Perhaps one of the most iconic and humorous sites to see in Glasgow is the Duke of Wellington Statue, erected in 1844. While the statue alone is of historical importance, it is not commonly recognised without the flaming orange, and sometimes gold, traffic cone that dons the Duke’s head. A prime example of Scottish humour and dedication, the continual placement of a cone has occurred since the early 1980s. Thought to have originated from a drunken escapade, after someone had a few too many, it has become a symbol of the Glaswegian’s lighthearted rebellion against officials. After years of dodging police and courts, a petition asking for the cone to remain part of the sculpture was filed and succeeded with the Duke forever more crowned with a plastic cone. An iconic landmark and a beautiful Category-A listed monument, this site is definitely a must-see.
While this crane may look old and out of place on the Glaswegian skyline, to locals this is another special and very rare structure. Built in 1932 on the Queens Dock, this crane is one of four left standing along the River Clyde and one of eleven left in the world. It is a giant cantilever crane no longer in operation but left as a reminder of the city’s engineering legacy. With a lifting capacity of 175 tons and able to perform a full rotation in 3 and a half minutes this made the cantilever crane an integral part trading goods. Specifically, used for lifting heavy machinery such as trains and tanks this crane embodies the industrial era of efficiency.
Located on George’s Square, the City Chambers makes the ideal next stop when exploring Glasgow. Located at the heart of the city, the symmetrical facade represents the wealth and prowess of the councils that have run continually for centuries. With spires that reach towards the sky and a mosaic ceiling stretching across arched interiors, the City Chambers are an authentic insight into Victorian civic architecture. Interestingly, the construction of the building was designed for the purpose of entering a competition and subsequently was won by Scottish architect William Young.
Glasgow’s Clyde Arc bridge more affectionately known as the Squinty bridge to locals was opened to the public in 2006. It was the first bridge allowing traffic to cross the Clyde since the 1969 construction of the Kingston bridge. The bridge initially had some structural problems supposedly due to its unusual angle-hence the name, but these were resolved in 2008 and has been structurally sound ever since. If you do head for a walk along the Clyde you won't miss this unusual bridge.
Just behind the Duke of Wellington Statue towers the Gallery of Modern Art. Displaying local and international artists whose work focuses on social struggles or issues. These contemporary exhibits are often refreshed so even if you have been before there will almost undoubtedly be some new artwork to see. The building itself is a work of art. Pillars surrounding the exterior creates an imposing fortress for what used to be a townhouse but in 1996 was adapted to become a gallery. Located right in the centre of town, it’s hard to miss and another iconic, historic site of Glasgow.
A combined museum and glasshouse, People’s Palace is situated on Glasgow green. During its construction in 1898 the East End area suffered from overcrowding. This large expanse of space was created for the culture and wellbeing of the community. Even still the gardens and green remain a hub for dog walkers, children and athletes, a wonderful place to visit particularly if the sun decides to make an appearance. Don't forget to keep an eye out for a plaque dedicated to Smudge, the People’s Palace cat in the 1980s, praised for ridding the museum and glasshouse of rodents. In 1897 Lord of Provost announced a search party and press appeals when several weeks passed by and Smudge seemed to have disappeared. Thankfully the much-loved cat reappeared by herself completely healthy and none the wiser of the panic she had caused. Full of interesting social history and beautiful lush greenery this site is worth a stop.
Located only a stone throw away from the Riverside Museum and the Finnieston Crane, the SEC Centre’s architecture is impressive. Interlocking arches that make up this building give it the appearance of an armadillo which is what the structure is frequently referred to by locals. The SECC is the largest exhibition centre in Scotland so while viewing other sites along the river Clyde make sure to stop off and take in this impressive building and if you can, see an exhibit or show.
The Glasgow Museum of Transport and Travel, sometimes called the Riverside Museum, is located at Glasgow Harbour. The exterior of the building alone makes this iconic site of Glasgow worth a stop let alone the impressive grounds that surround it. Giant artificial grass chairs and couches pose as an excellent play area and photo opportunity for young children as well as the many interactive instalments within the museum itself. Boasting an impressive 3000 piece collection, the museum holds various forms of transportation from road vehicles, ships and trains. It also houses the world’s oldest pedal cycle as well as horse-drawn carriages. A unique insight into transport and forms of travel from many decades, even if you’re not a vehicle enthusiast it’s a great day out.
Located on the corner of Great Western Road and Park Road sits our Flagship store in the heart of the Kelvinbridge- which was recently featured on Timeout’s coolest neighbourhoods in the world list. Open since 2017 the space acts as a store, studio, office and leather workshop. Open seven days a week, we encourage you to pop along if you are in the Glasgow area. You can try on the watches, browse a curated selection of goods from local designers and makers and chat to us about all things Paulin.
Sign up to our newsletter to receive a 10% discount on your first purchase!