Why the south side is the best side

The other day, I was scrolling through Facebook and I saw a sponsored post from People Make Glasgow, the city’s marketing bureau. They were asking for suggestions of why folk should visit the Southside, as opposed to the West End, city centre, Finnieston or wherever. I think I can oblige. Off the top of my head, I can suggest the Tramway, Pollok Park (including the Burrell and Pollok House), Crookston Castle, Holmwood, the Scottish Football Museum, Cathkin Park, Queen’s Park, the Citizen’s Theatre, Shawlands, Battlefield and Bellahouston Park. Again, that’s just off the top of my head. Oh, and the Govan Stones and Scotland Street School Museum. Now, I’m done. The Glasgow Science Centre, I forgot about that.

The best views of the city come from the south too. Just yesterday, I was on the bus down to Govan and passed over the M8 right by junction 25. There is a cracking view of the city skyline, to the Science Centre, city centre and Park Circus. Bellahouston Park has good views and should be best this time of year because of the trees losing their leaves. Even the back of the shopping centre in Castlemilk has a cracking vista. The best views, and all year round too, must be from the flagpole at Queen’s Park, right the way to Ben Lomond, the Campsies and across much of the south, north and east of the city, plus to the Cathkin Braes, Cathcart and Castlemilk if you turn the other way. What Patrick Geddes called the synoptic view is definitely possible there and I like to go there and just watch the city go about its business.

The south of the city is architecturally great too. We’ve got Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson and Rennie Mackintosh, sphinxes on top of buildings and all sorts. Down here we even have concrete and brutalist architecture, which characterises a lot of cities but here it takes us somewhere nice. Home.

Above I gave a whole long list of places that people should visit here in the Southside. I keep coming back to the Tramway in my head. When Glasgow hosted the Turner Prize a couple of years ago, it was held in the Tramway. Even if the exhibition was a bit mince, though thankfully the social enterprise from Liverpool won it, it was still in Glasgow and all the glitterati came to the Southside. I just like buildings with different purposes than those originally intended and a tram depot turned into a theatre and art gallery is just pure dead brilliant, by the way.

Despite having lived here for a while now, I still know Edinburgh better than Glasgow. I feel more comfortable wandering around many of the capital’s streets than I do in my home city, especially in the city centre. The Southside, though, is more comfortable. Well, mostly. There are some bits I would rather avoid but that’s the case everywhere. Since I’ve lived here, I’ve discovered some brilliant places, some of them now treasured places I keep going back to again and again, like Cathkin, like Pollok Park. Mostly I find the Southside less claustrophobic than the rest of the city, with fewer people and more trees. This city is known as the Dear Green Place, after all, and a fair whack of our greenery is south of the river. Also, we market ourselves on Kelvingrove, the Riverside, GOMA, People’s Palace, the Duke of Wellington statue and George Square. I would love to see more of the Southside in our tourist brochures and bedecking websites and social media. Even our fellow Glaswegians should come down here from time to time, for Southside is definitely the best side.

Before I go, an apology. On Sunday, it was noticed that some photographs were missing from some posts, including the new post that day, Streets of Glasgow: Edmiston Drive. This appears to have been due to my attempt to tidy up my WordPress Media Library, which deleted images from posts. I have worked over the last few days to tidy up those posts where blank spaces are appearing instead of photographs. I apologise for any inconvenience caused.

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