We visited Glasgow in 2010, but the purpose of that visit was to ride the West Highland Line, so we did not get to see much of the city. We did walk from our downtown hotel near Sauchiehall Street to find a well-known Scottish restaurant, Stravaigin, in the Kelvingrove neighborhood. When we decided to go to Glasgow in 2018, we decided to stay in that area. It’s a lively place, with lots of shops and places to eat along the main thoroughfares of Great Western Road and Byres Road. The area also features footpaths along the River Kelvin, the University of Glasgow, and the Glasgow Botanical Gardens. It is not far from the center of Glasgow, and you can get downtown very quickly on the city’s compact subway system, the SPT (Strathclyde Public Transport) Subway, which is locally known as “A Clockwork Orange” for the SPT’s orange branding and because the system is a single line which runs in a circuit around central Glasgow.
After taking a walk around the Necropolis we walked back downtown and I hopped on a commuter train from Glasgow Central. Less than 15 minutes later I was at my destination at Cathkin Park, across the road from the Crosshill railway station. I first learned about Cathkin Park on Atlas Obscura. Today it is a public park, but it was once the home ground of the Third Lanark football club. I was interested in seeing it not only because it is an “abandoned” football ground, but because it represents a throwback to when spectators watched the game from “the terraces,” which were really just tiered mounds of earth that where the crowd stood. People still play there today, and as I was leaving a man with a boy started kicking a ball around.
I headed west back towards Pollokshaws Road, passing through the north side of Queens Park, a very nice neighborhood of large “tenements” and homes of blonde sandstone. My destination was The Allison Arms, a local pub with a wide selection of bottled and canned beers. On the way I stopped in The Regent, another local pub on the same block. Before long it was time to catch a train back to Glasgow Central, so I walked a block or two east to the Queens Park railway station. I found the layout of this station quite unique: two tracks of railway line run below street level in a cut, and the platform for Queens Park station sits between the two tracks. Passengers enter and exit the station by walking down staircases from the street that basically leave them in a no-man’s land between the active tracks, although there is a fence between you and the trains. It was probably built at a time when safety wasn’t the first consideration. (Crosshill, where I got off for Cathkin Park, was only one stop down the line, and also had the platform between the two tracks, but the stairs connecting it to the street were much more conventional.) Perhaps I am not the only person who noticed the unique design, as Queens Park station is listed with Historic Environment Scotland.
- The Ubiquitous Chip: A Glasgow institution, serving traditional (and not so traditional) takes on Scottish cuisine, with much of the produce, meat, and seafood sourced from Scotland.
- Loop & Scoop: This place was selling churros and gelato and it was good.
- Glasgow Botanic Garden: Founded in 1817 and located on this site along Great Western Road since 1842, the gardens are free to the public and it’s a nice place for a quick walk or shortcut through the neighborhood even if you are not into flowers.
- The Sixty Steps: An interesting neighborhood feature near the Botanic Gardens on the opposite side of the River Kevlin. Now I am typing this I realize I did not actually walk up the steps themselves and only took a picture…
- Pollokshaws Road: A lively strip on the south side of Glasgow that cuts through the Govanhill, Strathbungo, and Queens Park neighborhoods, with plenty of pubs, cafes, restaurants, and more.