“ The Barras (more properly The Barrowland market) is a major street and indoor weekend market in the East End of Glasgow, Scotland. The term "barra" is Glaswegian dialect for "barrow", relating to the market's early years, where traders sold their wares from handcarts. Barrowland is sometimes used to describe the district itself where the market is located, which is actually officially known as Calton. „
If you are ever fortunate to visit Glasgow, then there are two markets you must visit, Paddy’s market and the Barra’s Market. Paddy’s Market is open all week except Sunday’s and the Barra’s Market is open only on Saturday and Sunday. I’ve already written an opinion on Paddy’s Market, so, I’ll concentrate this opinion on the Glasgow, Barra’s Market. It’s easy to find the market, just get yourself to anywhere in the centre of Glasgow Town and repeat these words. Haw Jimmy, Goanny tell us where the ‘Barra’s’ is, and you will be instantly directed towards the best market in the universe, and probably a few other places ! The market is situated under and around the site of the ‘Barrowland Ballroom’ - a Glasgow landmark well known these days for the number of ‘big-name’ bands and such that make a point of keeping it on their tour itineraries. The ’ Barra’s' was founded by one Maggie Mc Iver, ( nearly anything you want for a fiver ) before I was a wee anklebiter, and I am now approaching my 57th birthday. When I was of a very tender age, my mother used to take me on the weekly trip to the Barra’s, and as it happens, in later life, I was for a wee while, proud to assist in the running of a wee stall, selling watches and jewellery therein, but that’s for another dooyoo :-) There are many aspects of note in this good market. It depends what you are looking for, and I will attempt to take you on a ‘Guided Tour’. The topology of the Barra’s consists mainly of two big ‘Tin Huts’ - that’s the only way to describe them. The first big 'tin hut' is situated directly underneath the Barrowland Ballroom and has many stalls which sell such goodies as ‘claes’ ( Clothes) most of which originated at Paddy
217;s Market, but which are priced accordingly, and a range of mainly ‘new goods’ which can be found in most of the ‘street markets’ in Glasgow. The second ‘tin hut’ deals mainly with second hand gear, unless you are looking for watches and jewellery at a very reasonable price, in which case I suggest you ask for ‘Jimmy the Gold’ who has a very extensive range of gold and watches , again all favourably priced. As you exit from there you will find yourself in ‘Kent Street'. If you ask anyone they will then direct you towards Quinn’s Market, which is a veritable treasure trove of Antiques, some modern and some not so modern. Opposite Quinn’s Market is a wee treasure of a place. It’s called the ‘Square Yard’ where you will find a great selection of Military Gear, Specialist Claes, and the best wee coffee house in the Galaxy. If you then wend your way towards ‘Pearson’s Market’, you will find the finest selection of 'used watches' outside of Switzerland. This particular wee stall is difficult to find, being situated 2 floors up a ‘Close’ but is well worth the effort. ( Just ask for Mr Frank )( The Watchman ) There are also many Pubs, Fish and Chipperies, Hamburger Stalls and Cafe’s, but one ‘Eaterie’ which I strongly recommend is a wee ‘Creperie’ which is situated near the Barrowland Ballroom, will get you a very large sized ‘Crepe’ with your choice of fillings, made before your very eyes, for a mere £ 2. ( Not to be missed ) There are also many other items for sale in the Barra’s, including a full range of ‘Pirate’ Computer CD’s for around £15 per CD, and ‘Tobacco’ at around half of the shop prices but of course, I couldn’t recommend that you would get involved in that - Could I ??
All in all, It’s definitely worth spending a day at the Glasgow Barra’s if you get the chance. Hope you enjoy your visit. PS . If you see a tall, attractive, windswept, eyes to die for, intelligent looking, wind swept extremely interesting and witty person accompanied by a tubby wee, drunken, dilapidated, gibbering, half dead auld Glasgow Git on your travels, then say ‘Hello auldmac ‘ I am the ‘wee git’, the other one is GG :-) enjoy, auldmac
I am fortunate to live in Glasgow and within easy reach of one of the UKs if not the worlds most famous market places. If you live in Glasgow, or are even planning a visit then get on down to the Barras market. The Barras market is situated in the east end of the town center about half a mile from one of the main shopping areas called Argyle street, if you are visting Glasgow for the first time then make your way to the Center of town get onto Argyle street which you will find no problem. If not just ask we are friendly here :) Once on Argyle street you will be able to see a large clock tower at one end, simply walk towards go past it and continue along the road, you will then notice it getting very busy with people well done you made. Once in the market I suggest you keep a tight grip of your money as with all markets pickpockets will be there so be carefull. Ok so you got there, you got your money safe, so what do you want to buy? Well there are several options you can take as some of the markets in the Barras are undercover and some in the open, I would suggest you go around the outside ones first, to get your bearings and too see where all the entrances to the indoor markets are It is very easy to navigate so I would not worry about it to much and anyway I like getting lost in a market its then you find the bargains. So whats it got? you name it its there. There are dozens of clothes stalls selling boys,girls,ladies and gents fashions very cheaply also there are a few shoe stalls too. If you like music and are looking for some rarer pieces of music then you might be in luck as there are a few record and CD stalls, there are also video and DVD stalls there as well. There are also stalls selling Playstaion and PC games too. If it is stuff for the house you want then you can get sofas, tvs, carpets, washing machines etc its all there, and if after all that walking about you need a rest then ther
e are cafes there too. The only real downside is that it is only open at the weekend. It opens early in the morning on Saturday and Sunday and closes in the early evening. So go along and check it out, im sure you will find something.
For anyone fortunate enough to be visiting the wonderful city of Glasgow, or for those already living in the city and surrounding areas, if you havent already done so, then definately visit the Barra's. It is, however, only open at weekends. Situated within easy reach of the bustling City Centre, a visit to the Barra's would enlighten any visitor and give them the opportunity to see all the different Glasgwegian cultures in the same place. An interesting day can be made, by leisurely walking round the numerous stalls, holding a diverse selection of goods, and ofcourse, as any Glaswegian will tell you, at the Barra's you are never short of hearing true Glaswegian Banter bellowing out! Yes, there are numerous bootleg stalls which are notoriously known and used by the people of Glasgow and surrounding areas. There is a true sense of community spirit at the Barras, and a real buzzing atmosphere can be felt, especially at Christmas time, although it can get overcrowded at this time. There is also plenty of food places, both inside the market and in the surrounding area of the Gallowgate. The pubs, however, are based very much on Celtic Football Club and should perhaps be avoided wearing Rangers colours on a match day, as the pubs get stowed out, and like every other city, Glasgow has its fair share of trouble makers. The Barras is situated very near to Argyle Street which is one of the best shopping streets in the City if you want to shop at department stores aswell. Definately worth a visit... infact it is almost a Glasgow landmark!