Last year I wrote a blog post on '10 quirky places you can spend the night in Scotland' and although I hadn't yet stayed in any of the places listed, it inspired me to think outside the box when it comes to booking my own accommodation.
There are times when you just want to escape the comfort of generic hotel rooms and embark on an easy adventure for a night in a place that lets your imagination run wild. I know I'm not alone in searching out the weird and wonderful as most of the quirky accommodation I've come across is booked months in advance and the prices often reflect the demand.
One of the places featured on my list was thankfully affordable and available on my most recent trip to Glasgow and I enjoyed viewing the city I grew up in from a whole new perspective, mainly from the deck of a decommissioned fishing boat moored on the River Clyde.
The MV Reliant is run as a bed and breakfast by owners Dave and Rosie, who welcomed me with tea and biscuits on arrival. They were very friendly hosts and nothing seemed too much trouble for them.
The Scottish cooked breakfast in the morning was fantastic and huuuuge and Rosie can provide evening meals based on recipes from her home in Thailand if you wish.
Being a fishing boat means the layout and features are unique, every cabin is a different shape and size, some with low ceilings and uneven floors which add to the character! I chose the front cabin on the top deck which had a comfy double bed, little settee, tv, power sockets and storage space. Fresh towels and toiletries were also provided on arrival.
The skylight and window let in plenty of light and apart from the low ceiling, the cabin is spacious enough and had a cosy boat like feel about it, funny that! There is also a radiator and electric blanket to keep you toasty warm, although I didn't feel the cold despite it being very wet outside.
I must apologise for the blurry photo (I blame the sloping roof, or possibly the wine!) but hopefully it gives you an idea of the room.
The rest of the boat is shared by other guests and the owners Dave and Rosie including the living room, bathroom, kitchen and dining room which all feel like a real home from home. Other facilities on board include access to a washer/dryer, WiFi, bath with overhead shower and a kitchen.
There are also plenty of outdoor seating areas to soak up the working boatyard atmosphere and Dave has added a little library to the wheelhouse. I spent the evening sitting with a glass of wine, flicking through the books and looking down the river at the industrial view few people get to experience.
Situated in a working boatyard on the edge of the city may not be as central as some would like, however a few minutes walk and a 20 minute train journey takes you into the heart of Glasgow and it's many attractions. The upside to staying outwith the city centre is a lower nightly rate which will suit those travelling on a budget.
The boatyard is locked in the evenings and weekends so you will have to phone Dave or borrow a key to get in. The yard is full of modern and rusting crafts of all shapes and sizes both in and out the water. I really enjoyed taking a walk along the dock to look at the rows of boats tied together, with one or two having some unexpected surprises on board!
At £50 per night for a 2 person private cabin (£60 at the weekends) including breakfast and access to tea/coffee etc and all the facilities mentioned you will be hard pushed to find all these inclusions for that price anywhere else in Glasgow.
If you're looking for luxury, a central location or your own space then staying here may not be for you. If you're looking for adventure, unique accommodation, welcoming hosts and want to experience a side of Glasgow that even very few locals get to see then this is definitely for you!
The MV Reliant is available to book through Airbnb and as you will see from the feedback, Dave and Rosie get plenty of mentions as wonderful hosts and their kind hospitality during my stay is the main reason I would go back here to stay and recommend it to others.
Follow me as I search for the best and most original travel experiences in Scotland.