OK, so maybe the prospect of hanging out in a totally massive graveyard in central Glasgow isn’t initially appealing (unless you’re into Marilyn Manson or like to pretend you’re a vampire) but the Glasgow Necropolis is truly beautiful.
Situated on a low hill just east of the city centre, the impressive main entrance is across a bridge from St. Mungo’s Cathedral, which became known as the ‘Bridge of Sighs’, as it was part of the usual funeral procession route into the cemetery. The Necropolis was established in 1833, and is a well-preserved portrait of Victorian Glasgow. Paths wind up the hill past some beautiful old gravestones to the top, and from the peak, one gets a great panorama of the city.
There are plenty of other impressive pieces of stonework to be seen, but the coolest thing about the Necropolis is that you’re given some much needed breathing space in the midst of busy Glasgow. For those who are really keen, there are a number of dates on which ‘Walking Tours’ of the Necropolis are available, and further details on these can be found at http://www.glasgownecropolis.org. The Necropolis is honestly not as weird to hang about in as you might expect. Just try not to be there when the zombie apocalypse hits. [AB]
Built in the 19th Century, the big, impressive-looking greenhouse near the main entrance was restored in recent years from its original timber frame to a longer-lasting steel one.
The gardens are a beautiful spot in which to relax on a sunny day, although it may be difficult to find a patch of grass that isn’t covered with sunbathers. on a rainy day, pop into the Glasshouses and check out the fantastic array of unusual tropical plants.
The gardens are open daily from 7:00 am till dusk; however the Glasshouses are only open from 10:00am-6:00pm. A recently renovated café has a whole host of snacks at reasonable prices. The Gardens are a great place for a jog, with many paths to choose. Summer flowers, in full bloom, make the run even more beautiful.
Futhermore, there’s a kids play park and also a vegetable garden which kids can go and help plant. Take a look at the noticeboard at the Byres Road entrance to see whether any of their summer activities interest you. If you have nothing to do on a summer’s day, go and play some Frisbee or just past the time by lounging in the sun. [MB]
Ruthven Lane and Mews
Go to Ruthven Lane for a wander about with a couple of hours to kill and come out twenty pounds lighter – leaving with a stuffed otter, a collection of old Boney M LPs,
and a hat made entirely of yellow felt – feeling like the trendiest guy on campus.
Hidden away just off Byres Road, Ruthven Lane is Ashton Lane’s eccentric older cousin: furnishing your flat, revolutionising your vintage wardrobe and creating a rare-book or vinyl collection to the envy of any lecturer, uber-geek or literary fascist. Don’t go to Ruthven Lane with a shopping list – go with a tenner in your wallet and an open mind. Visit places like Relics Junk Shop, City Centre Comics, Starry Starry Night, Play It Again Records, or Circa Vintage. Then have lunch in Stravaigin 2, the Bothy or DiMaggio’s.
As I ambled through, I found myself buying a cheap acoustic guitar, a Complete Aerial History of the Gulf War, and an Oor Wullie annual from the 1970s. I have no need for such items, but love them nonetheless. Cobbled, drafty and a bit backwards – Ruthven Lane is a hive of interesting shops and hipster vintage fun. [SI]
The name Glasgow comes from the Gaelic Glaschu, dear green place. The city is infamous as a place of urban gritty industrial glory, but a lot of grass is hidden amongst the sandstone and iron.
If you’re in the West End, you’ll have probably come across the Botanic Gardens and Kelvingrove Park already, but travel a little further afield and you will be rewarded. Alexandra Parade Park (easily accessible by train and bus from Old Dumbarton Road) is a real gem just east of the city centre. It boasts a beautifully restored iron fountain from the 1901 International Exhibition, a 9 hole golf course, and stunning views of Ben Lomond and the Tinto Hills from the highest point of the park.
Another of the East End’s chlorophyll heavy treasures is Glasgow Green. This park hosts a great kids’ play park as well as the People’s Palace. The Palace was founded with the explicit intention of documenting the lives of ordinary people, rather than your kings and queens. Just across the road, inside the gorgeous Templeton’s Carpet Factory, you can find the West Brewery – a perfect place to wind up your day trip. [NB]
A map of all these places can be found HERE