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Things to See Round Glasgow


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Glasgow, "the second city of the Empire," as its citizens proudly claim it to be, is situated on the river Clyde, adjacent to the great coal and iron district of the Scottish midlands. Having its origin in Lanarkshire, the city has now overflowed into the neighbouring counties of Renfrew and Dumbarton, and covers a wide area extending for many miles on both banks of the river.

In olden days the site was one of sylvan beauty: the wide valley flanked on the north by the bold ridges of the Campsie and Kilpatrick hills, with a glimpse of the Highland bens in between, and on the south by the swelling uplands of Mearns, Neilston and Barrhead, and in the west a distant view of the mountains of Argyll. The rivers, Kelvin and Cart, lovely tributaries of the Clyde, issuing from their verdant vales to join the main stream at this point, made an entrancing scene. A Glasgow poet of a bygone day has sung of Kelvingrove:

Where the rose in all its pride
Sweeps the hollow dingle side,
Where the midnight fairies glide.

Now, alas! all this has changed, and Glasgow, the; chief industrial centre of Scotland, has obliterated much that is beautiful from the landscape. But in spite of its smoke and its noise, its factories and its commerce, there still remains much to admire in this great and bustling city, and the hills, un changing and serene, are within easy reach of the busy streets, and the peace of upland paths and green pastures can be enjoyed by its citizens on a Saturday afternoon, or on a fine summer evening.

To the stranger within its gates Glasgow presents many features of interest. While not so rich in historical associations as Edinburgh, many stirring -scenes have been enacted within its borders. The oldest building in Glasgow is the cathedral, at the top of the High Street to this venerable pile the city owes its origin, having grown from the, ham1et that sheltered under its walls. In Castle Street, near at hand, is Provand's Lordship, the only pre-Re formation house in Glasgow. Mary Queen of Scots lodged here on one occasion, when she visited her husband, Darnley, on his sick-bed. The building is now occupied by the Provand's Lordship Club, a coterie interested in Scottish history and literature.

Glasgow Cross, situated at the foot of the High Street at its junction with Trongate, is in the older part of the town and was at one time the centre of its activities. Here is to be seen the old Tron Steeple, with its archway projecting over the pavement, and also the tower of the old Tolbooth, or prison, which Sir Walter Scott has depicted for us in the pages of "Rob Roy." Near here, also, is the famous Saltmarket, with its memories of the redoubtable Bailie Nicol Jarvie.

Leaving the historical part of the city and proceeding westwards by that fine thoroughfare, Sauchie-hall Street, Kelvingrove Park is reached, where some of the finest vistas in the city are obtained. The park is on hilly ground, the river Kelvin running in the valley beneath. The fine buildings which surround it give dignity to the scene. The university, a noble pile with a beautiful spire, stands high on Gilmorehill. Glasgow is happily placed in having the finest of scenery and country of romantic interest at its doors. A run to Aberfoyle is to the motorist a matter of an hour's journey, and here one is amongst the hills and glens immortalised by Scott in "The Lady of the Lake" and in "Rob Roy." It was to the clachan of Aberfoyle that Francis Osbaldistone and his friend journeyed to meet the famous freebooter; and it was here, in Jean Mac-Alpine's hostelry, that the redoubtable Bailie fought his memorable duel with the Highlander.

Behind the village a steep hill road leads over to Loch Achray, the Trossachs and Loch Katrine; and here the traveller can repeople the glen in imagination with Roderick Dhu and the stern warriors of Clan Alpine, or, if he prefer authentic history to fiction, he can recall, no less romantically, the wild MacGregor clansmen, whose country he now passes through. All around Aberfoyle are lakes and hills famous in song and story; the Lake of Menteith, with its island ruins, including the priory where Queen Mary and her "four Maries" once dwelt; Loch Ard and Loch Chon, where the road leads northward to the old MacGregor fastnesses of Craig Royston and Glengyle.

No visitor to Glasgow should leave the neighbourhood without taking a sail up Loch Lomond. The steamers leave from Balloch, eighteen miles from the city; the journey thither may be done by rail or road, preferably the latter, so that objects of interest may be seen en route. Leaving the city in a westerly direction, our road follows the northern bank of the river past the busy shipbuilding yards of Scotstoun and Clydebank to Old Kilpatrick, birthplace of Ireland's patroi saint, who, strange to say, was a Scotsman. Near this place are to be seen the remains of the Roman Wall of Antonine. We now skirt the base of the steep Kilpatrick Hills; at Bowling, a little farther on, is to be seen a monument erected to Henry Bell, the inventor of the "Comet," the first steamboat to be put on the Clyde.

The busy town of Dumbarton is next reached. The most interesting thing here is the old rock-built castle which gives the town its name, the dun, or fort of the Britons. A massive rock, measuring a mile in circumference and having two lumpish peaks, juts out into the river at this point: its summit has been fortified from time immemorial. Several times in the course of its stormy history has the castle been captured by strategy.

At Dumbarton we leave the Clyde and turn northwards through the Vale of Leven (Smollet's birthplace) to Balloch, where we embark. A good motoring road runs up the western side of Loch Lomond, but this beautiful sheet of water can best be seen from the deck of a steamer. The vessel threads its way amongst lovely wooded islands; it visits first the hamlet of Balmaha, near which Buchanan Castle, seat of the Duke of Montrose, may be seen, then crosses to the other shore to the village of Luss, the centre of the Colquhoun country. The family seat, Rossdhu, home of the chief, Sir Iain Colquhoun, Bart, lies a mile south of the village. In Glenfruin, the glen of sorrow, a sombre valley whose entrance we can descry amongst the hills, the Colquhouns suffered a memorable defeat from the clan Gregor in 1603. As a result of this conflict King James VI took severe action against the MacGregors. They were hunted like wild beasts on the hills; all adult males were ordered to be killed, and women and children branded. Their name was prohibited to be used. Only the indomitable spirit of the MacGregors kept them together as a clan. Yet about a century later the descendants of these "thieves and limmers," as the old edict describes them, fought loyally for the Stuart king's great-grandson at Sherrifmuir, and later at Prestonpans. Crossing the loch again the steamer touches at Rowardennan, from which point the ascent of Ben Lomond (3,192 feet) can best be made, then on by Tarbet to Inversnaid, where a fort was erected in the early part of the eighteenth century to keep the MacGregors in subjection. Wolfe, the victor of Quebec, was at one time a subaltern attached to this garrison. The fort was ultimately captured and destroyed by the outlaw clan. At the head of the loch, shut in by mighty hills, is Ardlui. This northern end of Loch Lomond was in the old days the territory of Clan MacFarlane, a tribe whose reputation for lawlessness equalled that of the MacGregors.

Glasgow's great playground is to be found on the shores of the Firth of Clyde; the popularity of such resorts as Rothesay and Dunoon never wanes. The finest pleasure boats to be found anywhere ply on the river, and the railway companies run an excellent service of trains to Craigendoran, Greenock, Gourock and Wemyss Bay in conjunction with the steamers, thus saving the long sail down the narrow part of the river, which, while of interest to the stranger who may want to have a close view of the shipbuilding yards, is apt to be tedious to those who are familiar with the industrial part of the Clyde. The Firth is famous for its many sea-lochs that run far into the hills; like the fiords of Norway, they have a charm that no inland lake can surpass. Villages and little townships fringe their shores and also the coasts of the islands of Bute, Cumbrae and Arran. These are the happy holiday resorts of hosts of Glasgow's citizens during the summer months, and of innumerable tourists from all parts.

Many of these little towns have histories that go back to the days of the Norse invaders. Rothesay, on the island of Bute and capital of the county of that name, has a moated castle which was held by the Danes in the thirteenth century until retaken by Alexander III after the battle of Largs. In 1398 Robert III created his son Duke of Rothesay, a title which to this day is held by the heir-apparent to the British throne. The town is now a great yachting centre. Dunoon, the birthplace of Burns's "Highland Mary," has a grim history out of keeping with its present-day gaiety.

Among the many pleasure sails that can be taken from Glasgow in a day, none is more popular than the far-famed Kyles of Bute tour to Inveraray, from which little Highland township, seat of the Duke of Argyll and headquarters of the Campbell clan, the return journey may be made by coach and steamer via Loch Eck. Arran is also well worth a visit, if only for the rugged grandeur of its mountains, the precipitous sides of which provide plenty of scope for the rock-climber to test his skill and daring.

Within a radius of ten miles of Glasgow are several industrial towns, which, though lacking in picturesque surroundings, are not without interest. A short run on the south side of the river brings the motorist to Renfrew (6 miles), an old county town, near which is the seat of Lord Blythswood, Blythswood House, frequently visited by Royalty. It was at Renfrew in 1164 that Somerled, the Lord of the Isles, who had rebelled against Malcolm II, was defeated and slain. Two miles farther on is Paisley, the important thread manufacturing centre, with its old abbey founded in 1163 by Walter, first High Steward of Scotland, and ancestor of the Stuart line. The abbey has recently been restored at a cost of 100,000. On the outskirts of Paisley is Elderslie, birthplace of the patriot Wallace. In the opposite direction from Glasgow and at equally short distance are the towns of Bothwell and Hamilton. Bothwell Castle stands amid scenes that once were beautiful but are now in the midst of the smoke-begrimed mining district. At Bothwell Bridge in 1679 the Covenanters were defeated by the Royal army under Monmouth. Scott gives a graphic picture of the conflict in "Old Mortality." Hamilton's chief interest lies in its association with the ducal house of that name, and the motorist would do well to leave its murky atmosphere behind and speed on to the old-world town of Lanark, a run of fourteen miles through pleasant orchards, famous for their blossom in spring-time.

Lanark was founded in the ninth century or earlier, and had a monastery that was an important place under the early Scottish kings, and obtained a charter of incorporation about 1200. At New Lanark, a mile away, are the cotton mills which Robert Owen tried to conduct on communistic lines.

A visit to the falls of Clyde - there are three cataracts, all worth seeing, Cora Lynn, Stonebyres and Bonnington - would remove the impression created by the mining district and provides a suitable finish to the excursions around Glasgow.


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Pictures for Things to See Round Glasgow

BONNINGTON LINN, LANARKSHIRE, THE THIRD OF THE FAMOUS FALLS OF CLYDE
BONNINGTON LINN, LANARKSHIRE, THE THIRD OF THE FAMOUS FALLS OF CLYDE >>>>
LOCH ARD, NEAR ABERFOYLE
LOCH ARD, NEAR ABERFOYLE >>>>
FROM A WOODED MOUNTAIN SIDE ONE LOOKS ACROSS THE SHINING EXPANSE OF LOCH ARD, ONE OF SCOTLAND'S FAMOUS LAKES
FROM A WOODED MOUNTAIN SIDE ONE LOOKS ACROSS THE SHINING EXPANSE OF LOCH ARD, ONE OF SCOTLAND'S FAMOUS LAKES >>>>
LOCH LOMOND FROM BEN LOMOND, A MECCA OF VISITORS IN THE COUNTRY OF THE MACGREGORS AND COLQUHOUNS
LOCH LOMOND FROM BEN LOMOND, A MECCA OF VISITORS IN THE COUNTRY OF THE MACGREGORS AND COLQUHOUNS >>>>
THE HOTEL AT ROWARDENNAN
THE HOTEL AT ROWARDENNAN >>>>
ROWARDENNAN IN THE SHADOW OF BEN LOMOND AND THE PRINCIPAL STARTING POINT FOR THE ASCENT
ROWARDENNAN IN THE SHADOW OF BEN LOMOND AND THE PRINCIPAL STARTING POINT FOR THE ASCENT >>>>
THE KYLES OF BUTE, WHICH CURVE ROUND THE ISLAND: WEMYSS BAY ON THE MAINLAND
THE KYLES OF BUTE, WHICH CURVE ROUND THE ISLAND: WEMYSS BAY ON THE MAINLAND >>>>
MILLPORT, ON CUMBRAE ISLAND: LOOKING TOWARDS ARRAN
MILLPORT, ON CUMBRAE ISLAND: LOOKING TOWARDS ARRAN >>>>
ROTHESAY ON SWEET ROTHESAY BAY: THE CAPITAL OF BUTESHIRE AND A ROYAL BURGH
ROTHESAY ON SWEET ROTHESAY BAY: THE CAPITAL OF BUTESHIRE AND A ROYAL BURGH >>>>

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