how to explore glasgow’s west end for under £60.

This post is in collaboration with Megabus.

I am frequently bleating about how much I love the west end. Glasgow is really special as there are lots of different areas, each with a unique personality and lovely things to see, eat and do, but the west end is my favourite. I’ve been living here for over four years now and I’m still always finding new places to explore. 

Megabus have launched new buses connecting Glasgow to the rest of the UK, making it even easier than ever to come here and see why it is the best of Scotland’s cities – no I won’t take that statement back.

west is best.

I’m half-joking. I love the west end and if you’re in Glasgow for a short time only, I’d recommend stepping away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre into the west end. Here you’ll find amazing museums, heaps of independent shopping opportunities, fabulous food and cosy bars to set up camp in as the evening draws in. 

From Buchanan Bus Station where your Megabus will pull into, head down to Buchanan Street subway station which is only a short walk away. Here you’ll want to hop on the inner train to take you to the west end (there are only two lines on the Glasgow subway and both go in the same circular route in opposite directions). I would suggest getting off at Kelvinbridge as here you’ll find some nice shops and coffee shops (Sonny & Vito’s or Eusebi Deli are both amazing delis to grab a pastry for some breakfast) but you could also get off at Hillhead in the heart of the west end or Kelvinhall.

appreciate the outdoors in kelvingrove park.

From Kelvinbridge you are perfectly poised to spend some time in Kelvingrove Park. One of my favourite places in Glasgow, the park will be jam-packed on a sunny day if it is taps aff weather or equally busy if we have a freak snowstorm where you’ll find people taking to the hill in everything from skies to pool inflatables. 

The park is spacious but not huge so you can easily explore the whole thing. Head up to Park Circus at the top for sweeping views of the west end where you can admire the University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. There is a busy skatepark and children’s play park (sometimes there will be an ice cream van down there), plenty of benches to enjoy the stillness in the middle of the city and an impressive fountain and duck pond.

Being so central, popping through Kelvingrove Park is a great way to get between two different areas of the west end and it takes about ten/fifteen minutes to walk from one side to the other, connecting Woodlands with Finnieston. 

explore the best of glasgow’s independent stores in finnieston. 

Finnieston is one of the busiest areas of the west end and it’s no secret why. Some of Glasgow’s best restaurants are located in this former industrialised area including Six by Nico, Crabshakk, Ox & Finch and Rioja so you are spoilt for choice if you are heading to Finnieston for food and drinks. 

I recently visited The Hidden Lane for the first time and I would really encourage you to pop in there, especially if you are looking to pick up some unique gifts for yourself or others. Nestled behind the bustle of Argyle Street, the Hidden Lane is aptly named and probably one of Glasgow’s best secrets. You’ll find a gorgeous tea room and loads of independent stores from gift shops to jewellery stores to crafting studios.

Must visits for me include Neon Gray for a Scotland themed coaster (the Barrowland Ballroom one is my favourite), Decadent Riot for cool gifts (and hilarious cards and pin badges) and Porteous & Co. for amazing candles. 

enjoy some time indoors at the kelvingrove art gallery & museum. 

From Finnieston, head a stone’s throw deeper into the west end and stop off at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum. It is a beautiful building to enjoy from both outside and inside with its big vaulted ceilings and impressive organ on one wall. Sometimes you’ll catch an organ recital which is haunting and beautiful.

The museum holds an impressive collection of art including Christ of Saint John on the Cross by Salvador Dali, work by the Scottish colourists and French and Dutch artists including a Rembrandt. Some of the Burrell Collection is on display here as well due the ongoing renovations of that museum and you’ll find history of Scottish identify, animal exhibits and the famous floating heads. The museum is vast and it is always a lovely place to spend time. 

The best part? It is free! 

stop for a refreshment on byres road. 

The beating heart of the west end, Byres Road spoils you for choice for places to grab something to eat and a drink. Sushi, Chinese, pan-Asian, French, Italian, Scottish and Vietnamese are just some of the options you’ll find. On this particular occasion we headed to Zizzi on Cresswell Lane as it had been such a long time since we’d last been to this particular branch and it is always really nice. 

Creswell Lane itself provides more unique shopping opportunities in the D’Courcy Arcade and is a stone’s throw from Ruthven Mews where you’ll find antiques and vintage clothing nestled behind the chaos of Byres Road. Plenty of independent opportunities exist on Byres Road itself with CCW and Papyrus being firm favourites of mine. 

If you are a fan of thrifting like I am you’ll definitely want to pop into the charity shops littered on either side of the street. My personal favourite places to grab a bargain are the British Red Cross and Cancer Research. The British Red Cross usually has a really good sale rail where you’ll get things half price – my latest was a gorgeous Zara boxy top for £2! 

The best way to end your day in the west end however? Stopping off for a drink somewhere. The Oran Mor in a converted church is always a great place to grab a drink (and it is heaving on a weekend night as it is open till 3am) or you could head to busy Ashton Lane, hidden just behind Hillhead subway station. 

An adorable cobbled lane complete with fairy lights and quaint buildings, you are split for choice of where to drink but firm choices for me are Brel and The Grosvenor. 

If you’re wanting to head back into the city centre, just hop on the subway at Hillhead or if you’re planning on making a night of it – and being in the Oran Mor at 3am like some of us – a taxi back to the city centre will be less than a tenner. 

if you’re still wanting more. 

If you end up loving the west end just as much as me there is more! The transport museum out on the Clydeside in Partick is another fantastic free museum and Partick itself is filled with nice restaurants and bars. Hyndland is another great place to go independent shopping or grab some food from one of my favourite places, Kitchenetta. Instead of getting the subway out to Partick and Hyndland, you can get the low level trains from Glasgow Central and Queen Street which is a lot cheaper and just as quick although the trains don’t run as often as the subway. 

If Kelvingrove Park isn’t enough, make sure you stop off at the Botanical Gardens to enjoy Kibble Palace and the gardens themselves. You can walk between the two along the side of the River Kelvin (popular with runners, dog walkers and cyclists) which takes you right past one of my favourite pubs Inn Deep if you fancy a drink. 

The University of Glasgow sits on top of a hill in the centre of the west end, nestled between the park and Byres Road. The impressive Gilmorehill Building is just like Hogwarts with its quadrangles and cloisters and provides an amazing view out of the city and down to Kelvingrove Museum. You’ll also find the Hunterian Museum up here (also free), displaying part of the University’s collection and many impressive works of art. They also have a cracking gift shop with university merch and Scottish artists and crafters. 

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