Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more!
Glasgow Guided Tours Travel Guides

Things to do in Glasgow: Visiting Glasgow Cathedral

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When you think about Scotland and history, you think about medieval castle ruins by the lochs and sea, historical battlefields in the Highlands, or simply the beautiful Old Town of Edinburgh with its towering Castle. Glasgow is not necessarily the first place that comes to mind – but did you know that Glasgow has an incredibly rich history to look back on? One aspect of this history is the industrial age, when the city made a name for itself and its ship building and railroad industries – but the city itself is of course much older. And to go all the way back to the beginnings of Glasgow, you have to join a Glasgow Cathedral Tour!

Our guide Ailene was already waiting for us inside Glasgow Cathedral; I was part of a group of bloggers, writers and influencers who came together through Travel Massive, a global organisation for people in the travel industries with local chapters making it easier to connect, network and collaborate.

Ailene was wearing a long, bright blue robe which fit the setting of the majestic Cathedral perfectly. Cycling from the East to the West End on a daily basis I had of course seen the Cathedral many times. I had also been up the Necropolis before, which is the Victorian cemetery behind the church. But I had never actually been inside the Cathedral – and what a mistake that was!

When you think about Scotland and history, you think about medieval castle ruins by the lochs and sea, historical battlefields in the Highlands, or simply the beautiful Old Town of Edinburgh with its towering Castle. Glasgow is not necessarily the first place that comes to mind - but did you know that Glasgow has an incredibly rich history to look back on? One aspect of this history is the industrial age, when the city made a name for itself and its ship building and railroad industries - but the city itself is of course much older. And to go all the way back to the beginnings of Glasgow, you have to join a Glasgow Cathedral Tour! Our guide Ailene was already waiting for us inside Glasgow Cathedral; I was part of a group of bloggers, writers and influencers who came together through Travel Massive, a global organisation for people in the travel industries with local chapters making it easier to connect, network and collaborate. Ailene was wearing a long, bright blue robe which fit the setting of the majestic Cathedral perfectly. Cycling from the East to the West End on a daily basis I had of course seen the Cathedral many times. I had also been up the Necropolis before, which is the Victorian cemetery behind the church. But I had never actually been inside the Cathedral - and what a mistake that was! Early records of Glasgow Cathedral show that the first stone church was built here in the early 12th century and ever since the Cathedral had been a place of worship. It stands allegedly where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, built his church. While some few stone pillars from that time still exist, most of the architecture is actually not that old. Particularly the stained glass windows are from post-war times, but belong to the most beautiful examples of this craftmanship! As we were walking from the rear ship down to the crypt, Ailene was telling us stories of Saint Mungo, and how symbols of his deeds are captured in the city's coat of arms. The saint's tomb is located in the lower crypt and sometimes concerts are held down here. The acoustics are one of a kind. Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! How to do Glasgow Cathedral Tours Tours can be booked in advance for groups with one of the cathedral's volunteer guides, but you can also visit the cathedral without a tour throughout the year. Leaflets and guidebooks are available to purchase, which is great if you are interested in the history of the Cathedral. Even without any guidance though, the church is worth a visit! Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Other things to do around Glasgow Cathedral While you're already in this part of town, at the edge between city centre and the East End you might as well check out St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art across the square in front of the church. It is an interfaith centre with exhibits from all major world religions and even a zen garden. We were lucky enough to get exclusive access to the staff terrace on the roof, from where you get a fantastic view across Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis. Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Across the road you can visit one of Glasgow's few medieval buildings, The Provand's Lordship. It is actually the oldest remaining house in Glasgow, while the Cathedral is the oldest building. Here you can see what life was like for the clergy and staff of the Cathedral. For views of the city and to see some extraordinary graves, take a walk about the Necropolis! Finally, as Glasgow Cathedral lies just at the top of High Street - which is a sign for Glasgow's former city centre being located right here, much closer to the Cathedral - you can pick up the City Centre Mural Trail with this beautiful mural depicting a modern-day St Mungo by Glasgow regular Smug. Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Have you ever visited Glasgow Cathedral or another historical place in Glasgow? Let me know your favourite spots in the comments! Pin it for later: Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Photo by Andrea Mason aka @little.scottish.one Thanks to Travel Massive Glasgow for a great day out! I can't wait for the next opportunity to meet up - a taster of the Glasgow Music City Tours is waiting for us! All photos by Kathi Kamleitner unless stated otherwise.

Early records of Glasgow Cathedral show that the first stone church was built here in the early 12th century and ever since the Cathedral had been a place of worship. It stands allegedly where the patron saint of Glasgow, Saint Mungo, built his church. While some few stone pillars from that time still exist, most of the architecture is actually not that old. Particularly the stained glass windows are from post-war times, but belong to the most beautiful examples of this craftsmanship!

As we were walking from the rear ship down to the crypt, Ailene was telling us stories of Saint Mungo, and how symbols of his deeds are captured in the city’s coat of arms. The saint’s tomb is located in the lower crypt and sometimes concerts are held down here. The acoustics are one of a kind.

Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more!

How to visit Glasgow Cathedral

Tours can be booked in advance for groups with one of the cathedral’s volunteer guides, but you can also visit the cathedral without a tour throughout the year. Leaflets and guidebooks are available to purchase, which is great if you are interested in the history of the Cathedral. Even without any guidance though, the church is worth a visit!

You can reach Glasgow Cathedral by foot from the city centre within 15 minutes. From here you can also grab a bus or train back to the city centre or the West End, or further towards the East End. Of course, the hop on-hop off City Sightseeing Bus also stops here!

Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more! Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more!

Other things to do around Glasgow Cathedral

While you’re already in this part of town, at the edge between city centre and the East End you might as well check out St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art across the square in front of the church. It is an interfaith centre with exhibits from all major world religions and even a zen garden. We were lucky enough to get exclusive access to the staff terrace on the roof, from where you get a fantastic view across Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis.

Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more!

Across the road you can visit one of Glasgow’s few medieval buildings, The Provand’s Lordship. It is actually the oldest remaining house in Glasgow, while the Cathedral is the oldest building.  Here you can see what life was like for the clergy and staff of the Cathedral.

For views of the city and to see some extraordinary graves, take a walk about the Necropolis!

Finally, as Glasgow Cathedral lies just at the top of High Street – which is a sign for Glasgow’s former city centre being located right here, much closer to the Cathedral – you can pick up the City Centre Mural Trail with this beautiful mural depicting a modern-day St Mungo by Glasgow regular Smug.

 

Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more!

Have you ever visited Glasgow Cathedral or another historical place in Glasgow? Let me know your favourite spots in the comments!


Pin it for later:

Scottish history is not all about medieval castles, Glasgow has its fair share of rich heritage, and Glasgow Cathedral is a good place to learn more!

Photo by Andrea Mason aka @little.scottish.one

Thanks to Travel Massive Glasgow for a great day out! I can’t wait for the next opportunity to meet up – a taster of the Glasgow Music City Tours is waiting for us!

All photos by Kathi Kamleitner unless stated otherwise.

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18 Comments

  1. This looks beautiful! I’m not usually one to spend much time in a church, I usually just take a quick look! I think a guide would really help! I really must get over to Glasgow to see more 😀

    • Same here – I would usually walk around once, then maybe sit down for a few minutes to listen to the silence, but that’s it. The tour definitely helped learning more about the history of the Cathedral and the city – so interesting! it also makes you pay more attention to the little details in the architecture and decoration!!

  2. I was meant to spend a couple days in Glasgow in 2011 but they had wicked flooding so it didn’t happen. Mind you its one of the few accents I struggle to understand so I’m a bit intimidated to go! haha. But it does look beautiful and I do love Scotland!

    • Oh, I can so relate to that – the accent is hard work in the beginning! It took me a few months to get what locals where talking about, and I’m still not 100% confident 3.5 years later… but it’s also such a beautiful accent to listen to and practice 🙂 Don’t let the language scare you away – the Glaswegians are one of the friendliest people I’ve ever met!

  3. I have heard this cathedral is beautiful, your photos have confirmed it. Just stunning. Hopefully one day I will get there myself.

    • I had no idea how beautiful it would be – came as a total surprise! Glasgow is definitely worth a city trip soon 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  4. I love Glasgow – it’s one of my favourite cities. The Necropolis is wonderful 😀

  5. This is one of the most beautiful cathedrals I have seen. Been there 3 years ago and bad a plenty of time to wander around. I also loved Necropolis. Such an unique sxperience!

    • The Necropolis is such a weird attraction, but definitely one of the few cemeteries I would recommend anybody to put on their bucket lists 🙂 Thanks for your comment!

  6. Love the pictures of the cathedral and that street art is stunning! Thanks for sharing. Not been up to Glasgow yet, but will have to make a visit!

    • Definitely – especially for the murals and the mix of old and new architecture in the city centre! And the food scene is amazing 🙂

  7. Lovely post :-). I visited Edinburgh but not Glasgow ! Glasgow’s slogan is ‘Scotland with Style’… This is a city I’ve always been intrigued by. I’ve heard so mixed reports from the previous European Capital of Culture. I should organise a trip there to decide once and for all if Glasgow is a city worth seeing… I will definitively put the Cathedral on my list <3 after reading your post !

    • Whoever said Glasgow isn’t worth a visit, doesn’t know what they’re talking about haha It’s such a vibrant city, with great pubs, food scene, museums, architecture, parks and shopping. It would be a shame not to see it 🙂

  8. Oh my gosh that cathedral is STUNNING! I don’t think I’ve ever seen one so grand and ornate!

    • It’s really impressive, especially thinking of how old it is compared to the rest of the city!!

  9. I love Glasgow cathedral! It’s such a lovely area of the city and the views from the Necropolis are just unbeatable 🙂

    • Thanks for your lovely comment! I remember walking up the Necropolis for the first time – it’s like you’re looking at a different city 🙂

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