East of Glasgow Cross, down Gallowgate beyond the train lines, lies the East End, the district that perhaps most closely corresponds to the old perception of Glasgow. Hemmed in by Glasgow Green to the south and the old university to the west, this densely packed industrial area essentially created the city’s wealth. Today, isolated pubs, tatty shops and cafés sit amid the dereliction, in sharp contrast to the gloss of the Merchant City just a few blocks west. You’re definitely off the tourist trail here, though it’s not as threatening as it may feel. Between London Road and the River Clyde are the wide and tree-lined spaces of Glasgow Green. Reputedly Britain’s oldest public park, the Green has been common land since at least 1178, and has been a popular spot for Sunday afternoon strolls for centuries.
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Inspired by the Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the atmospheric Necropolis is a grassy mound covered in a fantastic assortment of crumbling and tumbling gravestones, ornate urns, gloomy catacombs and Neoclassical temples. Paths lead through the rows of eroding, neglected graves, and from the summit, next to the column topped with an indignant John Knox, there are superb views of the city and its trademark mix of grit and grace.