The Glasgow SEC is Scotland’s largest exhibition arena. It’s located close to the banks of the River Clyde in Glasgow’s West End and is easily reached via the city’s subway stations and bus stops. The SEC has three main buildings – the Armadillo, the Hydro, and the SEC Centre. Discover everything you need to know about the SEC with this complete visitor guide.
|Opening Hours:||For event timings see https://www.sec.co.uk/whats-on|
|Parking:||On-site multi-storey paid car park|
|Contact:||0141 248 3000
|Facilities:||Disabled access, toilets, baby changing, food and drink outlets, ATM, information desk, vending machine, medical centre|
The Glasgow Scottish Event Campus Centre is Scotland’s largest exhibition arena and is home to some of the country’s biggest artistic events. Everything from classical music recitals, dance shows, and sports events are hosted in the exhibition halls, and any trip to Glasgow should include a visit to the site if only for its photo opportunities.
Although the SEC is a relatively new addition to the Glasgow cityscape having opened in 1985, it has become one of the city’s most photographed locations, and also one of its most-visited.
The campus is made up of three separate buildings – the Armadillo, the Hydro and the SEC Centre – but it’s the first two that are the most impressive. These buildings are unlike anything else in Scotland, especially when viewed from the River Clyde at night when they’re lit up in a kaleidoscope of colours.
While the SEC isn’t regarded as a tourist attraction, it’s worth visiting if you’re ever in Glasgow as it makes an interesting sightseeing alternative to the museums and galleries in the city centre.
1: The Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow is known for its diverse range of events. From music concerts featuring internationally renowned artists to important business conferences, the SEC offers something for everyone.
2: The SEC, which includes the iconic Armadillo and the SSE Hydro, is a marvel of modern architecture. The Armadillo, officially known as the Clyde Auditorium, with its interlocking series of overlapping shell-like curves, is a sight to behold. The SSE Hydro, with its futuristic design and ability to light up the Glasgow skyline at night, is another architectural highlight of the campus.
3: The SEC’s facilities are top-notch, from its spacious and comfortable seating to its state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. The venue also has a plethora of food and drink options to choose from, ensuring an enjoyable experience for all visitors.
1: The best way to get to the SEC is via the Exhibition Centre railway station on the Argyll Line, or walk from the St. Enoch SPT subway station.
2: Although the SEC isn’t a tourist attraction as such, popping down to the River Clyde to see it is a great way to explore a part of Glasgow you might otherwise miss.
3: The Glasgow Science Centre is one of the top attractions in the city and is located across the river, half a mile to the west. The best route is to cross the Millennium Bridge which is signposted from the SEC.
Arguably the most famous building on the campus is also the most striking, having gained the name of ‘the Armadillo’ due to its multi-layered rooftop. This building was designed in 1997 by British architect Sir Norman Foster, and today the 3,000-capacity building is considered one of the architectural highlights of Glasgow.
But there’s more to the event campus than the Armadillo. The SEC occupies over 64 acres on the north bank of the River Clyde, with the SEC Centre and SSE Hydro also taking up prime real estate in this regenerated part of the city.
Access to the site has been made a top priority for the city council and not only are there frequent buses and taxis, but the SEC even has its own railway station as part of the Argyle Line railway network.
The SSE Hydro will be known to many Scots as the principal concert arena in the country, and this 12,500-seat venue is regarded as one of the top arenas in the world, ranking third in the Pollstar Top 100 global arenas and number 1 in the Billboard arena charts.
Over a million visitors pour through its doors each year to view upwards of 70 concerts, many of which are held in the spectacular Hydro. The Hydro has been showered with awards for its design, including the Chairman’s Award for Architecture and the Architectural Excellence Award.
Next door to the Hydro is the SEC Centre which quickly gained the nickname, ‘the big red shed’, when it opened in 1985 due to the unusual decision to paint it like a giant red warehouse. Thankfully, it has since been painted a rather less gaudy grey. The SEC Centre has welcomed over 1.5 million visitors since its opening and has now planted itself in history as officially being Scotland’s most-visited venue.
If you’re after a bite to eat you’ll find the Clydebuilt Bar and Kitchen at the east entrance of the SEC Centre which is open whenever there’s a conference, exhibition or concert happening, but there are vending machines on the main concourse if the Clydebuilt bar is closed.
Today, the SEC is just one of many must-see attractions if you head towards the River Clyde during your visit to Scotland’s largest city, with the Glasgow Science Centre, The Tall Ship, and the Riverside Museum all within easy walking distance.
Things to Do
Attend a Live Concert at The Hydro: The Hydro, an integral part of the Scottish Event Campus, is one of the busiest indoor arenas in the world. It hosts more than 100 events every year including some of the most famous music, comedy, and theatrical shows, and can accommodate an incredible 14,500 spectators.
Explore Interactive Exhibitions: The SEC Centre is renowned for its vast array of interactive exhibitions. From science and technology to arts and culture, there’s usually something to pique everyone’s interest, making it a perfect destination for families.
Eat at the SEC Armadillo: The SEC Armadillo, with its distinctive architectural design, isn’t just a showstopper from the outside. Inside, it houses the Clydebuilt Bar and Kitchen which serves delectable dishes including highly-rated pizzas and burgers. Whether you’re looking for a pre-show dinner or a leisurely midday lunch, the SEC Armadillo is definitely worth considering.
Conferences and Seminars: The Scottish Event Campus Centre is a hub for knowledge sharing, attracting leading experts in a variety of fields from around the world. Conferences and seminars are held throughout the year, so whether you’re interested in medical breakthroughs, technological advancements, or cultural movements, you’re likely to find something that will ignite your curiosity.
Enjoy a Leisurely Walk Along the River Clyde: The SEC is situated on the banks of the River Clyde, offering a lovely waterfront walk which is an ideal way to unwind after a day of exploring Glasgow.
Things to Do Nearby
Glasgow Science Centre. 50 Pacific Quay, Glasgow G51 1EA. 13-minute walk.
Science and technology museum featuring interactive exhibits, a planetarium, and IMAX theatre and cafés.
The Riverside Museum of Transport. 100 Pointhouse Rd, Govan, Glasgow G3 8RS. 25-minute walk.
A modern museum that explores the history of transport with interactive displays and one of the largest collections of rare cars, trains and motorbikes in Scotland. Entry is free.
The Tall Ship. 150 Pointhouse Rd, Stobcross Rd, Govan, Glasgow G3 8RS. 26-minute walk.
This attraction is located next to the Transport Museum on the bank of the River Clyde. The Tall Ship is a fully restored Victorian sailing ship that allows visitors to explore the historic vessel from bow to stern. There is a café and gift shop inside. Entry is free.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AG. 10-minute walk.
One of Scotland’s most-visited museums, Kelvingrove offers a diverse range of exhibits from across the globe. The museum is situated near the west end of the 84-acre Kelvingrove Park. Entry is free.
Kelvingrove Park. 6 Professors’ Square, Glasgow G3 6BY. 23-minute walk.
One of Glasgow’s oldest and largest public parks. The park is situated behind the Kelvingrove Museum. There are numerous paths through the park along with children’s play areas and sports fields.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where is the Scottish Event Campus Centre?
The SEC is situated in the centre of Glasgow next to the River Clyde. It can be accessed by road from junction 19 of the M8 (take the westbound Clydeside Expressway (A8414).
Address: Glasgow, Scotland, G3 8YW.
Who owns the Scottish Event Campus Centre?
The SEC is owned and operated by Scottish Event Campus Limited.
How many people does the Hydro hold?
The seats and staging of the Hydro in Glasgow’s SEC have a capacity of 14,300.
Over 1 million people visit the venue annually.
What is the Armadillo in Glasgow?
The Armadillo (also known as the Clyde Auditorium) is a purpose-built venue that is part of the SEC. The building was designed by celebrated architect Sir Norman Foster and has a capacity of 3,000.