Pictures of Glasgow's Award-Winning Riverside Museum

Glasgow's award winning Riverside Museum with the Tall Ship Glenlee tied up alongside

Trip Savvy / Ferne Arfin

Scotland is filled with historic infrastructure and modern marvels. Glasgow's Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel is a brilliant addition to the city's already rich museum and art scene. If you always thought that walking around a museum looking things on wheels and rails wasn't your cup of tea, you'll be astonished at how entertaining the Riverside is.

Have a look at some of what you'll see. There are 3,000 objects in 150 displays and the building itself, by award-winning British architect Zaha Hadid, is worth your visit. Oh - an it's totally free.

The Riverside Museum, opened in 2010, was named European Museum of the year in 2013.

The concept behind Zaha Hadid's striking design for Glasgow's Riverside Museum, is a wave that connects the city to the waterfront. The glass facades, front and back, fill the museum with light. Permanently moored beside the museum, the Tall Ship Glenlee is one of only five Clyde-built sailing ships still afloat.

01 of 17

Zinc Panels and Sweeping Curves

Zinc panels at Riverside Museum
© Ferne Arfin

Simple looking but complex to build, the sweeping, zinc-skinned roof.

24,000 custom fitted zinc panels, most of them shaped on site, form the "skin" of Zaha Hadid-designed Riverside Museum in Glasgow. The sweeping, self-supporting roof was considered one of the most complex structures in the UK when it was built in 2010. Read more

Continue to 2 of 17 below.
02 of 17

Blending into the Landscape

Riverside Museum wings
© Ferne Arfin

A hint of pale blue against a pale northern sky.

The hint of pale blue in the Riverside's skin of zinc panels blends softly with the pale northern sky. The reflective glass windows are strategically placed to mirror the surrounding landscape of Pointhouse, where the River Kelvin joins the Clyde. Read more

Continue to 3 of 17 below.
03 of 17

A Tall Ship Comes Home

The Glenlee
© Ferne Arfin

The Tall Ship Glenlee, is now permanently moored outside Glasgow's Riverside Museum, not far from where she was built.

The ship, one of only five Clyde-built sailing vessels still afloat, underwent a £1.5 million restoration before being opened to the public. She is fitted with accessible features so that people with limited mobility can visit some parts of her. Read more

Continue to 4 of 17 below.
04 of 17

The Wall of Cars

The Wall of Cars
© Ferne Arfin

Thirty-one cars, in three tiers, cover a dramatic wall of the Riverside Museum and take the visitor from the earliest vehicles through some of the most iconic of the 20th century.

The cars on the 'car wall' are interpreted from the floor (and from the first floor) by large touch screens. Visitors can get full 360 degree views, inside and out, plus loads of information from the materials provided by the touch screens. Read more

Continue to 5 of 17 below.
05 of 17

Touch Screen Information

Touch screens at the Riverside Museum
© Ferne Arfin

Something interest you? Dedicated digital displays and touch screens throughout the Riverside make visiting not only informative and entertaining but also interactive fun.

The digital touch screens provide comprehensive information and, in the case of vehicles, 360 degree views, inside and out. Read more

Continue to 6 of 17 below.
06 of 17

Stanley Steamer

Early steam driven car
© Ferne Arfin

The Stanley Steamer was doomed once Henry Ford introduced mass production. They were time consuming and expensive to built, producing about 650 cars a year.

A US-built Stanley Steamer was transported to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow from Massachusetts. The open "bonnet" reveals a steam tank, that had to be frequently filled with water to keep the vehicle on the road. Read more

Continue to 7 of 17 below.
07 of 17

The First Hillman Imp

The first Hillman Imp
© Ferne Arfin

The first really affordable car in Britain brought driving to masses of ordinary people.

The British Hillman Imp made driving affordable for ordinary British people in the 1960s. At the Riverside Museum in Glasgow that have the first one that rolled off the assembly lines. It's licence plate reads IMP 1. Read more

Continue to 8 of 17 below.
08 of 17

The First Pedal Bicycle?

World's first bicycle
© Ferne Arfin

This wooden contraption lays claim to being the world's first pedal bicycle.

Although the claim was contested by the brother of another, earlier inventor, he could not produce an existing model or any physical evidence, so claim of the cycle at Glasgow's Riverside Museum holds. Read more

Continue to 9 of 17 below.
09 of 17

The Raleigh Chopper

© Ferne Arfin

For lots of little boys - and girls - a British made Chopper was their first really cool bike.

The Raleigh Chopper, a children's bike made in Nottingham from the 1970s, was popularized in the UK and the USA for its ability to do "wheelies". At the Riverside, the display includes a video of celebrities remembering their own cool Choppers. Read more

Continue to 10 of 17 below.
10 of 17

Vintage Glasgow Streetcar

Vintage streetcar
© Ferne Arfin

The Riverside's collection of vintage streetcars spans the period from the late 19th century to the 1980s.

Many of them are exhibited by being set in period street scenes. Platforms, some of them wheelchair accessible, allow visitors to have a peek inside. Read more

Continue to 11 of 17 below.
11 of 17

Victorian Hearse

horsedrawn hearse
© Ferne Arfin

The Victorian-style hearse, drawn by a pair black-plumed, black stallions, is part of the earliest street scene at the Riverside Museum.

This type of hearse is still occasionally in use for the funerals of prominent East London figures. On the right of the picture, the wall of motorcycles displays some of the most iconic bikes of the 20th century.  Read more

Continue to 12 of 17 below.
12 of 17

Horse-drawn Streetcar

Horsedrawn streetcar
© Ferne Arfin

Streetcars in Glasgow predated motorcars and even electric trams.

In this late Victorian street scene at the Riverside Museum, sturdy horses (or models of sturdy horses anyway) pull a streetcar along rails set in the street. It's one of many street scenes at the Museum which put the vehicles into a contextual setting. Read more

Continue to 13 of 17 below.
13 of 17

Inside a Vintage Glasgow Streetcar

streetcar interior
© Ferne Arfin

Space and comfort on leather banquettes in an early Glasgow streetcar.

Leather seats in an early Glasgow streetcar look more comfortable and spacious than some you might find today.  Many of the streetcars in the Riverside Museum have platforms attached so that visitors can climb up and have a look inside. Read more

Continue to 14 of 17 below.
14 of 17

Escape from St Kilda

Escape from St Kilda
© Ferne Arfin

This small boat, the Jollyboat of the SS Dunara Castle, was one of the few links the people of St Kilda had with mainland Scotland before they were finally forced to abandon their remote island.

The boat was used to ferry tourists, supplies and mail to and from the Steamship Dunara Castle. It is now one of the more unusual displays at Glasgow's Riverside Museum.St Kilda, now abandoned, is the most remote of the British Isles. Find out more about St Kilda. ...

Read more

Continue to 15 of 17 below.
15 of 17

A Baby Carriage is Transport Isn't It?

glasgow pram
© Ferne Arfin

There's all sorts of transport with connections to Glasgow. The classic, and classy Churchill pram was created in East Kilbride,near Glasgow and now as pride of place on a pedestal at the Riverside Museum of Transport and Travel. Today a local firm still offers re-conditioned and custom fitted vintage Churchill prams. Read more

Continue to 16 of 17 below.
16 of 17

Transportation for the Feet

Elton's Shoes
© Ferne Arfin

Anything that might be classed as transportation (with the exception of airplanes) forms part of the collection at the Riverside Museum of Travel and Transport in Glasgow. These outrageous orange and multicolored platform boots were worn on stage by Elton John in the 1970s. You can see them in a fascinating shoe display at the museum, accompanied by a touch screen tour of all the shoes in the display case.,,Read more

Continue to 17 of 17 below.
17 of 17

Customized transport

Customized transport in Glasgow
© Ferne Arfin

Customizing your vehicle is one way of expressing yourself - whether that vehicle is a van covered in brightly colored Bangladeshi decoration for the Commonweath Games, a muscular motorcycle trike with glowing metallic trim or a skate board covered in artwork, top and bottom. All three are exhibited at the Riverside Museum. ..Read more

Was this page helpful?