Glasgow’s Record Breaking Tower Reopens for Summer

Glasgow’s Record Breaking Tower Reopens for Summer

The Glasgow Tower opened for the 2018 summer season at the Glasgow Science Centre on Monday 26 March.

Photo Credit: Ewan Mowat

The world’s tallest fully rotating freestanding structure will be open to visitors at the Clydeside centre until October.

Standing 127m tall with 523 steps, it is Scotland’s tallest tower and allows visitors a 360-degree view of Glasgow. The unique design means that the complete 500 tonne weight of the tower is borne by a 65cm diameter ball bearing.

Each lift has a glass wall which allows visitors to take in the views of the city as they make the two-and-a-half-minute ascent to the viewing platform. Once at the top, visitors have a one-of-a-kind view and can use iPads to zoom in on and identify landmarks throughout the city.

“The tower is a remarkable feat of engineering, but the best thing about it is the view; it is the best view of the city that you can get.”-Dr Stephen Breslin


Built along with the Glasgow Science Centre, the tower opened in 2001, but experienced a number of problems in its early years and was closed for long periods. In 2014, it underwent a major refurbishment, opening in July in time for the Commonwealth Games.

As part of the restoration, the lifts were upgraded to make them lighter and more reliable, exhibits were developed at the base of the tower, and iPads were added to the viewing platform for a more interactive experience.

Since the refurbishment, the tower has been open during the centre’s summer season, which typically runs from the Easter weekend until the October half-term holidays.

Dr Stephen Breslin, chief executive of Glasgow Science Centre, said: “It’s always great to get to our summer season; it’s a really exciting period. I’m delighted that we’re back into the full season again.

  • Photo Credit: Ewan Mowat


“The whole tower experience starts at the base. We have developed the exhibition down there, which gives you a bit of a background on Glasgow, including the history of the tower. It also explains how the tower works, explaining about the mechanics and how it rotates. And you can see the workings of the tower at the base of the lifts, including the ball bearing that supports the whole structure.

“The tower is a remarkable feat of engineering, but the best thing about it is the view; it is the best view of the city that you can get.”

Kathryn Jones, a visitor to the tower, said: “The view is amazing, it’s one you can’t get anywhere else in Glasgow.

“It wasn’t just getting the view though, it was a whole experience; learning about the competition to design it and the mechanics of the tower itself.

“I’ve been in Glasgow for five years and never knew it was open; I had heard it was closed. I’m really glad we had good weather and I was able to go up.”

The Glasgow Tower experience costs £6.50 or can be bought as an add-on to a Science Centre ticket for £3.50. The tower only operates when the wind speed is below 25mph at the viewing platform, so it cannot be booked in advance and visitors are advised to call ahead or check the website to check if the tower will be open.

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