Travel

Staycation travel: Discover Glasgow’s eco-credentials as the city hosts the COP26 summit

Glasgow hosts the COP26 summit next week – and has plenty of its own eco-credentials. So… listen up, Greta!

  • Greta Thunberg will be among the attendees at Glasgow’s COP26 conference
  • Glasgow has plenty of green spaces that can be explored by foot or by e-bike
  • Travellers should visit ‘ghost’ football ground Cathkin Park and Glasgow Green










Campaigner Greta Thunberg, pictured, will attend the COP26 conference next week

Campaigner Greta Thunberg, pictured, will attend the COP26 conference next week 

World leaders, Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough are all due to be in Glasgow next week, banging the drum about the perils of climate change at the COP26 conference.

If they get out and about, they might be heartened by the eco-credentials of Scotland’s second city — but they may have to step over uncollected rubbish bags (due to a planned binmen’s strike) and avoid argy-bargy with hard-core protesters. 

PARK LIFE

Glasgow isn’t the first place that springs to mind when you think about the Temperance movement. But visit Glasgow Green — a huge park that has acted as the lungs of the city since 1490 — and here lies its legacy in the form of a huge monument warning of the perils of drink.

The fact the Tennent Caledonian brewery is barely a mile away gives an idea of how popular the movement was locally.

Elsewhere in the park there’s an immense Nelson monument and the People’s Palace social history centre (glasgowlife.org.uk).

Do your bit: Don’t get a taxi to the park – instead, hire a bicycle. Aye Cycle has a huge range of standard and e-bikes from £5 a day (ayecycleglasgow.org.uk). 

HILLSIDE WALK

Glasgow’s green scene: The city’s Necropolis hill, which offers a great view of Glasgow Cathedral from its summit

Glasgow’s green scene: The city’s Necropolis hill, which offers a great view of Glasgow Cathedral from its summit

The outright winner of the title of Scotland’s dourest statue has to fall to John Knox, leader of the country’s Reformation.

Clad in a ridiculous Geneva bonnet, he looks down with the most miserable of expressions at the city beneath him from the top of Glasgow’s Necropolis graveyard. Yet it is a delight to explore this hillside tumble of crypts and headstones.

The graveyard contains enough neo-classical columns and pediments to make you think you have wandered into ancient Greece. Plus, you’ll find the best view of Glasgow Cathedral from its summit (glasgownecropolis.org).

Do your bit: Wrap up in some second-hand vintage clothes from Starry Starry Night on Dowanside Lane, Hillhead (starrystarrynightvintage.co.uk).

FREE TROPICS

Entry is free for those visiting Glasgow's 'tropical' Botanic Gardens, pictured above

Entry is free for those visiting Glasgow’s ‘tropical’ Botanic Gardens, pictured above 

Glasgow isn’t yet feeling the full effects of climate change. But one part of the city went tropical a long time ago. The grandiose Main Range glasshouse in the Botanic Gardens is an eruption of palm trees, orchids and cacti — and entry is free.

Do your bit: Keep the floral vibe alive by buying sustainably sourced plants from Roots And Fruits in nearby Great Western Road (rootsfruitsandflowers.com).

COUNTRY DAY TRIP

Take a day trip to Hill House in Helensburgh, pictured, which is 23 miles from Glasgow

Take a day trip to Hill House in Helensburgh, pictured, which is 23 miles from Glasgow 

It’s 23 miles from Glasgow, but Hill House in Helensburgh is worth a visit if you want to immerse yourself in the creations of art nouveau master Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Entry is £13 (nts.org.uk).

Do your bit: Make a day of it and explore the wild Argyll countryside — both cycling and kayaking are on offer (wildaboutargyll.co.uk).

GHOST GROUND

Pictured is Cathkin Park, which is now a 'ghost' football pitch. Picture courtesy of Creative Commons

Pictured is Cathkin Park, which is now a ‘ghost’ football pitch. Picture courtesy of Creative Commons 

The footballing version of Necropolis, Cathkin Park was home to Third Lanark, which went bust in 1967 and is now a ‘ghost’ football ground.

Do your bit: Just a short walk from Cathkin Park is Locavore, which claims to be the city’s only fully organic cafe (glasgowlocavore.org).

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