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Glasgow’s miles better for a city break

It’s fair to say that when most people think of a Scottish city break, it’s Edinburgh they have in mind. But beautiful as the  Athens of the North is, it can seem a little stand-offish to the uninitiated. Perhaps I’m biased, because I’ve lived in the west coast of Scotland. But, if it’s a fun weekend break you’re after, then Glasgow’s a far better bet.

Consider the shopping

From the upmarket jewellers and designer-clothes shops of Princes Square in the city centre, to the delis and quirky boutiques of the West End, Glasgow is a consumer’s mecca. In fact, Lonely Planet’s updated guide to Britain calls it the best shopping centre outside of London.

And unlike London, Glasgow is small and convenient enough to get from one end to the other without suffering a nervous collapse in the process.

There’s more to the city break

But you don’t come on holiday just to go shopping. So, it’s a good thing that there’s plenty to see too. Those whose main image of Glasgow comes from Billy Connolly via Rab C Nesbitt may learn that the city is also home to one of the UK’s most popular art galleries.

If all that shopping and culture leave you feeling hungry, fish restaurant Gamba (0141 572 0899) is reportedly Gordon Ramsay’s favourite eaterie in the city. For something lighter, the cafe-bar at arts centre CCA (0141 352 4900) on Sauchiehall Street offers a tasty range of light dishes in a trendy but welcoming setting. As for accommodation, luxury hotels include Langs (0141-333 1500) and a branch of Malmaison (0141-572 1000).

Alternatively, and ideal if you are travelling with the children, there’s the Fraser Suites (www.frasershospitality.com, 0141-553 4288) – spacious serviced flats in the city centre.

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