Glasgow West End, Guide to Kelvinbridge and Hillhead


kelvinbridge jim

This photograph of Kelvinbridge by Jim Byrne has been recreated in a painting by the artist Lynn Howarth.

Travelling west along Great Western Road you will arrive at Kelvinbridge on the North side of Hillhead. The bridge is lovely at night when it is lit up and the view to the south is very unusual -beneath the bridge Inn Deep customers drink al fresco. This area is very lively and you can easily wile away a few hours pottering around – there’s a lot to see and something to suit everyone’s taste. You will find some of the most interesting and attractive shops in the West End and it’s a great place to head if you are shopping for gifts or thinking about treating yourself to some wonderful jewellery or fabulous art.

caledonian book shop

Whatever you do, leave some time to have a browse in Thistle Gallery, 56 Park Road. You’ll be made very welcome at Glasgow West End’s friendliest gallery; there’s always beautiful art on display, a fabulous range of ceramics, jewellery and gifts.


Shopping, Kelvinbridge

Among the shops deserving of a browse are  Caledonian Book Shop, Glorious and Retro, on Otago Street. Vintage shoppers will love The Glasgow Vintage Co, where you can pick up a cashmere cardi for a mere fifteen quid.  Kelvinbridge is perfect for a  walkabout with some wonderful architecture to admire such as Caledonian Mansions and St Mary’s, Episcopalian Cathedral and impressive The Cooper’s Building. It also has its very own theatre – Websters Theatre at the old Lansdowne Church.

Restaurants, Bistros and Cafes, Kelvinbridge

tchai ovna tea house

There are lots of great cafes, pubs and restaurants in this area.  Eusebi at the 152 Park Road – just opposite Kelvingrove north entrance – one of my favourite west end restaurants. A very pleasant place to catch a coffee and read the papers. Sonny & Vitos in Park Road is very lively and the coffee and food is excellent.  A more recent arrival: La Lanterna West End on Great Western RoadTchai Ovna Tea House in Otago Lane is a favourite haunt for students. Huge choice of teas and vegetarian dishes. Some excellent entertainment – check website for what’s on

roots and fruits

The Shish Mahal has been going strong in Park Road for decades– excellent Indian Restaurant. another iconic choice – watch out for interesting dining events throughout the year.

Discerning cooks can be found seeking out their ingredients in Roots and Fruits, also good to catch a coffee and snack. Gret choice of exotic cheeses in Mellis’ the cheesemonger. Wafting through the air is the aroma of fresh coffee and the tempting array of breads and treats offered by the many local delis. You can also pick up dinner from an amazing selection of frozen foods at Cook.

The Doublet Pub in Park Road is a long established West End favourite, it has a very popular quiz night.

Staying over in the West End

kelvin doorway

You will love the Kelvin Hotel on Great Western Road, convenient and comfortable with great rates.

The Kelvin Hotel

15 Buckingham Terrace,

Glasgow, G12 8EB


Gibson Street

Offshore Cafe, Gibson StreetGibson Street has always been a popular haunt for the student population and sits at the Eastern End of Hillhead very much in University territory with Glasgow University and Glasgow Caledonian, Park Campus nearby. It is a pleasant street with a bit of a buzz about it particularly in the summer with people heading into Kelvingrove Park.

It’s a great street to catch a coffee and Offshore is home to many regulars with their lap tops, students finishing their dissertations and the self-employed set up to work in this free wifi – friendly environment.   ‘The Left Bank’ restaurant, which is a stylish addition to the street and Stravaigin Restaurnat/Bar is a long standing favourite, which lives up to the Clydesdale family standards with its interesting menus and pleasant atmosphere.

Gear Bikes, Gibson StreetGet your bike fixed at Gear Glasgow

The bike shop Gear Glasgow is also located in Gibson Street; a good place to go to get your new bike or get your old one fixed. They were very helpful when I had a problem with my own bike, so I’d recommend them.

Design Works, at the corner of Otago Street and Gibson Street is really fabulous and a must for window shopping and a visit.

Situated at the junction of Gibson Street, Kelvin Way and University Avenue is the Gilmorehill Centre – part of the University of Glasgow this Norman Gothic facade houses a new hi-tech cinema, theatre and conference centre.

University Avenue

Beyond Gibson Street you begin to move into University territory and most of the buildings in this area down to Byres Road are owned by Glasgow University. The wide sweep of University Avenue is inviting to walk along and has a lot to offer – here you have the main entrance to the University, the University Library ( adjoined by the Hunterian Gallery – don’t miss the replica of Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s house  you will find many interesting scientific, medical and zoological exhibitions.

rennie mackintosh house

The University of Glasgow is one of the jewels in the crown of Glasgow architecture and a great place to have a wander. You should also watch out for the university’s  fabulous exhibitions, musical and literary events. Watch out for the fabulous Creative Conversations Programme, which takes place Monday lunchtimes in the University Chapel.

blossom centre for open studies

It’s also worth checking out the many courses open to the public at the University’s Centre for Open Studies.

There are many images of the West End in The Photo Gallery

Getting to know Glasgow – walks, facts, folk and historical development. by Ian Mitchell.

Area Index:

Byres RoadKelvingrovePartickHyndlandWoodlandsKelvinbridge and East Hillhead, Gibson street and University Avenue

This section: Guide, Travel

Filed under: Guide, Travel

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Avatar of JimByrne West End based web Developer, writer, songwriter and musician. And the person who takes lots of photos for the Glasgow West End website.

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