From left back - Tracey, Debs, Paul S., Anne-Marie & Lyndsey.
And the forwards - Paul McG, Me, Kevin Keegan & Vinny
Yes, that's us at Xscape Glasgow with Kevin Keegan himself, he of the formerly permed hair and tendency to make teenage girls drool!
For those not in the know (shame on you!), Kevin Keegan is an absolute legend in British football, having triumphed as a player mainly at Liverpool & Newcastle, and as a manager at Newcastle & Manchester City, not forgetting that he played for and managed England.
So to not only meet the man, but also to have him take us through a gruelling training session at his Kevin Keegan Soccer Circus at Xscape Glasgow, was simply outstanding. It was like asking for an autograph and getting picked for the team instead!
Xscape Glasgow (which as at 2014 is now called "Soar" at intu Braehead!) is in the Braehead area of the City, and really is a mecca of fun & adventure, no matter whether you're supposed to be too old to enjoy it!
The massive complex plays host to a huge number of extreme sports & leisure activities, including:
You'll also find a massive Odeon Cinema, Kevin Keegan's Soccer Circus, the world's largest indoor mini-golf complex, superb bowling alleys, and for those of better dispositions than my own, the Robocoaster, which is the UK's first robotic arm thrill ride. And as if that's not enough, there are some great restaurants, bars, shops, late night clubs and even conference & corporate hospitality facilities.
So if you've got a day to spare I'd definitely recommend that you head along to Xscape Glasgow. Unlike other Glasgow attractions it won't teach you anything about our rich history & culture, but what it will do is keep you enthralled and your heart pumping from the moment you walk through its doors, and you'll come out completely energised with memories of extreme activities you might never have experienced had you given this place a miss.
Of course, I'd suggest taking a relaxing breather before you move onto the next attraction!
Fan Drop at Xscape Glasgow
As I say, to get the most out of Xscape Glasgow you should probably clear your diary for a full day. For example, the time we all went there and got the photo with Kevin Keegan above, we headed to the place for about 10am.
At that time it's pretty quiet, so we were able to secure a bowling alley early at a discounted price, and then move onto the mini-golf, have a few drinks and a bite to eat, and then head to the Soccer Circus, without really worrying about the time.
In fact, I remember that we actually had a few spare hours to play some pool and watch Celtic beat Gretna on one of the plasma TV screens in the bar above the Soccer Circus, before heading down for some real exercise.
Whatever you do is really up to your own taste, but I'd suggest that in order to make the most of your time you should plan in advance what you intend to do there and when you'll be doing it. I'd also bear in mind that unless you're superfit (yeah, unlike me - whatever!), it's probably a good idea to stagger the more energetic activities in between more relaxing ones like the mini-golf.
I'd really recommend though that when you're planning your time at Xscape Glasgow, you try to fit some time in for theSoccer Circus, no matter whether or not you like (or are any good at) football.
I mean, have a look at the group of us in the photo above. We're not exactly the Lisbon Lions or the 1970 World Cup Brazilians (yeah I know McGroarty, speak for yourself!), but to be honest whether you're good or bad, if you're in a group and want some fun competition, this is the place to come.
We were lucky enough to have Kevin Keegan there himself, but I'm pretty sure that by the end of our session he'd been wishing he'd called in sick that day! Maybe it was when Lyndsey's shoe came flying off when she kicked the ball, narrowly missing Kevin's assistant. Or maybe it was our pitifully tragic races in between the cones that I'm certain made him wonder why he'd ever come up with the idea.
Either way we had the time of our lives there, even though my team felt well and truly cheated after being beaten by Paul S., Anne-Marie, Vinny & Lyndsey (we'd absolutelytrounced them on the skill tests, but because the free kicks tests alone get you thousands more points, they pipped us in the end!).
To top off our time there we were treated to a private room at the end with some delicious snacks and (extremely appreciated) drinks, before being given the chance to see how hard we could each kick a ball. To save on my own embarrassment I won't let you in on my own score, but all I'm saying is that Debs recorded a magnificent 0mph!
Champion Paul trying the impossible putt!
Also, even though the lure of the Snowslope andSkypark will be too great to ignore, if you have the time I think you'd be wise to try out the mini-golf putting. When we'd done it it was a great laugh. Paul S. won the round, but (and I'm certain she'll say more impressively) Anne-Marie managed to win herself a free round at the 19th hole by sinking the impossible putt.
Even though we were pretty embarrassed by the kids behind us who appeared annoyingly more skilled at it all than ourselves, it was a nice, relaxing break between the more extreme stuff on offer.
Have a look at the Official Site for more information on what's on offer at Xscape Glasgow, including prices, opening times, facilities and so on, but let me know if you need some more inside info.
The Daunting Snowzone
As I mentioned above, Xscape Glasgow is in Braehead, next to Braehead Shopping Centre just off the Renfrew junction 26 (eastbound) or 25a (westbound) of the M8 Motorway.
Here's a handy map to get you on your way, and you can use the directions function on the map to make sure you don't get lost.
If you won't be travelling by car or taxi, you can get also there by bus. Have a look at my bus guide to plan your journey, and also have in mind that the Breahead Bullet also operates non-stop between Partick Interchange, Xscape Glasgow and Braehead Shopping Centre, so can come in handy if you'll be travelling between these points.
As before though, any queries just let me know.
Here are a few photos I've taken at Xscape Glasgow whenever I've had the chance. Apologies for the quality of some of the pictures - sometimes after dragging myself through one of the activities I've been too knackered to sort out the flash settings, so some of them are a bit blurry - a bit like my sight at the end of the day!
More to follow soon...
To view the gallery below, click on any image on this page. The light box containing the pictures will open shortly, then 'click right' or 'left arrow' [ > or < ] or 'play' button to view the gallery.
|Tracey's Pro Technique
|Paul's Ball for an Arm
|Still 2 left Tracey!
|TGI Fridays Xscape
|Debs makes the putt
|Me & how it's done. Not!
|Don't hit the elephant!
|Vinny's Jungle Adventure
|Who's got the Cheesiest Smile?!!
|19th Hole Blues
|What you looking at?
|Rules is Rules...Whatever!
|Dodgy Putters United
|Fan Drop Xscape Glasgow
|Too much action for me!
|Not just for kids?
|Debs & Paul Icy Warm Smiles
Check out more images of the amazing Xscape Glasgow: Page 2 - Did Debs reallyscore a zero?!!