I talk a lot on this blog about trips to Scotland, sharing my photographs from around my favourite spots on each visit and revisit to my home away from home.
I get asked a lot about my favourite spots to visit in both Glasgow and Edinburgh, and back in December I happened to be in both cities for a whirlwind weekend visit. I took a lot of snaps in my favourite haunts in both cities, and thought I would share them all in one post for a quick and easy Top 5 Spots in Glasgow & Edinburgh type guide thing.
This list is not exhaustive of course, its just 5 of my fave spots I always try and pop into when I’m in either city and always tell people they should not miss. One day I’ll do a full city guide for both towns… one day.
Edinburgh: Greyfriars Kirkyard.
Is Greyfriar’s my favourite graveyard of all time? Possibly. It has the best skellingtons, a few great mortsafes and the odd bit of genius Harry Potter graffiti.
If you go don’t forget to peek down the gated section in the top right corner.
Honourable Graveyard mention also goes to the Old Carlton Burial Ground which also has the benefit of being really near Waverley Station (check out my 35mm photographs from that haunt here and here). I normally head straight there when my train pulls in to stretch my legs amongst some of my favourite tombs – but on this visit I was hungry and headed instead for Thomas J Walls for some avocado and poached eggs on toast. 10/10 Avo on toast, worth not owning a house for by the way.
Edinburgh – National Museum of Scotland
This gorgeous place is right across the way from Greyfriar’s which is handy. I’ve taken you here before – I always pop in when I have a few minutes/hours to kill just because its so beautiful.
There are also lots of nice quiet corners to sit in and read your book if you are waiting for a pal. I sat opposite this chap and felt like if we were in a romantic comedy we would probably be married by now.
Yeah I’m a fan.
Glasgow – Hunterian Museum
I’ve already taken you on a tour of the many wings of the Hunterian Museum (and also here – just quietly I have some more up my sleeve you haven’t seen yet,) but it really is a special place that I love to visit whenever I can. The main building is always really nice and quiet, full of interesting things, and the Zoology branch feels like you have trespassed into someones secret universe.
The main reason for my last visit was to see some skellingtons in the Our Buried Bones Exhibition, which were wonderful and interesting and fascinating and I probably spent about an hour staring at the small collection of about 7 or 8 cases of remains in awe and joy. I think its touring so if you get a chance, check it out.
Glasgow – Hunterian Art Gallery
Just up the road a way from the Hunterian Museum, the Art Gallery is also not to be missed. Pop by at the right time and get a tour of the Mackintosh house, designed by your man Charles Rennie. Super interesting and beautiful. The gallery itself has my favourite collection of pieces by my favourite Scottish Colourist, Samuel Peploe. I love the little corner of his works painted on some of my favourite Scottish isles, the colours make me so happy and I always want to go home and start a painting immediately after visiting.
Not to be missed.
Glasgow – Botanic Gardens
Are you sick of me talking about the Glasgow Botanic Gardens? I literally visit them every time I am in town. What! They are just really good! My favourite thing to do when I get into Glasgow is walk through Kelvingrove Park, along the River Kelvin from the Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery (also very nice, some pictures I took are here and here) along to the Botanical Gardens. Its a lovely walk – perfect if you have just spent 5 hours on a train from London, and there is a small pub called Inn Deep along the way to stop at for some craft ales.
The Gardens have a bunch of different greenhouses, all very different, as well as some beautiful grounds to walk around.
A couple of other spots I didn’t get to hit on this whirlwind tour that are absolutely not to be missed are: the wonderful Riverside Museum – formally the transport museum, beautifully laid out and also there is a boat outside; and the Burrell Collection, which sits surrounded by the beautiful Pollok Park. Sadly the Burrell is closed for a refurb until 2020 but the grounds are worth a visit (there are horses); and if you fancy getting out and about you really should drive up to Dundee to hop on board the RRS Discovery and relive your Captain Scott dreams.
Planning a trip to Glasgow or Edinburgh soon and want to chat about it? I literally can’t think of anything I love to talk about more. Lets chat on Twitter – if you’re going and want more tips, or have some secret gems in the area you think I should check out next time I’m in town. I love a good Scottish Pro Tip.