Bellahouston Park

bellahouston-park-glasgowTel:  0141 287 5108

Admission:  Free

Opening Hours:  Bellahouston Park is open from dawn till dusk daily however the specific facilities within the park are subject to opening times.

Boasting formal gardens and open parkland in which to relax and take in some wonderful views of Glasgow, this extensive park has many features and facilities to tempt visitors to its grounds.  Quiet contemplation can also be had at the House for an Art Lover, and for the more active and adventurous there are extensive sports facilities, including a ski centre.

Bellahouston Park is a park in south west Glasgow, between the areas of Mosspark, Craigton, Ibrox, and Dumbreck.  It is based around Ibrox hill in the centre, with commanding views over most of the city.  Notable views include that of Ballageich hill, rising to 1,084 feet (330 m) on the southern horizon in East Renfrewshire.

History

Until the late 19th century, Bellahouston Park consisted of farmland as part of the Maxwell Estate, which also included much of the surrounding areas including Maxwell Park, Pollok Country Park, Pollok House and Haggs Castle, and also housed a riding school.

The main part of the park was acquired by GLasgow City in 1895 for the sum of £50,000, and opened to the public in 1896.  As Glasgow expanded, Bellahouston Park was surrounded to the west, south and east by housing and to the north by the “White City” stadium, built in 1928, which hosted greyhound and speedway racing (located close to Rangers’ stadium at Ibrox).  This site is now the M8 motorway and Glasgow G-Division Police Headquarters.

The park was extended in 1901 by the addition of a part of Dumbreck Lands purchased for the sum of £2,824 from Sir John Maxwell, Bart.  A further addition was made in 1903 by including the lands of Ibroxhill at a cost of £40,222.

The park has been used as a location for public events for many years, including the Empire Exhibition in 1938.  This event was attented by 12 .5 million people.  Despite this, the exhibition made a loss of £130,000.  Today, of the 200 palaces and pavilions that were built for the exhibition only the Palace of Art remains – it now serves as a Sports Excellence Centre.  A stone Peace Cairn built for the exhibition is still visible from the rock garden.  The Tait Tower was built on a hill in the park as part of the 1938 exhibition but was demolished on the outbreak of World War II.

In 1982 the park was the venue for the visit of Pope John Paul II which attracted 280,000 people and part of the ceremonial platform still remains.  In addition to many Scottish Pipe Band competitions, a visit by Billy Graham the evangelist later in the 1980s, and more recently a Coldplay concert in summer 2005.  A monument in the form of a large inscribed granite stone commemorating the 1938 Empire Exhibition currently overlooks Bellahouston Sports Centre and was unveiled by King George VI on 9 July 1937 but was subsequently relocated to where it stands today.  Long distance races, such as the Glasgow Marathon and Half Marathon pass through the park, although events to the south were restricted in the 1990’s when subsidence into old mine workings resulted in some depressions in the park surface.

Features

  • House for an Art Lover: It was in 1901 that Charles Rennie Mackintosh and his wife Margaret entered a competition set by a German design magazine to design a ‘House for an Art Lover’.  Whilst the Mackintoshs’ entry was disqualified from the competition, the spirit and tenacity of consulting engineer, Graham Roxburgh,
    led to the building of the House.  Visitors can now see the Main Hall, Dining Room, Music Room, Oval Room and the newly added Margaret MacDonald Room that earned Mackintosh European respect.
  • Walled Garden:  The garden was the original kitchen garden for Ibrox Hill House and was acquired in 1905. It is laid out as a centre for horticultural excellence displaying a wide variety of herbaceous, annual, perennial plants and the “Peter Barr” bulb and fern collection.  The centre walk has the Trial Sweet Peas which are organised annually by the Scottish Sweet Pea, Rose and Carnation Society.
  • Ibroxhill:  Clothed in Rhododendrons and underplanted with a vivid display of spring daffodils, Ibroxhill affords views over much of the city and as far as Ben Lomond on a clear day.
  • Sunken Garden:  Originally the basement for Dumbreck House the garden dates back to 1860. The original entrance tunnel is still in use today leading visitors into the formally laid out garden which was
    refurbished in 2005.

Facilities

The park is patrolled regularly by the Ranger Service and has a wide variety of facilities to suit all age groups.

  • Paths:  An extensive network of asphalt footpaths, which are suitable for walking, cycling as well as wheelchair and pram access
  • Three Play Areas
  • Horseshoe Garden
  • Monument for the Empire Exhibition
  • Popes Wall
  • Portico Entrance
  • Empire Exhibition Commemorative Cairn
  • Public toilets:  Present in Bellahouston Leisure Centre, Bowling Green and House for an Art Lover
  • Public telephones:  Present in Bellahouston Leisure Centre, House for an Art Lover and on both Paisley Rd West and Mosspark Boulevard.

Sports facilities

  • Cycling Activity Centre
  • Two Bowling Greens:  These are seasonal facilities and are subject to opening times.
  • 18 Hole Pitch and Putt Course:  These are seasonal facilities and are subject to opening times.  Pitch and putt equipment can be obtained at the Bowling Green area.
  • Orienteering Course
  • Bellahouston Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool
  • An “All Weather” Hockey Pitch
  • An “All Weather” Running Track

Getting to Bellahouston Park View location on map

  • By rail:  Trains travel from Central Station to Dumbreck Railway Station, which is a 5-minute walk from the park
  • By bus:  Various routes operate from the city centre to Paisley road West and Moss Park Boulevard
  • By car:  The park is located adjacent to Junction 23 and 24 Exits of the M8 motorway and car parking is available at The House for an Art Lover off Dumbreck Road and at Bellahouston Sports Centre off Bellahouston Drive (all car parks have lighting).
  • By foot:  Access points available from Dumbreck Road, Paisley Road West, Bellahouston Drive and Mosspark Boulevard.
  • By bike:  The park forms part of the Glasgow to Irvine and Ardrossan Cycle Route (Number 75)
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