Guide to Glasgow’s Hidden Gems

The jewels in Glasgow’s crown are well-documented. Home to some of Europe’s most inspiring artwork, sprawling green spaces and scintillating sports action, it is easy to see why Scotland’s largest city attracts so many visitors year in, year out.

However, while the likes of Glasgow Cathedral, Botanic Gardens and Glasgow School of Art are often first in line to take the plaudits (and deservedly so), there are some unsung heroes that are well worth checking out.

Here is our guide to some of Glasgow’s hidden gems.

House for an Art Lover

Taking inspiration from the designs of Glasgow icon Charles Rennie Mackintosh, House for an Art Lover lives in the stunning grounds of Bellahouston Park.

This art gallery and exhibition space doubles up as an events venue, cafe and artists’ studio. House for an Art Lover was designed by Mackintosh as a country retreat for the discerning individual more than a century ago.

Now, thanks in no small part to its access to learning for all ages, scholarships and exhibitions, it has become a welcoming environment for everyone who comes through the door. Visit www.houseforanartlover.co.uk for more information.

The Hidden Gardens

The Hidden Gardens in Pollokshields is a secluded green space run by a charitable arts organisation. It was opened to the public in 2003 and, as the name suggests, is a true hidden gem in Glasgow’s plethora of beauty spots.

Celebrating nature, learning and exchange, the space was created to promote understanding between people from every walk of life, irrespective of faith and culture.

Activities and events are regularly held at the gardens to bring the community closer together. Visit www.thehiddengardens.org.uk for more details.

Govanhill Baths

The swimming pools in south Glasgow dropped off the radar in 2001 when the building was closed to the public, as the city council determined that it would cost too much money to refurbish.

However, Govanhill Baths opened its doors once again in 2017 courtesy of a Heritage Lottery Fund grant. The venue is steeped in history, and proudly holds the title of Glasgow’s last remaining Edwardian public bathhouse.

Govanhill Baths Community Trust hailed its return as a triumph, and work continues on the site to modernise facilities whilst losing none of its old charm. Visit www.govanhillbaths.com for more information.

The Necropolis

This stunning Victorian cemetery features over 3,500 monuments, including a cross designed by the city’s legendary architect, Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

It is inspired by the Pere Lachaise graveyard which captured the imagination of Paris. Visitors can catch a glimpse of many high-profile graves, including Mackintosh and Reformation leader John Knox.

Guided walking tours are held every month. For more information about the tours and the venue in general, visit www.glasgownecropolis.org

Ashton Lane

Turn away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre and head down this cobbled back street for a stroll you won’t forget in a hurry. Ashton Lane might be tucked away, but visitors instantly fall in love with its character, which is only enhanced by the breath-taking buildings and beautiful fairy lights.

It makes for a romantic setting, and is home to a number of bars and restaurants, some of which have been there for more than a quarter of a century.

Ashton Lane sits in the West End of Glasgow, connected to Byres Road near Hillhead Subway Station.