Alwell Maduakolam is an international student who studies MSc Public Health at the University of the West of Scotland. He’s found out that there’s much more to University life in Scotland than study…
Who doesn’t enjoy travelling?
Even before I came to Scotland to study, I read about the people, history and exciting places that I could visit.
As an international student, I knew that I had to make the most of my time in the country. If you’re coming to Scotland from abroad, or, indeed, from elsewhere in the UK, I highly recommend you do the same.
But where should you go? I wanted to list some of my favourite places to help inspire you. They’re almost all easily accessible from UWS – so happy travelling!
George Square, Glasgow
If you are Scottish and you read this you might find this suggestion strange. My proximity to George Square influenced my decision to visit this place, so it is somewhere I feel very positively about.
Located right in the centre of Glasgow, George Square was particularly interesting to me due to all of the statues and monuments. It gives you a ‘feel’ for the city of Glasgow, and is a nice place to sit down and gather your thoughts. It’s also near the Gallery of Modern Art and Glasgow’s famous Duke of Wellington statue – which permanently sits with a traffic cone on its head. I think the Square gives you an idea of the character of Glasgow, and I like that.
Edinburgh/Glasgow Botanic Gardens
I love nature, and I was very excited about visiting the Botanic Gardens, which features different plant species from around the world. Both are worth visiting, but my favourite was in Edinburgh. Scotland’s capital is easily accessible by train or bus from UWS, and I would highly recommend taking a day trip (or several of them!) to experience all that this wonderful city has to offer.
I visited Edinburgh Botanic Gardens at Christmas time, and found it fascinating and beautiful.
Scotland’s Secret Bunker, Fife
This is the most difficult place to visit on my list. It is deep in rural Fife, and you probably need a car to visit it. I would certainly recommend hiring a car and taking a road trip while you’re in Scotland, to see places that are off-the-beaten path. If you do so with friends, it is relatively inexpensive.
When I first heard about Scotland Secret Bunker, I wondered what the secret actually was. Little did I know, there were many of them. The bunker was built at the height of the Cold War, deep underneath an innocent looking farmhouse. If the worst had happened, if there had been a nuclear war, Government ministers would have been evacuated here. It has been preserved, and is a fascinating example of what life was like at that time.
(Pic: © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collections)
Riverside Museum, Glasgow
One thing you should know is that all museums in Glasgow are free! And this is my favourite one. It is full of examples of historic transport, and even features the recreation of an historic street. Even if you don’t find transport interesting, I truly believe that you will enjoy this excellent attraction. Right beside the museum is the Tall Ship, which is a very worthwhile visit. While I was there, I enjoyed visiting the shop and café, and actually had a very tasty lunch, so give that a try too!
Visiting these places added to my knowledge of the history of Scotland, and also helped me unwind and ease off stress from my busy academic schedule.
Although these are my favourite destinations, there is so much more to see and do in Scotland. I hope you enjoy your time here.