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Related subjects British Cities; Great Britain

Scottish Gaelic: Glaschu
Scots: Glesca, Glesga

View over Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow (Scotland)

Glasgow shown within Scotland
Area  67.76  sq mi (175.5  km²)
Population 580,690 (August 2007)
 -  Density 8,541.8/sq mi (3,298/km²)
Urban 1,750,500
Metro 2.3 million
Language English
OS grid reference
 - Edinburgh  42 mi (68 km)
 - London  403 mi (649 km)
Council area Glasgow City Council
Lieutenancy area Glasgow
Constituent country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town GLASGOW
Postcode district G1–G80
Dialling code 0141
Police Strathclyde
Fire Strathclyde
Ambulance Scottish
European Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament Glasgow Central
Glasgow East
Glasgow North
Glasgow North East
Glasgow North West
Glasgow South
Glasgow South West
Scottish Parliament Glasgow
Glasgow Anniesland
Glasgow Baillieston
Glasgow Cathcart
Glasgow Govan
Glasgow Kelvin
Glasgow Maryhill
Glasgow Pollok
Glasgow Rutherglen
Glasgow Shettleston
Website: www.glasgow.gov.uk
List of places: UK • Scotland • Glasgow


Glasgow (pronounced /ˈglæzgoʊ/) is the largest city in Scotland and third most populous in the United Kingdom. Fully named as the City of Glasgow, it is the most populous of Scotland's 32 unitary authority areas. The city is situated on the River Clyde in the country's west central lowlands. A person from Glasgow is known as a Glaswegian, which is also the name of the local dialect.

Glasgow grew from the medieval Bishopric of Glasgow and the later establishment of the University of Glasgow, which contributed to the Scottish Enlightenment. From the 18th century the city became one of Europe's main hubs of transatlantic trade with the Americas. With the Industrial Revolution, the city and surrounding region grew to become one of the world's pre-eminent centres of engineering and shipbuilding, constructing many revolutionary and famous vessels. Glasgow was known as the " Second City of the British Empire" in the Victorian era. Today it is one of Europe's top twenty financial centres and is home to many of Scotland's leading businesses.

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Glasgow grew to a population of over one million, and was the fourth-largest city in Europe, after London, Paris and Berlin. In the 1960s, large-scale relocation to new towns and peripheral suburbs, followed by successive boundary changes, have reduced the current population of the City of Glasgow unitary authority area to 580,690. 1,750,500 people live in the Greater Glasgow Urban Area based on the 2007 population Estimate. The entire region surrounding the conurbation covers approximately 2.3 million people, 41% of Scotland's population.


Recent years have seen a regeneration of the River Clyde's banks. Salmon and other marine life have now returned to the Clyde, which was heavily polluted for decades.
Recent years have seen a regeneration of the River Clyde's banks. Salmon and other marine life have now returned to the Clyde, which was heavily polluted for decades.

The present site of Glasgow has been used since prehistoric times for settlement due to it being the forded point of the River Clyde furthest downstream, which also provided a natural area for salmon fishing. The origins of Glasgow as an established city derive ultimately from its medieval position as Scotland's second largest bishopric. Glasgow increased in importance during the tenth and 11th centuries as the site of this bishopric, reorganised by King David I of Scotland and John, Bishop of Glasgow. There had been an earlier religious site established by Saint Mungo in the 6th century. The bishopric became one of the largest and wealthiest in the Kingdom of Scotland, bringing wealth and status to the town. Between 1175 and 1178 this position was strengthened even further when Bishop Jocelin obtained for the episcopal settlement the status of burgh from King William I of Scotland, allowing the settlement to expand with the benefits of trading monopolies and other legal guarantees. Sometime between 1189 and 1195 this status was supplemented by an annual fair, which survives to this day as the Glasgow Fair.

Glasgow grew over the following centuries, and the founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to an archbishopric in 1492 increased the town's religious and educational status.

After the Acts of Union in 1707, Scotland gained trading access to the vast markets of the British Empire and Glasgow became prominent in international commerce as a hub of trade to the Americas, especially in the movement of tobacco, cotton and sugar into the deep water port that had been created by city merchants at Port Glasgow.

Daniel Defoe visited the city in the early 18th century and famously opined in his book A tour thro' the Whole Island of Great Britain, that Glasgow was "the cleanest and beautifullest, and best built city in Britain, London excepted." At that time, the city's population numbered approximately 12,000, and was yet to undergo the massive changes to the city's economy and urban fabric, brought about by the influences of the Scottish Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution.

In its subsequent industrial era, Glasgow produced textiles, engineered goods and steel, which were exported. The opening of the Monkland Canal in 1791, facilitated access to the Iron-ore and Coal mines in Lanarkshire. After extensive engineering projects to dredge and deepen the Clyde, Shipbuilding became a major industry on the upper stretches of the river, building many famous ships (although many were actually built in Clydebank). Glasgow's population had surpassed that of Edinburgh by 1821. By the end of the 19th century the city was known as the "Second City of the Empire" and by 1870 was producing more than half Britain's tonnage of shipping and a quarter of all locomotives in the world. During this period, the construction of many of the city's greatest architectural masterpieces and most ambitious civic projects, like the Loch Katrine aqueduct and Subway, were being funded by its wealth.

From the late 1840s onwards, vast numbers of Irish Catholics settled in Glasgow. Originally forced to flee Ireland due to the Great Famine, the Irish continued to immigrate into the City of Glasgow in huge numbers for the rest of the nineteenth- and twentieth-centuries, driven to the city by economic stagnation at home. This Irish immigration has given Glasgow a large Catholic population.

The 20th century witnessed both decline and renewal in the city. After World War I, the city suffered from the impact of the Post-World War I recession and from the later Great Depression, this also led to a rise of radical socialism and the " Red Clydeside" movement. The city had recovered by the outbreak of the Second World War and grew through the post-war boom that lasted through the 1950s. However by the 1960s, a lack of investment and innovation led to growing overseas competition in countries like Japan and Germany which weakened the once pre-eminent position of many of the city's industries. As a result of this, Glasgow entered a lengthy period of relative economic decline and rapid deindustrialisation, leading to high unemployment, urban decay, population decline, welfare dependency and poor health for the city's inhabitants. There were active attempts at regeneration of the city, when the Glasgow Corporation published its controversial Bruce Report, which set out a comprehensive series of initiatives aimed at turning round the decline of the city. There are also accusations that the Scottish Office had deliberately attempted to undermine Glasgow's economic and political influence in post-war Scotland by preventing the creation of new industries and creating the new towns of Cumbernauld, Glenrothes, Irvine, Livingston and East Kilbride, dispersed across the Scottish Lowlands, in order to halve the city's population base.

However, by the 1990s, there had been a significant resurgence in Glasgow's economic fortunes; the city found a new role as a European centre for business services and finance and benefited from an increase in tourism and inward investment. The latter is largely due to the legacy of the city's status as European City of Culture in 1990, and attempts to diversify the city's economy. This economic revival has continued and the ongoing regeneration of inner-city areas has led to more affluent people moving back to live in the centre of Glasgow, fuelling allegations of gentrification. The city now resides in the Mercer index of top 50 safest cities in the world. Despite Glasgow's economic renaissance, the east end of the city remains the focus of severe social deprivation. A Glasgow Economic Audit report published in 2007 stated that the gap between prosperous and deprived areas of the city is widening. In 2006, 47% of Glasgow's population lived in the most deprived 15% of areas in Scotland, while the Centre for Social Justice reported 29.4% of the city's working-age residents to be "economically inactive". Although marginally behind the UK average, Glasgow still has a higher employment rate than Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester.

A panoramic view of Glasgow City Centre from the top of The Lighthouse
A panoramic view of Glasgow City Centre from the top of The Lighthouse


It is common to derive the name Glasgow from the older Cumbric glas cau or a Middle Gaelic cognate, which would have meant green hollow. The settlement probably had an earlier Cumbric name, Cathures; the modern name appears for the first time in the Gaelic period (1116), as Glasgu. However, it is also recorded that the King of Strathclyde, Rhydderch Hael, welcomed Saint Kentigern (also known as Saint Mungo), and procured his consecration as bishop about 540. For some thirteen years Kentigern laboured in the region, building his church at the Molendinar Burn, and making many converts. A large community developed around him and became known as Glasgu (meaning the dear Green or the dear green place).


The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow as granted in 1866.
The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow as granted in 1866.

The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow, as granted to the royal burgh by the Lord Lyon on 25 October 1866. It incorporates a number of symbols and emblems associated with the life of Glasgow's patron saint, Mungo, which had been used on official seals prior to that date. The emblems represent miracles supposed to have been performed by Mungo and are listed in the traditional rhyme:

Here's the bird that never flew
Here's the tree that never grew
Here's the bell that never rang
Here's the fish that never swam

Mungo is also said to have preached a sermon containing the words Lord, Let Glasgow flourish by the preaching of the word and the praising of thy name. This was abbreviated to "Let Glasgow Flourish" and adopted as the city's motto. The motto was more recently commemorated in a song called "Mother Glasgow", which was written by Dundonian singer/songwriter Michael Marra, but popularised by Hue and Cry.

In 1450, John Stewart, the first Lord Provost of Glasgow, left an endowment so that a "St Mungo's Bell" could be made and tolled throughout the city so that the citizens would pray for his soul. A new bell was purchased by the magistrates in 1641 and that bell is still on display in the People's Palace Museum, near Glasgow Green.

The supporters are two salmon bearing rings, and the crest is a half length figure of Saint Mungo. He wears a bishop's mitre and liturgical vestments and has his hand raised in "the act of benediction". The original 1866 grant placed the crest atop a helm, but this was removed in subsequent grants. The current version (1996) has a gold mural crown between the shield and the crest. This form of coronet, resembling an embattled city wall, was allowed to the four area councils with city status.

The arms were rematriculated by the City of Glasgow District Council on 6 February 1975, and by the present area council on 25 March 1996. The only change made on each occasion was in the type of coronet over the arms.


Glasgow City Chambers is the headquarters of Glasgow City Council and the seat of Local Government in the city.
Glasgow City Chambers is the headquarters of Glasgow City Council and the seat of Local Government in the city.

Since the Representation of the People Act 1918, Glasgow has increasingly supported Left-wing ideas and politics. The city council has been controlled by the Labour Party for 30 years, since the decline of the Progressives. The left-wing support emanates from the city's legacy as an industrial powerhouse, and the relative poverty of many Glaswegian constituencies and wards. In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution of 1917 and German Revolution, the city's frequent strikes and Militant organisations caused serious alarm at Westminster, with one uprising in January 1919 prompting the Prime Minister, David Lloyd George to deploy 10,000 troops and tanks onto the city's streets. A huge demonstration in the city's George Square on 31 January ended in violence after the Riot Act was read.

Industrial action at the shipyards gave rise to the " Red Clydeside" epithet. During the 1930s, Glasgow was the main base of the Independent Labour Party. Towards the end of the 20th century it became a centre of the struggle against the poll tax, and then the main base of the Scottish Socialist Party, a far left party in Scotland.

Scottish Parliament region

The Glasgow electoral region of the Scottish Parliament covers the Glasgow City council area, the Rutherglen area of the South Lanarkshire and a small eastern portion of Renfrewshire. It elects ten of the parliament's 73 first past the post constituency members and seven of the 56 additional members. Both kinds of member are known as Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs). The system of election is designed to produce a form of proportional representation.

The first past the post seats were created in 1999 with the names and boundaries of then existing Westminster (House of Commons) constituencies. In 2005, however, the number of Westminster Members of Parliament (MPs) representing Scotland was cut to 59, with new constituencies being formed, while the existing number of MSPs was retained at Holyrood.

The ten Scottish Parliament constituencies in the Glasgow electoral region are:-

  • Glasgow Anniesland
  • Glasgow Baillieston
  • Glasgow Cathcart
  • Glasgow Govan
  • Glasgow Kelvin
  • Glasgow Maryhill
  • Glasgow Pollok
  • Glasgow Rutherglen
  • Glasgow Shettleston
  • Glasgow Springburn

United Kingdom Parliament constituencies

Following reform of constituencies of the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament (Westminster) in 2005, which reduced the number of Scottish Members of Parliament (MPs), the current Westminster constituencies representing Glasgow are:-

  • Glasgow Central
  • Glasgow East
  • Glasgow North
  • Glasgow North East
  • Glasgow North West
  • Glasgow South
  • Glasgow South West


Glasgow is located on the banks of the River Clyde, in West Central Scotland. Its second most important river is the Kelvin whose name was used for creating the title of Baron Kelvin and thereby ended up as the scientific unit of temperature.


Rain at Glasgow Necropolis.
Rain at Glasgow Necropolis.

Weather in Glasgow is not typical of the weather in the rest of the UK for several reasons. Glasgow benefits from a mild south western position; the Gulf Stream currents flow up the Clyde estuary from the Atlantic warming the area. The city is also sheltered by the surrounding Clyde Valley hills keeping the city fairly humid throughout the year. The temperature is often milder than the rest of the country.

The spring months (March to May) are mild and cool. Many of Glasgow's trees and plants begin to flower at this time of the year and parks and gardens are filled with spring colours. The summer months (May to September) can vary considerably between mild and wet weather or warm and sunny. The winds are generally westerly, due to the warm Gulf Stream. The warmest month is usually July, the daily high averaging 20 °C (68 °F). (Highest recorded temperature 31.2 °C/88 °F 4 August 1975.) Despite some infrequent clear or dry days, winters in Glasgow are normally damp and cold. (Lowest recorded temperature −17 °C/1 °F 29 December 1995). However, the Gulf Stream ensures that Glasgow stays warmer than other cities at the same latitude such as Moscow. Winds and rainfall are often fairly chilling and strong, like the rest of western Scotland. Severe snowfalls melt within days and rarely lie in the city centre. December, January and February are the wettest months of the year, but can often be sunny and clear.

Weather averages for Glasgow, United Kingdom
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 13 (56) 12 (55) 15 (59) 23 (75) 27 (81) 29 (85) 30 (86) 31 (88) 25 (78) 21 (70) 15 (59) 13 (57) 31 (88)
Average high °C (°F) 6 (43) 6 (44) 8 (47) 11 (52) 15 (59) 17 (63) 18 (66) 18 (65) 15 (60) 12 (54) 8 (48) 6 (44) 12 (54)
Average low °C (°F) 1 (34) 1 (34) 2 (36) 3 (38) 4 (43) 8 (48) 11 (52) 10 (51) 8 (47) 5 (42) 2 (37) 1 (35) 5 (41)
Record low °C (°F) -17 (1) -12 (9) -8 (16) -4 (24) -3 (25) 3 (38) 1 (35) -2 (27) -7 (19) -10 (14) -17 (1) -17 (1)
Precipitation cm (inches) 8.69 (3.42) 7.9 (3.11) 7.44 (2.93) 4.65 (1.83) 3.35 (1.32) 3.86 (1.52) 4.95 (1.95) 5.26 (2.07) 5.66 (2.23) 8.48 (3.34) 8.48 (2.62) 7.49 (2.95) 6.35 (2.44)
Source: Weatherbook May 2008


The population of the Glasgow City Council area peaked in the 1950s at 1,200,000 people and before that for 80 years was over 1 million. During this period, Glasgow was one of the most densely populated cities in the world. After the 1960s, clearings of poverty-stricken inner city areas like the Gorbals and relocation to ' new towns' such as East Kilbride and Cumbernauld led to population decline. In addition, the boundaries of the city were changed twice during the late 20th century, making direct comparisons difficult. The city continues to expand beyond the official city council boundaries into surrounding suburban areas, encompassing around 400 square miles (1,000 km²) if all adjoining suburbs, commuter towns and villages are included.

There are two distinct definitions for the population of Glasgow; the Glasgow City Council Area (which lost the districts of Rutherglen and Cambuslang to South Lanarkshire in 1996) and the Greater Glasgow Urban Area which includes the conurbation around the city.

Since the 1840s to present day, massive numbers of Irish immigrants have settled and contributed immensely in the city. Numerous Scottish Highlanders also migrated to the city as a result of the Highland Clearances. The Irish, and to a lesser extent Highlanders, contributed to the explosive growth of Roman Catholicism in the city.

In the early 20th century, many Lithuanian asylum seekers began to settle in Glasgow and at its height in the 1950s there were around 10,000 in the Glasgow area. Many Italian-Scots also settled in Glasgow, originating from areas like Frosinone and Lucca at this time, many originally working as " Hokey Pokey" men. In the 1960s and '70s, many Asian-Scots also settled in Glasgow, mainly in the Pollokshields area as well as Cantonese immigrants, many of whom settled in the Garnethill area of the city. Since 2000, the UK government has pursued a policy of dispersal of asylum seekers to ease pressure on social housing in the London area. Glasgow has seen waves of new arrivals because of this policy, though not always smoothly in some districts.

Location Population Area Density
Glasgow City Council 578,790 67.76 sq mi (175 km²) 8,541.8/sq mi (3,298/km²)
Greater Glasgow Urban Area 1,168,270 142.27 sq mi (368 km²) 8,212.9/sq mi (3,171/km²)
Source: Scotland's Census Results Online

Since the 2001 census the population decline has stabilised. The 2004 population of the city council area was 685,090 and the population of both the City of Glasgow Council area and Greater Glasgow are forecast to grow in the near future. Around 2,300,000 people live in the Glasgow travel to work area. This area is defined as having 10% and over of residents travelling into Glasgow to work, and has no fixed boundaries.

Compared to Inner London, which has 23,441 inhabitants per square mile (9,051/km²)., Scotland's major city has less than half the current population density of the English capital—8,603 inhabitants per square mile (3,322/km²) However, in 1931 the population density was 16,166 inhabitants per square mile (6,242/km²), highlighting the subsequent 'clearances' to the suburbs and new towns that were built to empty one of Europe's most densely populated cities.


HMS Daring was built in Glasgow and launched in 2006. Although diminished from its early 20th century heights, Glasgow remains the hub of the UK's Shipbuilding industry.
HMS Daring was built in Glasgow and launched in 2006. Although diminished from its early 20th century heights, Glasgow remains the hub of the UK's Shipbuilding industry.

Glasgow has the largest economy in Scotland and is at the hub of the metropolitan area of West Central Scotland. The city also has the third largest GDP Per Capita in the UK, after London and Edinburgh. The city itself sustains more than 410,000 jobs in over 12,000 companies. Over 153,000 jobs have been created in the city since 2000 - a growth rate of 32%. Glasgow's annual economic growth rate of 4.4% is now second only to that of London. In 2005 alone over 17,000 new jobs were created, and 2006 saw private-sector investment in the city reaching £4.2 billion pounds, an increase of 22% in a single year. 55% of the residents in the Greater Glasgow area commute to the city every day. Once dominant manufacturing industries such as shipbuilding and heavy engineering have been gradually replaced in importance by a diversified economy.

Glasgow's economy has seen significant growth of tertiary sector industries such as financial and business services, communications, biosciences, creative industries, healthcare, higher education, retail and tourism. Between 1998 and 2001, the city's financial services sector grew at a rate of 30%, making considerable gains on Edinburgh, which has historically been the centre of the Scottish financial sector. Glasgow is the second most popular foreign tourist destination in Scotland (fourth in the UK) and its largest retail centre. Glasgow is also one of Europe's sixteen largest financial centres.

The city retains a strong link to the manufacturing sector which accounts for well over 60% of Scotland's manufactured exports, with particular strengths in shipbuilding, engineering, food and drink, printing, publishing, chemicals and textiles as well as new growth sectors such as optoelectronics, software development and biotechnology. Glasgow forms the western part of the Silicon Glen high tech sector of Scotland. A growing number of Blue chip financial sector companies have significant operations or headquarters in the city.


The western façade of Templeton's Carpet Factory.
The western façade of Templeton's Carpet Factory.

Very little of medieval Glasgow remains, the two main landmarks from this period being the 14th century Provand's Lordship and St. Mungo's Cathedral. The vast majority of the city as seen today dates from the 19th century. As a result, Glasgow has an impressive heritage of Victorian architecture - the Glasgow City Chambers, the main building of the University of Glasgow, designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott and the Glasgow School of Art, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh are outstanding examples. A hidden gem of Glasgow, also designed by Mackintosh is the Queen's Cross Church, the only church by the renowned artist to be built.

Glasgow's impressive historical and modern architectural traditions were celebrated in 1999 when the city was designated UK City of Architecture and Design, winning the accolade over Liverpool and Edinburgh.

Another architect who had an enduring impact on the city's appearance was Alexander Thomson, who produced a distinctive architecture based on fundamentalist classicism that gave him the nickname "Greek". Examples of Thomson's work can be found over the city.

Western façade of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art.
Western façade of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art.

The buildings reflect the wealth and self confidence of the residents of the "Second City of the Empire". Glasgow generated immense wealth from trade and the industries that developed from the Industrial Revolution. The shipyards, marine engineering, steel making, and heavy industry all contributed to the growth of the city. At one time the expression "Clydebuilt" was synonymous with quality and engineering excellence. The Templeton's carpet factory on Glasgow Green was designed to resemble the Doge's Palace in Venice.

Many of the city's most impressive buildings were built with red or blond sandstone, but during the industrial era those colours disappeared under a pervasive black layer of soot and pollutants from the furnaces, until the Clean Air Act was introduced in 1956. In recent years many of these buildings have been cleaned and restored to their original appearance.

Typical red sandstone Glasgow south side tenement (Shawlands).
Typical red sandstone Glasgow south side tenement ( Shawlands).

Perhaps more than any other city Glasgow is known for its tenements. These were the most popular form of housing in 19th and 20th century Glasgow and remain the most common form of dwelling in Glasgow today. Tenements are commonly bought by a wide range of social types and are favoured for their large rooms, high ceilings and original period features. The Hyndland area of Glasgow is the only tenement conservation area in the UK, and includes some tenement houses with as many as six bedrooms, often valued at over £500,000. Like many cities in the UK, Glasgow witnessed the construction of a large concentration of high-rise housing in tower blocks in the 1960s. These were built to replace the decaying tenement buildings originally built for workers who migrated from the surrounding countryside, the Highlands, and the rest of the United Kingdom, particularly Ireland, in order to feed the local demand for labour. The massive demand outstripped new building and many, orginally fine, tenements often became overcrowded and unsanitary. Many developed into the infamous Glasgow slums, such as the Gorbals. The Corporation made many efforts to improve the situation, most successfully with the City Improvement Trust, which cleared the slums of the old town, replacing them with what they thought of as a traditional High Street, which remains an imposing townscape. (The City Halls and the Cleland Testimonial were part of this scheme). National government help was acquired following World War I when various Housing Acts sought to provide "homes fit for heroes". Garden suburb areas, based on English models, such as Knightswood were set up. These proved too expensive, so a modern tenement, three stories high, slate roofed and built of reconstituted stone, was re-introduced and a slum clearance programme initiated to clear areas such as the Calton and the Garngad.

A notable example of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's architectural style is the Holmwood House villa in Cathcart.
A notable example of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's architectural style is the Holmwood House villa in Cathcart.

Post second World War II, more ambitious plans were made for the complete evacuation of slums to New Towns but the Corporation was not keen to lose population, so this plan - the Bruce Plan - was modified to establish quasi-new towns built on the outer fringes of the city. Again, economic considerations meant that many of the planned "New Town" amenities were never built in these areas. These housing estates, known as "schemes", came therefore to be widely regarded as unsuccessful; many, such as Castlemilk, were just dormitories well away from the centre of the city with no amenities, such as shops and public houses (deserts with windows, as Billy Connolly once put it). High rise living too started off with bright ambition - the Moss Heights are still very desireable - (1950 - 54) but fell prey to later economic pressure. Many of the later tower blocks were poorly designed and cheaply built and their anonymity caused some social problems. Many of these are now being demolished - among them award-winning buildings designed by Basil Spence.

In 1970 a team from Strathclyde University demonstrated that the old tenements had been basically sound, and could be given new life with replumbing with kitchens and bathroom. The Corporation acted on this principle for the first time in 1973 at the Old Swan Corner, Pollokshaws. Thereafter, Housing Action Areas were set up to renovate so-called slums. Later, privately owned tenements benefited from government help in "stone cleaning", revealing a honey-coloured sandstone behind the presumed "grey" tenemental facades. The policy of tenement demolition is now considered to have been short-sighted, wasteful and largely unsuccessful. Many of Glasgow's worst tenements were refurbished into desirable accommodation in the 1970s and 1980s and the policy of demolition is considered to have destroyed many fine examples of a "universally admired architectural" style. The Glasgow Housing Association took ownership of the housing stock from the city council on 7 March 2003, and has begun a £96 million clearance and demolition programme to clear and demolish most of the high-rise flats.

The Glasgow Science Centre.
The Glasgow Science Centre.

Modern buildings in Glasgow include the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, and along the banks of the Clyde are the Glasgow Science Centre and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, whose Clyde Auditorium was designed by Sir Norman Foster, and is affectionately known as the "Armadillo". Zaha Hadid won a competition to design the new Museum of Transport, which will move to the waterfront.

The 39-storey Elphinstone Place mixed-use skyscraper in Charing Cross will be the tallest building in Scotland, and was scheduled to begin construction in mid 2006. Much development is taking place along the banks of the Clyde. Glasgow Harbour, which neighbours Partick, is one of the largest residential developments.

Districts and suburbs

Glasgow was historically based around Glasgow Cathedral, the old High Street and down to the River Clyde via Glasgow Cross.

City centre

The city centre is bounded by the High Street to the east, the River Clyde to the south and the M8 motorway to the west and north which was built through the Townhead, Charing Cross, Cowcaddens and Anderston areas in the 1960s.

Buchanan Street at night, looking southward behind the Donald Dewar statue.
Buchanan Street at night, looking southward behind the Donald Dewar statue.

Retail and theatre district

The city centre is based on a grid system of streets, similar to that of Barcelona or American cities, on the north bank of the River Clyde. The heart of the city is George Square, site of many of Glasgow's public statues and the elaborate Victorian Glasgow City Chambers, headquarters of Glasgow City Council. To the south and west are the shopping precincts of Argyle, Sauchiehall and Buchanan Streets, the latter featuring more upmarket retailers and winner of the Academy of Urbanism 'Great Street Award' 2008.

Buchanan Street at night.
Buchanan Street at night.

The main shopping centres are Buchanan Galleries and the St. Enoch Centre, with the up-market Princes Square and the Italian Centre specialising in designer labels. The London-based department store Selfridges has purchased a potential development site in the city and another upmarket retail chain Harvey Nichols is also thought to be planning a store in the city, further strengthening Glasgow's retail portfolio, which forms the UK's second largest and most economically important retail sector after Central London. The layout of the approximately two and a half mile long retail district of Buchanan Street, Sauchiehall Street and Argyle Street has been termed the "Golden Z".

The city centre is home to most of Glasgow's main cultural venues: The Theatre Royal (home of Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet), The Pavilion, The King's Theatre, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow Film Theatre, RSAMD, Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), Mitchell Library, the Centre for Contemporary Arts, McLellan Galleries and The Lighthouse Museum of Architecture, Design and the City. The world's tallest cinema, the eighteen-screen Cineworld is sited on Renfrew Street. The city centre is also home to four of Glasgow's higher education institutions: The University of Strathclyde, The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow School of Art and Glasgow Caledonian University.

Merchant City

The Tolbooth Steeple dominates Glasgow Cross.
The Tolbooth Steeple dominates Glasgow Cross.

To the east is the commercial and residential district of Merchant City, which was formerly the residential district of the wealthy city merchants in the 18th and early 19th centuries. As the Industrial Revolution and the wealth it brought to the city resulted in the expansion of Glasgow's central area westward, the original medieval centre was left behind. Glasgow Cross, situated at the junction of High Street, Gallowgate, Trongate and Saltmarket was the original centre of the city, symbolised by its Mercat cross. Glasgow Cross encompasses the Tolbooth Clock Tower; all that remains of the original City Chambers, which was destroyed by fire in 1926. Moving northward up High Street towards Rottenrow and Townhead lies the 15th century Glasgow Cathedral and the Provand's Lordship. Due to growing industrial pollution levels in the mid to late 19th century, the area fell out of favour with residents.

Royal Exchange Square at night (Merchant City)
Royal Exchange Square at night ( Merchant City)

From the late 1980s onwards, the area has been rejuvenated with luxury city centre apartments and warehouse conversions. Many new cafés and restaurants have opened. The area also contains the Tron Theatre, the Old Fruitmarket, the Trades Hall, and the City Halls. There are also a number of high end boutique style shops in the area and it has now become home to some of Glasgow's most upmarket stores.

The area is also home to Glasgow's growing 'Arts Quarter', based around King Street, the Saltmarket and Trongate, and at the heart of the annual Merchant City Festival. There are many art galleries here.

A large part of Glasgow's LGBT scene is located within the Merchant City. This includes many clubs, and the UK gay chain store Clone Zone, along with a couple of saunas. Recently the city council defined (and perhaps expanded) the area known as Merchant City as far west as Buchanan Street, marking these boundaries with new, highly stylised metal signage.

Financial district

Clyde Arc.
Clyde Arc.

To the western edge of the city centre, occupying the areas of Blythswood Hill and Anderston, lies Glasgow's financial district, known officially as the International Financial Services District (IFSD), although often irreverently nicknamed by the contemporary press as the "square kilometre" or "Wall Street on Clyde". Since the late 1980s the construction of many modern office blocks, a trend which continues into the 21st century with a new wave of high rise developments currently on the drawing board, has enabled the IFSD to become the third largest financial quarter in the UK after the City of London and Edinburgh. With a reputation as an established financial services centre, coupled with comprehensive support services, Glasgow continues to attract and grow new business. Of the 10 largest general insurance companies in the UK, 8 have a base or head office in Glasgow - including Direct Line, AXA and Norwich Union. Key banking sector companies have also relocated some of their services to commercial property in Glasgow - Resolution, JPMorgan, Abbey, HBOS, Barclays Wealth, Morgan Stanley, Lloyds TSB, Clydesdale Bank, BNP Paribas and the Royal Bank of Scotland. The Ministry of Defence have several departments and Clydeport, the Glasgow Stock Exchange, Student Loans Company, Scottish Executive Enterprise, Transport and Lifelong Learning Department, Scottish Qualifications Authority and Scottish Enterprise also have their headquarters based in the district.

West End

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is Glasgow's premier museum and art gallery, housing one of Europe's great civic art collections.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is Glasgow's premier museum and art gallery, housing one of Europe's great civic art collections.
Popular with students and professionals alike is Ashton Lane with its many pubs and bars.
Popular with students and professionals alike is Ashton Lane with its many pubs and bars.

Glasgow's West End refers to the bohemian district of cafés, tea rooms, bars, boutiques, upmarket hotels, clubs and restaurants in the hinterland of Kelvingrove Park, the University of Glasgow, Glasgow Botanic Gardens and the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. The area's main thoroughfare is Byres Road and one of its most popular destinations is Ashton Lane.

The West End includes residential areas of Hillhead, Dowanhill, Kelvingrove, Kelvinside, Hyndland, and, to an increasing extent, Partick. However, the name is increasingly being used to refer to any area to the west of Charing Cross. This includes areas such as Scotstoun, Jordanhill, Kelvindale and Anniesland.

The West End is bisected by the River Kelvin which flows from the Kilsyth Hills in the North and empties into the River Clyde at Yorkhill Basin.

The spire of Sir George Gilbert Scott's Glasgow University main building (the second largest Gothic Revival building in Britain) is a major local landmark, and can be seen from miles around, sitting atop Gilmorehill. The university itself is the fourth oldest in the English-speaking world. Much of the city's student population is based in the West End, adding to its cultural vibrancy.

The area is also home to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Hunterian Museum, Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena, Henry Wood Hall (home of the Royal Scottish National Orchestra) and the Museum of Transport, which is to be rebuilt on a former dockland site at Glasgow Harbour to a design by Zaha Hadid. The West End Festival, one of Glasgow's largest festivals, is held annually in June.

Glasgow is the home of the SECC, the United Kingdom's largest exhibition and conference centre. A major expansion of the SECC facilities at the former Queen's Dock by Foster and Partners is currently planned, including a 12,000 seat arena, and a 5 star hotel and entertainments complex.

East End

The People's Palace in Glasgow Green.
The People's Palace in Glasgow Green.

The East End extends from Glasgow Cross in the City Centre to the boundary with North and South Lanarkshire. It is home to the famous Glasgow Barrowland Market, popularly known as 'The Barras', Barrowland Ballroom, Glasgow Green, and Celtic Park, home of Celtic F.C.. Many of the original sandstone tenements remain in this district. The East End in contrast to the West End, includes some of the most deprived areas in the UK. However, many areas of the district are not deprived in any way. In particular, parts of the Dennistoun area have become increasingly fashionable and expensive.

The Glasgow Necropolis Cemetery was created on a hill above the Cathedral of Saint Mungo in 1831. Routes curve through the landscape uphill to the 62-metre (203 ft) high statue of John Knox at the summit.

There are two late 18th century tenements in Gallowgate. Dating from 1771 and 1780, both have been well restored. The construction of Charlotte Street was financed by David Dale, whose former pretensions can be gauged by the one remaining house, now run by the National Trust for Scotland. Further along Charlotte Street there stands a modern Gillespie, Kidd & Coia building of some note. Once a school, it has been converted into offices. Surrounding these buildings are a series of innovative housing developments conceived as 'Homes for the Future', part of a project during the city's year as UK City of Architecture and Design in 1999.

East of Glasgow Cross is the Saint Andrew's Church, built in 1746 and displaying a Presbyterian grandeur befitting the church of the city's wealthy tobacco merchants. Also close by is the more modest Episcopalian Saint Andrew's-by-the-Green, the oldest post-Reformation church in Scotland.

The Doulton Fountain in Glasgow Green.
The Doulton Fountain in Glasgow Green.

Overlooking Glasgow Green is the façade of Templeton's carpet factory, featuring vibrant polychromatic brickwork intended to evoke the Doge's Palace in Venice.

The extensive Tollcross Park was originally developed from the estate of James Dunlop, the owner of a local steelworks. His large baronial mansion was built in 1848 by David Bryce, which later housed the city's Children's Museum until the 1980s. Today, the mansion is a sheltered housing complex.

The new Scottish National Indoor Sports Arena, a modern replacement for the Kelvin Hall, is planned for Dalmarnock. The area will also be the site of the Athletes' Village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, located adjacent to the new indoor sports arena.

To the north of the East End lie the two massive gasometers of Provan Gas Works, which stand overlooking Alexandra Park and a major interchange between the M8 and M80 motorways. Often used for displaying large city advertising slogans, the towers have become an unofficial portal into the city for road users arriving from the north and east.

South Side

House for an Art Lover is situated in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.
House for an Art Lover is situated in Bellahouston Park, Glasgow.

Glasgow's South Side sprawls out south of the Clyde, covering areas including the Gorbals, Shawlands, Simshill, Strathbungo, Cardonald, Mount Florida, Pollokshaws, Nitshill, Pollokshields, Govanhill, Crosshill, Ibrox, Cessnock, Mosspark, Kinning Park, Govan, Mansewood, Arden, Darnley, Newlands, Deaconsbank, Pollok, Croftfoot, King's Park, Cathcart, Muirend and Barrhead, Busby, Clarkston, Giffnock, Thornliebank, Netherlee, and Newton Mearns in the East Renfrewshire council area, as well as Cambuslang, East Kilbride, and Rutherglen in the South Lanarkshire council area.

Although predominantly residential, the area does have several notable public buildings including, Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Scotland Street School Museum and House for an Art Lover; the world famous Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park; Alexander 'Greek' Thomson's Holmwood House villa; the National Football Stadium Hampden Park in Mount Florida, (home of Queens Park F.C.) and Ibrox Stadium, (home of Rangers F.C.).

Queen's Park, Glasgow. Looking towards Queen's Park Baptist Church in winter.
Queen's Park, Glasgow. Looking towards Queen's Park Baptist Church in winter.

The former docklands site at Pacific Quay on the south bank of the River Clyde, opposite the SECC, is the site of the Glasgow Science Centre and the new headquarters for BBC Scotland and SMG plc (owner of STV) which have relocated there to a new purpose built digital media campus.

In addition, several new bridges spanning the River Clyde have been built or are currently planned, including the Clyde Arc at Pacific Quay and others at Tradeston and Springfield Quay.

The South Side also includes many great parks, including Linn Park, Queen's Park, Bellahouston Park and Rouken Glen Park, and several golf clubs, including the championship course at Haggs Castle. The South Side is also home to Pollok Country Park, which was awarded the accolade of Europe's Best Park 2008. Pollok Park is Glasgow’s largest park and the only country park within the city boundaries. It is also home to Pollok Cricket Club.

Govan is a district and former burgh in the south-western part of the city. It is situated on the south bank of the River Clyde, opposite Partick. It was an administratively independent Police Burgh from 1864 until it was incorporated into the expanding city of Glasgow in 1912. Govan has a legacy as an engineering and shipbuilding centre of international repute and is home to one of two BAE Systems shipyards on the River Clyde and the precision engineering firm, Thales Optronics. It is also home to the Southern General Hospital, one of the largest teaching hospitals in the country, and the maintenance depot for the Glasgow Subway system.

North Glasgow

North Glasgow extends out from the north of the city centre towards the affluent suburbs of Bearsden, Milngavie and Bishopbriggs in East Dunbartonshire and Clydebank in West Dunbartonshire. However, the area also contains some of the city's poorest residential areas. Possilpark is one such area, where levels of unemployment and drug abuse continue to be above the national average. Much of the housing in areas such as Possilpark and Hamiltonhill had fallen into a state of disrepair in recent years. This has led to large scale redevelopment of much of the poorer housing stock in north Glasgow, and the wider regeneration of many areas, such as Ruchill, which have been transformed; many run-down tenements have now been refurbished or replaced by modern housing estates. Much of the housing stock in north Glasgow is rented social housing, with a high proportion of high-rise tower blocks, managed by the Glasgow Housing Association.

The Forth and Clyde Canal at the north Glasgow district of Ruchill.
The Forth and Clyde Canal at the north Glasgow district of Ruchill.

Not all areas of north Glasgow are of this nature however. Maryhill for example, consists of well maintained traditional sandstone tenements. Although historically a working class area, its borders with the upmarket West End of the city mean that it is relatively wealthy compared to the rest of the north of the city, containing affluent areas such as Maryhill Park and North Kelvinside. Maryhill is also home to Firhill Stadium, home of Partick Thistle FC since 1909, and briefly the professional Rugby Union team, Glasgow Warriors. The junior team, Maryhill F.C. are also located in this part of north Glasgow.

The Forth and Clyde Canal passes through this part of the city, and at one stage formed a vital part of the local economy. It was for many years polluted and largely unused after the decline of heavy industry, but recent efforts to regenerate and re-open the canal to navigation have seen it rejuvenated.

Sighthill is home to Scotland’s largest asylum seeker community, many of whom live in extreme poverty.

A huge part of the economic life of Glasgow was once located in Springburn, where the engineering works of firms like Charles Tennant and locomotive workshops employed many Glaswegians. Indeed, Glasgow dominated this type of manufacturing, with 25% of all the world’s locomotives being built in the area at one stage. It was home to the headquarters of the North British Locomotive Company. Today the French engineering group Alstom's railway maintenance facility in the area is all that is left of the industry in Springburn.


Established by wealthy tobacco merchant Stephen Mitchell, the Mitchell Library is now one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe.
Established by wealthy tobacco merchant Stephen Mitchell, the Mitchell Library is now one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe.
GoMA is the second most visited contemporary art gallery in the United Kingdom outside London.
GoMA is the second most visited contemporary art gallery in the United Kingdom outside London.

The city has many amenities for a wide range of cultural activities, from curling to opera, ballet and from football to art appreciation; it also has a large selection of museums that include those devoted to transport, religion, and modern art. Many of the city's cultural sites were celebrated in 1990 when Glasgow was designated European City of Culture.

The city's principal library, the Mitchell Library, has grown into one of Europe's largest public reference libraries in Europe, currently housing some 1.3 million books, a extensive collection of newspapers and thousands of photographs and maps.

Most of Scotland's national arts organisations are based in Glasgow, including Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, The National Theatre of Scotland, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra and Scottish Youth Theatre.

Glasgow has its own " Poet Laureate", a post created in 1999 for Edwin Morgan and as of 2007 occupied by Liz Lochhead.


Glasgow is home to a variety of theatres including The King's Theatre, Theatre Royal and the Citizens' Theatre and is home to many municipal museums and art galleries, the most famous being the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA) and the Burrell Collection. Most of the museums in Glasgow are publicly owned and free to enter.

The city has hosted many exhibitions over the years, including being the UK City of Architecture 1999, European Capital of Culture 1990, National City of Sport 1995–1999 and European Capital of Sport 2003.

In addition, unlike the older and larger Edinburgh Festival (where all Edinburgh's main festivals occur in the last three weeks of August), Glasgow's festivals fill the calendar. Festivals include the Glasgow Comedy Festival, Glasgow Jazz Festival, Celtic Connections, Glasgow Film Festival, West End Festival, Merchant City Festival, Glasgay, and the World Pipe Band Championships.

Music scene

Glasgow has many live music pubs, clubs and venues. Some of the city's main venues include the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, the SECC and King Tut's Wah Wah Hut (where Oasis were spotted and signed by Glaswegian record mogul Alan McGee), the Queen Margaret Union and the Barrowland, a historic ballroom, converted into a live music venue. More recent mid-sized venues include ABC and the Carling Academy, which play host to a similar range of acts.

Glasgow is also home to an electronic music scene, with a strong reputation for techno and house music. Venues like the Arches, the Sub Club and record labels such as Soma and Chemikal Underground have supported this strong underground movement for the past two decades in the city.

In recent years, the success of bands such as Franz Ferdinand, Belle and Sebastian and Mogwai has significantly boosted the profile of the Glasgow music scene, prompting Time Magazine to liken Glasgow to Detroit during its 1960s Motown heyday..

Perhaps the most famous Glaswegians in the music business are brothers Angus and Malcolm Young of legendary Hard Rock band AC/DC both of whom were born in the Cranhill area of the city before relocating to Australia where they formed the band.


Glasgow Cathedral marks the site where St. Mungo built his church and established Glasgow
Glasgow Cathedral marks the site where St. Mungo built his church and established Glasgow

Glasgow is a city of significant religious diversity. The Church of Scotland and the Roman Catholic Church are the two largest Christian denominations in the city. There are 150 congregations in the Church of Scotland's Presbytery of Glasgow (of which 106 are within the city boundaries, the other 44 being in adjacent areas such as Giffnock). The city boasts four Christian cathedrals: Glasgow Cathedral, of the Church of Scotland; St Andrew's Cathedral, of the Roman Catholic Church; St Mary's Cathedral, of the Scottish Episcopal Church, and St Luke's Cathedral, of the Greek Orthodox Church.

The presence of large Protestant and Catholic communities has at times caused the city to experience sectarian tensions. This has tended to be most visible in the rivalry between the supporters of the city's two major professional football clubs, Celtic F.C. and Rangers F.C.. Rangers has traditionally drawn its support from the city's Protestant community, while the Roman Catholic population has traditionally supported Celtic.

Glasgow Central Mosque in the Gorbals district is the largest mosque in Scotland and, along with twelve other mosques in the city, caters for the city's estimated 33,000 Muslim population. Glasgow also has a Hindu Mandir, and a planning permission for a new Sikh Temple was submitted in June 2007. This new Temple will complement the existing four Sikh Temples (Gurdwaras) in Glasgow with two in the West End (Central Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Finnieston and Guru Nanak Sikh Temple in Kelvinbridge) and two in the Southside area of Pollokshields (Guru Granth Sahib Gurdwara and Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur Gurdwara). There are approximately 10,000 Sikhs in Scotland with the vast majority in Glasgow.

Glasgow has seven synagogues with the seventh largest Jewish population in the United Kingdom after London, Manchester, Leeds, Gateshead, Brighton and Bournemouth, but once had a Jewish population second only to London, estimated at 20,000 in the Gorbals alone.

In 1993, the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art opened in Glasgow. It is believed to be the only public museum to examine all the world's major religious faiths.


Glaswegian, otherwise known as The Glasgow Patter is a local, anglicised variety of Scots.

Glaswegian is a dialect, more than an alternative pronunciation; words also change their meaning as all over in Scotland, e.g. "away" can mean "leaving" as in A'm away, an instruction to stop being a nuisance as in away wi ye, or "drunk" or "demented" as in he's away wi it. Pieces refers to "sandwiches". Ginger is a term for the Glasgow based carbonated soft drink " Irn Bru" or any other carbonated soft drink (A bottle o ginger IPA [ə ˈboʔl ə ˈdʒɪndʒər]). Then there are words whose meaning has no obvious relationship to that in standard English: coupon means "face", via "to punch a ticket coupon". A headbutt is known in many parts of Britain as a "Glasgow kiss".

A speaker of Glaswegian might refer to those originating from the Scottish Highlands and the Western Isles as teuchters, while they would reciprocate by referring to Glaswegians as keelies and those from the East of Scotland refer to Glaswegians as Weegies (or Weedgies).

The long-running TV drama Taggart and the comedies; Empty, Chewin' the Fat, Rab C. Nesbitt and Still Game capture the essence of the Glaswegian patois, while Craig Ferguson and Billy Connolly have made Glaswegian humour known to the rest of the world.


The University of Glasgow is one of the oldest and largest educational institutions in the UK.
The University of Glasgow is one of the oldest and largest educational institutions in the UK.

Glasgow is also a major education centre with four universities within 10 miles (16 km) of the city centre:

  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Strathclyde
  • Glasgow Caledonian University
  • University of the West of Scotland

There are also teacher training colleges, teaching hospitals such as the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, Glasgow School of Art, and ten other further education colleges.

Glasgow is home to a student population in excess of 168,000, the largest in Scotland and second largest in the United Kingdom, with the majority of those, living away from home, being found in Shawlands, Dennistoun and the West End of the city.

Scotland's sole Gaelic-only medium secondary school is located in Glasgow. This combined with a strong Gaelic medium primary school presence enables parents to educate their children entirely through the medium of Gaelic.



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 is one of only three cities (along with Liverpool in 1985 and Madrid in 1986) to have had two football teams in European finals in the same season: in 1967 Celtic F.C. competed in the European Cup final defeating Inter Milan to become the first Scottish and British football club to win the trophy, with Rangers F.C. competing unsuccessfully in the now defunct Cup Winners' Cup final.

The city is home to Scotland's only two UEFA 5 star rated stadia which allows them to host UEFA Champions League or UEFA Cup finals Ibrox Stadium (51,082 seats) and Hampden Park (52,670 seats), meaning that they are eligible to host the final of the UEFA Champions' League. Hampden Park has hosted the final on three occasions, most recently in 2002 and hosted the UEFA Cup Final in 2007.

Hampden Park, which is Scotland's national football stadium, holds the European record for attendance at a football match: 149,547 saw Scotland beat England 3-1 in 1937, in the days before British stadia became all-seated. Celtic Park (60,832 seats) is also located in the east end of Glasgow.

Inside Hampden Park.
Inside Hampden Park.

Glasgow has three professional football clubs Celtic F.C. and Rangers F.C., together known by some as the Old Firm, and Partick Thistle F.C.. A fourth club, Queen's Park F.C., is an amateur club that plays in the Scottish professional league system. Prior to this, Glasgow had five other professional clubs: Clyde FC, which moved to Cumbernauld, plus Third Lanark A.C., Cambuslang F.C, Cowlairs F.C. and Clydesdale F.C., who all went bankrupt. There are a number of Scottish Junior Football Association clubs within the city as well, such as Pollok F.C., Maryhill F.C., Ashfield F.C. and Petershill F.C., as well as countless numbers of amateur teams.

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 Football League, Scottish Premier League, Scottish Junior Football Association and Scottish Amateur Football Association. The Glasgow Cup was a once popular tournament, were all professional teams from the city would compete, however, now only Junior teams do.

Club League Venue Capacity
Celtic F.C. Scottish Premier League Celtic Park 60,832
Rangers F.C. Scottish Premier League Ibrox Stadium 51,082
Partick Thistle F.C. Scottish Football League Firhill Stadium 10,887
Queen's Park F.C. Scottish Football League Hampden Park 52,670


Glasgow has a professional rugby union club, the Glasgow Warriors, which plays in the Magners League alongside teams from Scotland, Ireland and Wales.

In the Scottish League, Glasgow Hawks was formed in 1997 by the merger of two of Glasgow's oldest clubs: Glasgow Academicals and Glasgow High Kelvinside (GHK). Despite the merger, the second division teams of Glasgow Academicals and Glasgow High Kelvinside re-entered the Scottish rugby league in 1998.

Other sports

Major international sporting arenas include the Kelvin Hall and Scotstoun Sports Centre. In 2003 the National Academy for Badminton was completed in Scotstoun. In 2003, Glasgow was also given the title of European Capital of Sport.

The Braehead Arena is home to leading professional basketball team, the Scottish Rocks, who compete in the British Basketball League. The arena was also host to the 2000 Ford World Curling Championships.

Glasgow is also host to many cricket clubs including Clydesdale Cricket Club who have been title winners for the Scottish Cup many times. This club also hosted the friendly One Day International match for India and Pakistan in 2007, but due to bad weather was called off.

Smaller sporting facilities include an abundance of outdoor playing fields, as well as golf clubs such as Hagg's Castle and artificial ski slopes. Between 1998 and 2004, the Scottish Claymores American football team played some or all of their home games each season at Hampden Park and the venue also hosted World Bowl XI.

Motorcycle speedway racing was first introduced to Glasgow in 1928 and is currently staged at Saracen Park in the North of the city.

Befitting its strong Highland connections as the City of the Gael Baile Mòr nan Gàidheal, Glasgow is also one of five places in Scotland which hosts the final of the Scottish Cup of Shinty, better known as the Camanachd Cup. This is usually held at Old Anniesland. Once home to numerous Shinty clubs, there is now only one senior club in Glasgow, Glasgow Mid-Argyll, as well as two university sides from Strathclyde University and Glasgow University.

2014 Commonwealth Games

On 9 November 2007, Glasgow was selected as the host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. It will be based around a number of existing and newly constructed sporting venues across the city, including a refurbished Hampden Park, Kelvingrove Park, the Kelvin Hall, and the planned Scottish National Arena at the SECC. Plans have already been drawn up for a Commonwealth Games campus in the East End of the city, which will include a new indoor arena, velodrome and accommodation facilities in Dalmarnock and Parkhead, with an upgraded Aquatics Centre at nearby Tollcross Park. It is the third time the Games have been held in Scotland.


Glasgow Central station is the northern terminus of the West Coast Main Line
Glasgow Central station is the northern terminus of the West Coast Main Line

Public transport

Glasgow has a large urban transport system, mostly managed by the Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT).

The city has many bus services; since bus deregulation almost all are provided by private operators though SPT part-funds some services.

Glasgow has the most extensive urban rail network in the UK outside of London with rail services travelling to a large part of the West of Scotland. All trains running within Scotland, including the local Glasgow trains, are operated by First ScotRail, who own the franchise as determined by the Scottish Government. Central Station and Queen Street Station are the two main railway terminals. Glasgow Central is the terminus of the 401 mile long West Coast Main Line from London Euston. All services to and from England use this station. Glasgow Central is also the terminus for suburban services on the south side of Glasgow, Ayrshire and Inverclyde, as well as being served by the cross city link from Dalmuir to Motherwell. Most other services within Scotland - the main line to Edinburgh, plus services to Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness and the Western Highlands - operate from Queen Street station.

Map of the Glasgow Subway Network.
Map of the Glasgow Subway Network.

The city's suburban network is currently divided by the River Clyde, and an initiative has been proposed to link them; it is currently awaiting funding from the Scottish Government. The city is linked to Edinburgh by three direct railway links; a further one, the Airdrie-Bathgate Rail Link, is proposed for completion in 2010. In addition to the suburban rail network, SPT operates the Glasgow Subway. The Subway is the United Kingdom's only completely underground metro system, and is generally recognised as the world's third underground railway after London and Budapest. Both rail and subway stations have a number of park and ride facilities.

As part of the wider regeneration along the banks of the River Clyde, a Pre-Tram System, using dedicated bus lanes, called Clyde Fastlink is currently planned.


Ferries used to link opposite sides of the Clyde in Glasgow but they have been rendered near-obsolete, by bridges and tunnels including the Erskine Bridge, Kingston Bridge, and the Clyde Tunnel. The only remaining crossings are the Renfrew Ferry between Renfrew and Yoker, and the Kilcreggan Ferry in Inverclyde, both run by SPT but outwith the city boundary. The PS Waverley, the world's last operational sea-going paddle-steamer, provides services from Glasgow City Centre, mainly catering to the pleasure cruise market. A regular waterbus service links the City Centre with Braehead in Renfrewshire, some 30 minutes downstream. A service by Loch Lomond Seaplanes, connecting the city with destinations in Argyll and Bute started in 2007. The only operational dock left in Glasgow operated by Clydeport is the King George V Dock, near Braehead. Most other facilities, such as Hunterston Ore Terminal are located in the deep waters of the Firth of Clyde, which together handle some 7.5 million tonnes of cargo each year.


The city is the focus of Scotland's trunk road network and has many road connections to other cities. The main M8 motorway passes through the city centre, and connects to the M77, M73, and M80 motorways. The A82 connects the city to Argyll and the western Highlands. The M74 runs directly south towards Carlisle; the highly controversial M74 completion scheme will extend the motorway from Tollcross into the Tradeston area to join the M8. A legal challenge to stop the extension was withdrawn in 2006, and the road is now scheduled for completion by 2010.

Other road proposals include the East End Regeneration Route, which aims to complete the Glasgow Inner Ring Road around the city and provide easier access to deprived areas of the East End.


The city is served by two international airports and a seaplane terminal: Glasgow International Airport (GLA) in Paisley, Renfrewshire (13 km/8 mi west of the city), Glasgow Prestwick International Airport (PIK) (46 km/29 mi to the south-west), and Glasgow Seaplane Terminal, by the Glasgow Science Centre on the River Clyde. There is also a small airfield at Cumbernauld (29 km/18 mi to the north-east). It is anticipated that by 2009, both principal airports will be served by a direct rail link from Glasgow Central railway station on completion of the Glasgow Airport Rail Link project at Glasgow International Airport. In June 2007, Glasgow International Airport was subject to an attempted terrorist attack.

Twinned cities

Glasgow is twinned with various cities, including:

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