Kelvingrove Park: Magic Quiet In Glasgow

People walking all manner of dogs, runners, children playing, families having picnics, students with their books, tennis players: all may be in Kelvingrove Park at the same moment.

Kelvingrove Park, however, can be s a place of quiet in the midst of Glasgow.

The park is big enough so that all these, and you yourself, may find space, and quiet, and at times hardly be aware of anyone else.

kelvingrove park path glasgow scotland

Both the quiet and the varied uses would likely make park planners and city officials who worked on the beginnings of this city owned in the mid nineteenth century park happy. One of the ideas then was to provide green space for folk in the west end of Glasgow.

As its green space, pathways, and forested places rise up a hill in the West End, Kelvingrove Park offers that still.

The park sits between the University of Glasgow’s Gilmore Hill campus and business and residential areas along Sauchiehall Street and in the Garnet Hill neighborhood. The paths of the park are often walk or bike ways between those two areas; I’ve certainly taken that route myself.

There are many places in Kelvingrove Park which invite you to linger, though.

kelvingrove park river bank

The River Kelvin makes its way through the park. Walking along its banks or standing on one of the bridges and watching its flow are peaceful experiences, whether the river is in a fast moving time or at a slower season. You may also get to make the acquaintance of some waterfowl and aquatic life.

Ducks might be the most obvious wildlife you meet in the park.

ducks in river kelvin glasgow

They are not the only ones, though. You might see grey herons on the water, or rarely, the flash of a kingfisher in the air or a brown trout in the water along the way. On land, grey squirrels, blackbirds, and woodpeckers are among those you may see or hear.

Kelvingrove Park rises up the contours of a hill.

This means the landscape lends itself to a range of changing views as you walk. Both within the park and what you can see of the surrounding neighborhoods changes as you move along.

Those surrounding neighborhoods include the buildings of the University of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Museum and Art Gallery, the Victorian era residences and offices along the Park Crescent area, and the west end of Sauchiehall Street. Near Sauchiehall Street, there’s the playground and an area for skateboarding, as well as tennis courts.

You can enjoy the views of these, if you choose, and you and your children can play on them, too.There is a bandstand, too, first built in 1924, and sometimes the site of concerts in summer.

The quiet aspects within the park itself are just as much of a draw, however.

Open areas of grass rising up the hill, stands of trees, well maintained pathways, a variety of statues, and the river all have places in the naturally quieter aspects of the park that draw you on.

As you make your way through Kelvingrove Park, you might see such trees as oak, birch, Scots pine, and blue cedar. There are also larch, chestnut, and elm in different areas of the park, and you may also find laurel, dogwood, cherry, and holly.

Along the pathways there are benches to stop and reflect, or have you tea, eat your lunch, take a break from a run, or visit with a friend.

You might also have a seat near one of the varied statues in the park.

There’s a statue of Lord Kelvin, who is quietly reading. When this University of Glasgow scholar of physics was made a peer, he was called after the river which runs nearby. The Stewart Memorial Fountain has carved lions. You might also see a statue of a tigress with her clubs, or the memorial to those who served in the South African wars around the turn of the twentieth century.

Kelvongrove park south africa soldier statue

There are nature, history, community, and story to explore in Kelvingrove Park.

The change of seasons is lovely to explore, too. I am most often there in autumn and winter, both of which are magic in individual ways.

kelvingrove park glasgow scotland

There is an abundance of quiet in Kelvingrove Park, You might also be fortunate, as I was on winter morning, to come across a bagpiper practicing his or her tunes in the clear air.

I should mention: Kelvingrove Park has appeared in the
Outlander series. Have you recognized it? Hint: it stands in for another park.

Photographs of ducks in the river by Stephen Sweeney. Other photographs by Kerry Dexter. Thank you for respecting copyright.


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