A stay on an Amsterdam houseboat is undoubtedly scrawled as an entry on countless bucket lists across the world. And, given the popularity of spending the night moored on one of the Dutch capital’s 165 canals, another of Northern Europe’s culture-filled cities, Glasgow, is attempting to follow suit.
Located just 20 minutes’ walk from the city centre, John Hume, a traditional Dutch barge, and Blue Hue, a classic canal boat, have dropped anchor at Speirs Wharf on the Forth and Clyde Canal, which spans 56km, stretching all the way between Bowling, towards Scotland’s west coast, and Grangemouth, to the east.
The canal, which opened in 1790, spent decades lying largely abandoned after it was closed in the 1960s. Yet, it reopened at the beginning of the millennium and much of surrounding area has since been revitalised and transformed. Meanwhile, there’s a desire to have more residents, and visitors, actively living on the water – and the likes of the John Hume and Blue Hue showcase this ambition.
Aboard the former you’ll discover contemporary yet character-filled living quarters that include a wood-burning stove and plenty of original features including portholes through which you can peer out at the city skyline or scenic Campsie Fells.
Blue Hue also comes complete with a fireplace as a defence against those cold Glasgow nights, and outdoor space where you can enjoy a nightcap, perhaps a local whisky, before retiring below deck.
Scotland certainly has its fair share of quirky Airbnbs – a WWII air base, an apartment from where you run the local bookshop during your stay, and the 1960s caravan stuck up a Highland tree – and these two Amsterdam-inspired homes provide similarly whimsical accommodation options.
By Gary Armstrong
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