Parks and gardens
Parks and gardens
With over 90 parks and gardens, it is no wonder that Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place. Here are our picks of some of the top parks and green spaces in each of Glasgow's neighbourhoods.
Parks in Glasgow city centre
Glasgow Green is the city’s oldest park. It's where you'll find the largest terracotta fountain in the world, the Doulton Fountain, and the beautiful McLennan Arch. Also set within this expansive park is the People’s Palace, a museum dedicated to the social history of Glasgow. And don't miss 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.
Parks in the west end
Kelvingrove Park is a classic example of a Victorian park, set on the banks of the River Kelvin. Two of the city's most grand buildings stand at either side of the park, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and the University of Glasgow. The park also boasts the open-air arts venue Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre, two play parks and a skatepark.
Not far from Byres Road, the Botanic Gardens offer a tranquil blend of green space and woodland walks. The Gardens are also home to two glasshouses. One of these is the beautiful Kibble Palace, which houses plants from all around the world and marble statues. There are self-guided trails to enjoy, including a tree trail and a river walk.
Victoria Park is one of Glasgow's prettiest parks. It boasts an extensive range of formal floral displays, carpet bedding and hollies. Within Victoria Park is Fossil Grove, housing the remnants of an ancient forest. The fossilised tree stumps are thought to be around 330 million years old. The park is also home to a large boating pond and a children's play park.
Parks in the southside
Queen's Park boasts one of the city's finest views - on a clear day, you can see to the Campsie Fells and Ben Lomond. Encircled by the trendy southside neighbourhoods of the city, the park also features the Scottish Poetry Rose Garden, an amphitheatre, which hosts various events, a play park and a large boating pond.
Pollok Country Park
Pollok Country Park is home to 2 leading attractions, woodland walks, and cycle routes. There's lots for little explorers too, including a fairy trail and the chance to see Highland cattle. In the city's largest green space you'll find the world-class Burrell Collection and Pollok House, which sits beside an idyllic river scene. Visit burrellcollection.com to plan a must-visit day out in a beautiful city park.
The second largest park in Glasgow, Linn Park offers bountiful space for tranquil woodland and riverside walks. Inside the park are the remains of Cathcart Castle, where Mary Queen of Scots is rumoured to have stayed the night before the battle of Langside in 1568. Nearby, discover the grand architectural style of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson at Holmwood House, a magnificent villa built in 1857-8. There are also two children's play parks and ample routes for cyclists.
Cathkin Braes Country Park
As the highest point in Glasgow at 200m above sea level, Cathkin Braes Country Park offers one of the best panoramic views over the city. The park is also home to extensive mountain bike trails and was host to events during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games. There are ancient woodland and grassland areas to discover, as well as the park's very own wind turbine.
Bellahouston Park has everything you need for walking, cycling and relaxing, with a bit of culture thrown in too. You can explore themed gardens, complete with sculptures and maze, and take in stunning views of the city. It’s also home to House for an Art Lover designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an art gallery and exhibition space with a café.
Parks in the east end
The Glasgow Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery which is brimming with history. Not to mention the varying architectural styles. From the top of the cemetery, you can savour the picture-perfect views. Most impressive is Glasgow Cathedral, the oldest surviving medieval cathedral on mainland Scotland.
Fifteen hectares of woodland have been transformed into a superb park as part of the Legacy 2014 project. Named the Cuningar Loop, there are 3 miles of pathed walkways, public artworks and sculptures. It's a stunning transformation from derelict land to thriving community woodland.
Tollcross Park is home to a stunning rose garden, with a staggering 240 varieties of roses all arranged in the perfect shape of a rosebud. The park is ideal for families with a nature walk, secret garden and children’s farm.
Parks in the north
Forth and Clyde Canal
Although not defined as a park or garden, the Forth and Clyde Canal in the north of the city offers greenspace for a waterside stroll. The canal is the perfect place for wildlife spotting. Look out for grey herons, kingfishers, beavers and otters, as well as a rich abundance of flora. Amazingly, this urban oasis is only 5 minutes from the bustling city centre.
Hamiltonhill Claypits is a local nature reserve just north of the canal. An urban oasis, you'll find wildlife all around you with wooded walks and paths between the Firhill and Applecross basins. It's also where you can enjoy one of the best views of Glasgow and catch glimpses of the site’s industrial past.
For a countryside feel in the north of the city, check out Hogganfield Park, home to Hogganfield Loch and a designated local nature reserve. It’s a great option for a gentle stroll and is one of the best spots in the city for bird watching.
Article last updated: May 2022