The Southside

Start: Tramway.

Finish: Kilmarnock Road.

Time: About 1 hour.

Best Time: Afternoon.

Worst Time: Late at night.

Walking Tour: The Southside

The Southside of Glasgow is mostly residential and thus presumably of less interest to visitors - although some consider it to represent the real Glasgow, and Southsiders can be very attached to their patch of the city. It encompasses a large area. This relatively short walk provides only a small sample of the various neighborhoods south of the River Clyde.


Take the train one stop from Central Station upper level to the Pollokshields East station. Exit at the rear of the platform, come up the steps, and go right on Albert Drive to the:

1. Tramway

The one-time Coplawhill Tramway Works and Depot was built in the late 1800s. After the city's fleet of electric streetcars was mothballed, the sprawling industrial building became a Museum for Transport before becoming another of the city's centers for cutting-edge art and performance. More recently, it became the rehearsal space for the Scottish Ballet. Behind the building is a recently constructed park - called the Hidden Gardens - with contributions from contemporary artists. With a mixture of structured landscaping, wildflower meadow, and specimen planting, it is an urban oasis.


Exit Tramway, turning right to Pollokshaws Road, where you turn right (southwest) and stop by:

2. Heraghty's

(708 Pollokshaws Rd.; tel. 0141/423-0380) is an Irish pub, but not the invented type with a phony atmosphere: This one's for real. Many of Glasgow's Irish immigrants settled on the city's Southside. Even if families have since moved to the outer suburbs, they often come back to this friendly, traditional pub for a pint of Guinness.

Continue southwest on Pollokshaws Road and go right (northeast) onto:


3. Nithsdale Road (Titwood Place)

Originally Titwood Place in the old village of Strathbungo, this street has a fairly long row of tenements probably designed by Alexander "Greek" Thomson, if executed after his death by a less than ambitious business partner. Although the buildings are rather plain, experts see the repetitive use of design and the manner in which the row terminates with a single-story shop as confirming Thomson's hand. Around the corner from the single-story shop is more evidence of Thomson's influences with acanthus leaves and square columns. Although tenements have a reputation as moldy, poor places to live, many built in the 1800s were the models of middle-class living. Thomson's best tenement, Queens Park Terrace on Eglinton Street north of here, was a victim of neglect and shamelessly demolished by the city in 1981.

To the left (west) of the roundabout at the end of Nithsdale Road is:


4. Moray Place

Nos. 1 to 10 Moray Place, facing the railway tracks, is the first terrace of houses designed by Alexander "Greek" Thomson, and the first house became the great architect's home in the 1860s. Like Eton Terrace, the structure has two "temples" at either end of a row of two-story town houses. A colonnade of some 52 square columns dominates the upper floor's facade. The original chimney pots were fashioned after lotus flowers, which are repeated in urns at the front of nos. 5 and 6. The terraces along the rest of Moray Place to the west only attempt to live up to Thomson's achievement.

Continue along Moray Place, go left on Queen Square to Pollokshaws Road, and cross to:


5. Queens Park

Although opened in 1862, this large hilly park was not named after Queen Victoria but rather Mary, Queen of Scots. Near here, her disastrous Battle of Langside was fought. The Gothic steeple, constructed of light colored stone, is part of William Leiper's Camphill Queen's Park Church, finished in 1883. By walking parallel to Pollokshaws Road, past the upper pond with resident swans on its island, and up a slight rise, you will come to Camphill House. Built toward the beginning of the 19th century with fluted Ionic columns at the front portico, it was once a costume museum.

To the right of Camphill House, follow the tree-lined drive past the compact soccer pitches back to:


6. Pollokshaws Road

One of the main thoroughfares leading to and from the city, Pollokshaws Road points directly at Glasgow Cathedral as it nears the city center. At this end of the boulevard, you'll find more of the city's distinctive red sandstone tenements. Nos. 988 to 1004 Camphill Gate, offer some distinctive Glasgow Style design work, from the lettering to cupolas and the iron railing along the roof. At the corner of the park is Langside Halls, which originally stood in the city center on Queen Street. It was moved lock, stock, and barrel to this location and rebuilt. The exterior decoration is by the same man who worked on London's Houses of Parliament.

Cross Langside Avenue and continue southwest on Pollokshaws Road to the fork with Kilmarnock Road and:


7. Shawlands Cross

This is the proverbial heart of the Southside, with lots of shops, pubs, and restaurants. This is especially the case going south on Kilmarnock Road, though the west side of the street is largely occupied with the unattractive 1960s-style Shawlands Shopping Arcade. On nearby Moss-side Road, the one-time Waverley Cinema, with its Egyptian-style columns, has been converted into a sprawling bar, restaurant, and nightclub called Tusk.

Go northwest on Moss-side Road, taking a right at Dinmont Road to Crossmyloof station and catch the suburban train back to the city center.


Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.