Kelvingrove, Glasgow, G3
Opening hours: All day, every day. But be sensible about the times you visit the park.
Originally created at the West End Park in 1852, Kelvingrove Park is a classic example of a Victorian Park.
Glasgow’s first area of ‘common land’, used for clothes drying, sheep grazing, concerts, sports and political meetings through the centuries was Glasgow Green, in the heart of the City next to the River Clyde. However, in the 1800’s, the foresighted Town Council of the time noticed the rapid expansion of the city, and purchased large areas of land which until then represented the Kelvingrove and Woodlands estates to be made into public parks. The sum paid for the land was £99,569, the current equivalent of around £8 million.
The first park created was Kelvingrove, and was the first purpose designed and constructed park in Scotland. As one of many Victorian parks created in response to the appalling conditions created by rapid urban growth, resulting from the industrial revolution, it rapidly became a considerable attraction.
Kelvingrove Park was designed by Sir Joseph Paxton, the leading landscape designer of the time and head gardener at Chatsworth House, whose other works include The Crystal Palace in London. He also designed the Crystal Palace in London. Its design and setting on the banks of the River Kelvin enhance and compliment the magnificent buildings which surround it, such as those of Glasgow University, the Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, and Park Circus.
The Kelvingrove Park Heritage Trail comprises 35 points of interest within the park, including many of the features listed below. It will take you approximately 1 hour 30 minutes to follow the Heritage Trail from Kelvingrove Museum to The Kelvinway Bridge. Download the Kelvingrove Park Heritage Trail Map, and for more information about each feature of the trail you can also download the Heritage Trail Leaflet.
- The granite staircase near Park Gardens, 1854
- The Stewart Memorial Fountain, 1872: built to commemorate Lord Provost Robert Stewart (1851-1854) and his achievement of providing the city with fresh water from Loch Katrine.
- The River Kelvin walkway: a peaceful natural haven within a densely populated area of the city, home to a diverse range of wildlife. Some animals to look out for include the Grey Squirrel, Magpie, the Grey Heron, the Cormorant, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbird, Redwing, Carrion Crow, Kingfisher, Mallard (Wild Duck), Goosander, Red Fox and Brown Rat. The river also contains Brown Trout, Salmon and Sea Trout, and there have been sightings of otters in the past.
- Sunlight Cottages, 1901
- Statues of physicist Lord Kelvin, writer Thomas Carlyle, Field Marshall Lord Roberts and chemist Joseph Lister
- Bandstand and Amphitheatre, 1924
- Memorials to local regiments the Cameronians and the Highland Light Infantry
- The Honeyman Garden, 1972
- Play areas for children
- Skateboard park
- Tennis Courts
- Croquet Green
- Bowling greens
- Park Ranger Information Centre: located off Kelvin Way, close to the tennis courts and bowling greens.
- Beautiful riverside walks
- Orienteering course
- Herbaceous borders
- Azalea and Rhododendron borders
How to get to Kelvingrove Park
- Underground: Kelvinbridge Underground Station is a 5 minute walk.
- Train: Charing Cross Rail Station is a 10 minute walk from the Park and Glasgow Central Station is approximately a 20 minute walk.
- Bus: Various routes operate from the city centre to Sauchiehall Street.
- Car: The Park can be accessed from the Clydeside Expressway following the signs for the Kelvin Hall, Museum and Art Gallery. Parking is available at the Transport Museum and Art Galleries off Sauchiehall Street.
- Walking/Cycling: Kelvingrove Park is a twenty-minute walk from the City Centre. It also forms part of the Kelvin Walkway, which links with the Glasgow Loch Lomond Cycleway and the West Highland Way.