10 quirky spots in Glasgow that have become unlikely landmarks for locals
Glasgow is blessed with many recognizable landmarks that attract visitors to the city and also help tell the story of our rich and vibrant history and heritage.
From Glasgow Cathedral and Finnieston Crane to the City Chambers and Necropolis, the city is blessed with a wonderful array of sights to admire.
But which ones are at the opposite end of the spectrum? Ones that tourists probably don’t know about, but mean a lot to us Glasgow natives, while having their own quirky stories to tell.
Here’s our list of Glasgow’s most unlikely local landmarks, from urinals to ‘drunken’ fountains and smart tubes…
The van outside the Botanical Gardens on Queen Margaret Drive has been there since St Mungo’s time. Or at least that’s how it is.
It’s a place former Glasgow Uni students will probably remember as fondly as their current course – and perhaps also their failure to avoid being ‘infected’ with the infamous ‘Glasgow Uni accent’.
And the one that is best known for the gastronomic delight that is the ‘Scoobie Snack’ – with everything you can imagine in a roll. The drunken town OG is reminiscent of when pubs and bars were open.
We wonder if it’s still open in fact other than showing up on Deliveroo.
The “drunk” fountain to a teetotaler
Speaking of drinking, the fact that Glasgow has a “drunken” landmark that actually looks like the Leaning Tower of Pisa should be celebrated – but it’s not.
With the van next door – populated by people starving after a night out on Sauchiehall Street – stealing its glory.
Too bad really, because not only does the “drunk” statue celebrate the life of a sobriety activist – a stone’s throw from the city’s nightlife hotspot – but it’s also been rocking for no less than 94 years.
Although people (wrongly) assume that the skinny 10.5-inch started to bow after building the M8.
The bogs of Lismore
‘Political’, ‘patriotic’ and ‘illuminated’ aren’t words you’d associate with a pub urinal, but this is Partick after all, a place also known to have been home to a poltergeist in the 1950s.
Male patrons are invited to pay homage to real dastardly people in Scottish history while spending a dime at the institution that is the Lismore.
Namely three men who took part in government endorsed the ethnic cleansing that were the Highland Clearances during the mid to late 18th century and 19th century.
The “Smartie Tube”
One of the few places outside a pub or club where you’re guaranteed to find a party, the journey through the covered walkway on the Clydeside Freeway to a gig at the SEC or OVO Hydro has become as much a part of a concert experience as the show itself.
A spot normally occupied by a busker or two on concert nights or angry cyclists asking you to get on your side of the bike/walk split, it was just yesterday voted the second best bike path in the world by a Colombian study , which spoke of its “attractiveness” and the promotion of “sustainability and culture”.
Instagrammable South Street
Even Buck Rodgers would have scratched his head at the sight of influencers from here and there flock to a quiet little corner in the south of the city to add a touch of color to their Insta-feed.
But that has been the case with Blairhall Avenue next to Queen’s Park in Shawlands, which, if you squint, could be mistaken for Portobello Market in Notting Hill, London, minus the celebrities of course.
We just feel a little sorry for the people who live there.
Speaking of “the gram” as the young team calls it, Blairhall Avenue has some fine competition itself in the form of Argyle Street stalwart Majestic Laundrette.
A place so cool that even the trendy bars that surround it in Finnieston can’t hold a candle to it.
From the rows of industrial washing machines to the old sign, to the plethora of concert posters, framed photos and movie memorabilia, this is truly an Insta dream.
And the one which, although normally populated with people washing their dirty knickers, hosted fashion sessions, a film screening, a video shoot by Emeli Sandé and even a DJ set by the incredible London artist and radio host Nabihah Ibqal.
As much of an iconic location as any on the South Side, it trumps its Manhattan Flatiron Building lookalike by being an indoor pub rather than apartments. or high-end offices worth more than the GDP of a small nation.
And not just any pub, but the one that sells arguably the cheapest three-course lunch in Glasgow for next to nothing.
The “People Make Glasgow” building
“No one cared who I was until I put the mask on,” said Batman villain Bane in The Dark Knight Rises in this incredible airplane opening sequence.
And the same can be said for the B-rated Met Tower off George Square.
No one really cared until they put up the People Make Glasgow sign. And now become our own version of The Bat-Signal.
One who even made himself ‘shine’ during lockdown with the appearance of the word ‘sexy’ in graffiti, giving Glasgow an unofficial new slogan that brought smiles to many faces.
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The “stone vagina” at the University of Glasgow
Arguably the strangest of the bunch, Glasgow Uni’s most famous sculpture outside the Gregory Building near Ashton Lane has been the source of much ridicule over the years, earning the nickname ‘the vagina of Pierre “.
An apt moniker, given that even the Vagina Museum – the world’s first brick-and-mortar museum dedicated to vaginas, vulvas, and gynecological anatomy – thought the same, asking their followers if it “reminded them of anything.” thing”.
The Horseshoe Karaoke Lounge
The place that ‘gave birth to a thousand Simon Cowells’, the upstairs lounge bar is the undisputed mecca of karaoke not just in Glasgow but in Scotland as a whole.
A veritable breeding ground for talent, Michelle McManus and Gary Mullen (Freddie Mercury), winner of Stars In Their Eyes, both cut their teeth there.
With the outside wall adorned with brass plaques for singers who have performed there over the years, including Travis, who honed his skills in The Horse Shoe for three years before dominating the charts.