Bursting out of the West End bubble

Beatrice Cook

It’s very easy to become trapped in the student microcosm that is the West End of Glasgow; with its numerous bars, cafes and restaurants, ranging from the pricier establishments such as Kember and Jones to the more wallet-friendly University Café (excellent fry-up for under a fiver might I add); there is obviously a lot to offer in this area predominantly built up of students. However, despite its middle class, leafy suburban surroundings, with the statuesque main building of the University of Glasgow dominating the skyline, the growing gnawing desire to escape the confines of Byres Road could not be ignored any longer. So I began to look outside of the proverbial box, found places to go and things to see in the outer reaches of Glasgow, and, with flatmates in tow, stumbled across The Lighthouse.

Situated directly in the city centre, of which I am aware is only a mere ten minute subway journey away from the hustle and bustle of Hillhead, The Lighthouse is Scotland’s centre for Design and Architecture. It features the (now unsuccessful) proposals for the George Square redevelopment, as well as work from the great Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the Foundation Glasgow exhibition which shows the changing face and history of the city, and with a viewing platform overlooking the entire city centre, The Lighthouse is well worth a look.

Originally built as a warehouse for the Glasgow Herald, The Lighthouse was redesigned to allow visitors to see Glasgow in a new light, emphasising its ever expanding cultural and modern projects, with potential designers and architects of the future being inspired by its informative and thought-provoking exhibitions. Not only that, but The Lighthouse is free entry, and no one loves a good bargain more than a student on a budget.

The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane (off Buchanan Street).

Opening Hours:  Monday to Saturday 10.30am – 5.00pm. Sunday 12.00pm – 5.00pm