Glasgow, which is known as the Merchant City or the Dear Green Place, is Scotland's biggest city and is set on the River Clyde. Most people visit to see the Necropolis, the School of Art for the Charles Rennie Mackintosh architecture and the Kelvin Grove Art Gallery.
Other interesting sites include the Science Centre, Burrell Collection and West End. Much of the Clydeside has been redeveloped for the BBC. For tourists interested in booking into one of the many good Glasgow hotels, there is a lot of choice, from big chains such as Holiday Inn and Hilton to budget brands. There are some great facilities available, such as indoor swimming pools, spas and children's supervised play areas. Many of these hotels are situated in the city centre, close to public transport and shopping centres such as Buchanan Galleries and the St Enoch Centre. For designer labels, visit Princes Square.
There is also a range of boutique properties, with many in the West End area. Some self-catering options are on offer although most people use the main hotel groups or local bed-and-breakfast establishments, which serve a hearty Scottish breakfast. Glasgow is the host city of the 2014 Commonwealth Games and will draw many thousands of visitors at that time.
Other interesting places to visit in Glasgow city centre include the Theatre Royal, the Film Theatre and the eighteen-screen Cineworld in Renfrew Street, the world's tallest cinema. The West End's Botanic Gardens have beautiful, quiet wooded walks and the Glasgow Science Centre, with its futuristic titanium curves, will provide you with many fascinated hours of browsing. You will be able to walk to these sites from many of the hotels in Glasgow.
You can pick up a rental car at either Glasgow International Airport (GLA) or Glasgow Prestwick (PIK) or in downtown Glasgow. Many visitors choose to head out of the city for whisky tours at distilleries such as Auchentoshan, situated just off the A82 towards Loch Lomond, or Glengoyne on the A81.
Further afield you might just spot the famous but elusive Nessie in Loch Ness or you could visit beautiful Edinburgh, where you can climb up to Arthur's Seat, the site of an extinct volcano. Why not also visit the islands of the Hebrides, where you can still see some of the traditional thatched Black Houses. Seeing the famed Mull of Kintyre in south-west Scotland will give you an idea why Paul McCartney wrote a song about its beauty. The impressive Stirling Castle atop Castle Hill has been the site of the coronation of many Scottish kings and queens, notably Mary Queen of Scots in 1543.
The Hamilton Park Racecourse south of Glasgow is known for its great horse racing combined with glamour and entertainment. It has also hosted live performances, including those of Jason Donovan, Danii Minogue and Westlife. The annual three-day T in the Park Music Festival in Kinross-shire features seven main stages. Snow Patrol, The Stone Roses and Kasabian were the 2012 headliners.
Summer is a popular time to visit Glasgow. High season is in June and August, when most venues stay open until very late and the city is buzzing with life until the early hours of the morning.
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