The urbane West End seems a world away from Glasgow’s industrial image and the bustle of the centre. In the 1800s, wealthy merchants established huge estates here away from the soot and grime of city life, and in 1870 the ancient university was moved from its cramped home near the cathedral to a spacious new site overlooking the River Kelvin. Elegant housing swiftly followed, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was built to house the 1888 International Exhibition and, in 1896, the Glasgow District Subway – today’s underground – started its circuitous shuffle from here to the city centre.

The hub of life hereabouts is Byres Road, running between Great Western Road and Dumbarton Road past Hillhead underground station. Shops, restaurants, cafés, some enticing pubs and hordes of students give the area a sense of style and vitality, while glowing red sandstone tenements and graceful terraces provide a suitably upmarket backdrop.

The main sights straddle the banks of the cleaned-up River Kelvin, which meanders through the gracious acres of the Botanic Gardens and the slopes, trees and statues of Kelvingrove Park. Overlooked by the Gothic towers and turrets of Glasgow University, Kelvingrove Park is home to the pride of Glasgow’s civic collection of art and artefacts, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, off Argyle Street.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Scotland features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

8 alternative UK winter breaks

8 alternative UK winter breaks

The UK gets pretty grim during the winter, with its dark, early nights and splutteringly cold weather. But if you can’t wait until spring to start having fun …

07 Nov 2016 • Greg Dickinson insert_drive_file Article
8 spectacular remote places in Scotland

8 spectacular remote places in Scotland

Scotland’s seven cities offer myriad urban charms, but if you want to really get to the heart of a complex country that makes up 69% of the UK coastline and o…

19 Sep 2016 • Robin McKelvie videocam Video
Video: 5 reasons to road trip Scotland

Video: 5 reasons to road trip Scotland

Scotland is undeniably beautiful. From famous landscapes like Glen Coe and Loch Ness to unheard of islands scattered off the far reaches of the Highlands, there…

05 Sep 2016 • Rough Guides Editors videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month