The Lighthouse

The Lighthouse, Glasgow: Hours, Address, The Lighthouse Reviews: 4/5

The Lighthouse
4
Visitor Centers • Art Galleries • Speciality Museums
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:30 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday
12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
About
The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture, is a visitor centre, exhibition space and events venue situated in the heart of Glasgow, just off the Style Mile. The Lighthouse acts as a beacon for the creative industries in Scotland and promotes design and architecture through a vibrant programme of exhibitions and events. Formerly housing The Glasgow Herald, The Lighthouse was the first public commission completed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and is the perfect place to begin a Mackintosh tour of Glasgow. The Mackintosh Interpretation Centre on Level Three is home to a permanent Mackintosh exhibition where visitors can learn more about his life and work. Climb the Mackintosh Tower or take the lift to the Viewing Platform for stunning views across the city, indulge yourself in the latest designer products at The Lighthouse Shop, or simply relax in the Doocot, our cafe/bar.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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4.0
963 reviews
Excellent
419
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370
Average
127
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32
Terrible
15

PookyCake
Victoria, Canada12,346 contributions
Feb 2020
The Lighthouse made for an intriguing stop during my whirlwind 2-day tour of Glasgow. Given that I wanted to take in as much as possible without rushing through things, stopping here made perfect sense because it was a mere 5-minute walk from my hotel AND it carries a lot of historic and cultural value. As such, I would suggest that for those who like architecture, history and the arts, The Lighthouse should appear on any itinerary. Let me elaborate a little:

The building that houses The Lighthouse was completed in 1895 and represents the first public commission executed by Charles Mackintosh who is, perhaps, Glasgow’s most famous architect. For nearly a century, the edifice played home to the Glasgow Herald. After sitting vacant for about 15 years, the building was purchased in 1999, underwent extensive renovations and subsequently opened in its current form. Now, the building is multi-purpose. It is billed as Scotland’s “Centre for Design and Architecture” and functions as a major visitor centre, exhibition space and events venue.

When I visited, The Lighthouse wasn’t overly busy, which was appreciated because I generally dislike large crowds. As I explored its multiple levels, an overarching theme became readily apparent: Each floor, while separate and distinct, nevertheless attempts to weave a clear narrative which says that architecture, design and creativity are interlinked and impact our daily lives in ways we might not even be aware. This theme is perhaps no clearer than on The Lighthouse’s third floor, which is devoted to the Mackintosh Interpretation Centre. Here, you gain a solid introduction to the life and works of Glasgow’s most famous architect and how they (and he) – to this very day – continue to influence life in the city.

Now, I’ll be honest. A lot of the exhibits didn’t particularly grab me, so I just sort of skimmed most of them like a stone skipping across water. The major attraction, for me, was the Mackintosh Tower and its helical staircase. Once you climb the tower (and burn your calories for the day), you’ll be privy to unparalleled cityscape views of Glasgow – quite stunning on a reasonably clear day! After you’ve finished admiring the history laid out before your eyes, the staircase itself presents some pretty epic Instagram-worthy photo opportunities.

All in all, I think The Lighthouse is definitely worth a visit if you’re playing tourist around Glasgow. The helical staircase is a major attraction, as is the permanent exhibit dedicated to Mackintosh, but so too is the visitor centre on the main floor. Here, you can seek helpful advice and better plan your journey . . . and snag a few reasonably priced items to take home ;)

My one caveat: To fully appreciate The Lighthouse, a strong interest in architecture would probably enrich the overall experience; otherwise, like me, you may end up more interested in the staircase and its subsequent view!
Written August 24, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Elina Michaelidou
London, UK413 contributions
Aug 2019
The Lighthouse is a great place to learn more about architecture and design and enjoy great views of Glasgow. The best part of my visit was the "very photogenic" staircase to get to the viewing platform.
Written April 3, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ian L
Glasgow, UK21 contributions
Feb 2020
Great venue right in the middle of Glasgow. I've been here many many times. It's worth popping in, even if just to get out of the rain, as there's usually something cool going on.

Also some of the friendliest staff around. Who clearly love their jobs.

The Question Session Music Conference was/is fantastic. Looking forward to next year.
Written March 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

apim
Sydney, Australia298 contributions
Jun 2019
Didn't understand what was on offer. The top level is just 3 floor high and not a great view either in a small town. Not a bad place though but not much to see
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ecojanie
London, UK85 contributions
Feb 2020
Climb the steps and you have a great view of the city. Take the lift and you get an alternative perspective. The Mackintosh exhibition is very interesting with models, time lines and furniture, there is a cafe and a shop too. Lovely staff made the whole thing even more pleasurable
Written March 5, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Ivor R
4 contributions
Feb 2020
Great resource centre for anyone interested in the arts especially architecture - not to mention being a CR Mackintosh design. Inventive extension which still allows you to appreciate the original Herald Building. Great variety in displays and activities on offer. We did the guided tour on Saturday lunchtime and had a very friendly and informative guide. Lovely cafe on the top floor is worth a visit.
Written February 26, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Amy T
Swampscott, MA59 contributions
Jan 2020
My husband and I had seen an amazing Macintosh exhibit years ago in NYC and were expecting something similar here in his "hometown" but the Lighthouse was very disappointing. The exhibits were so poorly lit that they were barely readable. Many were "interactive", meaning that you have to manually go back and forth between screens in possibly the most clunky software ever. Don't make people work so hard to see the work!

Speaking of the work, from what they did show it seems that Macintosh did not do the majority of the work on display, rather most of it was done by his wife Magaret MacDonald. I don't know how they did it, but this museum took an artist we liked and made us dislike him.

BTW, the staircase looks ok, but it WAS NOT designed by Macintosh. We started to go up, but my husband was so depressed by the museum and we bailed.
Written February 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for your recent visit to The Lighthouse and for taking the time to leave a review. We're sorry to hear you were disappointed. The Mackintosh room on level three of the building is somewhat dated and we are looking into options for funding to revitalise this. The staircase was not designed by Mackintosh, however the building and the tower were, if you climb to the top you are able to see the decorative elements of his architecture in a different way. The Mackintosh room and tower is one part of the centre and whilst we appreciate that many people do visit to learn about Mackintosh there are other more current exhibitions relating to architecture, design and the creative industries within the building. If you would like to discuss anything further then please do email us on lighthousemarketing@glasgow.gov.uk.
Written February 20, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Architecture and food
Wellington, New Zealand625 contributions
Jan 2020 • Couples
Great exhibition at present on unbuilt mackintosh works, a bit low on the lighting but worth a look. The cafe on level has great cheap soup - perfect in a cold Glasgow day. Great spiral staircase in the old tank tower. Has a viewing platform but closed on our wet day visit.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review of your visit!
Written February 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

bestcornishcat
United Kingdom21,729 contributions
Dec 2019 • Couples
4 stars may seem mean, given that we really enjoyed our visit but, unfortunately it was overshadowed by our visit to the Mackintosh House (Hunterian Art Gallery).

The display of CRM inspired furniture was encouraging, showing that happily design, craft and artistry still exist side by side.

A delightful little shop with friendly staff too.
Written December 4, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review of your visit to The Lighthouse.
Written February 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Owen R
Ainsdale, UK6 contributions
Nov 2019 • Family
Yesterday, I visited the Lighthouse (a tall tower with a view of Glasgow) and was surprised at how quiet it was. We went on a Saturday. It is connected to the Rennie Macintosh museum which is another place definitely worth a visit (review on that coming soon). In this review, I will focus on two main aspects: the view and how discoverable this place was.

I cannot say I was disappointed because as soon as I walked through the door at the top all the roofs of the buildings and feel like your in another world. Overall, it is definitely worth the climb.

As far as descoverability goes, it was quite hard to find and I hope this review makes a difference to that as more people need to visit and appreciate Glasgow from above.

Overall, I really enjoyed this experience, it is definitely worth your time. Don't take my word for it, go and check it out for yourself...there are some great photo opportunities.
Written November 24, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Thanks for taking the time to leave a review of your visit. The whole building is The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture and encompasses the tower, galleries and the Mackintosh room. We're delighted to hear you enjoyed the views.
Written February 3, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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