Updated: Jul 17
Thought it best to give our future customers an overview of what they are likely to see and of course some of our previous customers a run-down of some background content on some of the sights we saw. Of course, this isn't exhaustive, and no blog post could contain all of our ramblings and attempts at humour that whilst we thoroughly enjoy, often don't work in the blog (or for other people). Also, we often keep our best bits for the tours ;)
1. 'Finnieston' Crane
The Stobcross Crane, or Finnieston Crane as it is better known, is a large cantilever crane located in Glasgow, Scotland. It was built in 1932 by the Stobcross Crane and Engineering Company and was used for shipbuilding and repair on the river Clyde - it was used for picking up locomotive engines and putting them on a ship. The crane is now considered a Grade A listed building and is considered an important symbol of Glasgow's industrial heritage. It is most definitely a modern Glasgow icon and is probably up there with being one of the most 'postcarded' icons of the city.
2. Riverside Museum
The Riverside Museum in Glasgow is a fun-filled destination for anyone interested in transportation, technology, and architecture. The building, designed by the renowned architect Zaha Hadid, is a true architectural gem with its wave-like shape and use of glass and steel that give it a modern and dynamic feel. Inside, the museum is packed with a wide range of exhibits, including vintage cars, trains, and bicycles, as well as interactive displays and hands-on activities that make learning about the city's past! You can even step inside a replica of a Glasgow street from the early 20th century and experience what it was like to live in the city during that time. But the Riverside Museum is not just about the exhibits inside, it also offers an outdoor experience. The museum's location on the banks of the River Clyde provides a beautiful backdrop for outdoor concerts and other events. Visitors can enjoy the spectacular view of the river while listening to music, making it a great spot for entertainment. It's a unique combination of history, architecture, and fun in one place. You can learn about the history and enjoy the beautiful view.
We also use this stop to talk about the phenomenal history of the Govan Stones, some of which is still emerging to this day. One particular favourite photo of ours sourced from the fantastic Mitchell Library is below. This gives an idea of the scale of the urbanisation and industrialisation of area around the church and burial ground, which remarkably, remained pretty untouched.
3. The Yardworks at SWG3
If you're a fan of street art, then this might be your favourite spot. SWG, also known as South West Glasgow, houses 'The Yardworks' which is a vibrant area known for its colourful and dynamic street art. It is home to a wide variety of street art, from large murals to small, intricate pieces. Visitors can see works by some of the most talented street artists from around the world, including local and international artists. The street art in here largely reflects the diversity of the Yorkhill neighbourhood and its people, and it is a testament to the creativity and spirit of the community. Walking through the streets of SWG is like taking a stroll through an open-air art gallery. You will be able to find and appreciate the beauty of street art, and the way it brings colour, life and meaning to the neighbourhood, and the city in general. It's the perfect spot for a photograph or even better take in one of the many concerts or exhibitions happening at SWG3. Of course, like most things, best seen on the bike (it is not the easiest place to get to by public transport).
4. Kelvingrove Museum & Art Gallery
This stunning museum, located in the heart of the west end of the city, is home to an incredible collection of over 8,000 works of art, including masterpieces from Spanish artists and designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Not only that, but the museum also features a variety of interactive exhibits and natural history collections. It's also just off a beautiful stretch of cycling on Kelvin Way - making it the perfect destination for our tours. This is one of the jewels of Glasgow's rich cultural and architectural crown, so we don't need to add too much here.
5. University of Glasgow
The University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and has a rich history dating back to 1451. The main campus is located in the city's West End and is home to stunning Gothic architecture. The university also has some museums and collections open to the public, including the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, which feature a wide range of artefacts and artworks. There are also plenty of green spaces on campus and around the city where you can relax and take in the beautiful scenery. Whether you're a student, a history buff, or simply looking for a fun day out, the University of Glasgow has something to offer. The University of Glasgow has produced many famous alumni throughout its history. Some notable examples include:
Adam Smith, a philosopher and economist who is considered one of the founders of modern economics. He wrote "The Wealth of Nations" which is considered a classic work in the field.
Lord Kelvin was a physicist and mathematician who made important contributions to the field of thermodynamics and is best known for the development of the absolute temperature scale that bears his name.
Alexander Graham Bell was an inventor and scientist who is credited with the invention of the telephone.
John Logie Baird was a Scottish inventor and engineer credited with developing the first television system.
In terms of achievements, the University of Glasgow is known for its excellence in research and teaching. It is consistently ranked among the top 100 universities in the world and is a member of the prestigious Russell Group of research-intensive universities in the UK.
6. Kelvingrove Park
With wide open spaces and well-maintained paths, the park is lovely to cycle through while taking in the beautiful views of the River Kelvin and the surrounding gardens. It's easy to see why it's one of Glasgow's top cultural attractions. Not only is the park perfect for cycling, but it's also a great place for all kinds of activities - you'll regularly see: boot camp, yoga, running, frisbee etc. The park is also home to several monuments and statues, which we occasionally stop to chat about. We also find a spot in the park which we think is one of the most appropriate places in the city to talk about the success of multiculturalism in Glasgow.
7. Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly in our view is the most famous living Glaswegian and probably the most loved. At our designated "Billy Connolly" stop, we talk a bit here about his life story - mainly because it was so typical of working-class life in Glasgow. Born and raised in working-class Partick, before being shipped out to the schemes of Drumchapel and then residing in Anderston, whilst working in the shipyards. Billy Connolly refers to life in the tenements, schemes and shipyards as his 'training' as he got so much inspiration for his material. It is of course his own unique style and ability to connect with audiences that made him one of the most beloved comedians in the UK and around the world. We stop at the foot of a large mural of Billy Connolly in Anderston. The large-scale portrait of "The Big Yin," was created to celebrate his life and career before being unveiled in 2018. The mural was designed by artist Andy Scott and commissioned by Glasgow City Council, and is a solid addition to the wide variety of Street Art in the city. The portrait depicts Billy Connolly with his trademark wild hair.
"Wow what a fantastic morning cycling in the fresh air, learning about Glasgow and it’s History. Martin was an excellent guide and had a superb detailed knowledge of the area & it’s buildings- taking us on a tour which lasted over 3 hours along the riverbank, through the parks past many famous landmarks including the University buildings. He provided smart “postie” bikes, helmets and snacks; rode at an appropriate pace and created a great atmosphere for the group. Thanks for a very special experience"
"Fantastic value. Really enjoyed Martin's insight into the city, with a few laughs along the way. I will be recommending to friends and family alike."
"I absolutely loved this bike ride/city tour. Our guide was so knowledgeable about the city and it's history. The ride itself was a lot of fun not least because of the cool bikes! I learned so much about Glasgow and would highly recommend Gallus Pedals to anyone...whether you're a visitor to Glasgow or a local I can guarantee you'll enjoy it."