posted on January 13th, 2021

Virtual Scottish Experiences


Glasgow is a city of culture, bursting with activity and experiences, but while it’s not possible to travel here right now you can experience a little piece of Scotland, virtually.

From arts and entertainment to shopping and food and drink, here’s a selection of unique experiences to enjoy at home until it’s safe to visit.

Let Glasgow entertain you
Internationally renowned as Europe’s largest winter music festival, annually welcoming over 2000 artists to take part in over 300 events, Celtic Connections celebrates its 28th incarnation a little differently in 2021 with a brand new digital format. The festival, which will take place from January 15 – February 2, will present concerts each day with some of the biggest names on the Scottish music scene and beyond appearing on screens across the world. Some of the famous names taking part this year include Admiral Fallow, Eddi Reader, Blazin Fiddles, Transatlantic Sessions and Breabach. Notable Irish performances to look out for during the festival would be Cherish the Ladies, long-running, Grammy nominated Irish – American supergroup and The Conundrum with Tryst, where Glasgow local, Finlay MacDonald brings together Celtic performers, including Northern Irish piper, Bradley Parker, showcasing the innovative Scottish & Irish bellows piping traditions. For the full programme visit the Celtic Connections website. Tickets are available to purchase from celticconnections.vhx.tv

A taste of Scotland
Glasgow’s food and drink scene has been described as a hotbed of culinary experimentation, with successful street markets, cool cafe culture and award-winning dining. The city’s ever-evolving food scene has been driven by the clever use of Scotland’s exceptional natural larder. Local Glaswegian writer and foodie expert Paul Trainer and The Herald newspaper have teamed up to create The Best of Glasgow City Guide and Cook Book, which includes reflections from well-known Glaswegians, neighbourhood guides and some recipes from chefs from top city establishments including the renowned Café Gandolfi sharing their recipe for Cullen Skink, steamed mussels from the award-winning Gamba and Gigha halibut from one of the city’s newest fine-dining restaurants, Glaschu. Order a copy online and try out some of these delicious Scottish recipes at home. Once Upon A Whisky is bringing virtual tastings to your home. In collaboration with Glasgow Distillery, you can join them on a virtual tour across distilleries, regions and flavours and they will also share stories, facts, myths and of course fantastic whisky! Book a virtual tour on Once Upon A Whisky’s website and you will receive, in the post (UK & EU delivery), a set of five miniatures of high-quality whisky to allow you to take part in the session. They are also celebrating one of Scotland’s top cultural dates, Burns Night with special tastings on January 21, 25 and 28.

If cocktails are more appealing, The Glasgow Distillery Company, which adopted its name from one of Glasgow’s original distilleries founded in 1770, became the first Single Malt Whisky Distillery in Glasgow for over 100 years when it reopened in 2014. Their products range from Glasgow 1770 whisky to Makar Gin and they have used these to create some Glasgow-inspired cocktails such as the Glasgow Mule or Glasgow Mai Tai, you can replicate at home. Their spirits can be shipped internationally and you’ll find the recipes on The Glasgow Distillery website.

Get your culture fix
Named as the UK’s Top Cultural and Creative City (European Commission 2019), Glasgow is home to one of Europe’s largest civic art collections. But art spills out beyond venue walls in the form of urban street art adorning the sides of buildings, which can be experienced as part of a mural trail. And you can experience the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail from the comfort of your own home. Access the Audio Map on the City Centre Mural Trail website and virtually visit more than 25 of the city’s much-loved murals and learn more about the inspiration behind these stunning works of art which bring vibrant bursts of colour to the streets of the city centre.

Glasgow is also a city of architectural grandeur, with a trademark flair for design. One compelling character who left his mark on the city like no other is the architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh – nowhere else in the world can you witness Mackintosh’s genius on this scale. And while you can’t visit to marvel at his stunning works, you can take a virtual tour of Mackintosh House at the Hunterian Art Gallery and explore room by room the detailed design and interiors of Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh’s home. You can also take a virtual tour of Mackintosh at the Willow. The Willow Tearooms building was originally opened by Miss Cranston and designed by Mackintosh in 1903. This new, immersive tour gives you a look at all levels of the stunning venue now restored to its former splendour.

A souvenir from Scotland
Glasgow has some of the UK’s best high street shopping but we also like to celebrate the amazing talent of the city’s own independent makers and creators. The city is home to fantastic weekend markets and shops that you simply won’t find anywhere else but while you can’t visit to enjoy a weekend wander around some of these quirky stores, you can select a special gift or Scottish treat and have it shipped direct to your home.
For unique, hand-made Scottish gifts, check out the Scottish Design Exchange where you will find a number of the city’s creators and producers selling all sorts of quirky and high-quality products. Or there is Shearer Candles, established in the city for over 100 years and Glickmans sweet shop, for a sugar-fix of traditional Scottish toffee and boiled sweets.

Glasgow on film
Continue your Glasgow experience from home by checking out some of the top film and TV shows shot in the city in recent years. From Hollywood films to hit TV shows, many productions have been drawn to Glasgow due to the incredible range of architecture and unique grid street system, which allows the city to double as different eras and cities. So check out Glasgow on screen and make a list of places to see once you can visit us again.
For more information and inspiration for things to see and do in Glasgow, when it’s safe to visit, check out: peoplemakeglasgow.com