This part of the Clyde walkway follows the river through the centre of Glasgow; in fact you can follow this path all the way along the river to Balloch, tracing the industrial heritage of the Clyde. The Finnieston Crane remains, as a massive monument to the days when this was a busy port and ship building centre. In those days it would have been one of many cranes but now it stands alone. When it was built in 1932, it was the biggest crane in Europe and it was used to hoist steam locomotives aboard ships.
At the other end of the walk Glasgow Green was where Glaswegians gathered to enjoy the outdoors in Victorian times and still do today. At the centre of the many paths and green spaces is the People’s Palace, a large sandstone building with a huge conservatory. This is the place to discover the social history of Glasgow in photographs, film and models; there is a reconstruction of a ‘single end’, the one roomed tenement flat that many large Glaswegian families were brought up in; and there is another of the ‘steamie’, the communal laundry, where the women gathered to exchange gossip and banter as they did their washing in the big vats; they’ve even got Billy Connolly’s big Banana Wellies on show.
Not far from the People’s Palace is Templeton’s Carpet Factory, now a business centre. This ornate and colourful building was modelled on the Doge’s Palace in Venice. Glasgow Corporation had rejected various design proposals, perhaps because the influential citizens who lived nearby did not want a factory next door. James Templeton then hired the architect William Leiper to produce a grand design. However it was an ill-fated building, which collapsed during construction in 1889, killing 29 women working in nearby weaving sheds. It was finally finished in 1892.
On the return along the Clyde from Glasgow Green is the berth of the Waverley, the last of the paddle steamers. The favourite holiday destination for Glaswegians was a trip ‘doon the watter’ to the seaside resorts of Dunoon or Rothesay. The Waverley still takes trippers ‘doon the watter’ for the day or for a romantic evening meal as the sun sets over the islands of the Firth of Clyde.
From the car park at the Science Centre, head towards the river passing the BBC building and turn right along the riverside. The Finnieston Crane dominates the view on the other side of the river. Continue to some steps up to a road.
Turn right onto the main road to a roundabout, then left and left again at another roundabout into a road of new housing. Continue along this winding quiet road until it bends right to the traffic lights at the main road.
At the traffic lights turn left and then left again to a leisure complex. Go through the car park beside the Odeon Cinema to return to the riverside walkway and turn right to continue along the river. When the walkway ends, continue under a railway bridge.
At the next junction cross Bridge Street by the pedestrian crossing and continue into Carleton Place. At the end of this street, go along a footpath, then up some steps. Cross the road and continue on the footpath to Crown Street.
Turn left across the bridge and then right into Glasgow Green. Have a wander through the paths here, making sure that you see the People’s Palace, Templeton’s Carpet Factory and the Jubilee Fountain, the largest terracotta fountain in the world, built by Doulton for Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
Exit Glasgow Green and return along the other side of the river. You will pass the statue of La Passionara, the berth of the Waverley and the Finnieston Crane before crossing the Millennium Bridge at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre to return to the Science Centre car park.
Pedestrian walkway and streets
Riverside, city streets and park
Suitable for dogs
OS Explorer 342 Glasgow; AA Street by Street Glasgow
Science Centre Car Park
Walking in safety
Read our tips to look after yourself and the environment when following this walk.