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 the Big Blue customers drink al fresco. This area is very lively and you can easily while away a few hours pottering around - there is a lot to see and something to suit everyone's taste. It has some of the most interesting and attractive shops in the West End; it's a great place to head if you are buying gifts are thinking about decorating your house and there are many interesting shops on this stretch, including:
Discerning cooks can be found seeking out their ingredients in Roots and Fruits or buying exotic cheeses in Mellis' the cheesemonger - wafting through the air are many pleasant smells of fresh coffee and the tempting array of breads and treats offered by the many local delis.
There are many other interesting shops including Caledonian Book Shop and Retro, on Otago Street. It's also an interesting area to walk about with some wonderful architecture such as Caledonian Mansions and Lansdowne Church, St Mary's, Episcopalian Cathedral and The Cooper's Building
The Viper nightclub is housed in a fine specimen of art deco architecture. Tucked away behind the lanes at the back of the club you will find the Coach House Project, a charitable organisation combating poverty and isolation and creating an attractive environment around the old coach houses.
There are lots of great cafes, pubs and restaurants in this area. Persia is particularly wonderful and La Parmiagiana, also on Great Western Road, is a firm west end favourite. Cafe Cherubini serves huge and tasty bowls of soup and it's a great place to relax for a coffee and Enjoy is 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.
This 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.
A range of new cafe's, bars and eateries have sprung up over the last few years - including 'The Left Bank' restaurant, which is a particularly stylish addition to the street. Although I've never had a meal there, I've been in a few times for a quick coffee during the day and enjoyed the experience - relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff.
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. Offshore, situated next to the Park entrance is super for a coffee - very relaxing - and with free wifi as long as you buy at least one coffee every hour.
The area is well served by restaurants and snack bars particularly noteworthy is Stravaigin, Wine Bar and Restaurant, owned by Colin Clydesdale (a member of the Clydesdale Family well known (particularly in the West End) for their success in the restaurant business). Stravaigin lives up to the Clydesdale standards with its interesting menus and pleasant atmosphere.
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.
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 and the Hunterian Art Gallery and Museum, well worth a visit. Don't miss the replica of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's house and in the museum you will find many interesting scientific, medical and zoological exhibitions.
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.