Glasgow's north neighbourhood
Glasgow's north neighbourhood
The city's north combines urban adventure with the calmness of green space, without forgetting its canal-side heritage.
Forth and Clyde Canal
Mackintosh Queen's Cross
Things to see and do
Enjoy the beauty of the countryside in the middle of the city as you take a journey through north Glasgow along its iconic and historic waterway, the Forth and Clyde Canal.
Just a short walk from the city centre is Speirs Wharf, once the bustling industrial heart of the area, as 18th and 19th century mills and warehouses. Now, these beautiful Georgian buildings line the canal-side with cobbled streets and a network of walking and cycle routes. It is a peaceful spot for panoramic city views, foodie pit stops, wildlife spotting and taking in the fantastic houseboats and barges. Visit the Scottish Canals website and find out about the great range of things to do in this area.
Just along the road from Speirs Wharf is Play Port, where 3 sports attractions have teamed up to create an urban playground. Pinkston Watersports, Glasgow Wake Park and The Loading Bay Skatepark have joined forces, offering a brilliant range of experiences for all ages. Whether a beginner or an adrenalin lover, there is something for everyone including kayaking, stand up paddleboarding, skateboarding, BMXing and wakeboarding. Visit the Play Port website to find the right adventure for you.
Check out Glasgow Tigers Speedway at Peugeot Ashfield Stadium and enjoy spectating at one of the best speedway tracks in the UK. Check out Glasgow Tigers Speedway website for details on fixtures and look forward to an edge-of-your-seat experience.
One of the many charms of the north neighbourhood is the contrasts on offer, with an urban adventure scene side-by-side with rich history and heritage. A great place to learn about the history of the area is with a visit to Maryhill Burgh Halls. First opened in 1878, it was designed by a local architect to resemble a French hotel of that time - a popular style in the 1870s. It is now a centre for community activity, with a museum and an array of tours and self-guided walking trails available. Find out more at maryhillburghhalls.org.uk.
Further along Maryhill Road is an absolute must-see, Mackintosh Queen’s Cross. As the only church designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it is a wonderful example of gothic beauty. Check out Mackintosh Queen's Cross' website to find out what's on.
- Firhill Stadium is home to Partick Thistle Football Club, affectionately known as The Jags. Expect a great atmosphere at their matches and spot their infamous mascot, Kingsley.
- The lesser-known Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Ruchill Free Church Halls dates back to 1899. Visitors are welcome to pop in.
Top places for food and drink
The Botany delivers comfort food at a high level using locally sourced ingredients within its restaurant, glasshouse conservatory and outdoor terrace. View The Botany's menus online.
Café D'Jaconelli is an artisan ice cream parlour and cafe that’s been in this neighbourhood since the 1920s. With its 1950s style and music (from an original jukebox), it’s a great place to enjoy classic cafe food and ice cream. Visit Café D'Jaconelli's Facebook page for more info.
Parks and green spaces
From the canal ways, to the beautiful surrounding parks and nature reserves, Glasgow's north neighbourhood boasts wildlife in abundance. Just across from the canal is Glasgow’s very first inner city nature reserve, Hamilton Claypits Local Nature Reserve. The reserve is home to wonderful wildlife, flora and fauna, a boardwalk and a gigantic slide for the kids. It is also renowned for its viewpoint - on a clear day you can see as far as the Isle of Arran!
Further north, you’ll find one of the oldest nature reserves in Scotland and a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, Possil Marsh and Loch. Walk the circular route around the reserve, which is home to rare plants and 150 species of birds. Find out more at Scottish Wildlife Trust's website.
On this walk is where you’ll also come across a plaque commemorating the Possil High Meteorite which fell nearby in 1804. The earliest of only four recorded meteorite falls in Scotland, the largest surviving fragment is housed at the Hunterian Museum within the University of Glasgow in the west end.
Another place for great viewpoints of the city is in Ruchill Park, marking one of the highest spots in Glasgow. Further north from the park is where you’ll find Lambhill Stables. Built around the early 1800s when the main mode of pulling goods was via horse, the stables have been restored into a creative community space, where you will find a beautiful garden and heritage displays. Visit Lambhill Stables' website to find out more.
Culture by the canal
The Glasgow Canal Festival takes place each summer. The full day of festivities includes street theatre, street food, canoe taster sessions, guided cycle tours, craft workshops, live music, pop-up opera and more. Find out more at glasgowcanalfestival.com.
Many creative spaces can be found in the former factory spaces of the north. These spaces are home to communities of creators, designers, makers and artists, who often host a mix of events and exhibitions both for the arts and local communities.
The Whisky Bond, originally a whisky bonding warehouse for Highland distilleries, houses many creatives including the Glasgow Sculpture Studios. On the other side of the canal is The Glue Factory, an independent arts venue and workspace, which is housed in the former Scottish Adhesives Company warehouse. Visit thewhiskybond.co.uk and visit thegluefactory.org for more information.
Furthermore, The National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Opera both have their rehearsal spaces in the north and regularly put on pop-up shows along the canal.
Article last updated: September 2021
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