One thing I love about studying in the UK is that students here get the privilege of having an Easter Break; which is about one month long and they can either travel or study before the final exams in May-June. Lucky for me, I don’t have any final exams, so it is safe to say that I have finished my studies here at the University of Warwick (well, until I finish my assignments, of course). Our Easter Break officially started on March 17th and the next semester starts on April 23rd. Because I don’t have final exams, I won’t have classes during the third term and hence the reason I am done early. For the first week of my break, I booked a trip to visit Scotland with my friend, Jodie, who is also from UBC and studying abroad at the University of Warwick. We first visited Glasgow, a port city on the River Clyde in Scotland’s western Lowlands. I also have a close friend, Ruairidh, who is doing his exchange at the University of Glasgow so he was sweet to offer us to stay with him during our time in Glasgow.
Jodie and I booked our flight with Flybe through Skyscanner, which cost us £70 round-trip per person from Birmingham to Glasgow. Our ticket could have been cheaper if we booked at least a month ahead, but because both of us needed to wait until we knew when we were free to travel together, we ended up booking just a week ahead and so the price increased slightly. Tip: If you want to fly to Scotland from England, instead of landing in Edinburgh, fly to Glasgow and your ticket will be reduced by almost £100! If you plan to visit Edinburgh, the coach/bus or train from Glasgow to Edinburgh will only cost you around £10 or even less for a one-hour journey.
One thing I was warned about flying with Flybe was that they usually operate on propeller planes, which are known to be quite frightening. The propeller plane converts rotary motion from an engine or other power sources into a swirling slipstream which pushes the propeller forwards or backward. It also tends to be smaller, lighter, slower, and fly lower than jets, so you’re more likely to experience the full effects of thermals and turbulence.
Despite hearing the negative things about propeller planes, I have to be honest and say that it is not entirely true. After my first flight with Flybe, my experience with a propeller plane was quite relaxing. I had friends who told me that the engine was going to be loud and scary, but my flight turned out to be as normal as any other flight I flew with in the past. The engine was slightly louder than the regular planes, but the noise will not overwhelm you. Because it was a smaller plane, when it first took off into the sky, it was bumpy and swayed quite a bit, but the moment it reached a certain altitude, the plane settled and flew smoothly without any turbulence. So, do not fear the propeller plane because I found my flight to be a very cool experience. Don’t let the stigma of propeller planes ruin your chances of flying with an affordable flight that comes with comfortable seats and superb services!
Watch this video on YouTube for a thorough report of flying in a propeller plane with Flybe from Glasgow to Birmingham.
After landing in Glasgow, I purchased the Glasgow Airport Express Shuttle to the city centre at the Info Centre. The ticket cost £12 round-trip since I would be coming back to Glasgow to fly back to Birmingham. It would cost £8 for a one-way ticket to the city centre if you don’t plan on going back to the airport in Glasgow. The Express shuttle is also the only public transportation available to get you to the city centre.
I got off at Buchanan Street and transferred on to the underground subway, and the ticket only cost £1.65 per adult. The subway looked similar to the one in London because the trains were tiny and crowded. My journey on the subway only took 5 minutes because I got off in just two stops after Buchanan Street.
Our first night in Glasgow consisted mostly of catching up and exploring a little bit of the nightlife. Ruairidh brought us to a cute little pub called The Parlour and I ordered Spicy Lamb Tacos and a Mango Margarita. The pub had a very dope and hipster vibe, with pictures of various artists all over the wall. My favourite picture, of course, was Biggie.
28 Vinicombe St, Glasgow G12 8BE
After a goodnight of sleep, we woke up early and headed to Glasgow Botanic Gardens. On the way there, we also walked through a beautiful park and walkways where we saw a lot of puppies running around. The Botanic Gardens was free to enter and there were several glasshouses, with the most notable being the Kibble Palace.
Glasgow Botanic Gardens
730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE
After visiting the Botanic Gardens, we walked over to the University of Glasgow, where Ruairidh was studying. The University of Glasgow was founded in 1451 and also happened to be the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland’s four ancient universities. I was shocked to witness such an ancient place, and despite being old, the university was still gorgeous with amazing architecture.
The University of Glasgow
University Avenue, Glasgow G12 8QQ
Near the University was Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, which was only about a 15min walk away. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to go inside the gallery because it was closed by 5PM and we didn’t make it on time. Nevertheless, we witnessed the building from outside and it was still a stunning sight to witness.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG
We had a break at a pub called Inn Deep, a craft ale pub with an arched wooden ceiling, a terrace, quirky murals and an American-style menu. I loved everything about this place because I got to appreciate the arts that were implemented in the facility (even the toilets!) and their menus were super creative. I ordered a Korean BBQ sandwich which was served with salad and soup. It was probably one of the best sandwiches I’d ever had. Unfortunately, I couldn’t finish it despite how delicious it was. The reason being so was because I had a quick stop at Loop & Scoop and ordered a box of churro with Nutella dip and I ate it all by myself… No regret.
Loop & Scoop
665 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 8RE
445 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 8HH
After food, we spent the rest of the evening walking around the city where I got to see places near the water and explored the non-ancient part of Glasgow.
On our last day in Glasgow (after coming back from Edinburgh), Jodie and I hung out around Buchanan Street, the main shopping centre of Glasgow. We went inside Princess Square shopping centre and enjoyed a mini dessert at Barca Tapas and Cava Bar.
Barca Tapas and Cava Bar
Princes Square, 48 Buchanan St, Glasgow G1 3JN
A special thanks to Ruairidh for being our tour guide, an amazing host and friend, and for taking care of Jodie and me during our time in Glasgow.