Glasgow Photography Guide – Part 2 :
Glasgow may just be the best kept secret in Europe. Glasgow oozes with grand Victorian architecture built during the glory years between 1870 and 1914 while Glasgow was one of the richest cities in all of Europe and second only to London within the British Empire. With the decline of Glasgow’s role in the industrial revolution and the collapse of the ship building industry, Glasgow fell on hard times and the grand buildings of Glasgow’s centre fell into disrepair and a state of semi abandonment.
Now that tourism and travel is starting to take hold in Glasgow, the city is busy wiping away the black soot of the industrial furnaces and rebuilding its image. With a mix of newly renovated architectural gems and modern masterpieces, Glasgow has become a truly great city to photograph. And the best thing is that, at least for the time being, you don’t need to fight the crowds to get those great shots. There are few tourists and the locals really are incredible in this city! As a tourist destination, Glasgow has so much to offer!
This is part 2 of my guide to photographing Glasgow. Check out my earlier post for thoughts on photography at George Square, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Buchanan Street and the Armadillo & SSE Hydro. I have put a link to my earlier post at the bottom of this page.
In this post I want to discuss a number of additional locations that are beautiful to photograph. There is nothing thematic about either the list of locations in this post or the or my previous post.
Really, the two posts should be read together as an overview of some of the more attractive and interesting photography locations in Glasgow.
University of Glasgow
It’s funny that universities in the UK seem to be tourist attractions as much as educational institutions. Glasgow University is no different. In addition to being one of the top universities in Scotland, its grand buildings attract many tourists and photographers.
The cloisters between the quadrangles in the main building are particularly popular with architecture or travel photographers, as well as fans of the TV series Outlander, amongst others. Maybe you’re both? Don’t just photograph the cloisters.
Don’t just photograph the cloisters. Make sure you wander since there are many great photographs to be had.
Royal Exchange Square and the Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art
Royal Exchange Square is a square in Glasgow lying between Buchanan Street and Queen Street just south of George Square. Royal Exchange Square is home to the very photogenic Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art. A few excellent places to get a drink and let that shutter finger recover are located here as well. How nice!
One of the best spots to photograph the Glasgow Museum of Modern Art is from across Queen Street. Be here at sunset even if the weather looks ominous.
Argyle Street and Trongate
Argyle Street is one of the main streets in the city centre and runs for 2.1 miles (3.4 km). There are many architectural and street photography opportunities along Argyle Street, including at the Trongate.
Check out the side streets as well, particularly Wilson Street and Bell Street.
The River Clyde cuts through the city and flows out to the Firth of Clyde. Significant redevelopment has occurred along the River Clyde in recent years although the location still feels disconnected from the actual city to a certain extent.
Glasgow Science Centre, the Clyde Arc Bridge and BBC Scotland building are beautiful modern buildings that reflect well in the River Clyde. Night is the optimal time for these locations.
These locations are close to the Armidillo and the SSE Hydro, so its best to put all five of these locations on a single evenings list. Arrive an hour before sunset and plan to shoot for an hour after sunset. These locations are all within walking distance of Glasgow’s central hotels and very safe.
Glasgow uses street art in the most amazing way. Many buildings and locations that have seen better days have been recently decorated with beautiful murals. These murals happen to be fantastic subjects for urban and street photography.
Glasgow has a website mapping out the locations so that you can locate the ones you are interested in shooting.
Glasgow Cathedral is one of Scotland’s most significant medieval buildings and the only mainland cathedral to survive the reformation of 1560 with its roof!
It is built on the site where St Kentigern, or Mungo, is believed to have been buried in the year 612 so many consider this spot the birthplace of Glasgow. The building itself dates from the 13th – 15th centuries.
One of the best locations to photograph Glasgow Cathedral at sunset is from the Necropolis that overlooks the Cathedral. Wander up the path and find a good perspective. The interesting monuments in the Necropolis can also provide great foreground anchors that will give your photographs a professional feel.
Need More Information?
Make sure to check out my Guide to Photography in Glasgow – Part 1
Where to Stay in Glasgow
We stayed at the Jury’s Inn when we visited Glasgow. Jury’s Inn is not a luxury hotel but it is well located. It is next to the train station in the centre, steps from the River Clyde and a block from Buchanan Street and the subway station there. Also, its new and clean. And that’s not a bad thing.
Happy Holiday Shooting!