We have a long history in the country and that history is all around waiting to be explored. Recently we have got interested in Scottish History with my son reading the Scotland edition of Horrible Histories and I’ve been reading Scotland: A History from Earliest Times by Alistair Moffat. I’ve become a lot more aware of the history of Scotland and it’s helped me understand a lot more about the country of quite a lot of my ancestors. Reading books isn’t for everyone though and there are loads of ways of making history come alive.
Edinburgh is full of history and it’s easy to find, but there’s a lot to be seen in nearby Glasgow too. It’s a fairly short hop on the train from Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street and it opens up a whole host of possibilities.
Much of Glasgow’s importance as a city is due to its position as a port on the River Clyde. You can explore the city’s maritime and shipbuilding heritage by visiting the Tall Ship, the 19th-century sailing ship moored alongside Pointhouse Quay. This fully restored three-mast sailing ship which offers visitors an interesting glimpse into a bygone era of wind-powered shipping. It’s now opened to the public as a museum and it is one of only five remaining tall ships built on the Clyde that’s still afloat today, and a visit is well worth making the time for if you’ve ever wanted to know anything about Glasgow’s shipbuilding past. Seeing history in the flesh so to speak is a great way to bring the past alive for children.
You can follow this up with a visit to the Riverside Museum: Glasgow’s award-winning transport museum. Obviously there’s plenty about Glasgow’s rich shipbuilding history, but with over 3,000 objects on display there’s everything from skateboards to locomotives, paintings to prams and cars to a Stormtrooper. Kids love interactive displays and actually doing things, so the museum have added plenty of these elements to their displays. You can walk through Glasgow streets and visit the shops, bar and subway. Or perhaps you’d like to climb aboard a train, tram or bus and get a real feel for old public transport. Explore the car and motorbike walls and help put out a fire with their interactive fire engine.
A very different side of Glasgow’s historical past can be explored at the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art. Named after Glasgow’s patron saint, who brought the Christian faith to Scotland in the 6th century, the museum has a lot to offer. Built on the site of the medieval Bishops’ Castle and designed in its style, the museum really looks the part. The galleries are full of displays, objects and stunning works of art that explore the importance of religion in peoples’ lives across the world and across time. Just across the road is the Provand’s Lordship, which is the oldest house in Glasgow, and alongside there’s also Glasgow Cathedral. So the area is a bit of a historical hot spot.