Glasgow is fondly known as the “dear green place” and it’s a literal translation of its name from Gaelic. With over 90 parks and green spaces, it’s certainly a very apt name for the city.
With daffodils in full bloom and lock down restrictions slowly starting to ease it seems like as good a time as any to share our favourite 5 Glasgow parks
Glasgow Green: a favourite park for all Glaswegians
Glasgow Green – This is Glasgow’s and Britain’s oldest public park and the closest one to the city centre. It comprises of 55 hectares of open space and was ratified for public use in 1450 by Bishop Turnbull. This common grazing land was used for washing, drying, bleaching linen, salmon fishing and swimming. Indeed, you can still see the washing poles on the drying green which was still in use by the city’s residents until 1977.
Its also home to the Doulton Fountain which is the largest terracotta fountain in the world, and the famous McLennan Arch. The People’s Palace which has a museum that is dedicated to the social history of Glasgow and its people can also be found here. Opposite the People’s Palace is one of the city’s most unusual buildings, Templeton on the Green, which has a detailed design based on the famous Doge’s Palace in Venice. Within this building you can find West Brewery with its beer hall and restaurant and has what must be Glasgow’s largest beer garden outside.
We’ve got a 3 year old who loves the Children’s Play Village at Glasgow Green especially since there seems to be a permanent ice cream van located next to it. There’s also a cycle centre which provides a safe space for learners and vulnerable users together with a community café.
Interested in history? Then why not walk the Glasgow Green Heritage Trail which notes 18 points of interest within the park and provides a great history of the city?
The World Pipe Band Championships are held here and its also the venue for the music festival TRNSMT.
Kelvingrove Park: a favourite park for Glasgow’s west enders
Kelvingrove Park – Heading to the west of the city, Kelvingrove Park is a classic example of a Victorian Park. It covers an area of 34 hectares and is located on the River Kelvin. Its well-loved by students, families, West End residents and tourists alike.
Here you can find Kelvingrove Museum and Art Galleries. The park also boasts five bowling greens and four tennis courts and three children’s play areas.
We love the riverside paths for walking or running and it’s a great place for a picnic.
For those interested in the history of the park, you can go on this Heritage Trail.
The Kelvingrove Band Stand was refurbished in 2014 and pre-lockdown held regular concerts throughout the summer. Their Summer Nights programme is due to recommence in 2021 and we’re hoping to be able to go to rescheduled Suzanne Vega concert!
Pollock Park: a favourite park for the South side of the city
Pollok Park – Glasgow’s largest park is located on the southside of the city. Its also Glasgow’s only country park and was part of the Old Pollok Estate and the ancestral home of the Maxwell Family.
Pollok House is a Georgian stately home managed by the National Trust for Scotland. In fact, Pollok House was where the National Trust for Scotland was founded and was its first property. We love the home baking at the Edwardian Kitchen here. We also love to visit at Christmas time when Mrs Claus welcomes young visitors. Whilst lockdown currently means that the building is closed, the walled gardens are still worth a visit and the tearoom is offering a takeaway service. Those with kids will love the Secret Fairy Garden.
The Pollok Park Heritage Trail starts at Pollok House and takes around 2 hours.
Pollok Park is also the location of the world famous Burrell Collection with its amazing art collection. Its been closed for refurbishment since 2016 but is due to open again sometime in 2021.
A must see for us whenever we visit are the Highland Cows are we’re delighted to hear that two new calveshave recently been born!
Bellahouston Park – Staying on the south side of the River Clyde, Bellahouston Park is another extensive green space boasting a raft of sporting facilities. It also accommodates the famous House for an Art Lover designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh.
I first learned to ski at Glasgow Ski Centre and the park also has a sports centre with an outdoor and indoor pool, hockey pitch and cycle track. The Palace of Arts also offers a range of fitness classes. This historic building is the main surviving structure of the 1938 Empire Exhibition.
The House for an Art Lover is a country house, arts centre and café built based on unrealised designs by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. In pre-covid times, we loved the café here for lunch.
Again, there is a Heritage Trail with other highlights including a maze, walled garden and various children’s play areas including Grounds for Play. Also worth finding is the sculpture Elephant for Glasgow.
Victoria Park – Our final choice is Victoria Park which is close to Whiteinch, Scotstoun, Jordanhill and Broomhill. Although smaller compared to the others on this list, it is considered by many to be the prettiest of Glasgow parks.
The park boasts a war memorial, children’s playground, boating pond with two islands, Jubilee Gates and a fossil grove.
These are all included in the Heritage Trail which should take around 1.5 hours to walk.
The Fossil Grove was discovered in 1887 and is a unique heritage site with 11 fossil tree stumps from the Carboniferous period which are around 330 million years old!
So thats it …
So, these are our favourite Glasgow parks. We’d love to hear what your views are and your highlights from visiting them.
For further information on parks in Glasgow, visit Glasgow Parks and Gardens, People Make Glasgowand My Park Scotland.
If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact us