Not many people know that you can take powerboat rides along the River Clyde in Glasgow. They start at the Tall Ship just next to the brand new Riverside Museum, and you can choose from a range of routes, some taking you as far as Dumbarton Castle and Erskine Bridge.
I found out because I applied for a job at an online gift company that offered boat ride vouchers. So my lucky Lithuanian got himself a birthday gift (and I didn’t get that job) back in October. I opted for a 30 minute Clyde Ride that takes in the city centre and nearby shipyards.
Little did I know that the Scottish weather would prohibit us from taking the ride until April… They may be advertised as “all weather fast boat rides” but they sure aren’t as we found out after experiencing two cancelled bookings. Nevertheless it was worth the wait.
We arrived bright and early for our 1pm ride but were told we’d have to wait a bit as the boat was getting refuelled. Luckily that meant we had time to explore the Tall Ship, a great attraction in itself. With three decks to explore we ended up running through it and playing with as many of the interactive exhibits as we could.
At 1:30 our boat was ready and the captain kitted us out with life vests. All in all there were about eight of us on board from all over the world. There was plenty of space on the boat and we all perched our bums comfortably along the sides holding on for dear life.
The speed we were travelling at meant it got freezing so I really appreciated my waterproof and windproof jacket. Yet it wasn’t too fast to be able to appreciate the riverside views. It was great to see Glasgow from a different angle and “explore” parts of it you’d never go to if you didn’t live there.
Our captain stopped the boat so we could admire one of the UK’s newly built battle ships that’s moored just opposite Braehead Shopping Centre and X Scape. Incredible sight to see. Apparently it’s built without any right angles so to radars it looks the size of a rowing boat! On our way back the captain made a few waves and we got a bit of a bumpy ride. Not for the faint hearted…
The only thing that upset me about the whole experience was seeing just how dirty the river is. It’s hard to imagine how much rubbish ends up in our waters until you come face to face with it. Bins exist for a reason people!
It’s very fortunate to have the Riverside Museum right next door because when you get off the powerboat you really want to be indoors for a while. The ride gave us the perfect reason to explore the museum that’s dedicated to transport and the history of Glasgow. There aren’t many boats inside but you can board a few trains and cars…