Greenock, only a stone’s throw from Glasgow, is the deepwater port for Scotland’s largest, and many would say most exciting, city.
The site of a human settlement as early as 4000 B.C.E., Glasgow and its residents endured occupation by the Romans (who withdrew in 162 C.E., only eight years after completing the Antonine Wall which sits a few miles north of the current city limits). Glasgow's flourishing medieval and Renaissance eras began when its church was elevated to the status of a cathedral around 1120, and furthered when it received a Royal Charter from William the Lion some 60 years later.
While much of the old city that Daniel Defoe praised in 1707 as "the cleanest and beautifullest, and best built city in Britain, London excepted," has been demolished, today's Glasgow is a monument to Victorian architecture at its finest. It is worth a visit if only to have a look at its magnificent built heritage, though the city offers much more.
Glasgow has reinvented itself many times over the years. Today, brushing aside its onetime reputation for grime and crime following rapid deindustrialization in the 20th century, it has become a cosmopolitan center of culture and a vibrant city of universities, art and music.