Courtesy of Visit Britain Images

The Commonwealth Games 2014 – Take the Opportunity to Explore Glasgow

If you weren’t able to get tickets for the Olympics, why not try your luck at those for the Commonwealth Games in 2014? Between the 23rd July and 3rd August 2014 the games will be held in Glasgow where you will have the opportunity to watch 17 sports, with competitors from 53 Commonwealth countries. Whether you hope to take in the athletics, swimming or gymnastics, the tickets won’t go on sale until 2013. Even if you aren’t successful in getting a ticket, there will be a fantastic atmosphere within the city, with plenty to see and do between watching events.

See the City

Glasgow has some fine architecture, both old and new, and there is no better way to appreciate it than exploring the city on foot. Although you can navigate the streets yourself, joining one of the walking tours is a good way to see many of the unmissable buildings in the city, while you learn more about their history from the knowledgeable guides.

Hit the Shops

After a wander through the city’s streets, turn your attention to the shopping opportunities available in Glasgow. Whether you are after clothing, a special gift or a memento of your stay, you won’t be disappointed, as there are shops to meet all your needs. For department stores and high street names, head to the Buchanan Galleries on Buchanan Street, where there are 80 shops under one roof. The nearby Argyll Arcade is home to 32 jewellers and even if you are just window shopping, stop by to admire the dazzling displays in the shop windows. Anyone seeking a bargain should take a walk to Barras Market in Gallowgate, which is open on Saturdays and Sundays; you never know what you might find. If on the other hand you are looking for designer labels, the Italian Centre on John Street is a good bet and one of the pavement cafes there makes the perfect place to rest your feet over a coffee. Glasgow might be famous for its battered Mars Bars, but you will be spoilt for choice when it comes to finding somewhere to eat, so whether you want to sample international cuisine or a traditional tea room, there is somewhere to suite every taste.

Go Cultural

Although Edinburgh might be thought of as Scotland’s historic city, that doesn’t mean that Glasgow is lacking in museums, and you’ll certainly have plenty to choose from. A short bus, train or subway ride from the city centre is The People’s Palace, set within Glasgow Green, which tells the story of Glasgow and its people over the last 250 years. While there, stop by the Winter Gardens where you will find exotic palms and plants, marvel at the Doulton Fountain and relax in the surroundings of the largest public green space in Glasgow. If science is more your interest, Glasgow Science Centre has over 300 hands on exhibits, ideal for inquisitive children; it is also home to an IMAX cinema where you can be astounded by films in 2D or 3D on a giant screen. The Science Centre also hosts The Glasgow Tower, the world’s first tower able to turn in a full rotation and at 122m in height allows amazing views not just over the River Clyde, but for 40 miles in all directions.

Active Opportunities

If all the walking hasn’t been enough for you, Pollok Country Park, a mere three miles from the centre of Glasgow, is the perfect place to participate in further activities. Take your own or hire a bike to have a go at one of the three cycle trails that wind through the parks and nearby woodland; graded at different levels of difficulty, there is a trail to suit everyone. There is also a swimming pool and dry ski slope. For family and friends who aren’t so keen on active pursuits, they can enjoy the two art collections housed within the park and the beautiful formal gardens of Pollok House, while you cycle, swim or ski to your heart’s content.

Jenny writes on behalf of luxury medical health insurance and strongly believes in combining travel with activity to lead a healthier, more fulfilled life.

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