Newest Review: ... but the walk is relaxing. The exterior of the museum is very exquisite looking. We approached the museum from the back where the Winter Ga... more
Let's Talk About Glasgow!
Peoples Palace (Glasgow)
Member Name: angelboouk
Peoples Palace (Glasgow)
Advantages: location, gardens are gorgeous, free, interesting exhibits
Disadvantages: not as much to do compared to other museums in the area
~People's Palace and Winter Gardens - Essential Information~
The museum is located within Glasgow Green which is around a 15 minute walk from the main shopping area in Glasgow. Several bus services stop nearby including the 16, 40 and 263. The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday except Christmas Day, Boxing Day and also the 1st and 2nd of January from 10am-5pm and 11am-5pm on a Sunday. There is on site parking and the museum is disabled and pushchair friendly. Entry to the museum is free but donations are welcome.
~What Is There To See/Do?~
People's Palace opened in 1898. The museum part of the building is located on the upper floors and is said to tell the story of people who have lived in Glasgow from 1750 through the 20th century. Social history is explained via various photographs, interactive displays and artefacts. Alongside People's Palace, there is also Winter Gardens which is an indoor garden featuring exotic trees and plants.
There is access to a cafe within Winter Gardens, toilet facilities and also a gift shop within the museum.
I remember visiting People's Palace when on a school trip and throughly enjoyed it. We decided upon visiting here as we figured we could go to the nearby play park at the same time. We walked to the museum past the River Clyde and it didn't take long at all. As you enter Glasgow Green from the main entrance, People's Palace isn't even visible to the eye. It is quite a walk in from the entrance but the walk is relaxing.
The exterior of the museum is very exquisite looking. We approached the museum from the back where the Winter Gardens building was visible. Access is via the front of the building where one will pass a stunning fountain. The surrounding gardens of the museum are enclosed and are perfect for just relaxing in. They are well maintained as is the entire museum and Winter Gardens - just lovely. A small reception area is present in the lobby if you need any help.
The museum was quite busy on our arrival and we made our way through to Winter Gardens as the toilets are here (and are very clean/well stocked). This is a beautifully arranged building but very warm as you would expect. I took time to walk around and admire the various trees and plants that were in the gardens. Many others had the same idea as the gardens were quite busy. As the boys headed to the little boys room, I simply relaxed on one of the many benches and found it to be idylic despite the noise from the cafe nearby. I'm not usually a plant person but they were gorgeous to look at and photograph. There was a little pond where you could throw coppers in to.
We had already had lunch but did make a pit stop at the cafe. There are plenty of tables to relax at but most are suitable for larger parties so you may find yourself sitting with strangers. It did take a while for us to be served due to how busy the cafe was but the staff appeared to be friendly. The food on offer included soup, sandwiches, cakes and drinks. I was very tempted by the display of cheesecakes and sponges but we settled for a drink and a piece of crispy cake to share. Cones were also available. Prices were typical for this type of establishment but not extortionate. Soup was around £3.50, cans of juice £1.10 and ice cream around £1.40.
From outside, the actual museum part of the building doesn't look very big. It is set across a three floors which are accessed via lifts and stairs. The main lobby offers a grand looking stair case which took us to the first display area which is suprisingly spacious. My son is 5 in a few weeks but I feel that People's Palace is more suited to older children as he got bored easily. The first display focusses on the war and is very realistic through the use of little 'shops', and Anderson shelter and various props. My son did enjoy going in the Anderson shelter but wasn't as interested as me when it came to looking at how things were rationed. I found the displays to be highly informative. Some exhibitions did not allow for full access but children were able to try out washing clothes 'in the olden days'.
As well as exhibits on World War 1 and 2, this floor is also home to a dancing display focussed around the Barrowlands (the Barras to us Scots lol). I always enjoy looking at old fashioned dancing dresses and my fiance and I had a giggle at the popular 'bevvy' display from over the years. I had a wander out to the lift area which also featured a balcony overlooking Winter Gardens - visually gorgeous.
Heading up a rather steep and narrow of stairs (access are two ends of the museum), we arrived at the top floor. This floor is my favourite. The main part of this floor is titled 'Visions of the City' and included some paintings and historical exhibits. My favourite section was dedicated to the housing situation in Glasgow from several years ago until recently. I found this to be an interesting section with excellent exhibits and I feel older children would enjoy it more than my son. Various displays and information plaques illustrated what living and washing conditions were like in the tenament houses.
There is a temporary exhibition space on this floor too and until February 2014, this space is home to the Red Road exhibition. For those who aren't from Glasgow, the Red Road flats dominated the Glasgow skyline for near on 50 years. They were recently demolished. This exhibition including the video of the demolision which I found very interesting as I love watching controlled demolisions! This exhibition was well executed and featured videos and stories from those involved in the developement and upkeep of the flats over the years.
We spent an hour or so walking around the museum but could have easily spent longer had my son not been as impatient about wishing to go the park! If I lived nearby, I could easily go here and spend a few hours just sitting in the Winter Gardens during quieter times as I found them to be idylic. We were pleased with the facilities on offer and the general maintenance of the building and surrounding areas cannot be faulted. We did make a quick detour to the shop which offered a range of souvenirs and sweets. Prices were reasonable but we didn't buy anything as the shop is quite small. It was rather busy so we didn't want to wait around. We did encounter a few members of staff on our trip around the museum and they appeared to be well informed and friendly. Tours are available.
I can recommend a visit to People's Palace and Winter Gardens as it passes the time and is interesting if you want to learn about the people who lived in Glasgow. There isn't quite as much to do when compared with other museums in Glasgow but is lovely to walk around. I wouldn't go back with an under five as he found it boring but for a school child learning about life in the olden days, it is the perfect place to be. It is free too which makes it even better. On my next visit, I will go alone and just chill in the Winter Gardens!
Thanks for reading :)
Summary: I could spend hours in the gardens!
More reviews in the field of Sightseeing National
- Newton's Cove (Weymouth)
- Cardiff Castle
- Sandsfoot Castle (Weymouth)
- Edlingham Castle (Northumberland)
- St. Paul's Church (Covent Garden)
- How Hill Nature Reserve (Norfolk)
- Llyn Brenig Reservoir and Visitor Centre (Cerrigydrudion)
- Ynys-hir RSPB Nature Reserve (Machynlleth)
- Culzean Castle and Country Park (Maybole)
- Ludlow Castle (Ludlow)