The extensive park and facilities at Bellahouston are just off of junction 23 of the M8, and are conveniently located for the Mosspark, Cardonald and Dumbreck areas of Glasgow. As well as formal gardens, Bellahouston Park also has a good amount of open parkland in which to relax and enjoy views over the city skyline.
Inside of the park’s environs, quiet contemplation can be enjoyed at the House for an Art Lover. The art gallery and exhibition space is available for hire, and is incredibly popular during summer months as a wedding venue. There are also community groups and events that are open to all, such as flower workshops and annual Christmas fayre. The house was completed in 1996 based on original drawings from 1901 and is based around the main exhibition grounds that were laid down in the 1930s.
Bellahouston has provision for the more active and adventurous, with an extensive range of sports facilities. A bowling club, ski & surfboard centre, cycle track and pitch’n’put golf course are just some of the more notable offerings in the park, along with more traditional park facilities such as the three play areas that are popular among local families.
The extensive park covers almost 170 acres of land boasts formal gardens, such as a walled garden, sunken garden, 2011 Papal memorial garden and even a planted maze inspired by Alice in Wonderland.
Until the late Victorian era, Bellahouston Park consisted of farmland that was part of the Maxwell Estate, run from the Maxwell’s home at Pollok House, just south of Bellahouston in the area now known as Pollok Country Park. It was purchased by the Glasgow Corporation in 1895 and opened as a public park just 1 year later.
Due to its size and location, Bellahouston Park has been used many times over the years as the perfect location for large scale events in the centre of Glasgow. The Empire Exhibition of 1938 was an international event held to showcase and boost the economy of Scotland. Sadly, the exhibition didn’t meet its intended aim, actually making a loss of £130,000, quite a sizeable amount for the 1930s, and based on inflation would be around £9 million today.
The most prominent structure to be built for the event was the 300 feet tall Tait Tower, an art deco construction that was designed to produce stunning views over the surround gardens and city skyline. Although the foundations are still visible in the park, the tower itself was dismantled in 1939 by the British Army.
As well as the Empire Exhibition, Bellahouston has also hosted two popes (John Paul II in 1982 and Benedict XVI in 2010), famed evangelist Billy Graham, a range of independent concerts from bands like Coldplay and Snow Patrol, and between 2013 and 2019, the Park also hosted the Glasgow Summer Sessions, a joint series of concerts from Geoff Ellis, DF Concerts and Live Nation.
In 2017, Californian punk rock band Green Day infamously had to cancel their appearance at Bellahouston just 40 minutes before the gates were due to open. Adverse weather conditions led to health and concerns from the promoters PCL and local safety council deemed the stage unsafe for everyone involved. Despite assurances from the band that they will “be back”, Green Day have not been to Glasgow again at the time of writing, with a promised appearance in 2022 following two years of postponements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.