Glasgow is an interesting place. Yes, we’ve opened with this line before. But that doesn’t make it any less of a fact! Following on the heels of our previous article on why Glasgow’s the best city to live, breathe and party in. Glasgow Living presents four more reasons why this city is top.

9. Commonwealth Games viewing figures

Opening ceremony

In 2014 the Commonwealth Games took place in Glasgow after the nightmare of the previous Games in Delhi, it was said that Glasgow rejuvenated many countries’ passion for competing in the events.

Following the closing ceremony, many politicians and competitive athletes, described the Glasgow Commonwealth Games as the “greatest ever”. (Heck, even the weather kept its side of the bargain.)

The viewing figures for the event were also pretty spectacular. With Earth’s population currently standing at 7 billion, a massive 1.5 billion watched the opening ceremony.

That’s nearly a quarter of the entire population on Earth tuning in to watch the competing countries marching round the Celtic Park running track. (Though if we’re honest, they probably tuned in to watch the “Wee Scottie Dugs” steal the opening ceremony.)

8. Dear Green Place

Molendinar Burn2Glasgow Green

Glasgow has 90 parks and green areas, more than any other city of its size in Europe. One of its parks (Glasgow Green) has been used by the people of Glasgow since the 1400’s.

Originally gifted to William Turnbull by King James II, the park was mainly used for animal grazing and for washing and bleaching clothes right up until the nineteenth century.

The park however, was anything but green at the time, it mainly consisted of marsh land, burns and uneven surfaces. Far removed from the green swathes of land that encompass modern day Glasgow Green.

In the early 1800’s, it was decided that there would be an attempt to tame the land, to do so the land would need to be levelled and landscaped. Thanks to the low lying nature of the earth it was very susceptible to regular flooding.

The area was levelled and as a result of this, the Camlachie and the Molendinar burns were channelled below the surface. The Molendinar has particular reverence to the history of Glasgow. (It is said that the burn was used by St Mungo to baptise Christian converts in the sixth century.)

Glasgow Green in later centuries became famous as a place for political and religious speakers to protest. (It was also rather grimly, a place for public executions as well).

The last person to be hanged in Glasgow was Edward Pritchard in 1886. He being responsible for murdering his wife and mother in law and where did the hanging take place? Glasgow Green. It is said that 100,000 people attended the gruesome spectacle.

7. William Wallace once fought a battle in Glasgow

battle of the braeWilliam_wallace

The national hero, who will until the end of time now unfortunately be visualised looking like Mel Gibson, once routed the English army from Glasgow, in what is referred to as the ‘Battle of The Bell O’ the Brae.

Although there has been some discussion about the actual events that took place. It has been agreed that Wallace triumphed in defeating the English in Glasgow.

There are various accounts of Wallace’s victory, but the general consensus is that William Wallace riding from Ayr, arrived in Glasgow and marched onto High Street toward the English army. Prior to his attack, Wallace split his army in two, telling the other half of his army to circumnavigate the retreating English and ambush them.

The plan worked and it is alleged the English retreated as far back as Bothwell, where Wallace and his army attacked, defeating the English once again.

Wallace in his conquering of the English in Glasgow, successfully reclaimed the Bishops Castle. (The residence of bishops and priests of Glasgow Cathedral.)

So much so that a statue is to be erected in memory of the “Battle of Bell O the Brae”.

6. Glasgow. A Shoppers Heaven

style mileStyle Mile 2

Glasgow has officially been recognised as the best shopping destination outside of London. Since 2008 Experian has ranked Glasgow City Centre as the second best shopping destination for money spent per mile in Britain.

Independent industry research company CACI also recognised Glasgow’s place as the greatest destination outside of the West-End of London. Currently there are more than 1500 retail premises.

Glasgow was recognised in 2014 as being, “one of the world’s top ten cities to visit in 2014” by travel bible, Rough Guides.

Rough Guides described Glasgow’s shopping district as. “The UK’s largest retail phalanx outside of London, Glasgow is a shopaholics paradise. The “Style Mile” around Buchanan Street, Argyle Street and the Merchant City is a fashion hub. While the West End has quirkier, more bohemian shopping options.”

If you’d like more of this, check out Ten Reasons Glasgow’s the Best #10 here on Glasgow Living.