Bobbing in the waters next to the museums and stadiums of Glasgow’s riverside is an immaculately preserved metal ship that now functions as a naval museum.
The Tall Ship at Riverside, a mighty vessel also known as the Glenlee, is a three-masted, steel sailing barque docked in the River Clyde. It is one of only five ships of its kind in the world and is now used as a floating museum. Take a trip to the floating museum to meet costumed guides and learn about life at sea. The rare boat also serves as a venue for film screenings, special family days and educational events.
The Glenlee was built in Glasgow in 1896 and served both as a cargo ship and a navy training vessel, in active service until 1981. Take a volunteer-led guided tour of the ship to learn more about life as a sailor; these tours take place on Wednesdays. On other days, explore independently and listen to one of the audio guides for additional information about the ship and its different sections.
Step onto the main deck of the ship, where you can stand at the tiller and imagine steering the vessel through stormy seas. Peer into the workshops of carpenters and sailmakers or see the inside of the first mate’s cabin. The ship also features a play area for any intrepid young seafarers who come aboard.
The Tall Ship runs a calendar of events that tie in with the maritime history of the venue. Prepare for a scare with treasure hunts and storytelling at Halloween and watch water-themed films when the ship doubles as a cinema during February’s film festival.
Learn more about the history of travel in the Riverside Museum, which overlooks the Tall Ship. The building, designed by renowned architect Zaha Hadid, includes exhibits on centuries of transportation including a collection of vintage cars and replicas of old carriages.
The Tall Ship at Riverside is open throughout the year. Pay no admission for groups of fewer than eight people. To reach the ship, take the train or underground to Partick Station. There is also metered parking on-site.