“Walking shares with making and working that crucial element of engagement of the body and the mind with the world, of knowing the world through the body and the body through the world.”
Rebecca Solnit’s thought-provoking exploration of the everyday act of walking in Wanderlust examines how we are slowly becoming detached from ourselves as a result of our increasingly limited wanderings, perambulations and strolls.
And yet, just an hour’s walk from the centre of Glasgow (or half an hour by train) you can find Pollok Country Park, where walkers of all ages are able to lose themselves and escape the city grind.
The country park—originally the ancestral home to the Maxwell family for over seven centuries—is over 360 acres in size, making it Glasgow’s largest. Within its boundaries you’ll find a walled garden, originally used as a kitchen garden and orchard, and the woodland garden, where many Rhododendron cultivars and other species can be enjoyed.
Also on the grounds you can spot the Old Stable Courtyard and Sawmill, Highland cattle, a wildlife garden, and an orienteering course. (Maps can be purchased from the Manager’s Office, just 100m west of the Burrell Collection entrance.)
The country park is an invitation to all people to laze the day away; to spend hours watching and seeing, walking and thinking about nothing and everything.
To see as much as you can in about two hours, wander the Heritage Trail, which begins at Pollok House. But I’d wait for drier weather, unless you’re not afraid of getting a bit muddy.
Pollok Country Park is currently undergoing a transformation in consultation with local community groups, which hopes to increase the park’s popularity and usage among Glaswegians. Increased public transportation, as well as making the park more accessible to pedestrians and cyclists while decreasing the number of vehicles passing through, is likely to see visitor numbers soar in the coming years.
So, if getting lost in nature is your cup of tea, or the mix of sandstone, concrete and steel of modern-day Glasgow is becoming too much to bear, then step out into Pollok Park, where a day wandering about is sure to sync up your body and mind. More info here.
Please note that the eclectic collection of art and antiques by shipping magnate Sir William Burrell is currently closed as it is undergoing refurbishment. However, it is expected to reopen in March 2022.