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It's that time of year when the Dear Green Place changes into a glow of autumn colours. From wildlife spotting on canalside strolls to family-friendly exploring in country parks, check out our pick of five of the best city walks at this glorious time of year.
Glasgow has many locations that are perfect for a breathtaking view of the city. For a scene that captures the city’s historical significance and abundance of greenery (made golden in the autumn), head to the top of the Glasgow Necropolis. Equal parts dramatic and scenic, wind your way along the pathway through this beautiful garden cemetery before reaching the top where panoramic views show just why Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place. The cracking view, particularly stunning at sunset, includes the medieval masterpiece that is the Glasgow Cathedral in the foreground. Afterwards, head down High Street for a takeaway treat from one of the stylish Merchant City cafes, such as Wilson Street Pantry (follow their Facebook page for updates).
2. Family-friendly excursions in an expansive city park
There is nowhere quite like Pollok Country Park for feeling surrounded by the beauty of the Scottish countryside whilst within the city. This family-friendly park is ideal for little explorers - just remember your wellies! As Glasgow's largest park, at over 146 hectares, you could spend the whole day getting pleasantly lost and exploring the woodland trails. Enter via Pollok Avenue and then veer off following the White Cart Water, which will bring you by stunning beds of autumn-flowering dahlias, stables and a fairy trail before reaching the picture-perfect country manor Pollok House. Enjoy the river scene and ever-green maze and don't forget to head along Pollok Avenue to see the herd of Highland Cows, looking quite at home with their ginger hair against the orange leafy backdrop.
The River Clyde is one of the best spots to see Glasgow's evolution through the ages. Famed for its proud shipbuilding past, the River Clyde is now home to many of the city’s most modern buildings. Check out Glasgow’s Clyde Bridges Heritage Trail for an excellent route zig-zagging across the River Clyde and taking in 21 bridges in less than four miles. Starting at the Millennium Bridge, situated beside the futuristic Glasgow Science Centre and The SSE Hydro, the walk takes in the engineering feats of an innovative city and the various styles from different eras. The tree-lined paths are extra stunning at this time of year as the autumn leaves reflect in the river. The route draws to a close at the city’s oldest park, Glasgow Green, or you can continue towards Rutherglen and Dalmarnock.
Two of the city’s most beautiful parks, stunning architecture and one of the UK’s coolest neighbourhoods are all joined in one easy riverside walk! Starting in Kelvingrove Park, you can view two of the city's most iconic buildings, the University of Glasgow and Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, both looking grander than ever surrounded by autumnal trees. Follow the leafy Kelvin Walkway along the River Kelvin, which takes you past Kelvinbridge (one of only four UK neighbourhoods to make it into Time Out’s Top 50 coolest places to live in the world, 2019) and enjoy takeaway from one of the cool cafes, such as Cottonrake Bakery (check their website for opening hours). Once at the Botanic Gardens, you can enjoy the tree trail, ablaze with autumnal colours, or choose to continue along the Kelvin Walkway, which goes towards Maryhill Locks and beyond.
Just five minutes from the city centre is the Forth and Clyde Canal. Very much a hidden gem within Glasgow's north neighbourhood, the canal offers the chance for short or long walks along tranquil green corridors. Enjoy a stroll as barge boats and bicycles pass by and take the time to spot the wildlife of the city canal, home to kingfishers, beavers and otters. For ideas on which wildlife to look out for and for information on canal trails visit the Scottish Canals website.