WHERE IS IT: In Tollcross, east of the city centre, just beyond Dennistoun, next to the Tollcross Swimming Centre
One of the city’s true hidden gems, Tollcross Park is well worth seeking out on a beautiful day, with an amazing series of gardens and Children's Farm.
More peaceful than the often busy Kelvingrove Park, Tollcross is famous worldwide for its Rose Garden, which features a wide variety of species. There is also the Winter Gardens, a smaller replica of those found in Glasgow Green. This is adjoined to the Courtyard Visitor Centre, an art environment centre that offers the opportunity to learn about nature and the circle of life.
The park’s history stretches back to 1897 when 83 acres of land was bought and the park developed to honour Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. This included the Mansion House, which had been designed and built half a century earlier in 1843 by Edinburgh architect David Bryce for the then land-owner James Dunlop. The affluent Dunlop family owned the Clyde Iron Works and were influential in the industrialisation of the area in the early 1800s. In 1810 James purchased the land, and after the house was built, he maintained the large gardens. The City of Glasgow inherited the land after James died without an heir, and due to his extensive work on the gardens, transformed it into a park, adding the ornamental bandstand in the early 1900s.
The park also contains a nature walk that leads to the underappreciated Children’s Farm, ideal for families. It is home to a number of different animals, including Shire horses, Shetland ponies, llamas, sheep, rabbits, geese, turkeys and Highland cows.
The far north of the park is a large field with a small hill that offers panoramic views of the city’s East end. It also contains a baseball pitch that has sadly fallen into disuse.
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