Thursday, 14 May 2009

The best things in life are free

Advantages: Set adjacent to one of Europe's finest public parks. A world of artefacts

Disadvantages: There are no disadvantages to visiting this fine museum

They used to say Glasgow's Miles Better as a means of promoting Glasgow and attracting tourism and industry to the City. And I think it would be fair to say the slogan worked. But even before that particular campaign Glasgow had a gem that attracted not only visitors from outside, but much of the populace of Glasgow. 

For many Glaswegian families a Sunday afternoon, a few times a year, spent at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, was perhaps as important as, for some, their regular Sunday morning outing to church. And just as churches have their Cathedrals, the Kelvingrove Museum must surely be Glasgow's Cathedral of Knowledge for the Children of Glasgow and Beyond? 

That gem has now been through a massive refurbishment programme which has brought more exhibits and floor space and it now rivals Edinburgh Castle as one of Britain's top tourist attractions. 

Amongst its exhibits is one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world, a vast natural history collection and an art collection which includes many outstanding European artworks, including works by the Old Masters, French Impressionists, Dutch Renaissance, Scottish Colourists and The Glasgow School. And yes one of Glasgow's most famous sons, Charles Rennie Mackintosh has his work featured. 

The very open feeling of the space inside the museum lends itself to a Spitfire which is hung at the height of the balcony, and simple as this may seem, is actually rather impressive to look at. 

Once upon a time you could 'cover' this museum in an afternoon, but with the recent refurbishment there is now 50% more space and exhibits, you would be well advised to plan a whole day here. 

As much as the eating facilities are excellent and reasonably priced, you are advised to bring a small picnic and spend your lunchtime in the grounds of one of Europe's finest public parks, the beautiful Kelvingrove Park, which the museum is immediately adjacent too. 

Oh and did I mention, even though it is one of the Grandest Museums in Britain, entry is free!

Summary: Free knowledge!

Image taken from Flickr account pixelsandpaper under the creative commons scheme

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