Part of the appeal of this day out is the walk through Glasgow Green which takes you there. It’s easy to forget that this leafy, open space belongs to the centre of a bustling city as you take in all the sights of this well-used and much-loved park. The building is indeed palatial and the glass-encased Winter Gardens are a tempting sight, adding an unexpected, distinctly tropical vibe to the habitual grey skies overhead.
The building was always intended to be a palace for the people. Opened in 1898, it was to serve as inspiration and cultural identity for the impoverished East End of the city, in order to boost the local area and community. Now, it showcases social history in Glasgow from the last couple of centuries in a series of carefully thought-out and colourful exhibitions. After a quick look at the immense and fascinating fountain, towered over by Queen Victoria, it’s time to head inside.
The displays are simple and provide a lovely insight into the city’s changing society over the years – from Glasgow’s nightlife to the tenements and life during World War One.
As a celebration of the city’s social history, it works well, and perhaps this is due to the continuing function of the building as a space for local culture, as well as its location in Glasgow’s oldest public space – the Green.
After a wander, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy a cuppa in the glorious winter gardens. There are also viewing platforms from the top floor of the palace so you can be sure to pick the best seat before you’ve even set foot there.
The scale and glamour of the trees and plants make this a pretty unique spot in Glasgow for a coffee break. After all, this palace is for you! It would be rude not to.