In Glasgow, we are spoilt for choice as Scotland's stunning scenery seeps into the city in rolling hills, expansive country parks and woodland walks. With over 90 parks and gardens, it is no wonder that Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place.
So whether you’re going for a walk, to exercise or for a cycle - Glasgow's green expansive spaces has got you covered! Here are our picks of just some of the top parks and greens spaces in each of Glasgow's neighbourhoods.
Parks in Glasgow city centre
A stone's throw away from the city centre is the historic Glasgow Green. In the city’s oldest park, you'll find the spectacular Doulton Fountain, the largest terracotta fountain in the world, and the beautiful McLennan Arch. Also set within this expansive park is the People’s Palace, a museum that is dedicated to the social history of Glasgow and its people (currently closed). 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. Find out more about visiting Glasgow Green and what you can enjoy there.
Park's in the west of Glasgow
Kelvingrove Park is a classic example of a Victorian park, set on the banks of the River Kelvin. Two of the city's most magnificent buildings stand proudly at either side of the park, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and the University of Glasgow. The park also boasts the open-air arts venue Kelvingrove Bandstand and Amphitheatre, two play parks and a skatepark. Find out more about Kelvingrove Park here.
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 being 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. Find out more about the Botanic Gardens here.
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 fossilized 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. Find out more about Victoria Park here.
Parks in the south of Glasgow
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 south 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. For details on heritage trails visit Glasgow City Council's Queen's Park page.
Pollok Country Park
The largest park in Glasgow is south of the River Clyde, with over 146 hectares of woodland and gardens and 11km of tarmacked woodland paths, gardens and trails. Standing in the middle of the award-winning Pollok Country Park, you would never believe you were only three miles from the city centre! Pollok Country Park is home to woodland walks, cycle tracks, Heritage Trails, as well as lots of activities for little explorers, including a fairy trail and the chance to see Highland Cows. The stunning country manor, Pollok House is surrounded by beautiful grounds and overlooks an idyllic river scene. The world-famous Burrell Collection is currently undergoing a multi-million-pound refurbishment. Find out plans for transforming Pollok Country Park into a world-class civic destination here.
The second-largest park in Glasgow, Linn Park offers bountiful space for tranquil woodland and riverside walks - more details on what this expansive park offers can be found here. 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, it's no surprise that 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 too. Find out how to get to Cathkin Braes Country Park here.
Parks in the east of Glasgow
15 hectares of woodland park has been transformed into a fantastic park as part of the Legacy 2014 project. Called Cuningar Loop, the city's newest park has three miles of pathed walkways, public art and sculptures, which represent the transformation of this area from derelict land to thriving community woodland - find out more about the multi-activity Cunnigar Loop here.
The Necropolis is a Victorian garden cemetery which is brimming with history and varying architectural styles - you can find out more on the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis website. From the top of the cemetary, you can savour the picture-perfect views, particularly of the impressive Glasgow Cathedral, which is the oldest surviving medieval cathedral on mainland Scotland.
Although not necessarily a park or garden, the Forth and Clyde Canal in the north of the city offers green space for a waterside stroll. Along the way, stop to admire the exterior of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh designed Queen’s Cross Church, as well as the Georgian style buildings that were previously the industrial heart of the area. The canal is the perfect place for a walk or cycle and for wildlife spotting - lookout for grey herons, kingfishers, beavers and otters, as well as a rich abundance of flora and fauna. Amazingly, this urban oasis is only five minutes from the bustling city centre. Visit the Scottish Canals website for details on trails, wildlife, boating and more at the Forth and Clyde Canal.