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Alternative Things to Do in Glasgow

Written on November 02, 2021

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city and is jam-packed with a range of activities sure to excite any visitor. Home to three of the UK’s best-loved museums in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Burrell Collection (set to reopen March 2022), and the Riverside Museum, Glasgow has a list of activities that tend to crop up time and again when visitors search for what to do during their stay.

The Britannia Music Hall

Exterior of The Britannia Music Hall (Photo by Keith Edkins, CC BY-SA 2.0)

St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art

Britain’s first Zen garden (Photo by James Allan, CC BY-SA 2.0)

The Sharmanka Kinetic Gallery

Detail from a kinetic sculpture (Photo by Dun Deagh, CC BY-SA 2.0, Flickr)

The Govan Stones

A hogback stone (Photo by Joedkins - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0)

The GFT

Glasgow at the pictures (Photo by Michi Maya, CC BY-SA 2.0, Flickr)

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The Ten Best Things to Do in Manchester

Written on October 19, 2021

Manchester, a city of creativity and transformation. Since the Industrial Revolution, the city has been a factory perennially gifting the world with innovators and leaders in the fields of technology, science, sport, and music. And it's an environment that has produced more than its share of socially-minded renegades, figures like the suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst and the mathematician Alan Turing, who has become an LGBT+ icon as the story of his brilliant but tragic life has become better known.

1. Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry | Source

2. Take a Manchester Walking Tour

Okay, so maybe we’re biased in this choice! But at Invisible Cities we believe there is no better way for guests to discover a city than by exploring it on foot, soaking up its atmosphere and learning its stories as you go. We have a range of options for you to choose from, each entirely unique and developed by your guide, so they can share with you the topics that mean the most to them personally and where they can best let their knowledge shine.

3. People's History Museum

People’s History Museum | Source

4. Manchester Craft and Design Centre

Set within an evocative, Victorian former fish market, the Manchester Craft and Design Centre is a home for artists studios and businesses. The centre has been supporting local artists since 1982. With gifts to support every budget, this is an excellent destination for visitors hoping to pick up a unique item while at the same time supporting local artists and a great creative initiative.

5. Explore Manchester’s Football History

Manchester City players | Source

6. Manchester's Libraries

Bibliophiles will certainly be at home in Manchester. Alongside a healthy range of fine bookshops, Manchester is home to Chetham’s Library, the oldest public library in the English-speaking world, which opened its doors in 1653. Its gorgeous wooden interiors and book collections can be explored so long as a booking is made in advance.

7. Visit Chinatown

Europe’s second-largest Chinatown after Paris, Manchester’s Chinese district offers both a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Entering Chinatown through a three-tiered pagoda, visitors will be enchanted by the range of businesses and restaurants situated here. Stop for some delicious food, or simply enjoy a stroll through this unique part of town.

8. Explore Afflecks

This legendary emporium in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is home to over 73 individual businesses selling everything from sweets to vintage clothing, esoteric regalia to sportswear and secondhand records. Even if you aren’t in the mood for shopping, it’s worth visiting this Manchester institution that calls itself a ‘totem of indie commerce’. Charming and completely one of a kind.

9. Go to The Lowry

The inimitable L.S. Lowry, famous for his paintings of industrial landscapes inhabited by matchstick men, spent much of his life living in Salford. In 2000 Manchester opened The Lowry, a large museum and gallery space dedicated to his work. Containing around 4000 works from the painter, the space is a must-see for fans, while the amount of interactive material will keep even those new to his work thoroughly engaged.

10. Pankhurst Centre

Pankhurst Centre, Manchester | Source

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Invisible (Edinburgh) Launches 360 Virtual tour of the City!

Written on October 17, 2021

At Invisible (Edinburgh) we are very excited to announce the launch of a brand new tour a 360 experience through the city, that features all of our guides in the city and even special guests!

To celebrate the launch of this new product, we are coming together online on November 3rd at 6pm to discuss how the tour came about and answer a few questions! To find out more about this online event click here.

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The Top 10 Things to Do and See in York

Written on October 05, 2021

If you’ll be visiting York soon, you’re undoubtedly trying to find all the best things to do and see to make the most of your time in the city. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, a nature lover, or love a spot of shopping...York delivers.

1. Walk the Iconic City Walls of York

Likely the most iconic part of the city, walking the City Walls of York is ideal for visitors. If you’re really into history, take a private walking tour so you can ask every question and learn every detail. If you’re more into views and cityscapes, go ahead and stroll at your leisure. If you appreciate architecture, the City Walls offer you a glimpse of the evolution of York’s buildings over the centuries.

2. Climb Clifford’s Tower

Clifford’s Tower is another top spot in York, offering views over the city that visitors love! As the only remaining structure from the original York Castle, there has been a structure on this site since William the Conqueror built the first timber keep here around 1068.

3. Be Awed by York Minster

One of Europe’s largest medieval churches and an exceptional architectural gem, York Minster is definitely a top thing to see (and do!) in York. You can read more about the architecture and history of York Minster in our York insights for visitors.

4. Experience the JORVIK Viking Centre

Adding to the layers of culture and history in York, you can also explore the Viking history of the city. The JORVIK Viking Centre allows you to experience the sights, smells, and sounds of York...or, as the Vikings called it, Jorvik. This is definitely one of the most interesting things to do in York.

5. Explore York’s Railway Heritage

The rich railway history of York is fascinating to explore during a visit to the city. Join Gemma to learn about York’s Railway Heritage on our walking tour of the city. You’ll also have the option to add a visit to the National Railway Museum to dig even deeper into the history and significance of the railways in this region.

6. Find the York Harry Potter Street!

If you’re a fan of the series, then you’ll have to visit The Shambles to see a real-life version of Diagon Alley. Traditional shops, colourful buildings, curving cobblestone streets, you’ll truly feel transported back in time — or to an entirely different world! While visiting York, walking through The Shambles is one of the best things to do for shopping, cultural experiences, and for a cuppa.

7. Learn the History of Guy Fawkes in York

Did you know Guy Fawkes is from York? That’s right, learn about the man himself with all the tales of gunpowder and treason that all began right here in the city. Learn the real story of Guy Fawkes on a walking tour with Vicki.

8. Experience York Dungeon

Experience 2,000 years of York’s dark history, from the Vikings to plagues to the infamous people who have walked the streets over the centuries. This is an immersive, multi-sensory experience, so get ready for flashing lights and moving floors. Be sure to check their accessibility information if you need more detailed information.

9. Sample the Local York Favourite: Chocolate!

You can’t visit York without sampling our famous chocolate. The production of chocolate in York has long been a strong industry, so go ahead and support our local efforts whilst satisfying your sweet tooth. There’s even a museum dedicated to chocolate that you won’t want to miss. Check out our Beginner’s Guide to York to learn more about the history of chocolate in the city.

10. Dive Deeper into York Past and Present

With such width and depth of history, it can be overwhelming to try to take it all in during a single visit. But you can enjoy a fascinating look at the Health and Wealth of York on a walking tour with Miles.

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The 5 Top Tourist Attractions in Edinburgh

Written on September 21, 2021

Edinburgh, like all great cities, can be explored over and over again. Even long-term residents find themselves continually discovering new sides to the city. And as a diverse, vibrant capital city, Edinburgh is changing all the time, with ever more depth being added to its already (very) long story. A list like this one will always invite discussion among those who love the city, and no Edinburgh list could ever claim to be definitive.

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh

Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art | Source

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Actors on the Royal Mile | Source

Arthur's Seat

Hiker on Arthur’s Seat | Source

Walking Tours in Edinburgh

View of Castle Rock | Source

The Botanics, Edinburgh

The Botanics | Source

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Invisible Cities Organises Virtual Event: Doing Tourism Differently

Written on June 14, 2021

The summer is upon us and holiday plans are booked in the calendar, tourism is tentatively making a return. At Invisible Cities, we know that tourism can be a force for good in the world. We felt that now, more than ever, was an appropriate time to talk about ‘Doing Tourism Differently’. How can we travel with a greater social impact?

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Fun and Interesting Things to do in Glasgow?

Written on June 04, 2021

Fun and Interesting Things to do in Glasgow?

Glasgow is a big, vibrant city with no shortage of interesting things to do. However, with such an abundance of choice, visitors and locals looking to explore the city sometimes struggle to narrow their to-do list down. It’s a kind of choice paralysis and we want to help yo avoid by offering up some of Invisible Cities’ favourite things to do in Glasgow. This is not THE DEFINITIVE list, but it’s a brilliant wee collection of some of Glasgow’s best and most interesting activities! If you’d like more suggestions, check out our guide to the top attractions in Glasgow.

Take an Invisible Cities Tour in Glasgow

First off, we’d like to recommend… ourselves! Invisible Cities is a non-profit focusing on training people who have experienced homelessness, giving them the skills and confidence to be tour guides. Our tour guides are fascinating, intelligent people with a unique perspective. This makes our tours more interesting than your average tour and you have the added bonus of supporting a company dedicated to helping and offering opportunities and gainful employment to those who need it. While this is clearly a good cause, this isn’t charity as our tours are carefully designed to be fun and fascinating, offering maximum value. To find out more, take a look at ourGlasgow Walking Tours.

The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome

Completely changing gear (sorry), you can visit the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Scotland’s first indoor velodrome, named after the famous Scottish olympian Sir Chris Hoy. This velodrome is used for international cycling competitions but it is also available for the public to experience what it’s like to cycle in a velodrome. Cycle where some of the greatest cyclists in the world have cycled!

Try One of Glasgow’s Many Escape Rooms

While we can’t officially recommend one of Glasgow’s Escape Rooms over others, we can say that Glasgow has several escape rooms spread throughout the city centre and that it’s a great way to spend an hour or two in the city. Flex your problem-solving and communication skills with a small group by solving a series of practical puzzles that let you escape the various devious escape rooms on offer in Glasgow. If in any doubt, consult customer reviews to see which escape room to try first.

The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

This huge museum is the perfect day out for families and couples. It’s the second most visited museum in the UK and it’s packed with incredible art and artefacts from all over the world. There is a particularly impressive range of art and furniture from Charles Rennie Mackintosh, as well as artworks by Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Lowry, and Salvador Dali. There is also an Egyptian section as well as an exhibition of animals, including several dinosaurs that are guaranteed to thrill children and adults alike.

The Purple Cat Café

The Purple Cat Café on High Street, in Merchant City, is Glasgow’s first cat café. While it may sound like a strange concept, cat cafés have become very popular in big cities all around the world. Originating in Taipei, Taiwan, cat cafés work because people love cats and they love coffee. Join these two activities together and you have a winner. The Purple Cat Café has a large number of cats and they take special care to ensure the welfare of their feline friends, also taking care to only ever rescue cats from sanctuaries.

Glasgow Cathedral

This huge and imposing building near Merchant City is the oldest cathedral in mainland Scotland. It is also likely to be the oldest building in Glasgow. It is believed that Glasgow Cathedral is situated where the city’s patron saint, Saint Mungo, built his church and was buried in AD 612 And this means that the history of Glasgow can be brought all the way back to the history of the cathedral, although of course much of the cathedral we see today was built later, between the 13th and 15th centuries. Because of its connection to Saint Mungo, Glasgow Cathedral is sometimes called St Mungo’s Cathedral and it is, undoubtedly, one of the best places in the city for people interested in history.

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