Guide to the Kelvingrove area, Glasgow West End
Area Guide Kelvingrove
Kelvingrove Park, one of Glasgow’s dear green places, is a very popular, especially on a warm summer’s day when it attracts joggers, strollers, families and students from nearby Glasgow University pretending to prepare for exams.
The area around Kelvingrove Park is one of the most beautiful in the West End, if you stand at the bottom of Kelvin Way looking North from Argyle Street the view is among the most satisfying in the City, combining impressive buildings and parklands. It is attractive both by day and night and not surprisingly is depicted in a number of Glasgow post cards and paintings.
This is one of my favourite images:
The park is a lovely place to wander; it has two play areas for children and the skateboard park is also popular. You can enjoy a break for tea and great cake at An Clachan right beside the play park.
It’s the location for some of Glasgow’s festivals, including The Mela .
The bandstand at Kelvingrove has been refurbished and is an excellent entertainment venue showcasing both local and international stars.
Sporty types can take advantage of the outdoor bowling green and tennis courts – which were well used during the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Kelvin Way is a lovely tree lined pedestrianised street that runs from Argyle Street to University Avenue. Perfect for a stroll when you can check out some great statues.
Kelvingrove Park provides a splendid setting for the grandeur of Park Terrace, standing high on the hillside, this was the home of wealthy citizens in the 19th. century. If you are interested in having a look at some of the West End’s first grand terraces it is worth the climb. The Park area also offers spectacular views over the city.
At the Northern Entrance to Kelvingrove Park you will find Gibson Street and Woodlands Road, where there are some interesting shops, cafes and restaurants including Sonny and Vitos and the wonderful Eusebi’s restaurant and deli.
(Giovanna Eusebi, Podcast, Jim and Pat’s West End Chat)
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum
To the West you will find Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. Here you will find something to interest everyone including: pre-historic dinosaurs; an impressive number of famous paintings by old masters; armour and weaponry from the middle ages; and ever changing contemporary exhibitions. It has a shop, a childrens’ play area, and like most of Glasgow’s Art Galleries and Museums – it is free. And beautiful.
Since the gallery underwent a major refurbishnent (2003 – 2006) – important temporary exhibitions now also come to Kelvingrove.
A particularly impressive exhibition was Alasdair Gray – From the Personal to the Universal in 2014 and recently The Love of Print, until 12 March, 2023.
Other fantastic exhibitions include: A Century of Style: Costume and Colour 1800 – 1899 Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum 25 Sept 2015 – 14 February 2016 and The Art of Comics Exhibition by Frank Quitely. What’s on at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Kelvingrove Organ Recitals
Organ recitals are performed daily at 1pm, and at 3 p.m. on Sundays, when they are at 3pm.
There are excellent restaurants nearby including the wonderful Mother India Cafe´ adjacent to Kelvingrove at 1355 Argyle St, Glasgow G3 8AD.
At The Bungalow Cafe, a short distance along Argyle Street, you will find wonderful homemade ice cream.
Graeme Cheevers at Unalome in Kelvingrove Street offers fine dining.
New Museum District for GlasgowThe Hunterian at the Kelvin Hall
1445 Argyle Street. Glasgow. G3 8AW.
The new Kelvin Hall incorporates the National Library of Scotland and Kelvin Hall International Sports Arena and The Hunterian Museum at the University of Glasgow, with over 1.3 million objects in its collections this has benefited from a move to this state of the art facility at Kelvin Hall.
The Hunterian is considered to be one of the world’s finest university museums at Kelvin Hall there is now greater access to collections. Additionally there are research and teaching labs plus state of the art conservation studios, seminar rooms, dedicated postgraduate study space plus a conference suite and library.
New postgraduate programmes are developed at Kelvin Hall as well as a public programme offered by students and curators. In addition there will be an academy for cultural and heritage skills, offering training and continuing professional development to the museum and cultural heritage sectors both nationally and internationally.
(The Kelvin Hall holds fond memories for many locals as it was home to the Christmas Carnival and Circus for many years. It now hosts international athletics and sporting events and offers recreational facilities to local people and visitors. )
University of Glasgow
University of Glasgow by local artist Allan Richardson
Standing on the horizon behind the Art Gallery and Museum is the University of Glasgow. Founded in 1451 it relocated from Glasgow’s High Street to its present site on Gilmorehill in the late 19th century. The building is by Sir George Gilbert Scot and is the UK’s second largest building in the Gothic revival style – it adds greatly to the interest of Glasgow’s skyline with its distinctive Flemish ventilation tower.
Though home to 14,000 students from all over the world the University has more to offer than academic opportunities. Your first stop could perhaps be the Visitors’ Centre where you will find videos, displays, souvenirs and a cafeteria. In the summer the University offers guided tours at 11am and 2pm Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Telephone 0141 330 5511 for details.
In recent years many new University buildings have appeared including the Wolfson Medical Building (2015) and the James McCune Smith Learning Hub (2021) on University Avenue and the fabulous Arc, (Advanced Research Centret) (2022) 11 Chapel Lane, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G11 6EW. Just off Byres Road
Jim and I visited the Arc at Doors Open Day.
University of Glasgow World Changing Campus
In April 2016 the University of Glasgow started its journey towards developing a World Changing Campus. A Masterplan has been designed for the existing campus and the Western Infirmary site, which the University took over at the beginning of April, 2016.
Other new buildings planned include a hub for Health and Social Sciences and new buildings for both the College of Arts and the College of Science and Engineerin
The plans when completed will completely transform this area around Kelvingrove/Partick.
(I hold the University in huge affection having studied there for a number of years and gained my first degree in 1984 then M.Phil Urban Policy in 1996 and M.Litt Creative Writing in 2014. Jim and I got married in the University Chapel in 1991. I go along there regularly to catch the wonderful Creative Conversations – a fantastic literary event which takes place most Mondays from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.
There is so much to see at the University so it’s worth having a wander around the area – highlights include the Sunlight Cottages (Built by James Miller the copies of workers cottages at Port Sunlight, they were part of 1901 Great Exhibition) also the Gatehouse, part for the original University opened in the High Street in 1451 and moved to Gilmorehill in 1870. And be sure to check out the fabulous cloisters.
Glasgow University also houses both the Hunterian Museum located within the main University building and the Hunterian Art Gallery located on the opposite side of University Avenue. The Hunterian Museum was the first Museum in Scotland to be opened to the public in 1807 (located at the time in the High Street).
Yorkhill is the area behind Dumbarton Road opposite the Art Gallery and here you can find an interesting array of pubs and restaurants reflecting the diverse culture of the City . Indian cuisine, a particular favourite of many Glaswegians, is well represented. The Ashoka West End can be found here – long established and very popular. Also popular are the fashionable Gloriosa Wine Bar and Elena’s Spanish Bar and Restaurant.
Moving along Argyle Street towards the City Centre you will find lots of interesting shops and pubs including the fabulous Ben Nevis pub, designed by Ranald McColl a you will find a Scottish theme that avoids all the cliches. You’re also likely to hear locals chatting in Gaelic.
Duke’s Bar, is a small, independent and popular pun in Dumbarton Road, Yorkhill. You can enjoy an Open Mic there on Wednesdays.
Updated March, 2023
Area Index: (Working on updating West End Guides)