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Glasgow is the most populous city in Scotland, situated on the River Clyde in the country’s West Central Lowlands. The city centre is bounded by Saltmarket, High Street and Castle Street to the east, Broomielaw and Clyde Street to the south, and Newton Street to the west, while the northern boundary follows Cathedral Street, North Hanover Street, Dobbie’s Loan and Phoenix Road. It is based on a grid system, comprising various districts such as the retail and theatre district (with its high-end boutiques, and theatre and concert halls), the merchant city (housing galleries, workshops and artist studios), the financial district, the West End (a bohemian district of cafés, tea rooms, bars, upmarket hotels, clubs and restaurants), the East End (home to Glasgow Barrowland market and Celtic Football Club’s ground), the South Side (containing Glasgow’s most affluent suburbs and public parks), and North Glasgow (containing the city’s poorest residential areas).
The city has many amenities for a wide range of cultural activities, from curling and football, to ballet and the opera. The Mitchell Library has grown into one of the largest public reference libraries in Europe, while many of Scotland’s national art organisations are based in the city. Glasgow hosted the 2014 Commonwealth Games and the first European Championships in 2018, and is well-known in the sporting world for football, rugby, athletics, tennis, golf and swimming.
From the 18th century onwards, Glasgow grew as one of Great Britain’s main hubs of transatlantic trade with North America and the West Indies, and with the onset of the Industrial Revolution, it soon became a pre-eminent centre for the production of chemicals, textiles and engineering, most notably in the shipbuilding and marine engineering industries. These have been gradually replaced in importance by more diversified forms of economic activity, although major manufacturing firms continue to be headquartered in the city, such as Aggreko, Weir Group, Clyde Blowers, Howden, Linn Products, Firebrand Games, William Grant & Sons, Whyte and Mackay, The Erdington Group, British Polar Engines and Albion Motors. As a result, tertiary sector industries have grown, including financial and business services, communications, biosciences, creative industries, higher education, retail and tourism, providing job opportunities in call centres, recruitment agencies and insurance companies. Of the 10 largest general insurance companies in the UK, eight have a base or head office in Glasgow, along with Royal Dutch Shell and Hilton, which have offices in the area. A notable local employer is the Wellpark Brewery, home of Tennent’s Lager.
The city is blessed with an impressive urban transport system, comprising many bus services, railway links, Glasgow Subway, and a number of park and ride facilities. The main M8 motorway passes around the city centre and connects with the M77, M74, M73 and M80 motorways, while there are three international airports within a 45 minute-drive to the city centre.
A major centre of higher and academic research, there are 10 colleges and universities within 10 miles of Glasgow, and the majority of students reside in the Shawlands, Dennistoun and West End areas of the city. The City Council operates 29 secondary schools, 149 primary schools and three specialist schools – the Dance School of Scotland, Glasgow School of Sport and the Glasgow Gaelic School, the only secondary school in Scotland to teach exclusively in Gaelic. Glasgow also has a number of independent schools including The High School of Glasgow, which was founded in 1124.
House prices in Glasgow are on average £174,639, which is up 4 per cent on the year before. If you decide on a move to this vibrant city, you will have to get used to the Glasgow patter, a distinct dialect made famous by Rab C. Nesbitt, which is noted for being difficult to understand!