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You'll Be Glad You Went to Glasgow

You’ll be glad you went to Glasgow. Occasionally in the shadow of its big sister, Edinburgh, Glasgow is packed with all the ingredients to make a fabulous holiday.

The legacy of being an outstanding European city certainly lives on. In 1999, Glasgow was awarded the title of UK City of Architecture and Design, which attests to the great variety of high-quality design within the city, with Victorian, Regency, art nouveau and ultra-modern styles all represented.

The Glasgow International Festival this year brings the art of local and international artists to Scotland’s second city for a stimulating two-week burst of exhibitions across the city.

Visual art happens all year round in Glasgow but for two weeks every two years, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art puts it firmly in the spotlight. From artists’ studios through to major museums, by way of a vast range of venues new and old, the Festival is the perfect moment to get to know more about contemporary art and how and where it takes place in Glasgow.

Packed with events, talks and tours as well as major world-class exhibitions, some by artists living in the city and others by leading international figures, the Festival is Glasgow’s art scene at its liveliest and best.

A vibrant array of theatre, comedy, live music, books, sports, cinema, clubs, bars, restaurants, talks and days out are all there for the taking.

Socialising and fine whiskey are of course synonymous with not only the region but the city particularly. The Spirit of Speyside is an annual celebration of the national tipple has become an established fixture on Scotland's tourism calendar.

The festival reflects the rich heritage of whisky-making which is an integral part of the lives of the Speyside communities and invites visitors to celebrate Scotland’s national drink through an inventive and wide-ranging programme of whisky-inspired events – some educational, all of them fun.

Over seven days, there will be over two hundred events, ranging from exclusive whisky dinners, tastings and master classes and in-depth tours of distilleries not normally open to the public, to more family-orientated events such as walks, canoe trips and scenic train rides through the whisky heartland with the Keith & Dufftown Railway.

For those of you unable to make the World Cup Finals in South Africa, Glasgow may hold the answer. Teams from Europe (and a special guest team from Australia) compete in a Cerebral Palsy football 2010 European Championships at the Toryglen Regional Football Centre.

And how does experiencing the Highland Games grab you? They take place from Cowal to Tomintoul and all points in between, and are a unique mix of the sporting, the cultural and the social. They usually comprise a programme of field and track events, piping and Highland dancing competitions and 'heavy events' like the tug-o-war, the hammer throw and tossing the caber.

The competitive element is a major attraction in its own right but when combined with the spectacle of Highland dancers and pipers and the colour and grandeur of the Scottish scenery which forms their backdrop; Highland Games become a must on any visitor's Scotland itinerary.

There is a full programme of Highland Games across Scotland throughout the summer season. One of the most famous is held in the late summer at the Braemar Gathering, traditionally attended by the Royal Family. Most Highland Games are on a far smaller scale, and many of them are still genuine community events.

What will make any trip of course is the accommodation. Glasgow’s hotels are varied and offer some superb overnight packages to suit all sorts of budgets from 2 and 3 star budget deals to exclusive five star packages for those with the cash to splash. For city centre convenience you might try the Thistle. It’s a modern hotel in Glasgow’s shopping and nightlife district, 250 meters from bustling Sauchiehall. This fabulous five star hotel’s Otium Health and Leisure club features a swimming pool, hot spa baths, sauna, and steam rooms.

Or perhaps a venue with a dash of history about it is more your style? This Thistle nineteenth century baronial building is located in the Merchant City district 300 meters from Glasgow Cross and 500 meters from the Gallery of Modern Art.

This is self catering at its very grandest! The hotel’s 99 suites feature contemporary décor with pink and brown furnishings and abstract art; all include kitchenettes, DVD players and high speed Internet access.

Alternatively, you can never ignore the allure of the Hilton brand, a central Glasgow hotel within 500 metres of Junction 18 on M8, within a mile of George Square and the Buchanan Galleries shopping centre.

Guests of the Hilton Glasgow can make use of the health club’s indoor pool, gym and sauna, and dine on modern Scottish cuisine in the restaurant. The hotel’s 319 air-conditioned guestrooms come equipped with private bathrooms, satellite televisions, Internet connections and in-room safes.

And don’t forget how child friendly the Hilton is. Kids up to the age of 10 can eat and drink for free from the children's menu, which features a range of freshly prepared treats for little ones. And Children under the age of 18 can stay for free when sharing your room

Often on domestic holidays you need to find somewhere that’s pet friendly and Glasgow has just the answer, the Best Western Glasgow Pond Hotel.

This Glasgow property is located near Botanic Gardens, Museum of Transport, and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Additional nearby points of interest include Glasgow Science Centre.

In addition to LCD televisions, guestrooms feature complimentary wireless Internet access and high-speed (wired) Internet access and bathrooms include shower/tub combinations and hair dryers.

One amazing venue is the Saint Judes Boutique Hotel & Apartments. Located in the heart of Glasgow; St Judes houses a boutique hotel, an outstanding restaurant, a sophisticated cocktail bar and a "state of the art" meetings' venue. The whole place provides the exceptional service in what can only be called intensely inspirational surroundings.

Recent renovation has imaginatively fused the elegance of our early Victorian structure with a discreet, sharp-edged architecture. Saint Judes describes itself as both an urban sanctuary for those who wish to unwind or an effervescent cosmopolitan setting for those who seek to over-indulge.

With all these amazing hotels on offer in Glasgow what can one say, but ‘where can I book my trip to Glasgow?’

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