:
A city to walk around
Food and Drink
This section forms a brief introduction to Glasgow.
The exact origins of the city of Glasgow are still a matter of debate amongst historians.
However, it is generally acknowledged that in the sixth century the Christian missionary
Kentigern - who would become Saint Mungo - founded a monastery around the area where the
Molendinar Burn flowed into the Clyde.
In 1175, King William awarded an official charter to the town. In
the mid-1400s, the first University (and the second in Scotland) was founded
on the site of the ancient monastery. By 1492, Glasgow had achieved city
status and was a major population centre within Scotland.
By the early 1700s, Glasgow had become a major port city; in 1770 the
Clyde was dredged and jetties built along its banks, allowing larger vessels
to dock within the city centre. In the 1830s, as the industrial revolution
took hold, Glasgow became a key centre for glass, paper, textile, cotton
and chemical manufacturing and distribution.
The 1860s through to the turn of the twentieth century saw Glasgow become
the shipbuilding centre of the world. This was partially due to the location,
with the Clyde being a perfect natural shipbuilding centre, and partially
due to the large increase in the population, attributable in part to mass
immigration from Ireland. Over the next century, many of the world's most
famous ships, such as the Queen Mary, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Elizabeth
II, were built on the banks of the Clyde.
In addition, a programme of building lasting some half a century from
the 1870s saw the development of a large number of museums, galleries,
and libraries. Infrastructure developments resulted in Glasgow being one
of the first cities in Europe with a regulated telephone system, water
supply, and gas supply. Great exhibitions of international repute were
held in Kelvingrove Park in 1888 and 1901 - the greatest ever held outside London.
Over the last 20 years Glasgow has undergone tremendous change. From the 1970s
through to the present day, the industrial focus of the city has moved
from the heavy industries such as shipbuilding (although this still carries
on today in a much reduced capacity), to service-based industries such
as IT and tourism.
Whereas in previous decades the centre of Glasgow was considered unsafe
during the hours of darkness, a radical transformation has led to Glasgow
being one of the safest cities in Britain. The ongoing development of
the main shopping precincts and streets in Glasgow, as well as an emerging
cafe culture and late night opening, has made Glasgow a pleasant environment
in which to work, live, shop and be entertained. In addition, the people of
Glasgow have a growing reputation of being amongst the friendliest and
most helpful of any British city.
The Clyde has undergone a dramatic redevelopment in recent years, no
better exemplified than through the Armadillo, the building
which will house the IFLA 2002 conference. Opposite the Armadillo, the
Glasgow Science Centre, a complex
of business and entertainment facilities, is under construction. Further
up the river, modern accommodation complexes and apartments adorn the
riverbanks; a stroll along the north bank, from the conference centre
to Glasgow Green and back again, is an ideal way of seeing many aspects
of the city.
Glasgow has, for many years, been a world leader in design and the
arts, and several galleries and museums celebrate the work of artists
such as Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Exhibitions within Glasgow that explore
this subject, such as The
Lighthouse, are well worth visiting.
Many of Glasgow's old housing problems have been eradicated, by a variety
of means. Some warehouses and tenement buildings have been turned into
studio flats and other modern accommodation; others have been pulled
down, with shops, offices and new flats taking their place. As the transport
system has been upgraded in Glasgow, other estates have been removed
to make way for rail lines and motorway links; Glasgow is one of the
few United Kingdom cities in which a motorway allows access straight
to the centre. Other estates, such as the Gorbals, have undergone extensive
rebuilding and are now much more welcoming areas of the city.
These, and many more developments, helped Glasgow to become the
1999 UK City of Architecture and Design.
Glasgow contains an astonishing number of theatres, art galleries and museums,
from the large Kelvingrove
Gallery and Museum, to a myriad of smaller establishments such as the
Tron. Many are
either free or have small admission fees, making it easy to immerse yourself
in several days or weeks of cultural activities at very little cost. In
addition, Glasgow is the home of the Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet,
the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and the Royal Concert Hall.
Glasgow contains around a dozen cinemas, ranging from small specialist outfits such as the
Glasgow Film Theatre, through to larger multiscreen establishments. There are six cinemas within
30 minutes walk of the conference venue, including the recently opened
IMAX cinema, which shows specialist films on a screen as
large as a tower block.
Music forms an important part of Scottish and Glaswegian culture, from
the traditional (such as bagpipe playing) to the contemporary. Glasgow
has produced many famous musical bands, including Simple Minds, Texas,
Wet Wet Wet, Del Amitri, Lulu and Primal Scream. Glasgow
also plays host to several legendary concert venues, such as the Barrowlands
and King Tut's Wah Wah Hut.
For better or worse, karaoke is a common event
in many pubs; local bands, both traditional and modern, can also be found
in many establishments during the evenings. A large and vibrant club and dance scene in
Glasgow ensures that the young and energetic can find 24 hour entertainment.
Various listing magazines are available that cover the arts and culture in
Glasgow. In addition, there are an increasing number of regularly updated
A city to walk around
The West End of Glasgow is the "trendy" area of the city, being the focal point
of many of the artists, students and media people who live or work in the
Strathclyde region. In this area you will find the University of Glasgow,
countless examples of fine architecture, several significant churches and
museums, restaurants a-plenty, the Botanical
Gardens and Kelvingrove Park. Jim's West
End of Glasgow Picture Gallery gives an indication of some of the attractions
of the area.
In the central area of Glasgow can be found the Merchant City. This grid
of streets contains a number of bars, restaurants, art galleries, cafes,
shops, and shopping arcades. Indeed, Glasgow has now one of the largest
collections of shops of any European city. Many of these establishments
open until late, adding a distinctly continental feel to the city in the
long days of the summer. Glasgow is also home to a large number of well-tended
parks and possesses more public open spaces than any other city
in the United Kingdom.
Getting out of the city for some rural walking is particularly easy.
one of Scotland's largest lochs, and Ben Lomond, a nearby Munro, is a
bus ride away from Buchanan Street bus station. Even some of Scotland's
islands, such as Arran,
are only a few hours away by train and ferry from the centre of Glasgow.
Scotland's collection of regional airports, and its train and coach network,
make it easy to visit some of the most scenic locations in the world;
it is well worth considering building a holiday to Scotland around attendance at the IFLA 2002 conference.
Being by far Scotland's largest city, Glasgow is the home of several league teams,
including Celtic, Rangers, Partick Thistle and Queens Park. The rivalry between
Celtic and Rangers is traditionally one of the fiercest between any two
sporting sides in the world. Not far behind football in terms of profile
is rugby (slightly similar to American Football, but without the excessive
Golf is, of course, a sport also indelibly linked to Scotland, and the
suburbs of the city boast several courses. Other sports played within
Glasgow include cricket, greyhound racing and ice hockey. Due to the diverse
countryside, pursuits such as fishing, climbing, mountain biking and hiking
are becoming increasingly popular.
Further out into the hills and mountains, skiing and other winter sports are undertaken in
increasing numbers, especially around Aviemore. Curling, a version of bowls, but played on ice
and involving the astute application of brooms, is a sport in which Scotland is a world
Highland games, which take place in several locations throughout Scotland in the summer,
feature a number of interesting events that are unfortunately unlikely to grace the Olympic
stage in the near future. The most well-know of these events is
"Tossing the Caber", which
involves a large man throwing a tree whilst wearing a kilt (do not try this at home).
Food and Drink
One of the many things that Glasgow is famous for is its pub and drinking scene.
Despite the modernisation of much of Glasgow in the last 20 years, many
pubs have retained their traditional aspects. At the contemporary end of
the spectrum, a large number of wine bars, upmarket drinking establishments
and themed pubs have opened in recent times, especially in the city centre
and the West End. Of the Web-based guides, Travel
Scotland and the Places to Drink section of the Scotland
the Best! travel guide will provide useful advice.
Glasgow has a stomach-stretching array of restaurants, serving a wide
selection of cuisines with establishments ranging from takeaway meals costing a
few pounds sterling
per meal to formal evening dining experiences.
Some restaurants offer
hefty discounts for same-day bookings. However, to immerse yourself
fully in the experience that is Glasgow, you should partake on at least
one occasion of a "chip supper and Irn Bru" (a large portion of fish and
chips, with Scotland's most popular soft drink).
In addition, it may be worthwhile nibbling at some of Glasgow and Scotland's more
well-known or unusual foods, such as
or the diet-threatening
deep fried Mars bar. Of
course, a trip to Glasgow is incomplete without sampling possibly Scotland's most
famous export: Whisky.
to Eating out in the West End and the Places to Eat section of
the Best! will serve you well. Equally useful is the restaurant
section of the List guide.
More information about Glasgow can be found at: http://www.seeglasgow.com
As Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, so it forms the centre point
of the public transport and road networks. Glasgow is therefore the ideal
starting point for travelling to any part of Scotland.
Glasgow International Airport lies 8 miles to the southwest of the
city. It can be reached by car, or by a regular bus link (20 minutes from
the city centre). Direct flights to all other airports in Scotland are
available from Glasgow, as well as flights to and from all key United
Kingdom and Irish airports, many European, and several American and more
Rail - From Glasgow, rail lines radiate
in most directions. The West
Highland lines provide direct access to various towns in the Highlands,
and ferry ports with services to the Inner and Outer Hebrides (the Western
Isles). Trains also connect Glasgow to England via the West
Coast and East Coast lines.
Within the Strathclyde region (which incorporates Glasgow), a system
of surface level and low level trains provide fast and frequent access
to most districts, outlying towns, and a number of ferry ports.
Underground - Glasgow possesses Scotland's
system, and one of only three in the United Kingdom (along with Newcastle
and London). The underground is very cheap to use (a single ticket costing
80 pence), frequent, and outside the rush hour it is uncrowded, enabling
quick journeys (from 5 to 10 minutes) from the city centre to the West
End and other parts of Glasgow.
Bus and Coach - Regular coach links
connect all major towns and cities in Scotland with Glasgow; long distance
coaches connect Glasgow with all major English and Welsh towns and cities.
Ferry - Ferries connect
most of the inhabited islands of Scotland with the mainland. The main
ferry company (CalMac) provides a range of packages and tickets, thus
enabling people either to focus on one area of exploration, or just island-hop.
In addition, ferries often connect towns on opposite banks of major estuaries