River and SECC
Exhibition & Conference Center (SECC)
following basic information is intended to help visitors to Scotland
acquaint themselves with some of the most frequently asked questions
concerning visiting the beautiful country of Scotland:
Voltage: 240V 50Hz AC. Adapters for most appliances (hairdryers,
shavers etc) can be purchased in any electrical shop and airport
Sterling (1 pound sterling = 100 pence). In addition to English
currency, Scottish banks are also entitled to print their own
Bank Notes. The most common denominations for bank notes are
£50, £20, £10, £5 (sometimes also £1
notes) and for coins £2, £1, 50p, 20p, 10p, 5p &
Cards: All major credit cards are accepted throughout Scotland.
The most popular ones being VISA, MasterCard, Access and American
Express. Look for the signs displayed at the entrance to the
store or near the pay point.
Cheques: Should be exchanged for cash (Sterling) at any Bureau
de Change or Bank.
Opening hours are generally 9:30a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Monday
- ATM: ATM
Machines are widely available
We pride ourselves on the high standard of medical care found
throughout the country. If you require the assistance of a Doctor
contact your Hotel Reception. In the event of a Genuine Emergency
telephone 999 (a free call facility) from any payphone and ask
for the Ambulance Service giving details of the location of
In general shops are open from 9:00 - 9:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.
Monday through Saturday. Late night opening in Glasgow City
centre is Thursday evening when many shops remain open until
at least 7:00 p.m. On Sunday, City Centre opening hours are
generally 12 noon until 5:00 p.m.
- VAT: United
Kingdom Value Added Tax (VAT - currently 17.5%) is payable on
most goods and services. Visitors from abroad spending more
than 50 pounds Sterling in one shop at the one time may request
a VAT form to reclaim some of this purchase tax.
Is customary when paying for drinks and meals. 10% is regarded
Home: Cheaper after 8:00 p.m. and before 8:00 a.m. Telephone
payment cards are useful for some public payphones - others
accept cash. Credit cards calls can also be made from some public
telephones. Surcharges are often added to calls made from hotel
Holidays: New Year - 1st & 2nd January; May Day - 1st Monday
in May; Queen's Birthday - Last Monday in May, Glasgow Fair
- Monday of second weekend after first Monday in July; September
Weekend - last Monday in Sept; Christmas - 25th & 26th December.
Services: Reformed Faith Churches; Roman Catholic Churches;
Scottish Episcopal Churches; Jewish Synagogues; Moslem Mosques
& Hindu Temples are all to be found within the city. (Hope
I haven't missed anyone!!)
Information: Glasgow - Enquiry telephone number  (0141)
887 1111. 8 miles west of Glasgow, just off junction 28 of the
M8 motorway. Short stay and secure long stay car parking available.
- Enquiry telephone number  (01292) 479 822. On-airport
car parking is available. Regular train service to Glasgow Central
Station (journey time approx. 45 minutes). Express bus and coach
service to Glasgow Buchanan Street Station also available
Transport: Glasgow is well served by a network of bus companies,
light railways and underground railway.
As well as Glasgow City Council's licensed taxi owners association
cabs (Distinctive Black Cabs displaying TOA pennants) which
can be hailed from the city's streets, several private car hire
companies operate throughout the city (but these must be hired
in advance by telephone).
Glasgow & Clyde Valley is one of Europes most exciting
and beautiful destinations, which combines the energy and sophistication
of a great international city with some of Scotlands most
is an architectural dream: Victorian red & honey sandstone,
Italianate steeples and medieval spires sit harmoniously with
neo-gothic towers, the sensuous Art Nouveau of Charles Rennie
Mackintosh and the titanium, glass and steel of the contemporary
city. Artful Attractions
an amazing portfolio of more than twenty museums and galleries
many of them free including the unique Burrell Collection,
stunning Mackintosh House and cool and contemporary Gallery of
in cutting-edge design should head to The Lighthouse, while the
Glasgow Science Centres futuristic complex comprising IMAX,
Science Mall, Glasgow Tower, Planetarium and Virtual Science Theatre
will appeal to anyone interested in learning about technology
and its applications in a fun and interesting environment.
seekers will enjoy the Museum of Transport, Museum of Scottish
Country Life at Kittochside and Clydebuilt, which tells the story
of Glasgow and the River Clyde from tobacco to shipbuilding. Lovers
of the beautiful game meanwhile, should head for the ground-breaking
Scottish Football Museum at Hampden.
An Eventful Experience
youre a clubber, concert-goer, opera aficionado, theatre
lover or dance fan, visiting Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley
is always an eventful experience. No matter when you arrive youll
find live performances, festivals and entertainment fifty-two
weeks of the year.
by Scottish Opera, the RSNO Summer Proms and the West End Festival
as well as the smooth sounds of Glasgow International Jazz Festival,
the rousing Hogmanay Celebrations and Celtic Connections are just
some of the vibrant annual events, which reinforce its reputation
as one of Europes leading cultural capitals.
the areas parks, towns and villages, events like the colourful
World Pipe Band Championships on Glasgow Green, the ancient Lanimer
Day festivities in Lanark, and The Shot in Paisley also provide
celebration, fun and spectacle.
owls meanwhile can groove until the small hours at a host of club
venues covering the entire dance spectrum from garage and techno
to house and retro.
is an absolute delight in Glasgow. Not only is it tops for shops
but its compact city centre and grid system makes it easy to navigate
during serious retail therapy! Giant high street malls such as
the ultra modern Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch Centre are
just a mocha-powered meander from the elegance of the Italian
Centre and Princes Square as well as the speciality shops of the
mews and lanes of the citys bohemian West-End are a treasure
trove for anyone hunting antiques and rare books while contemporary
works by both up-and-coming and established artists can be found
in the art galleries of West Regent Street.
is also worth taking time out from the hustle and bustle to explore
the antique shops, craft workshops and garden centres tucked away
in the areas market towns and villages.
A Taste of the Good Life
You can quite literally eat your way round the world in Glasgow
as the citys café culture espouses the very latest
trends in global cuisine, from the style & sushi bars of the
Merchant City to the restaurants and brasseries in the hip West-End.
whether you prefer traditional fayre, ethnic cuisine or the very
latest in fusion and Pacific-Rim, youll find something to
savour in Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley.
Just beyond the city of Glasgow lies some of Scotlands most
beautiful scenery. The local area is rich in history and heritage
and each of its delightful country towns and villages has its
own fascinating tale to tell.
drive south of the city is the Clyde Valley Tourist Route, which
makes its picturesque way to the upper reaches of the River Clyde
and the World Heritage Site of New Lanark.
the west is Renfrewshire and the town of Paisley with its medieval
Abbey and Museum and Art Galleries, which features the worlds
largest collection of the famous Paisley Pattern shawls.
Inverclydes coastal towns enjoy spectacular panoramas across
the Clyde Estuary to the Argyll Hills while Milngavies Mugdock
Country Park to the north of Glasgow includes a stretch of the
long distance footpath, the West Highland Way.
Waverly & Scottish Exhibition & Conference Center
of Transport (6 km) - Walk into the Museum of Transport and
the first impression is of gleaming metalwork and bright paint.
All around you there are cars, caravans, carriages and carts,
fire engines, buses, trams and steam locomotives. The museum
uses its collections of vehicles and models to tell the story
of transport by land and sea, with a unique Glasgow flavour
of Modern Art, Glasgow (9 km) - Set in an elegant neo-classical
building the gallery houses Glasgow's collection of post modern
and contemporary art over four floors, named after the natural
elements of Fire, Earth, Water and Air. There is a thought-provoking
programme of temporary exhibitions throughout the year
Science Centre (6 km) - This ground-breaking new venue comprises
three landmark buildings that form a stunning complex on the
south bank of the River Clyde. Scotland's first IMAX cinema;
the 10,500 sq metre Science Mall which houses exhibits including
a planetarium, laboratories
Country Park (11 km) - This country park incorporates the remains
of Mugdock and Craigend castles, set in beautiful landscapes
as well as an exhibition centre, craft shops, orienteering course
and many walks.
Collection (8 km) - Set in Pollok Country Park, this award-winning
building makes the priceless works of art on display seem almost
part of the woodland setting. Shipping magnate Sir William Burrell's
main interests were medieval Europe, Oriental art and European
history stretches back almost two thousand years and has been rich
Originally a small salmon-fishing village at a crossing point on
the River Clyde, Glasgow has been shaped by Battles, World Wide
Trade and Heavy Industry to become a truly International City.
by a Christian missionary (St Mungo), Glasgow became a major religious
centre. Mungo's original church was destroyed by the wars which
swept the country in the years after his death. Today's Cathedral
dates from the 12th Century and has been added to in the years
Provand's Lordship, the oldest house in Glasgow was built over
500 years ago for the Lord of Provan, an official of the Cathedral.
The house still welcomes visitors today to view its proud history.
In 1451 Glasgow became a University City. Glasgow University was
originally built in the High Street area of the city, but was
moved to its present site in Glasgow's West end in 1870.
also been the site of many battles. Bishop's Castle once stood
on the site now occupied by Glasgow's Royal Infirmary. Here, in
1300, William Wallace (of "Braveheart" fame) with 300
men defeated an army of 1000 English Knights who had taken possession
of the castle under the English Bishop of Durham. Two centuries
later the castle was again the scene of battle when two opposing
forces fought for control of the Crown of Scotland then in the
possession of the baby, Mary Queen of Scots.
Due to its location on the west of the country, Glasgow was well
positioned to send shipping to the West Indies and America.
By the 18th century many merchants had acquired great wealth by
importing sugar, rum and tobacco. Thus were born the Tobacco Lords
who built fabulous mansions in the city.
However, life was very different for the city's poor. By the 19th
century the influx of people looking for employment spawned the
emergence of tenement accommodation. The poorest families were
forced to live in "single ends", one roomed homes where
the entire family, often including grandparents, would live together.
An example is displayed at The People's Palace. Many families
had to share common lavatories and wash facilities. However, the
struggle for survival generated a common bond between the tenement
dwellers and a great sense of community spirit, kindness and sharing
dominated everyday life. The existence of vast deposits of coal
and iron ore in the Glasgow area shaped the next two centuries
of Glasgow's history. With the coming of the Industrial Revolution,
aided by technological advances designed by Clydeside inventors
such as James Watt, Heavy Industry in the shape of Railway Locomotives
and Shipbuilding flourished.
were exported throughout the world. "Clyde-Built" became
synonymous with quality and reliability. The launch of the three
"Queens" - luxury passenger liners - was the pinnacle
of Glasgow's shipbuilding achievement. (Many of the original shipping
models are on display in the beautiful "Clyde Room"
at the Transport Museum)
the changing pattern of industry means that the Clyde no longer
employs the vast throngs of workers in the shipbuilding trades,
although there are notable exceptions. The proud "Clyde-Built"
traditions are still in evidence among the workforces of BAE Systems
(Govan) and BAE Systems (Scotstoun), to name but two of Clydeside's
remaining shipbuilding yards.
years the city has been the focus of International attention.
In 1988 Glasgow's Garden Festival was a spectacular success. 1990
saw the city adorned as the European City of Culture and in 1999
Glasgow hosted the Festival of Architecture and Design . Today
the city beckons tourists from all over the world. Glasgow's art
treasures are world renowned and most of the city's museums and
art galleries offer free entrance to view their treasures. The
city boasts a fine Concert Hall, International Conference Centre,
Science Centre, Sports Arena and shops rivalling the best in the
combined with Glasgow's unique friendliness and hospitality makes
the city a favourite destination for visitors from all nations.
The Thistle - National Emblem of Scotland
Common throughout the highlands, islands and lowlands of Scotland,
the prickly purple thistle has been Scotland's national emblem
for centuries. This proud and regal plant, which grows to a height
of five feet, has no natural enemies because of the vicious spines
that cover and protect it like a porcupine.
There are several different legends that tell how the thistle
became Scotland's symbol, but most date from the reign of Alexander
III and in particular the events surrounding the Battle of Largs
It is often forgotten, that for hundreds of years much of Scotland
was part of the Kingdom of Norway. By 1263 however, Norway seems
to have had little interest in their former territory, that was
until King Alexander III proposed to buy back the Western Isles
and Kintyre from the Norse King Haakon IV. The thought of relieving
King Alexander of some of his riches and territories appears to
have re-kindled Norse interest in Scotland.
Late in the summer of 1263 King Haakon of Norway, now intent on
conquering the Scots, set off with a sizeable fleet of longships
for the Scottish coast. Gales and fierce storms forced some of
the ships onto the beach at Largs in Ayrshire, and a Norwegian
force was landed.
Legend has it that at some point during the invasion the Norsemen
tried to surprise the sleeping Scottish Clansmen. In order to
move more stealthily under the cover of darkness the Norsemen
removed their footwear. But as they crept barefoot they came across
an area of ground covered in thistles and one of Haakon's men
unfortunately stood on one and shrieked out in pain, thus alerting
the Clansmen to the advancing Norsemen.
His shout warned the Scots who defeated the Norsemen at the Battle
of Largs, thus saving Scotland from invasion. The important role
that the thistle had played was recognised and so was chosen as
Scotland's national emblem. The first use of the thistle as a
royal symbol of Scotland was on silver coins issued by James III
is said that the Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland,
was founded in 1540 by King James V who, after being honoured
with the Order of the Garter from his uncle King Henry VIII of
England and with the Golden Fleece from the Emperor of France,
felt a little left out. He resolved the issue by creating
the royal title of Order of the Thistle for himself and twelve
of his knights,
in allusion to the Blessed Saviour
and his Twelve Apostles'. He set up the arms and badges of the
order over the gate of his palace at Linlithgow. The
common badge worn by the knights is a cross surmounted by a star
of four silver points, and over this a green circle bordered and
lettered with gold, containing the motto "Nemo me impune
lacessit", "No-one harms me without punishment"
but more commonly translated in Scots as "Wha daurs meddle
wi me", in the centre is the thistle. The badge is normally
worn over the left breast.