People's Palace and Winter Gardens in Glasgow

If you are tired of what some consider to be high art in galleries and museums, then make your way to visit the People's Palace and Winter Gardens for a bit of popular and social art.

The city of Glasgow once had a reputation as a rough, unhealthy and chaotic town, but the past 100 years have largely overcome this image and overseen a great period of urban renewal that reached its high point when Glasgow was named as the UK City of Architecture in 1999.

Much of Glasgow is covered in red sandstone, which could be argued to be one of the city's distinguishing characteristics. The Peoples Palace and Winter Gardens is made of two pieces: a three-storey building and a conservatory. Each is worth a moment of your time. Before coming to the attraction itself, you have to navigate your way through Glasgow Green.


Address Telephone Number Opening times

Glasgow Green, Glasgow G40 1AT
Open 10am until 5pm
except Friday and Sunday when we are open 11am - 5pm
Phone 0141 271 2951

This large park has had a turbulent history, as it was often besieged with designs and plans to transform it into a quay, a mine or many others nightmares. Each one was pushed aside by the council who realized that the park played a major role in the local social atmosphere. After walking under the McLennan Arch, you will pass Nelson's Monument, reaching a height of 43.5 metres (140 feet), which predates Nelson's Column by 30 years. Supposedly, James Watt had an epiphany here that led him to finalize his plans for the steam engine. Look out for the St. Andrews Suspension Bridge.

What to see in the Peoples Palace Glasgow

So what would you expect to find here? Standing in front of the palace is the Doullton Fountain, the largest terracotta one in the world reaching a height of 14 metres (48 feet) with a basin over 21 metres (70 feet) wide. Well, pretty much anything that could describe the story of Glaswegians since 1750. The palace has displays on three floors, but we would suggest making your day to the first and second floors unless there is an interesting temporary exhibition on the ground floor.

First Floor

The first floor has displays called; Doon the Watter, Dancing, The Bevvy The Steamie and The Buttercup Dairy. Each one takes you to a particular time and place in Glasgow's history.

Second Floor

The second floor is built around three displays: Visions of the City by Ken Currie, Housing in Glasgow that places you inside a period home, while Working City carries you into where people worked.

The funniest item is unarguably Billy Connolly's banana shoes. We are not sure how he managed not to slip up in them

Winter Gardens Glasgow

The Winter Gardens are so-called, because you can walk around tropical plants in frosty Glasgow weather. A cafe is open for you to take a moments rest. The palace has been fully restored to its former lustre following its centennial anniversary. One of the buildings most important residents happens to be a cat, sadly deceased. Her name was Smudge, and she was possibly the only feline member of a trade union. You are sure to come across stories and pictures of her.