Explore Glasgow on foot with a guide to the city's walks
Routes through the top green spaces to get away from the crowds during the 2014 Commonwealth Games
With a name derived from Gaelic meaning ‘dear green place’, it’s no wonder that Glasgow is heralded as one of the greenest cities in Europe. It’s dotted with over 70 recreational parks and gardens, so those wishing to explore this city on foot (or bike) have a wealth of choices.
Glasgow’s biggest parkland at 360 acres is Pollok Country Park, a former estate with walled gardens to explore and woodland walks to get lost in. Stop by at the 18th century Pollok House for a snack in the Downton Abbey-style Edwardian Kitchen Restaurant.
The West End’s Kelvingrove Park is Victorian leisure at its best, with ponds, fountains, monuments and great views to the University and Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Saunter around the undulating landscape, taking in the newly renovated Bandstand, or, for a longer walk, carry on north up the Kelvin Walkway as it leaves the park and passes by the Botanic Gardens (pictured).
Established in the 15th century, Glasgow Green is the oldest and biggest green space in the city and the choice for city-wide events from Bonfire Night displays and political protests to the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games 2014. It’s perfect for a thoughtful meander – just as James Watt was doing in 1765 when he figured out improvements to the steam engine that ushered in the industrial revolution.
For those who like things on the level, the Forth and Clyde Canal can be joined via an offshoot just north of the city centre at Port Dundas. It’s a welcome watery artery through the north of the city, well used by locals (who call it the Nolly) for stretching the legs, with Maryhill’s series of locks and viaduct over the River Kelvin a highlight.
Walks around Glasgow can’t avoid the rich heritage of a once great religious and industrial city. For those who like a helping of history, the City Council produce a series of informative Heritage Trails to help explore the fascinating past of this green city.