It’s safe to say that it’s pretty rainy in Glasgow. Statistically, it rains between 170 – 200 days of the year here, which can feel like not many days left for sunshine. May is apparently the driest month, so bare that in mind when planning your holibobs to our lovely city if you don’t like getting caught in the rain. Those days, when the sun comes out and everyone takes to Kelvingrove, armed with guitars and picnics, are dreamy. Who doesn’t love wiling away the afternoon in a beer garden or enjoying a Mr. Whippy in the park and later comparing sunburn since no one thought to bring the factor 50?
But I digress. Basically, it rains a lot in Glasgow. It’s a fact that anyone who chooses to make this city their dwelling place has to deal with. I think it’s rained for about 35 days straight now. Not that I’m counting. This morning, I enjoyed a walk around the city centre during a brief moment of sunshine. It was lovely, and very welcome after many days spent hiding from the afore mentioned rain [it did end up raining and I did run back to my flat to hide]. But these occasional sunny mornings are not worth waiting around for when planning your days out in Glasgow, especially when it reaches this time of year and you are also battling the fact that it can be dark by 3pm. So I’ve come up with some ideas about how to spend a rainy day in Glasgow. There are so many great cultural events and exhibits on the go in the city, which makes for ample choice when the weather isn’t in your favour for that wander around the city’s green spaces or that day trip out to Loch Lomond. Don’t let the rain get in the way of making the most of your time in Glasgow. I say, welcome to the great indoors.
1. Check out an exhibit at museum / gallery of your choice. Glasgow has plenty of them to suit all tastes. Maybe modern art is your thing – GoMA has enough quirky, thought-provoking pieces to entertain for hours. The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery is one not to be missed, if only for its beautiful architecture, never mind great exhibits about the history of Glasgow and Scottish art. A lesser-visited gem is The Hunterian, set in the Victorian Gothic main building of Glasgow University. How about the Riverside Museum for a change of scene? There you can explore Glasgow’s transport history, from the famous subway to motor vehicles through the ages.
2.Go and see some live music, and not just in the evening. Macsorley’s bar on Jamaica Street hosts live music sessions from 2pm at weekends, for example. There are so many gig venues in Glasgow; it really does deserve its reputation as the music capital of Scotland. You can also be sure to catch regular open mic nights and local music showcases in a range of pubs like fiddle nights in Dram in woodlands, bluegrass jazz in Bar Gumbo on Byres Road and acoustic sets at Munro’s on Great Western Rd. In any case, there is something for everyone on every night of the week.
3. Go old school with a trip to the cinema! Alongside the more modern Cineworlds and 3D Imaxes are independent cinemas like The Grosvenor on Ashton lane, which boasts velvet sofas and small screens for a cosier setting, or the Glasgow Film Theatre, which shows a great range of independent and foreign films. There are also many great theatres in Glasgow that show a wide range of productions from operas to plays to ballets if you are booking in advance.
4. Cake. It’s raining, what better excuse to eat more of it? Glasgow has a great food scene, with unique restaurants and cafes in every direction. Try the Willow Tea Rooms, housed in Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed settings, for an indulgent afternoon tea. Café Zique in the West End is a personal top choice for cake and coffee hour, as are Kember & Jones and Peckhams deli, both on Byres Road [Peckhams’ Granny Apple Caramel Pie was genuinely a deciding factor in my decision to move to Glasgow for uni].
5. Take a trip to the Intu centre at Braehead. It is a really great shopping centre, which also houses an ice rink where you can watch the resident hockey team, the Braehead Clan. The Soar centre next door has a range of restaurants, a cinema, a mini-golf zone, a games arcade, and, oh yeah, an indoor climbing wall and real snow slope for indoor skiing and snowboarding. This place really has so many things to do in one place that you could easily spend the whole day here.
So, there are still many great options for things to do in Glasgow, even when it’s raining. We’re pretty spoilt for things to do on those days when you just feel like being indoors. Alternatively, if none of the above options are inspiring you, you can always brave the rain and get outside anyway! What’s the worst that could happen? As Bob Marley said:
“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.”