What I Love Most About Glasgow’s West End
Living in the west end of Glasgow
For someone with such a wanderlust throughout my twenties I’ve not been able to make much sense of my overwhelming contentment to be home, and home to stay. Not just home in Scotland but home within a couple of miles of where I was born and raised. You can’t take the boy out of Glasgow. And when it comes to the West End, I wouldn’t trade it for anywhere in the world.
It has often been said that the West End brings that village mentality to the country’s biggest city. It’s an awfully big village, but the point is still a good one. While the city centre is all about huge brands and chains, out west the focus is more on small independent businesses.
The city is getting the recognition it deserves for its world class architecture. The West End pulls in its share in this regard with Glasgow University alone, surely a contender for the best looking uni in the world. The likes of the cultural Glasgow powerhouse that is Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Trinity College and the never-ending sandstone jungle complete the colourful picture of West End building design. The classic flat is a red or blond sandstone tenement dating from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Interiors often have impressively corniced ceilings and classic fireplaces. I love this style even though these old flats are invariably single glazed and baltic in the winter.
The River Kelvin snakes its way through the West End and its banks are great for walking, cycling and running. Add to this the Botanics and Kelvingrove Park itself and the area proudly supports Glasgow’s reputation as the green city.
Nightlife is huge for Glaswegians and there’s no end of choice. From ever-bustling Ashton Lane and Byers Road to the now-booming Finneston there’s a great range of food and drink options. But it doesn’t end there for entertainment. Go to the cinema at The Grosvenor, sweat out your bodyweight at Bikram Yoga, take the short trip to watch Partick Thistle or visit The Stand Comedy Club for a chuckle. Being bored in these parts is not much of an option.
Perhaps what’s best of all is what the West End brings for foodies. Specifically, a good Glasgow curry knows no equal. With heavyweights like Mother India, Ashoka and the Wee Curry Shop all close the bases are covered and then some. I don’t think there is a better concentration of top class restaurants anywhere that I’ve ever been.
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