Even for hill walkers a pleasant excursion here can rescue a day where the hills are shrouded in mist or rain. As the Kelvin walkway in particular is sheltered and almost subterranean in places as it weaves in its green trench below the city streets even in poor weather it can be an enjoyable experience. Although popular with sightseeing tourists, students on bikes and dog walkers, midweek or in winter it can be surprisingly quite. As its in a city however I'd avoid it later in the evenings. It also links up a whole range of attractions listed here.
2. Kelvingrove Park, in which the Museum sits is a large green oasis full of mature trees and statues reflecting Glasgow's sea going and colonial influenced roots. The fact that it covers the slopes of a hill means that it has superb views over much of the city to the green hills and outskirts beyond. The River Kevin and its walkway flow through it.
The nearest subway station on the underground is Kelvinhall, nicknamed by locals the Clockwork Orange as it runs in a circle from the city centre around the West End and the South Side going under the River Clyde. The trains are currently orange but the whole system is in line for a much needed upgrade so they may not stay that colour. Kelvingrove park and Museum is only five minutes walk away from the entrance of this station.
They also give an insight into Byres Road and its distant past. There have been travellers using this route down here since the middle ages. An 1800,s farmhouse sits here(its now a restaurant) giving a glimpse of a time when it was just a pleasant country lane filled with cows and meadows either side leading to Partick Castle. Hence "Byre" where cattle were placed.
The nearby Curlers Pub is also one of the oldest buildings, named after the Curling team that used to play winter games on the flooded quarry in the vicinity, now long gone. Hard to imagine that now on this busy city street. Winters were colder then for longer periods.
Halfway up, Travel a short distance along Highburgh road and you come to Cottier's Theatre in an impressive high spired former church.
Last years summer season had plays, rock operas, children's performances and comedy events.
The Botanic gardens itself has a range of Large glasshouses, filled with the usual Palm trees, giant ferns, cactus gardens and goldfish inhabited ponds. The park has several themed gardens and a range of mature trees.
5. University of Glasgow. The University sits high on its hillside and has 104 listed buildings. You can either take a guided tour around the entire complex for £ 5.00 pounds or wander round some of it yourself. If you get lost ask a student.Well worthwhile.
Both these buildings are open to the public along with several others which I'll not name here. Well worth a visit. A lot of Glaswegians have never been here either assuming its off limits. As long as you behave yourself its not.
6.The Tall Ship. Riverside Museum. Glasgow Harbour.
This is another Andy Scott Sculpture. "Rise". He's based in Maryhill and has works in a number of places throughout the central belt of Scotland and beyond.
Riverside Museum is a recently completed modern building containing the former transport museum exhibits from Kelvin Hall (now a sports venue) and also a couple of reconstructed period streets from Glasgow's past. Very popular. Admission free.
Glasgow harbour is a new build hi rise zone of apartments and riverside penthouses but it does have a nice waterfront promenade. This is The Glasgow to Loch Lomond cycle track running past it.
In the other direction, an equal fifteen minutes walk away from the Riverside Museum is the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, the Clyde Auditorium, The Moat House Hotel and a major new sports venue rising as we speak for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Across the River From The Riverside Museum Lies Govan, The Science centre, Imax theatre, Glasgow sightseeing Tower and Ibrox, all reached by a new ferry link which also goes to the city centre and Braehead for payment of coin. There is a bridge across the river at the Moat Hotel ten minutes walk upstream.
Have I missed anything out? Probably.There,s a lot to do here.
Pedestrian bridges, as I've said, also go across the river at the Moat hotel, perfect for a circular tour of the city on the south side cycle track which is my personal favourite. Near the Imax You can cycle through Festival Park with its man made water course and stream features then along through Cessnock and Polloksheilds on another winding cycle track to flat large Pollok Park for a picnic or lunch stop then visit Bellahouston park on its hill.Return the same way or continue out via Pollok,the White Cart Water past Leverndale (very scenic) then the Renfrew ferry, infamous Clyde tunnel for the brave or the further away Erskine bridge to take you back to your start point. Cycle tracks/walkways also run from here(Riverside Museum) to Glasgow Green along the Clyde. The Kelvin links into the Forth and Clyde canal at Maryhill where you can cycle to Bowling one way then back along the Glasgow-Loch Lomond tarmac ribbon or the other way up past Port Dundas to the city then back to here along the Clyde.
You can also walk along the Kelvin to Maryhill and Bearsden then get a bus back down Maryhill Road or go left and enter Dawsholm Park returning via Anniesland by bus or train. Myriad options available on foot as well. Even if you know Glasgow well the Kelvin walkway for first time visitors can be confusing as it travels below street level most of the way.Only if you are heading off it though I should add not following it.
Even with all the signs for various places dotted at intervals around you sometimes just have to go up to ground level to get any idea of where you are. And how often can you say in the modern world that you are really lost... if only for a short while. A rare feeling which I quite like actually, except if there's a gang following me late at night. This happened only once when I was about 18 and was on my way back from a party at a house. Took a short cut down into here to get to the bus stop as it was just on the other side and the other way round was much longer and disturbed a gang at the bottom of this trench up to no good. Pun intended. It changes at night is all I have to say. Found out I could still run pretty fast even when drunk. My dignity and trousers were still intact back at the house in familiar Pollok once again after legging it along the pitch black floor of this, now grim, canyon with a choice of escaping into either Maryhill's tough Wyndford or Ruchill estates. Happy days.....Fear not. During the day though its a different popular place full of visitors and dog walkers and no sign of night time bum activity.
As a youngster from the leafy suburbs of rural Pollok, however, to see what some city folks got up to of an evening was a real eye opener. .I'm a good boy me. Sheep and girls only... in that order:)
"Collins streetfinder Glasgow" map is the best I,ve found for planning trips as its big scale makes route finding easy. Also for anyone interested "the Friends of Glasgow West" publish an excellent mini series of heritage trails around the west end highlighting the architecture and history of this area. I picked mine up in Hillhead Library but other places should have them also.
Walking in the city. It might just catch on you know.