14 Of The Best Parks and Gardens In Glasgow To Get You Back To Nature

Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd Alice Lorenzato-Lloyd - Staff Writer


Fancy some fresh air or exploring somewhere new not far from the city? Whether you’re looking for a Sunday stroll route or you want to drag yourself around somewhere a bit more scenic, then head to these green parks and gardens in and around Glasgow.

1. Kelvingrove Park

kelvingrove museum and gallery glasgow
Credit: Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery

You can find this park in Glasgow’s trendy West End area, which is full of quirky and unique pubs, cafés and restaurants, plus you have the University of Glasgow right near it. Study break anyone? Located on the river Kelvin and bordering the famous Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, the 85-acre park has been around since 1852. It used to be an empty woodland estate before being transformed into a gorgeous green space by gardener, architect and MP, Sir Joseph Paxton, who also designed Crystal Palace in south London. There are plenty of things for you to see and do during a stroll around Kelvingrove Park as it includes a skate park, a bowling and croquet green and a number of interesting monuments.

6 Professors’ Square, G3 6BY

2. Rouken Glen Park

rouken glen the boathouse cafe
Credit: Rouken Glen Boathouse

This 58-acre park in the very heart of the city’s South Side is great for all ages. Rouken Glen Park was awarded Green Flag status,  so it is  a hub of wildlife, plants and greenery, and is a great place to chill and escape Scotland’s most densely populated city. Follow the winding pathways and you’ll discover a beautiful waterfall, so you can really feel zen. You won’t be stuck for things to do at Rouken Glen. Why not stroll around the pond and feed the ducks there? Or even rollerblade across the skate park? There is also outdoor gym equipment including elliptical trainers and weights, and you can even join one of the park’s various running clubs. The recently renovated Boathouse Café is an absolute must-visit whilst visiting Rouken Glen Park, where you can grab a bite to eat or sip a coffee whilst looking out at the tranquil pond.

Rouken Glen Park, Rouken Glen Road, Giffnock, G46 7UG

3. Linn Park

Credit: My Parks Scotland

Linn Park is one of the largest parks in the city, stretching over 82 acres of lush greenery and is open all year round. Go for a walk, jog and picnic here in the summer months, and in the winter, this park is great for snowy walks and sledging. The park has an 18-hole golf course, two children’s playgrounds and multiple historic bridges stretching over the stream, plus there is an array of flora, fauna and waterfalls dotted around the park. For all you horse riders and animal lovers out there, Linn Park has a charitable equestrian centre, which offers affordable lessons for the public and you can even go on a hack around the park.

Linn Park, G44 5TA

4. Alexandra Park

Credit: My Parks Scotland

Located in Glasgow’s East End, this immaculately kept and well laid out park was officially opened in 1870. This park is a perfect picnic spot with its many benches and spaces available- also great for social distancing during the current climate. There also plenty paths to follow around the park and if you’re feeling adventurous you can head up past two historical fountains towards Alexandra Park’s highest point, where you can see stunning views of Ben Lomond. You can also take advantage of the park’s golf course, orienteering track, children’s playgrounds and bowling green.

10 Sannox Gardens, Dennistoun, G31 8SE

5. James Hamilton Heritage Park

visit scotland james hamilton heritage park lake
Credit: Visit Scotland

This activity centre in East Kilbride, south of Glasgow, makes for the perfect day. It’s got the seal of approval from Visit Scotland with its 4 star accreditation so it is definitely up there as one of the best parks. It features a 16-acre loch, which provides beautiful and tranquil surroundings for an exciting range of water sports, including windsurfing, power-boating, kayaking and open water swimming. If you don’t fancy getting wet you can always enjoy a stroll around the loch and visit the 15th century Main’s Castle located on its banks. There is also Gracie’s on the Loch Café which is a perfect place to enjoy a  coffee and slice of cake with breathtaking views across the loch.

Stewartfield Way, East Kilbride, G74 5LB

6. Glasgow Botanic Gardens

glasgow botanic gardens
Credit: My Parks Scotland

A well-known landmark in the city, The Glasgow Botanic Gardens were founded in 1817 by botanist, Thomas Hopkirk. If you’re potty about plants, these gardens boast over 3000 plants, including vegetables, across the 27-acre space as well as Victorian cast-iron glasshouses. The most notable glasshouse is the Kibble Palace, which contains a number of ornate statues and exotic plants. The botanic gardens are also a concert venue, hosting musical events such as the West End Festival.

730 Great Western Road,  G12 0UE

7. Mugdock Country Park

mugdock country park
Credit: Mugdock Country Park

In the north of Glasgow lies Mugdock Country Park, which is made up of  270 hectares of woodland, moorland and heathland and is connected by a network of paths making it the perfect site for walking, cycling, orienteering and hiking. It also has a loch, 2 castles, a stables complex and walled garden. The visitors centre contains a café and shop where visitors can buy local artwork, sewing and pottery goods.

Craigallian Road, Milngavie, G62 8EL

8. Auchinlea Park

Credit: My Parks Scotland

Auchinlea Park is located on the outskirts of Glasgow’s East End, with its main attractions being Provanhall House and Blochairn House, two listed 15th century buildings. It’s also one of the parks in the area with a lot of spooky history. If you are feeling brave enough to enter former hunting lodge, Provanhall House, you can discover the ghost stories about the manor, or if Halloween is enough spookiness for you, steer clear by walking through the pretty garden grounds. There is a pond that you can plod around and south of the park is Glasgow Fort Shopping Centre, if you need a bit of retail therapy after all the creepy house stories. The shopping centre offers a number of restaurants and cafes to grab a bite to eat at.

Auchinlea Way, G34 9NJ

Best of the rest

Here are a few more parks, which are all Parkrun venues. You can still take a wander round or a jog at your own free will these parks, but unfortunately Parkrun is not back up and running just yet.

9. Victoria Park –G14 9RN

10. Springburn Park –Broomfield Road, G21 3UQ

11. Ruchill Park –Ruchill Street, G20 9NY

12. Pollock Country Park –2060 Pollokshaws Road, Bellahouston, G43 1AT

13. Queen’s Park –Langside Road, G42 9QL

14. Tollcross Park -254B Wellshot Road, G32 7AX

Wellness & Nature