Glasgow is often advertised as a vibrant city that is steeped in history, offering up great bars, restaurants and shopping opportunities. But everyone seems to forget about the good ol’ greenery that Glasgow has to offer. As I mentioned in my post about London, one of my favourite things to do when visiting a city is to people watch in the park. So if you’re visiting Glasgow, or live here and are looking for somewhere else to go on those (often sparse) super hot days, here’s a breakdown of Glasgow’s best parks.
Glasgow Green is by far Glasgow’s oldest park, and is situated just south of the city centre. It’s easily accessible by foot, just head for the Saltmarket and keep going! I wouldn’t really call it a park just because of its sheer scale and size. It not only offers a wide variety of green space where you can throw down a blanket and lie for hours, but also an abundance of activities; from the kids play park, to walking the banks of the Clyde or visiting the Winter Gardens and People’s Palace. The Green is also host to a wide variety of city events, so keep an eye out its schedule for upcoming occasions.
With an office looking on to this park, Kelvingrove is one that I’ve come to love in the last year. (Dare I say I even love it more than the Green?!). Visit Scotland describes it as “a classic Victorian park”, and its historic features, such as the ironwork or monuments, are clearly visible however there are elements of modernity peppered throughout – whether it is the skate park or the cafe.
Like Glasgow Green, Kelvingrove Park also has a beautiful stream of water running through it – the River Kelvin; and it can be seen from a number of beautiful, quintessential bridges in the park linking the cit centre with the west end. Not only can you stroll along the Kelvin, put the park also offers a skatepark, bandstand, historic monuments and statues, and bowling greens. Again, check times for local events on when you are visiting, often the bandstand has live music!
Kelvingrove also offers easy access to the University of Glasgow, Park Circus and The Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery – all major tourist attractions in the city’s west end.
Pollok Country Park
Pollok Country Park is located in the south side of Glasgow, and offers visitors a wide variety of sights and attractions, including the famous Pollok House, the Burrell Collection and Highland Coos [cows].
The park offers a lot of greenery, plenty of country walking routes and even has a restaurant where you can grab a plate of delicious food after a long walk in the fresh air. And I say fresh air because I really do feel that Pollok gives you a great sense of country living away from the bustling city.
The Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Moving away from the south side of the city, The Glasgow Botanic Gardens sits in the West End and encompasses a number of towering glass greenhouses. The most notable and probably most famous is the wrought iron framed Kibble Palace. As you probably guessed by the name, the gardens are encompassed by a variety of vibrant, colourful and exotic plants and flowers from around the world.
The gardens has a rich history and a long back story within Glasgow, including being used for concerts, events and supplying Glasgow University. It even housed a railway line which can be seen lying derelict within the gardens.
Vitcoria is another beautiful park set in the west of Glasgow and was given its name to celebrate Queen Victoria’s jubilee in 1886. Maybe not was big as the others, but still offers various different features that means you will never be bored, such as memorials, play grouds, ponds, orienteering course, tennis/basketball courts and a putting course. Fun fact, the workforce that build it in the late 1800s was made up of unemployed men who struggled to find work. They also went on to discover the Fossil Grove which is a series of 11 fossilised stumps of extinct trees.
Tollcross lies in Glasgow’s east end and just like the others has plenty to offer to its visitors all year round. Some of its most notable features includes a children’s farm, a Glen Nature Walk, visitor centre, orienteering course and a secret garden. The children’s farm has a range of different animals, from Shetland Ponies to Highland Coos! The park will offer a great escape for the busy city.
What’s your favourite park in Glasgow?