ON YOUR DOORSTEP Everything you have ever wanted to know about THE BIG IDEA

If you think that it has to be good weather before you go to the coast then think again, because Irvine is now the home to The Big Idea, where inventions emerge come rain, hail or shine.

The Big Idea is built into the landscape right next to the beach, and you'll know you’ve found it as soon as you see the fantastic ’Millennium Bridge of Scottish lnvention’, leading you across the water to the glass-fronted centre. On arrival, you are issued with a personalised 'iButton’ that allows you to activate the information posts and try out some of the inventions, as well as tracking your visit. Head into the main area to investigate sections such as communication, mechanism, materials and control, all of which have interactive areas where you can roll your sleeves up and have a go. Once you have tried and tested everything you can take part in the History of Explosions exhibition complete with ‘pink-knuckle ride'. You'll feel every bump and explosion as it whisks you from the dawn of time into

the distant future. If the experience whets your appetite for invention, then hurry upstairs to the inventors area where you’ll find free kits to be tried out in the specially prepared test areas. There is even a workshop with basic tools in case you want to develop your inventions even further.

This is a great place for kids to learn about the inventions of the past and how they have enabled technology to progress to include items in our everyday life and beyond. For all we know, one of the great inventors of the future may find their inspiration when they go to The Big Idea. Who needs the beach anyway? (Jane

Hamilton) Fun factor 3/5

Informative 3/5 Value for money 3/5

How do you get there Drive towards Irvine then follow signs for The Big Idea. It is situated next to the beach after The Magnum Centre. Trains run from Glasgow Central to Irvine with a fifteen minute walk to The Big Idea (special rail and

admission deals available).

Added Extras There is a cafe as well as an auditorium space. Tags can be kept and used on future visits as well as acting as a key into the website. Free parking.

How much it costs Adults £7 (£5); children 5—1 5 years £5; children under 5 years free. Family tickets available. Inventors Kit is included in the price.

When it's open Daily lOam—6pm (latest recommended entry 4pm).

. The Big Idea, The Harbourside, Irvine, 08708 404030, wwwbigidea.org.uk



Strathclyde Police International Family Show Thu lO—Sat 12 Aug, 7.30pm. £12 (£8); family ticket £38. SECC, Finnieston Quay, 532 2973. Strathclyde Police celebrate their 25th anniversary with an unconventional law enforcement show, including performances by the Flying Grandpas (German police officers performing gymnastics), the Natal Police Zulu Dance Troupe in traditional dress, and Britain’s youngest daredevils, the Honda Imps. All proceeds from the event will go to charity.

World Pipe Band Championships Sat 12 Aug, 9am—4.45pm. £4.40 (£2.50); family ticket £12.50. Glasgow Green, 221 5414. See photo caption.

Scotland Vs West Indies Sun 13 Aug, 10.45am—6.30pm. Titwood Cricket Ground, Beaton Road, 317 7247. An exciting day for all cricket fans as Scotland

take on the West Indies in this international cricket match.

Other Events

Garden Walk - Saving Seeds Sat 12 Aug, 2.30pm. £3.50 (£2.50); N'IS members and children under sixteen free. Greenbank Garden, Flenders Road, 639 3281. Enjoy a guided walk round the gardens and get some advice from the

xperts. Paintings 0n Railings Sat 12 Aug. Free. Gallery of Modern Art, Queen Street, 229 1996. Open art fair. Plant Sale and Flora Folklore Sun 13 Aug, 1pm. Free. Falls of Clyde Reserve, New Lanark, 01555 665262. Meet at the visitor centre and join the Scottish Wildlife Trust for a plant sale and guided walk where you can discover the magic and mystery of lants found on the reserve. Plants We se Tue 15 Aug, 2pm. £2.70 (£1.10). The Botanic Gardens, 730 Great Western Road, 334 2422. Assistant Curator Louise Bustard will lead this informative walk round the Botanic Gardens.


Art Gallery 8: Museum. Kelvingrove Argyle Street, 287 2699. Mon—Thu & Sat 10am—5pm; Fri & Sun 11am—5pm. Free. This fine example of late Victorian

, architecture houses a permanent

collection of work by such names as Rembrandt, Botticelli, Whistler and Cadell, plus numerous historical artefacts and animal displays. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Glasgow Art Listings page 32

Burrell Collection

2060 Pollokshaws Road, 287 2550. Mon—Thu & Sat 10am—5pm; Fri & Sun 11am—5pm. Free. Sir William Burrell's world famous collection of beautiful art objects from around the globe, housed in a specially designed, award-winning building. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Glasgow Art Listings page 32

Clydebuilt Scottish Maritime Museum

Braehead Shopping Centre, Kings Inch Road, 886 1013. Mon—Sat 10am—6pm; Sun llam—Spm. £3.50 (£1.75); family £8. This attraction, situated on the River Clyde, brings to life the story of Glasgow’s development from the tobacco lords in the 1700’s right up to the let century. You can take control of a real steam engine or learn to make a fortune as an ocean trader, and kids will enjoy the maritime playpark.

Fossil Grove

Victoria Park, 287 2000. Daily noon—5pm. Free. Glasgow’s oldest tourist attraction, designated as a site of special scientific interest by Scottish Natural Heritage, provides interpretative displays and the opportunity to examine geological specimens dating from 350 million years ago.

Glasgow Botanic Gardens

730 Great Western Road, 334 2422. Daily dawn till dusk. Free. This 19th century garden and glasshouses are home to an interesting and educational selection of plants, as well as featuring in the film Jude. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Glasgow Art Listings page 32

reptile house. There is also a full programme of interactive events, such as snake-handling and birds of prey flying displays, plus Children’s Farm, amusements and an orienteering course.

Greenbank Garden

Flenders Road, Clarkston, 639 3281. Daily 10am—5pm. £3 (£2). This walled garden, tucked away in the Glasgow suburbs, contains a wealth of interesting plants and flowers as well as woodland walks, a glasshouse and water displays. The garden’s house, an 18th century tobacco merchant’s home, is open for viewing on Sunday afternoons, subject to function bookings.

House For An Art Lover

Bellahouston Park, 10 Dumbreck Road, 353 4773. £3.50 (£2.50). Initially designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh for a competition in 1901, this unfinished work has been completed by modern-day architects and designers in true Mackintosh style.

For opening times, call info line 0141 353 4449. Art Lover’s Cafe and Shop open 10am—5pm daily. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Glasgow Art Listings page 32

Hunterian Museum

University Avenue, 330 4221. Mon—Sat 9.30am—5pm. Free. Dating from 1807, the Hunterian is Scotland’s oldest public museum - it lost its artworks in 1980 with the opening of the purpose-built art gallery in the grounds, but it is still home to a collection of the university’s treasures.

Mugdock Country Park

Craigallan Road, Milngavic, 956 6100. Free. This country park on the north east side of the city has a full programme of ranger activities as well as numerous woodland paths and walkways. The visitor centre is open 9am-5pm every day of the year. Call for more details on the opening times of the gift shop and crafts unit, or for a full itinerary of countryside events.

Museum Of Transport

Kelvin Hall, 1 Bumhouse Road, 287 2720. Mon—Thu & Sat 10am—5pm; Fri & Sun 11am-5pm. Free. A museum crammed with buses, trams, fire engines,

Glasgow Cathedral

Cathedral Street, 552 8198. Mon—Fri 9.30am—lpm & 2—6pm; Sun 2—5pm. Free. A stone-built church has stood on this site since 1136 and the lower church contains the shrine of St Mungo, who died in 1603; however most of the present building dates from the 13th or 15th centuries, the most notable exception being the stained-glass windows, renowned as one of the finest post-war collections in the country. Sunday services take place at 11am and 6.30pm and there are daily prayers at noon. Oh, and the necropolis is well worth a wander round as well.

Glasgow School of Art

167 Renfrew Street, 353 4500. Tours Mon—Fri 11am & 2pm; Sat-Sun 10.30am, 11.30am & 1pm. £5 (£3). Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s architectural masterpiece, Glasgow School of Art is still a working art school, but also provides guided tours for visitors, taking you through the Board Room, Furniture Gallery and Mackintosh Library.

Glasgow Zoopark

Calderpark, Uddingston, 771 1185. Daily 9.30am-6pm (last admission 4.30pm). £4.60 (£2.70). A popular haunt on school trips, Glasgow Zoopark boasts a varied collection of animals, from lions to guinea pigs, as well as a well-stocked

ships and other paraphernalia, devoted to the history of tranSport. Permanent exhibitions include Shipbuilding On The River Clyde, a large mural by David McFarlane; Walking Drum, an interactive sculpture by Stephen Healy; and Victims Of Transport by Justin Carter. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Glasgow Art Listings page 32

People's Palace & Winter Garden Glasgow Green, 554 0223. Mon—Thu & Sat 10am—5pm; Fri & Sun 11am—5pm. Glasgow’s best-loved institution has recently undergone a major facelift to celebrate its centenary year. The new displays are set out thematically with subjects including The Patter; Visions Of The City and Crime And Punishment. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Glasgow Art Listings page 32

Pollok House

Pollok Country Park, 2060 Pollokshaws Road, 616 6410. Mon—Sun IOam—Spm. £3.20 (£2.20); family ticket £8.60. One of the most elegant 18th century buildings in the country, this historic house features some of the finest Spanish paintings in Britain from the collection of Sir William Stirling Maxwell. For details of temporary exhibitions, see Glasgow Art Listings page 32

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