Six spectacular Scottish parks to explore

THE weather may be getting colder, but a brisk walk through Scotland’s beautiful green spaces is a great way to banish the blues
A large crowd gathered in Kelvingrove Park Glasgow Picture: Robert PerryA large crowd gathered in Kelvingrove Park Glasgow Picture: Robert Perry
A large crowd gathered in Kelvingrove Park Glasgow Picture: Robert Perry

Kelvingrove National Park

Proving that the Dear Green Place is a well-earned moniker, Glasgow sports some of the most impressive park spots in the country. Kelvingrove Park was originally designed by English gardener and architect Sir Joseph Paxton to offset the poor conditions caused by rapid urban growth of the late 1800s. Kelvingrove stands out for its Victorian grandeur as well as how it bends and breaks to meet the path of the River Kelvin – not to mention the stunning centrepiece of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Glasgow Green, Glasgow

Glasgow’s oldest park and one steeped in Scottish history, Glasgow Green is reported to have been a resting spot for Bonnie Prince Charlie, a meeting place for the city’s suffragettes and a rallying point for Gladstone’s reform bill. After beginning to show its age, the park saw a huge investment from the Lottery Heritage Fund and is now a lush expanse befitting of its esteemed status.

The Meadows, Edinburgh

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Right at the heart of Edinburgh’s milieu of students, The Meadows may be even more loved for its social function than its neighbouring landmarks. During those rare hot summer days in Edinburgh, The Meadows becomes a city-wide meeting point for sports, barbecues and drinks in the sunshine. Hot days sees the grass awash with picnic blankets and summer frolics.

Duthie Park, Aberdeen

Donated to the Granite City by Lady Elizabeth Duthie of Ruthrieston in 1880 and opened to the public three years later, Duthie Park is a 44-acre plot complete with cricket pitches, fountains, ponds and bandstands. Duthie Park is also home to the David Welch Winter Gardens. Built in 1970, the Winter Gardens is one of Europe’s biggest indoor gardens and is home to one the UK’s largest collections of cacti and succulents.

Dock Park, Dumfries

After massive investment in its regeneration, Dock Park has become one of Scotland’s finest green spaces. The Dumfries park was reopened in April 2014 and picked up the People’s Choice award from the Keep Scotland Beautiful charity. Dock Park is now a vibrant community hub, complete with a cafe, play park, children’s maze, band stand and putting green.

Faskally Wood, Pitlochry

A winding wooded route that circle the picturesque Loch Dunmore, Faskally Wood is a scenic escape into nature. The walking routes provide stunning views without the athletic challenge of other woodland areas. A visit in October can be especially rewarding, as the award-winning Enchanted Forest lights display transforms the site’s rare trees into the backdrop for an magical installation.