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 top picks to visit in each of the city's neighbourhoods.
Parks in Glasgow city centre
Set by the River Clyde, Glasgow's oldest park is great for all the family with the People’s Palace, a museum dedicated to the social history of Glasgow, playparks and walks by the river. There are many beautiful sites to visit, including the largest terracotta fountain in the world and the city's most unusual building, Templeton on the Green. It also plays host to some of the city's biggest annual events, such as the World Pipe Band Championships and TRNSMT music festival.
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 grandest 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.
The Botanic Gardens offer a peaceful blend of green space, woodland walks and river walks by the River Kelvin. The Gardens are also home to two glasshouses, including the Kibble Palace, which houses plants from all around the world and marble statues.
Victoria Park is one of Glasgow's prettiest parks. It boasts an extensive range of formal floral displays, a large boating pond and children's play park. Within Victoria Park is Fossil Grove, housing the remnants of an ancient forest, with tree trunks thought to be around 330 million years old.
Parks in the southside
Queen's Park boasts one of the city's finest views. Circled by the trendy local neighbourhoods of Shawlands and Battlefield, the park also features the Scottish Poetry Rose Garden, an amphitheatre, which hosts various events, a play park and a large boating pond.
Bellahouston Park has something for everyone with sporting and cultural options. Explore the beautiful House for an Art Lover, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, which is a visitor attraction, art gallery and cafe all in one. The park is also home to a walled garden, maze, series of sculptures, a uniquely-designed play park, Glasgow Ski & Snowboard Centre and a swimming pool. Visit houseforanartlover.co.uk for details.
Credit: VisitScotland Kenny Lam
Pollok Country Park
You could spend an entire day exploring Glasgow's largest green space, Pollok Country Park. It is home to two leading attractions, the world-class Burrell Collection and Edwardian mansion Pollok House. There is also a herd of Highland cattle, scenic river scenes, woodland walks, cycle routes and a fairy trail. Visit burrellcollection.com to plan a must-visit day out in a beautiful city park.
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 of the city. The park is also home to ancient woodlands and mountain bike trails, which were created for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
As the second largest park in Glasgow, Linn Park is ideal for 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 is Holmwood House, an impressive villa by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson. Visit nts.org.uk for seasonal opening hours.
Parks in the east end
The Glasgow Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery with lots of history and architectural styles. From the top of the cemetery are picture-perfect views, which take in the medieval Glasgow Cathedral. Find out more about this unique city location by visiting glasgownecropolis.org.
This former site was transformed into a superb park as part of the Commonwealth Games 2014 Legacy project. Named Cuningar Loop, it includes pathed walkways, a boardwalk along the river, public artworks and sculptures, a bouldering park and playpark. Find out more at forestryandland.gov.scot.
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
Hamiltonhill Claypits is a local nature reserve. You'll find wildlife all around with wooded walks and paths between the Firhill and Applecross basins on the canal. It also boasts a great city viewpoint. Visit claypitslnr.co.uk to plan your trip.
Forth and Clyde Canal
Although not defined as a park or garden, the Forth and Clyde Canal offers greenspace for a waterside stroll. Just 5 minutes from the city centre, you can spot grey herons, kingfishers, beavers and otters at this urban oasis. Check out Scottish Canals website for details.
For a countryside feel, head to this local nature reserve, which is home to Hogganfield Loch. It's a great spot for a gentle stroll and for bird watching.
For an overview of all of the parks in the city, visit Glasgow City Council's website and download their 'Glasgow Walking' app to find your way around.
Article last updated: March 2023