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Glasgow Doors Open Day 2019 – City Centre highlights

Glasgow Doors Open Day is my favourite weekend of the year. So many amazing buildings, and every year there are new surprises. Here are a few of my favourites in the city centre, that don’t need to be booked in advance.

Glasgow City Chambers

Glasgow City Chambers, Saturday only. There are so many magnificent details in the City Chambers, it is always a surprise no matter how many times you visit. There are also free daily tours (Mon-Fri) during the rest of the year.

Garnethill Synagogue, Glasgow

Garnethill Synagogue, Sunday only. Excellent opportunity to see inside this beautiful building on Hill Street.

Glasgow Art Club

Glasgow Art Club, Bath Street. One for the Mackintosh fans.

Trades Hall, Glasgow

The Trades Hall, Merchant City. Lots of fun details in this historic Robert Adam-designed building.

The Pyramid, Anderson, Glasgow

The Pyramid, Anderston Kelvingrove Parish Church – striking Modernist church easily spotted by its green pyramid roof.

Also worth seeing:

  • The Tenement House, Garnethill. A chance to see this National Trust property for free. It’s a fascinating glimpse of tenement life as it once was.
  • Britannia Panopticon Music Hall. Always fun to visit, the Panopticon advertises itself as the world’s oldest surviving music hall. It has regular open days throughout the year.
  • Glasgow Evangelical Church – a little hidden gem near Glasgow Cathedral.

I am also looking forward to tours of the Mitchell Library, Barrowlands Ballroom and Tennent’s Brewery.

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End of the Line by John R. Hume

End of the Line exhibition, by John R. Hume

I finally made it to End of the Line: Photographs of Glasgow’s Industrial Past, an exhibition of archive photographs of industrial buildings in Glasgow, by John R. Hume, organised by Glasgow City Heritage Trust.

Now Chief Inspector of the Royal Commission on the Ancient Historical Monuments of Scotland, John R. Hume travelled round Glasgow by bike, documenting factories and warehouses all over the city. You might think these things have a fairly limited appeal, but the exhibition space (an imposing former Inland Revenue building in North Frederick Street) was busy for a wet Wednesday, and there was a lively commentary from visitors who could remember the buildings as they were. The exhibition runs to the 5 September (or 7 September according to some info), and photos are also available on Canmore.

Magnet Ales, Leeds by Peter Mitchell

Fans of this sort of thing may also enjoy the work of Peter Mitchell, who scoured Leeds for disappearing buildings. His Instagram account is a real treat.

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A week in Harris

Bus stop, Isle of Harris
Bus stop with a view, Isle of Harris

I’ve just spent a week on the Isle of Harris, in the Outer Hebrides. It is a very striking place, full of beautiful beaches and remote, rocky landscapes. Also home to Isle of Harris Gin, with its beautiful bottle, and Harris Tweed (of which more later).

Bunabhainneadar Tennis Court, Isle of Harris
Bunabhainneadar Tennis Court, reputed to be the most remote tennis court in the UK
Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
Luskentyre Beach, Isle of Harris
Blackhouse, Arnol, Isle of Lewis
The Blackhouse, Arnol, on the neighbouring Isle of Lewis

For more Harris photos, John Maher (ex-Buzzcocks drummer) is now a photographer based there. His work features superb shots of Harris and surrounding islands. I enjoyed spotting some of the locations, like unexpected Santa.