When I tell friends from uni that I live in the East End, the first response is usually: ‘I’ve never been there’. In Glasgow we have a word for this: the Glasgow West End Bubble. If you are a student at the University of Glasgow like myself, and unless you pay a visit to the shops or clubs on Sauchiehall, Buchanan or Argyle Street, or visit the theatre or cinema in the city centre, there really is no need to leave the neighbourhood. The West End has everything you need, which is why many students don’t branch out very much, and end up leaving Glasgow with a degree, but no deeper knowledge of the city. I did not want to meet the same fate.
In the 3-and-a-bit years I’ve lived in Glasgow I’ve stayed in the swanky West End neighbourhood of Kelvindale, housed in a tiny ground floor flat in the trendy Finnieston area, moved to the other end of town to live it up in Dennistoun and got a good idea of the Southside by staying with my partner in Govanhill. You could say I’ve lived around. An while that is not something special in and of itself, it gave me the opportunity to escape the Glasgow West End Bubble and find out what Glasgow has to offer beyond the Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Here are ten of my favourite secrets.