Many of us are still trying to keep up with our New Year resolutions to get into the great outdoors and walk more.
Here, we present 10 good walks in the Glasgow area that will get your heart rate up, should you want to tackle them at a brisk pace, but also many of these provide a good relaxing stroll should you just want to get out and enjoy some fresh air.
1. Cathkin Braes. Located in south east Glasgow, this country park boasts some of the highest points in the city, with some areas at a height of 200m. It’s situated to the south of Castlemilk with Carmunnock to the east, and there are a number of walking trails along woodland, grassland and scrub. If you don’t fancy walking, there’s also the option of cycling – since being used for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the cycle path is easy to use and in excellent condition. Panoramic views of the whole city and the rolling hills in the distance are waiting at the top, and if you want to carry on your trails, Linn Park is less than a mile away. Walking time- 1.2-2.5 hours.
2. Rouken Glen Park, Giffnock. This leafy suburban park is a family favourite and the most popular park in East Renfrewshire. Make your way around Rouken Glen’s 143 acres by exploring the glen with its famous waterfall and padlock bridge, taking a walk around the pond or taking your dog for a run around the many open spaces. There is entertainment around every corner, whether it be an interesting fact about the forest, or the outdoor gym where you can show off your fitness skills. For the kids, there’s a large play area that’s bound to keep them occupied for hours, as well as two cafes where you can get a well-earned coffee and a cake at the end of the day. Walking time- 1-3 hours depending on what you want to do
3. Glasgow Necropolis. The Glasgow Necropolis is situated near the Glasgow medieval cathedral and sits on top of the second highest hill in the city. Here, you have the opportunity to see a more eerie side to Glasgow, as it is the resting place of over 50,000 people. Stunning and intricate Gothic Victorian headstones are everywhere to be seen, and they create a spooky atmosphere that you don’t expect to feel within walking distance of the city centre. As well as being able to take in hundreds of years of history, this walk offers fantastic views of the city centre and beyond, and is great for an unconventional and fascinating day out. Walking time- 1.5-2 hours
4. Pollok Park. This south side gem is steeped in Scottish history. It was in Pollok House that Sir John Stirling Maxwell sat down at a meeting in 1931 that would lead to the creation of the National Trust, and the park area surrounding the House is every bit as interesting as what is inside. There are over 360 acres of open countryside and woodland as well as stunning and well-kept gardens, ponds, mazes and an adventure park. This is the perfect walk for the people who aren’t best keen on walking- it’s not muddy or difficult, it’s easily accessible for wheelchairs and has loads to keep kids entertained. Unfortunately the neighbouring Burrell Collection is closed for refurbishment until 2020, but many of the rooms in Pollok House are open for all your historical needs. Walking time- 1-2 hours.
5. Greenbank Gardens. Tucked away behind Clarkston in the south side of Glasgow, this quiet nature reserve is one of Glasgow’s best-kept secrets. Built for merchant Robert Allason in the 1760s, this walled garden is home to an impressive 3,600 species of plants and has been owned by the National Trust since 1976. The garden is split into different ‘rooms’, laid out to inspire gardeners that visit, and once you’ve made your way around it all, you can relax in front of the tranquil water feature. At 2.5 acres, it may not be the largest of parks in Glasgow but it’s certainly one of the prettiest, and the surrounding area of open countryside offers an extra 15 acres and a woodland walk. Walking time- 1 hour.
6. Queens Park. This park nestled in Shawlands is constantly full of people strolling, walking their dogs or going for a jog, and the fact that it’s minutes away from the lively Kilmarnock Road only adds to its convenience. Visitors are drawn in by the two ponds at the entrance that are full of swans and seagulls, and there are a huge number of activities for people of all ages such as tennis, bowls and 5-a-side football. Picnic tables are dotted about, or there is a lovely café if you’d prefer. Throw in a beautiful glasshouse filled with tropical plants and a reptile enclosure and you’ve got a fabulous day out that is easy to get to by bus or train from the city centre. Walking time- 2 hours
7. Gleniffer Braes. This large country park is located just south of Paisley, a few miles from Glasgow city centre. It has some of the most scenic views in the city of areas such as the Clyde Valley, and there are miles of trails to embark upon through woodland and moorland. It serves as the perfect escape from Paisley’s bustling centre and is a favourite with everyone, from cyclists to dog walkers, however do be mindful of the sheep and cows whilst letting your dog off the leash. The Braes are also of geological interest, as they are situated on the edge of the Clyde plateau levels, and you can also visit the Gleniffer gorge which can be up to 50 feet deep in places. Walking time- 1.5-2 hours.
8. Mugdock Park. This family-friendly country park in Milngavie is the ideal place for a lazy Sunday stroll. Pick up a guide from the visitor centre and work your way around several interesting historical sites, such as castle ruins and remains of Second World War equipment. Walking trails can be adapted depending on how long you want to wander for, and there are bikes available for rental and clearly marked paths if you want to cycle round the loch or the walled garden. Afterwards, there are two popular cafes to choose from and a BBQ site if you manage to come on a warm day. There’s even a gift shop selling various plants and unique treasures handmade by locals. Walking time- 1.5-2 hours.
9. Mural Trail. Prepare to see a very different kind of splendour on this fun and quirky walk. The Mural Trail was created by the City Centre Regeneration team and celebrates the concept of street art. These vibrant paintings breathe life into some of the less attractive areas of the city and transform drab, disused buildings into amazing spaces that are at home on any artsy Instagram account. There are guided tours that you can partake in, but if you’d rather make your way around them alone, there are maps online you can use to find each one. Some of the best-loved murals include one of Billy Connolly designed by Jack Vettriano as part of the Big Yin’s 75thbirthday celebrations, and a giant panda. Walking time- 3 hours.
10. Botanic Gardens. This peaceful spot in the West End of Glasgow is best enjoyed on a lazy summers’ day. Situated alongside the River Kelvin, the impressive Kibble Palace is home to many exotic and carnivorous plants, and is highly fascinating to explore again and again. There are also several outdoor gardens to wander around, and if the weather is right, the sloping hills overlooking Great Western Road are the perfect place to stop for a picnic. This place is the epitome of tranquillity in a busy and bustling city and is the ideal place to escape to for a while if you are feeling stressed. Walking time- 2 hours.