When it comes to being green, Glasgow really does live up to its name. Meaning “Dear Green Place” in Gaelic, the city has over 90 parks and gardens and in 2014, eight of the city’s larger parks won the coveted Green Flag Award - the benchmark standard for UK parks. So whether you’re looking for a place for the kids to explore some of the city’s beautiful green spaces, delve into the hidden gardens or simply somewhere to escape from the city buzz, you'll be spoilt for choice.
A stone's throw away from the city centre is the historic Glasgow Green located in the cities East End. Glasgow Green is the city’s oldest park, where you'll find the spectacular Doulton Fountain, the largest terracotta fountain in the world, and the beautiful McLennan Arch. Set within Glasgow Green you will find the People’s Palace, dedicated to social history of Glasgow and its people. Adjacent is the Winter Gardens, venture into the elegant glasshouse brimming with exotic tropical palms and plants.
Image credit: glasgowwithkids.co.uk
Cuningar Loop is a new addition to Glasgow's East End – 15 hectares of derelict land to the east end of Glasgow has been transformed into a fantastic woodland park as part of the Legacy 2014 project. Equipped with adventure play facilities, a bike skills area and Scotland’s first outdoor bouldering park, Cuningar Loop has plenty to keep locals and visitors of all ages entertained!
If you're in the west of the city, you won't have to look further than Kelvingrove Park, with its River Kelvin walkway. A classic example of a Victorian Park, its setting on the banks of the river complements the many magnificent buildings which surround it, including the renowned Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum and Glasgow University. The park also boasts the magnificently refurbished Kelvingrove Bandstand, the latest open-air arts venue in the city. Also located in the city's West End is the Botanic Gardens, a tranquil blend of formal gardens and woodland walks, with the addition of the beautiful Kibble Palace glasshouse to have a stroll in.
The largest park in Glasgow, and the only Country Park, is south of the Clyde. Standing in the middle of the award-winning Pollok Country Park, you would never believe you were only three miles from the city centre! Take in woodland walk or get your wellies on and take in a Woodland Trail who knows what you will discover. You will also find a playground and orienteering trail, the ideal activities for the little explorers out there. You will also spot some Highland cattle and mountain bike circuits, all adding to the stunning surroundings of Pollok House.
Victoria Park, located in the west of the city, 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, usually open from April 3rd till September 30 every year. Housing the remnants of an ancient forest, the fossilized tree stumps are thought to be around 330 million years old - Fossil Grove is one of the most famous in-situ carboniferous forest examples in the world!
If you're looking for something to entertain the kids, a visit Tollcross Park in the East End of the city is perfect. Complete with a children's farm within the courtyard complex, you'll be able to visit a number of farmyard animals alongside peacocks, goats, love birds, llamas, and more. Also located within Tollcross Park is the internationally renowned rose garden, with a staggering 240 varieties of rose all arranged in the perfect shape of a rosebud.
Found on the south side of Glasgow is Queen's Park. With incredible views of the city from the flagpole, you'll be able to see the Campsie Fells and Ben Lomond on a clear day. The park also features also a flourishing rose garden.