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Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Riverside Museum (Transport Museum) in Glasgow

The Riverside Museum, on the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow, houses over 3,000 objects that detail Glasgow’s rich and vibrant past. The museum won the 'European Museum of the Year' award in 2013 and has become an iconic landmark in the city. Our guide mentioned that the museum is also referred to as the 'Transport Museum'.

There are nine main display themes in the museum: 
  • The Streets
  • The River Clyde
  • Transport and Leisure
  • Made in Scotland
  • Crossing the World
  • Cutting Edge: Past, Present and Future
  • Disasters and Crashes
  • Looks and Fashion
  • Getting There
As you enter the museum and head to 'The Streets' section you will notice old cobbled streets built inside the museum. Yes, you read that right - streets with shops and even an old Glasgow pub! I felt like I had been transported back in time. It was amazing to enter each shop and visualise how trade must have been carried out in those days.

The museum has all kinds of transport automobiles ranging from vintage cars to trams, bicycles to fire-engine trucks, buses to motorbikes and even train engines. There were even some models of ships on display. All the exhibits are clearly marked and wherever possible there is an interesting story/history relating to the item also listed out. You can easily spend hours walking around the museum and not get bored.

There was a large selection of cars on display. At the entrance cars are displayed at ground level and you can get a closer look at them. There was a Bentley 3.5 litre Sedanca Coupe from 1934 on display at the very entrance. With its long, low bonnet and sweeping lines, this car looked so glamorous. And the colour was gorgeous. What a beauty!

Towards the rear end of the museum there were many more cars but these were arranged on the wall! While the amount of display items makes it worth a visit, the only drawback that I found was the way a majority of the cars were on display. As you can see from the pictures the cars are positioned on a car-wall i.e. on shelves mounted on the wall at a great height. As beautiful as it looked, there was no way of getting a good view of the ones on the top. This arrangement must have been put in place to save space but it also made viewing most of the cars from a closer range impossible. The same applied to motorbike display and the bicycles on the suspended velodrome.

Inspite of not being able to get a good look at all the motorbikes, the motorbike wall was still one of my favorites. There was an iconic Lambretta from 1956 as well as Ducati 916, a Vespa model.

There is a cafe at Riverside Museum(on the ground floor) which serves hot and cold breakfasts on most days. Afternoon tea is available from 2pm till 4pm daily. Needless to day the cafe offers excellent views of River Clyde and The Tall Ship. There is also a Coffee Shop on the first floor which offers a selection of  teas, coffees, soft drinks and sandwiches and cakes.

Not to be missed is the museum ship - Glenlee. Also known as 'The Tall Ship', Glenlee was used as a cargo ship when it was built in 1896. From 1922-1992 it was used as a training ship for the Spanish Navy and now it is being used as a floating museum representing Soctland's shipbuilding past. You can explore different parts of the ship including the Children's Play Area, Engine Room and the Cargo Hold Cinema. There is an Audio Guide facility that is quite informative. And the views of both the City Centre and the Erskine Bridge from the Glenlee are great.

Both the attractions were free entry when we visited them, however one can support it with a donation. If you love cars, motorbikes, trains or anything to do with transport, you should visit this museum once.

Riverside Museum
100 Pointhouse Place
Glasgow, G3 8RS
Phone: 0141 287 2720

Opening Hours
Monday to Thursday, Saturday: 10am to 5pm
Friday and Sunday: 11am to 5pm

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