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Glasgow Transport Museum (Glasgow)

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6 Reviews

Kelvin Hall / 1 Bunhouse Road / Glasgow / G3 8DP / Tel: +44 (0) 141-221-9600.

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    6 Reviews
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      31.08.2011 23:50
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      Fun, free, family-friendly day out.

      The Transport Museum has recently relocated to the Riverside Museum on the banks of the River Clyde. There is a bus available every 20 minutes from Glasgow City Centre, and it takes about 10 minutes at the most to reach the museum, stopping at the S.E.C.C on the way, and then the bus travels on to the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.

      The bus stop is located next to a generous car park, and the main entrance is visible straight away. However, we decided to head towards the riverside first, and take a look at The Tall Ship, docked next to the museum. It costs £5 per adult to board the ship, and the first child is free, with each subsequent child paying £3. They give you a fold out map at the entrance office so that you can navigate yourself round the ship, but there are staff on board willing to help you. Entry was via a ramp onto the main deck of the ship, where there were little buckets of water and brooms for kids to scrub the deck. There is a bell at the front of the ship that you can ring loudly! All the little rooms such as the galley kitchen, the hospital room etc are done to give an impression of what they were like back in their day. The stairs up onto the top decks, and to the lower ones are very narrow and steep, so not the best for small kids. There is a cafe and a soft play area on one of the lower decks, and there are some interactive activities for kids to get involved in. We spend about 40min-1 hour just exploring the ship, entering the engine rooms, and posing with the steering wheel. There is quite a lot to read but my partner was with us, and because he couldn't get on board in his wheelchair, I was very aware of not wanting to keep him waiting on the banks by himself, so didn't take all of the information in.

      We entered the museum itself from the south entrance and straight away your attention is drawn to the wall of cars. There are three rows of cars on the wall, which is good from far away but I missed being able to look closely at all the vehicles. There are lots of touch screen interactive points where you can find out more information and look at old photographs of the vehicles in use. One thing we found good was at one of the massive old steam trains, there were levers and things to muck about with, representing stoking the fire and releasing the steam to power the engine - this sent pistons moving and circuits lighting up, but if you didn't do it properly, they would stop and the screen would tell you that the boiler was about to explode. Moving on!

      My favourite part has always been the old fashioned street, and this has been improved on. Before, you could only look through most of the windows, but now you can actually enter the shops. There are goods in most of the shops, but I feel that this could be improved even more by staffing the shops with people "from the day".

      Another highlight was going on the old-fashioned Subway train, and my daughter turning the wheel to 'drive' it - you can see the mechanisms under the floor, which can make you feel a tad queasy!

      There are more things like clothes, toys and games from the past as well, so it is not just limited to transport, even though there is plenty to see transport wise. Bicycles, trains, trams, boats, cars, caravans...

      There is a cafe that we did not try out, as the queue was out the door. The whole place was quite busy, but even though we had the wheelchair with us, it didn't limit too much of what my partner could see. He couldn't get into some of the old-fashioned shops, and he couldn't get up into any of the trains, but there was still a lot that he could take part in. The old building had stairs to the front entrance and a small lift, but this building is level access, and everything was on the ground floor.

      Considering that the museum itself is free, it is a great day out. Because it is so near the city centre and the buses are so frequent, it means that you could spend half the day here and still be able to visit the shops, or Kelvingrove.

      Would definitely recommend this museum - very interesting, interactive, fun and free!

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      05.02.2010 15:02
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      The best transport museum in Britain.

      The Glasgow Museum of Transport is situated in the North West of the city in a beautiful setting. The vehicles are kept in the Kelvin Hall, a splendid piece of architecture, which is directly across from the stunning Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, itself located in one of the most beautiful city parks in Europe, Kelvingrove Park.

      The Corporation of Glasgow has always done its best to get its folk to and from their work, rest and play. Whether this has been by tram, bus or underground train, Glasgow's transport system has been there, working hard for its people, and deserves to be remembered. This memory is especially now important, now that its buses have been deregulated and are now run by a private company - gone is the distinctive green and orange livery, which screamed Glasgow to the transport enthusiast. The museum has a thoroughly impressive collection of vehicles, not just trams, buses and trains, as one might expect, but also bicycles, cars and even prams. It boasts the oldest bicycle in the world amongst its collection as well!

      Glasgow is of course also remembered for shipbuilding, and the museum does a sterling job in preserving the memory of the shipyards with a large collection of over 200 model ships which include many Clyde-built girls such as the Queen Mary, the Queen Elizabeth and the Queen Elizabeth 2.

      There is also a wonderful exhibition of a Glasgow street. The museum excels at making this exhibit feel as if you are there, and although not trying to emulate it in particular, is reminiscent of the "Heilanman's Umbrella", a nickname given to the portion of Argyle Street which runs under the Glasgow Central Railway Station.

      This museum is regarded as the best static transport museum in Britain. Despite its generous number of exhibits it is manageable in less than a day. The whole family should enjoy the experience, though if you are a dedicated transport fan who really likes to absorb everything, you will need a whole day, and you are advised not to bring the youngsters.

      Whatever your level of interest though, you should completely enjoy your visit here.

      This article, in a longer form, also appears under my Helium account.

      http://www.helium.com/items/1732407-the-glasgow-museum-of-transport

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        18.03.2009 12:24
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        Great for young and old!

        This was my favourite place to visit when I was a kid in Glasgow!

        It may sound a bit boring to some people but it really is not! Not only are all the old cars, buses and trams really interesting to look at there are plenty of them you can go inside, and kids love to imagine they are driving the old trains.

        The old street is a firm favourite with everyone, and especially interesting for children to see how the streets might have looked when their grandparents were young! There's even an old cinema you can go in and watch old films about Glasgow.

        It's easy to get to, just hop on a number 9 or a 62 bus and get off outside Kelvingrove Museum, or you can take the underground and get off at Kelvinhall. There is a nice cafe there too if you fancy a spot of lunch. It's free to get in so you have nothing to lose!

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          01.02.2009 15:11
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          Transport museum

          This is a museum situated in Glasgow's West end next to the River Kelvin. It is easy to get to with the subway station 5-10 mins walk away. It is also accessible by bus and if your staying in Glasgow City centre it is a 20/30 minutes walk. It is provides a look into the development of transport throughout the 20th century. There is a selection of trams on show, many over a 100 yrs old, which once trundled Glasgow's streets. An old fashioned street is also a centre piece of the museum.

          There is also an entire section dedicated to Glasgow's industrial past when it was world leader in ship building on the Clyde.

          Entrance is free, although a charitable donation can be given. There is a shop, which is substandard and over priced, so you might want to whiz past it if you have kids.

          Schools like to come hear, so do not be surprised if your visit is accompanied by kids running about the place. I have keen memories myself as a child, but now a days the museum seems outdated and rarly updates any of its features, it the past ten years I would say there has been no changes to the museum. It is soon to move to a new location at Partick on the River Clyde. Hopefully this new building will accelerate this aging museum into the 21st century, and help it find its 5th gear.

          1 -2hr should be plenty of time to view this museum... if you get bored you can always pop over to the newly renovated Kelvingrove art museum.

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            23.05.2008 11:01
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            GREAT FOR A RAINY DAY

            I have been to the Museum of Transport in Glasgow several times, with both family and friends, and I never seem to tire of it. It is situated in the west end of Glasgow at 1 Bunhouse Road. It is directly opposite the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. It is easily reached by car, underground or bus. The underground is about 5 minutes walk and the buses from the city centre stop almost outside the door.

            The transport museum was opened in 1964 and has around half a million visitors per year. Entry is free and there is a car park which was free last time I was there (there was talk of the car park being made pay and display).

            The museum is on two levels and there is a lift for disabled access. There are also disabled toilets.

            Once inside you can see that everything is well laid out. On the ground floor you can see the old style ambulance and police cars, fire engines, cars (including a ford anglia and the original mini cooper) and caravans.

            There has been a mock street built with cobbled stones which has early twentieth century cars parked on it.

            You can also see the original Glasgow trams of which there are several. There are electric and horse drawn carriages, trains and steam trains.

            What my grandson loved best was the mock car crash and he spent a lot of time trying to look underneath and round the back. He could not decide what had made the car crash!!!!.

            Upstairs you can view the oldest pedal cycle, bicycles and penny farthings. Another thing of great interest to my grandson is the marvellous display of motor bikes.

            This leads you into the Clyde room with is full of model boats and is dedicated to the shipbuilders on the Clyde. The models are fantastic and include the famous Queen Mary and the QE2. All the boats are inside glass casings.

            One of my favourites is the display of prams dating back to those large prams nannies used to push. The prams go right up to present day.

            Also on this floor is a cafe which is ideal for a snack. I do not think it is suitable for a meal. It is on a balcony so that you can look down onto the ground floor and see the trams etc. and this keeps the kids ammused.

            There is a play area for kids. This is in fact a large square where there are small cars for the kids to play in. (free)

            Before leaving it is worth taking a look in the gift shop where prices are reasonable.

            The are plenty of staff around to give you any information you need. There are also guided tours which are a good idea. If it is not too busy the guides can give you access to some of the vehicles. If you go round on your own it is well marked what you can and cannot touch.

            The opening hours are;- 10am - 5pm Monday - Friday
            11am - 5pm Saturday - Sunday

            Contact telephone number:- 0141 287 2720

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              29.05.2003 20:53
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              Glasgow Transport Museum is located in the West End, takes 10-15 mins to walk from Hillhead Underground station although there are lots of buses that stop almost outside (and opposite Kelvingrove Museum). Plenty of free parking nearby. As with all Glasgow Museums, its free, so you can't really knock it. Its very popular and the staff are nice. However in some ways its a bit old-fashioned, there are lines of parked trams, buses and cars and its generally look-don't-touch. There is a vast room of model ships but they are all well behind glass. So if you've got hyper toddlers their attention might wander rather quickly. However there are some exeptions - you can stand in the cab of an express steam engine but DON'T step over the barrier and touch the controls as the security people are very vigilant - and there some inner workings of a car on display, a steering wheel, engine, gearbox which my 4 year old seems happy to play with endlessly. And a few kiddies ride-on cars (the ones where you put in 30p and it rocks around for a couple of minutes). The highlight must be the restored Victorian / Edwardian street scene, which leads into a mock-up Underground station and there is a 'cinema' showing a short clip about Glasgow. Unfortunately however all the shops, which look enticing, are locked up, and the Underground cars are locked too. There is a cafe run by the city council offering similar fare to the other city Museums, OK as a pit stop, the equivalent of a Happy Meal is good value. There is a fairly well-stocked shop, majoring on kids toys but with a few interesting books on clyde steamers, trams etc. A little known fact is that they do free guided tours occasionally and you can clamber on the trams, otherwise strictly off-limits. However they are delicate structures and you are carefully supervised. I would not imagine that they would happily let loose a party of 6 year olds, but if you look respectable you could be OK. The
              re are a lot of gems here - various trams, steam engines, one of the Queen's carriages and loads of models of ships that were built on the Clyde. All it needs is a more sympathetc and interactive presentation - and the good news is that a purpose built new Museum is being built down the road near the 'Tall Ship' and opposite the Science Centre. This could transform it from a very good day out into a world-beating Museuem. Last word goes to the ice-cream van outside, which is a restored vehicle in keeping with the Museum and very popular with kids.

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