Housed within Hampden Park Stadium (home of Queen’s Park FC and the national side) is the Scottish Football Museum – or the Hampden Experience as it bills itself.
Glasgow is inextricably linked to the beautiful game and all the highs and lows, and notorious rivalries of Scottish football are recorded here. From the moment of your arrival at the imposing front of the stadium you’re drawn deep into this world. While there are numerous items of tactile statuary and full-size artefacts, like old turnstiles and seating, the exhibits are far from dusty museum fare. Several times a year in Glasgow, two massive clubs – Rangers and Celtic – square up to decide bragging rights for their supporters. But this support is often marred by controversy, with both teams of followers being long associated with religious intolerance. To its credit, the museum does not shy away from such topics, but also dwells on the massive benefits the game brings. Audiovisual displays throughout recount anecdotes and tell the stories of the players, pundits and fans. Memorabilia from each era of football is everywhere, from the origins of the game in the Corinthian clubs of the nineteenth century to the present day. There are daily guided tours of the stadium at 11am, 12.30pm, 2pm and 3pm between November and March, and at 3.30pm from April to October – except when there is a match on.
The 782 -bay car park has plenty of disabled spaces, and there are also four Blue Badge spaces adjacent to the door. There is a long ramp up to the main entrance, but visitors who would rather not attempt it should keep their eyes peeled for a tiny sign, to the left of the main steps, directing them to the disabled access point. This is essentially a controlled entry system which is also in service on match days – unfortunately there can be a delay with someone arriving to open the door for you, and the stadium staff are aware this service could be improved. To avoid waiting, it is recommended that you call ahead a few minutes before arrival (0141 616 6139). Inside, the seamless ease of access makes the museum a real pleasure to visit. It’s a bit of a tardis, too, with more to discover around each cleverly constructed corner. The staff live and breathe football and are happy to inform and assist in any way they can. Magnifying glasses are available for viewing the displays. The shop is in the same large area as the café, while accessible toilets are situated in the corridor outside.
Food & drink: The spacious café serves everything you’d expect, from freshly made salads to the Scottish football terrace favourite – meat pie with a cup of Bovril!