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South Side (Glasgow)

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      20.01.2009 13:23
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      Step down to a better quality of life in Glasgow's leafy south side suburbs.

      Denizens of Glasgow will know the city not only by its neighbourhoods, but also by the larger groupings of districts that divide the city into three predominant points of the compass: the East End, the West End and the South Side. I've never heard anyone mention the north of the city in terms of its own name, but then I haven't had much cause to venture to that part of the city (but look forward to being invited by a fellow DooYoo-er, perhaps?).

      The West End is most famous for its dense neighbourhood around the University of Glasgow, the oldest buildings of which stand on a proud bluff overlooking the near-by museums and district of Partick. Its a bustling hub of students and young professionals, drawn to the buzzing nightlife and dense provision of things to do.

      But travel south across the Clyde and you'll discover Glasgow's disparate but no less pleasant South Side neighbourhoods. The ravages of slum clearances, sixties tower blocks, railways, industry and soon the M74 motorway link have all done their part to drive a massive scar between the South Side of Glasgow and the city centre. But if you're new to this area, persist. Because if you press on south, you'll soon reach the neighbourhoods of Pollokshields, Govanhill, Strathbungo, Crosshill, Cathcart, Battlefield and Pollokshaws.

      Wrapped around the beautiful hill of Queens Park, these are the neighbourhoods I consider to be the South Side of Glasgow. Each is slightly different, having been built up over the course of a century or more and evolved to become home to different ethnic and social mixes.

      Pollokshields's broad streets and grand apartments and houses have become home to an aspirational multi-ethnic community, with many successful first generation immigrants living here. Govanhill is statistically one of Glasgow's poorest and least healthy neighbourhoods, but the vibrancy of its mutli-ethnic immigrants and the core of its native Scottish residents presents a impressive mix of ethnic food shops along Allison Street and old man Scottish bars around the intersections.

      To the west and south of Queens Park, Strathbungo and Battlefield are more sedate, quieter residential suburbs. The Kilmarnock Road through Shawlands is a busy shopping district. Continue south-west and you'll reach Pollok Park, home to the astonishing parkland-setting of the Burrell Collection, a free city museum of art and artefacts from around the world in a beautiful early eighties' building.

      The previous reviewer suggested you need a car to appreciate the South Side. I've lived here six months without one and have no complaints. Although the Subway's circular route doesn't serve the real residential districts of the South Side, several well served overground suburban rail lines do, including the Cathcart Circle, Newton, Neilston, East Kilbride and Barrhead lines. Numerous buses radiate from the city centre as well, although without a zone card or bus pass, these are generally more expensive than the train. Walking and cycling is easy, and the view from the top of Queens Park (on the peak, next to the flagpole) is magnificient: both north towards the city's skyline and the Campsie Fells and south towards the countryside.

      The South Side may not be as convenient or as hiving as the West End, but it's better served by the railway, has more local food and general shops and is substantially cheaper in terms of rental and living costs. Come down for a meander next weekend and see what I mean!

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      • More +
        24.08.2000 18:59
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        The Southside of Glasgow is the area of Glasgow that I lived in when I first moved to Glasgow when I was seventeen (eleven years ago). This is an area of contrast with some of the most wealthiest and also most deprived areas of the city. A large amount of our Asian community also lives in this part of the city. It also home to our National Football Stadium – Hamden Park. I recommend: ·There are so many lovely parks in the Southside but I would recommend Pollok Park as you can combine it with a visit to Pollok House and The Burrell Collection to view many great works of Art. The Burrell Collection often hosts special exhibitions so I would contact the Tourist Board for more information. ·If you have kids and it is raining why not visit the Butterfly Kingdom and Rouken Glen Park. ·For good Indian food try Ashoka on the Mill on Nitshill Road corridor. One draw back in the Southside is that everything is so spread out and it would be better to have a car.

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