“ Address: 2060 Pollokshaws Road / Glasgow / Scotland „
One of Glasgows biggest and nicest parks Pollok country park is a national trust park located in the south side of Glasgow and is very easy to get to trains and buses from the city centre go by it. Within it Pollok House and also The Burrell collection which has an extensive collection of art that was gifted to Glasgow city by Sir William Burrell in 1944. Once a year the park has its open day which is great it has everything on offer that day think its august time that's on. The park is massive and also has a golf course area aswell I don't know much about that. You could spend the day just walking around the lovely grounds and the Burrell collection and Pollok house where there are cafes to visit .There's is a number of different walking area's and different bit to visit waterfalls etc. Also the kids play park which iam sure has been newly done loads of hours of fun to be had just there , you will normally see highland cattle in the fields. you can drive through the park and there's parking avail. I would recommend taking a picnic and spending the whole day here."
Would you be surprised to learn that Glasgow has over 70 parks within its city boundaries? It's not known affectionately as "Dear Green Place" for nothing.
One of the largest parks is Pollok Country Park. Situated in the southside of the city, just three miles from the city centre, it was voted Best Park in Britain in 2007 and then went on to be crowned Europe's Best Park in 2008.
It's a large park at over 360 acres, so even when the sun is splitting the sky (which does happen in Glasgow, you know!), it never feels crowded and you can always find a wee quiet spot for yourself.
Where is it and how do we get there?
It's on Pollokshaws Road, postcode G43 1AT, if you have SatNav, or take junction 1 or 2 from the M77 and follow the signs for the Burrell Collection. There is plenty of parking within the park. It will cost you £1 if you park by the Burrell Collection, but it's free elsewhere within the park.
Pollokshaws West railway station is practically at the gate to the park and First Bus services 45, 47, 48 and 57 all stop on Pollokshaws Road, opposite the gate to the park. A free shuttle bus runs at various times through the park from the entrance to the Burrell Collection and Pollok House.
The park is always open and entry is free.
So what can you see?
The park has its own herd of Highland Cattle which it breeds. There are always some of these very photogenic beasts at the roadside; at the right time of year the cutest calves are in the fields too. If cattle are your thing, Pollok Country Park also hosts the City of Glasgow International Highland Cattle Show each September.
The park has four Clydesdale horses (TJ, Duke, Baron and I can never remember the name of the fourth!) stabled on site. During the Easter and Christmas periods they give free dray rides around the park and the public are welcomed to watch them being shod by the blacksmith at the stables every few weeks (the date of the next shodding is always displayed on the stable door). I have always found the stable staff very accommodating and friendly in answering our daughters' many, many questions about the horses.
There are public toilets adjacent to the stable block.
There are lots of great trails and paths, not too hilly and mainly suitable for wheelchairs and pushchairs. Some of the paths are paved but I would definitely recommend wellies or stout footwear in wet weather - after all, who can resist a good puddle? Beautiful in the spring and summer, stunning in the winter snow but spectacular in the autumn as the mature trees turn all the shades of yellow and orange imaginable. Feed the ducks or take a picnic and feed yourself! We find the paths a safe place for our daughters to practice their cycling skills and there are always lots and lots of dog walkers about too. I'm lead to believe that otters and kingfishers can be spotted along the banks of the White cart river, but they probably hear us coming and hide....
Deserving of a review of its own (which I will write eventually!), this is an 18th Century mansion which was the home of the Maxwell family who gifted the park to the City of Glasgow. There is a charge to visit the house from April to September but it is free during the winter months and to members of National Trust for Scotland. There is a tea room/restaurant within the house as well as a gift shop and toilets.
It was only while researching this review that I discovered it is possible to hire rooms within this magnificent building for private functions, concerts, ceremonies or drinks receptions. It would certainly make a fascinating venue for any event.
They are currently advertising some upcoming events in the local press including a French Cuisine Evening, a House of Horror night and a "What the Dickens!" Day when your child is trained to be a Victorian servant - a bargain at £15 including lunch!
Seasonal events are also held here including an Easter Egg hunt and Hallowe'en nights.
The formal gardens are free to visit at all times for everyone and are definitely worth a look. The walled garden is a suntrap and there are plenty of benches to sit and enjoy the sunshine and have a quiet moment or read a book. There are water features, yew hedges and well-labelled flower and plant specimens, both outdoors and in the glasshouses. If you climb to the top of the hill behind Pollok House above the formal garden, there is the most amazing, ancient gnarled tree which reminds me of something out of a children's storybook. It's the Pollok Beech and was voted one of the top hundred heritage trees in Scotland. There are many theories as to why it is so twisted and deformed - disease, fungus, infection or a witches curse!
The gardens contain many species of rhododendron as this was a particular fascination of the last owner, Sir John Stirling Maxwell.
Also deserving of a review of its own (and also on my To-Do List), the Burrell Collection is housed in a purpose-designed building within Pollok Park. As with all Glasgow museums, entry is free and it contains a large selection of artefacts, furniture, rugs, armoury, art etc and hosts special exhibitions throughout the year.
There are toilets, a café/restaurant (they do great lunchboxes for children at a very reasonably price and the mussel chowder is outstanding!) and a gift shop within the Burrell Building.
Near the Burrell Collection there is a play park for children. It is reasonably well maintained with climbing frames, trampolines, zip-wire etc and is fully enclosed - dogs are not permitted into this area. It can be VERY busy during good weather.
There is also a mountain bike circuit and an orienteering course within the park and a water-powered sawmill which operates when there are special events on in the park.
There is a Ranger service and we have availed ourselves of free arts and crafts sessions within the Ranger Centre on occasions.
Santa takes up residence in one of the stable blocks during the Christmas season (a free service), and Mrs Santa can be found in Pollok House at the same time (for a fee!)
Picnic tables are dotted around the park.
And keep your eyes open for various wooden sculptures around the park. There is a Highland cow and a kingfisher, as well as a beautiful bench carved from an old tree trunk.
There were consultations regarding proposals to site a Go Ape Hire Wire Adventure facility within the Country Park. I have checked the website, and, despite a degree of opposition to the proposal, it would appear that this development has now progressed to planning permission stage. There is no indication on the website as to when this facility is likely to be operational.
As well as the International Cattle Show, Pollok Park also hosts the Pollok Family Day (this year on 8th August 2009) which is a free event and includes live music, dray rides, face painting, crafts, farmers' market, martial arts demonstrations, food stalls, bouncy castles, farm animals - something for everyone.
There is also a 5K timed run held in the park at 9:30am every Saturday morning; it's a free event but you must register in advance (http://www.parkrun.com/glasgow_home.aspx)
With all that going on, is it any wonder we are there every few weeks?
It's an excellent Glasgow City Council facility; well maintained, well loved and well used by both residents and visitors. We are lucky to have such a wonderful Country Park in our city and on our doorstep.
Glasgows largest park and the only Country Park within Glasgow. Its extensive woodlands and gardens provide a quiet sanctuary for both visitors and wildlife.