XX Commonwealth Games, Glasgow
There are only a few weeks left until the start of the much anticipated XX Commonwealth Games, which are being held in Glasgow on 23 July – 3 August 2014.
The city is abuzz in preparations for the arrival of the athletes and visitors who are about to descend on Glasgow, and looks forward to the opportunity to showcase Scotland. Glaswegians are some of the friendliest people on the planet and you will be greeted with a warm welcome during the celebrations.
What is the commonwealth?
The Commonwealth was originally comprised of countries that were part of the British Empire. Now modernised, it is a family of nations, large and small, rich and poor, from every continent across the globe. These nations strive to share the same set of values, including holding fair and free elections and respecting human rights.
What are the Commonwealth Games?
The Commonwealth Games are a celebration of over 6,500 elite athletes, from over 50 state nations, who compete in 17 sporting events throughout 11 days. This includes 10 core sports, and 7 selected sports specifically for these games, from racket sports like badminton and squash, swimming and diving, judo, cycling, rugby sevens and triathlon, to name a few.
Glasgow is already full of world-class sporting venues which makes it the ideal place for hosting the events, from Celtic Park, Hampden Park and Ibrox Stadium, to the Chris Hoy Veledrome, Kelvingrove Lawn Bowls Centre, and Tollcross International Swimming Centre. Glasgow’s neighbour, Edinburgh, will supply the venue for the Diving Competitions, a pool that was built for the 1970 games and is about to feature in its third games, after recent extensive refurbishment.
For those who were not lucky enough to get a hold of the much in demand tickets for the Commonwealth Games, you need not worry. There are plenty of other ways to immerse yourself in the party atmosphere. At Merchant City, Glasgow Green and the newly refurbished Kelvingrove Bandstand, as well as other locations across the city, you will find ‘live zones’. This is not just a place to watch events unfold on the big screen, including the Opening and Closing Ceremony. These are also venues to showcase the art and culture of Scotland, and more locally, Glasgow, through a varied programme of concerts, dance, theatre and comedy, as well as family events and interactive sports zones.
If you are visiting Glasgow for the first time, there is plenty to do when you are not at one of the sporting events. This really is a city that never sleeps. Culturally strong, there are endless museums and attractions that celebrate Glasgow and Scotland. A quick way to see these is by bus tour with City Sightseeing. The city’ architecture alone is worth delving into, especially in the heart of the city. Of course football plays a large part in life here, and you may be lucky enough to visit the stadiums whilst watching some of the competitions. Why not also take a guided stadium tour to learn about the Scottish passion for football?
In the evenings, the city comes to life. Glasgow offers a fantastic nightlife scene and whether you want pubs, clubs, wine bars or concert venues there is plenty happening. Many pubs have live music in the evenings.
The options for dining are endless. Glasgow Dine Around offers a definitive guide to the city’s restaurants and an easy booking system. There are dining options suitable for any budget. It would be a shame to visit Scotland without sampling local produce and dishes, so try to fit a Scottish restaurant into your busy schedule. The city is also full of gastropubs and cafes, as well as great take-away outlets.
After a busy day of sightseeing and an evening of sampling Glasgow’s fantastic nightlife, you may want to grab a quick bite to eat on your way home. Even in the early hours, there are great take-aways open across the city. There are no shortage of chip shops where you can pick up a haggis supper, pizza or the Glaswegian specialty of chips ‘n’ cheese. If you are brave enough, ask for a deep-fried mars bar.
If you are planning to be in Glasgow during the XX Commonwealth Games, be sure to place yourself at the heart of the action at Park Inn by Radisson Glasgow City Centre. That way you have easy access to attractions and are close to all of the public transport links to the various sporting venues across the city.