My Top 3 Green Places Near Glasgow to visit in Summer
As someone who grew up in the South Wales Valleys surrounded by luscious green hills, picturesque villages, quaint castles, and the occasional dragon, I was somewhat reluctant to move to Glasgow. In my mind, Glasgow represented the big bad city painted in dull greyscale that contrasted the vibrant and colourful outdoors I was accustomed to. But I’m happy to say I was wrong, very wrong! Glasgow is an industrial city, but there are so many amazing green spaces and idyllic sites to visit both within the vicinity of the city center and just a short journey further afield. With the weather getting warmer and several reports of a giant yellow ball appearing in the sky, it’s the perfect time to get out and explore some of these amazing places. Here’s a few of my favourite places you may wish to consider.
Pollock Country Park
Pollock Country Park is a personal favourite of mine to visit in the Summertime. This 360-acre park is home to Pollock House, an 18th century country mansion that you can tour and take a glimpse into the past as you view original artwork, furniture, silverware etc. The park is also home to the Burrell Collection, an art gallery that displays various paintings, pottery, tapestries and medieval arms and armour collected by Sir William Burrell (Sadly, this is currently closed for renovation). The park also contains a stable, a water-driven sawmill and as you might expect with any 360-acre estate, an extensive woodland with various walking trails for you to explore. If you’re looking for something a little less strenuous then there are plenty of open spaces for you to relax on the grass or a bench and just enjoy being outdoors. There’s a large playing field just in front of the Burrell Collection Gallery and on warm summer days you’ll often see various groups of friends and families soaking up the sun, playing games and enjoying picnics and BBQs. The best part about Pollock Country Park is that its just 4 miles south of the city center and can easily be reached by car or by train so its perfect to visit on a warm weekday evening or take a little more time and explore for the day over the weekend.
Luss (Loch Lomond)
While there are many places to visit around Loch Lomond (and the larger Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park area), the small picturesque village of Luss has become place that I often visit in the summertime, both with my own family and with others who may be visiting with us. It’s a little further afield of Glasgow but not too far being only 10 miles from Balloch. You can easily reach Luss by car but perhaps a more exciting way is to catch the train to Balloch and then hop on a water taxi across the loch and on to Luss (or several other places if you wish). If there’s one thing Luss has in spades, it’s amazing scenery, from its small idyllic cottages, to its gothic 7th century graveyard and not forgetting its breathtaking views of the loch and Ben Lomond from atop Luss pier. This small conservation village also features a small beach on the edge of the loch, perfect for dipping your toes on a hot summer’s day. If you want to explore further afield, there are various trails that wander through the village and surrounding countryside so you can become better acquainted with this small haven tucked away on the edge of the loch.
Mugdock Country Park
The first time I visited Mugdock Country Park, it was a bit of a mixed bag. The downside to our day at the park was that I got myself, my wife and our year old toddler lost and it felt like we pretty much ended up walking the entire length of the park. The upside was, I got us lost and we got to wander and explore this breathtaking natural beauty! Boasting around 660-acres of woodland, moorland and heathland, Mugdock Country park is just begging to be explored! Not only does the park provide breathtaking views of Glasgow’s countryside, it is rich in history and heritage and provides a glimpse into life from various past ages. Sites across the park include a bronze age farm, a 14th century castle, a Victorian garden and a second world war gun site, to name a few. Once you’ve had your fill of history, there are also various cafes, shops and a visitor’s center for you to visit and perhaps enjoy a well-earned afternoon tea. The park also offers a variety of activities for adults and children, including archery, crafts, orienteering and various workshops led by the friendly ranger staff. While you may think such a place is out on the wild Glaswegian frontier, the truth is, Mugdock Country Park is just 10 miles from Glasgow city centre, being just a little north of Milngavie.
So that’s a few of my favourite green places near Glasgow to visit in the summer. Of course, there are plenty of other amazing green spaces and the Botanic Gardens, Kelvingrove Park and the City Centres own Glasgow Green definitely deserve a mention. What are some of your favourite green places to visit? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @UofG_PGRblog.