Last week, Bill and I had the latest in a series of lovely jaunts round town with students from Stanford University. The Stanford tour has got to be something of a fixture in our diary. Our Spring is almost defined by seeing their happy faces. The Stanford students are taken care of by staff at Oxford Uni and a trip up to Edinburgh has been de rigueur for so long that we were beginning to view the jaunt as part of our patrimony. Not so. I was disabused of the notion whilst sat at Holyroodhouse sipping my Earl Grey on Sunday last. A new director has just taken over at Oxford and has decided that they won’t come to Edinburgh next year. Crestfallen. Nothing daunted, I spiered her what the alternative plan was and was informed that Glasgow would be the destination next year. And so glasgowtourguide.com was born.
Glasgow ‘Smiles Better
For a number of years, I’ve been perfectly happy offering tours out of town. Bill tends to prefer to stick with the intown stuff. I’ve conducted walking tours in Glasgow, but it’s just not such a walkable experience as Edinburgh. You have the old town of Glasgow, centered around the Cathedral. Then you have the Merchant City and finally the West End. You’ve also got a number of breathtaking Charles Rennie Mackintosh commissions spread over the city but trying to join them together is a challenge. It’s much easier for you to tour in a vehicle. You must first work out how the traffic flow has been altered this week, though.
Since I was born in Paisley and brought up in Bishopton, just beside the Erskine Bridge, Glasgow is not unknown to me. We’ve been told since the 80s that Glasgow ‘smiles better [sic] but I’ve always found Edinburgh my happy place. Still, what the client wants, the client gets and Stanford have been great clients for us.