Glasgow’s rich history, storytelling tradition and creative flair have gifted it with a host of quirky attractions. Indeed, the biggest city in Scotland has a diverse choice of things to do that traverse the classic tourist trail. From St Valentine’s bones to the Glasgow Police Museum, these are our top picks.
Behind the unassuming walls of Blessed John Duns Scotus Church in Gorbals sits a box adorned with the words “Corpus Valentini Martyris” or “the Body of Saint Valentine, Martyr”. The box holds the remains of a saint of this name (the Catholic church recognises several Saint Valentines). It’s decorated for Valentine’s Day each year, and its romantic connotations earned Glasgow the nickname the City of Love.
An ideal place to decompress, the Hillhead Bookclub is a happening spot in town – for those in the know. Like ping-pong? It has epic Balls of Fury-style sessions. Blast-from-the-past retro computer games? It has those too. Whether it be an extravagant vintage fair perfectly tailored to lazy Sunday wanderings or a hoot-worthy evening of Ball Drag Bingo, there’s always something going on in this desirable drinking den.
The Saracen Head, also known as the Sarry Heid, will send your head spinning. This age-old watering hole, popular with Celtic FC fans, has quite the artefact inside a glass case: the skull of Maggie Wall, who they say was the last witch burned at the stake. Of course, who can tell if the story is true – but the rickety pub is certainly ripe for a few twisted tales, especially as it sits on the site of an old burial ground.
Step inside the world of the oldest police force in the UK, the City of Glasgow Police (1779-1975). This collection of more than 6,000 artefacts is a treasure trove for anyone interested in the history of bobbies on the beat. A highlight is the marvellous array of helmets, including one that resembles a top hat. The staff are ex-policemen volunteers, and there’s no entry fee.