Glasgow’s Park Area is a small but exclusive area of the West end formed around Kelvingrove Park and is bounded by Sauchiehall Street, Woodlands Road and Kelvin Way.
The architectural importance of the area and its stunning beauty is reflected in the fact that it was designated as one of the first three Conservation Areas in the city under the 1967 Civic Amenities Act.
The development was originally called Woodlands Hill, which reflected the fact that part of the development was predominately built on the Woodlands Estate.
It also highlights the prominence of the built form of the Park Area in general and Woodlands Terrace in particular which proudly overlooks Kelvingrove Park to its immediate West and beyond to the areas of Yorkhill and Partick.
The Park is a stunning location for living. As well as being on the doorstep of Kelvingrove Park, many of the properties share well tended Residents’ Gardens which give the area a very green and suburban feel despite being in the heart of the city.
Aside from its status as a Conservation Area, the beauty of the Park Area is highlighted by the large number of buildings (approximately 60%) which are either Grade A or Grade B listed.(Statistics identify that only 3% of all buildings are listed nationally between Grade A and C. Historic Scotland identify Category A buildings as “buildings of national or international importance, either architectural or historic, or fine little-altered examples of some particular period, style or building type”).
Transportation links are excellent. The area is only a few hundred yards from the Charing Cross Junction of the M8 which provides direct links to the south via the M74, to Edinburgh to the east and to Glasgow International Airport to the south west on the M8 which leads beyond to the Ayrshire Coast.
Charing Cross Railway Station is also only a few hundred yards away. The main train stations of Glasgow Queen Street and Glasgow Central Station are also within walking distance.
Regular bus services operate from Sauchiehall Street, Woodlands Road and St Georges Road allowing access to all parts of Glasgow and to the outlying regions beyond.
Despite being mainly residential in nature one of the many advantages of the Park area is its proximity to both the West End and the City Centre both of which are only a few minutes stroll away.
Kelvingrove Park is never more than a few hundred feet away from the Park and the many Residents Gardens offer secluded and exclusive privacy for those lucky enough to have access.
The Park area benefits from being on the doorstep to the City but does not have any of the drawbacks of noise, hustle and late night revelry which the City Centre dweller often suffers from. There are still several top restaurants nearby despite the loss of Nairns from Woodside Crescent.
There are an abundance of top bars both on Woodside Road, Argyle Street and Sauchiehall Street many of which are listed later in this section.
Leisure facilities are available a short stroll away in the City Centre in nearby Finnieston or at the Kelvin Hall. Food shoppers are also spoiled by the wide choice of delis both in Woodlands Road, Great Western Road and the mainstream shopping of Sauchiehall Street with its large Marks and Spencer Food Hall.
The Park Area is predominately business and residential although many businesses are relocating out of the Park area encouraged by the very high capital values of the properties which are now worth much more as residential accommodation than they are as offices.
The Park only fails to score a full 10 out of 10 because of the fact that the schools are generally not of the highest academic standard. This is being partially addressed with the introduction of the Gaelic School to the community.
There are however a few outstanding Independent Schools nearby notably St. Aloysius and The Glasgow Academy both of which are a short walk away and offer educational standards of international renown.
The standard of accommodation in the Park Area is unrivalled anywhere else in the city. The Park offers a mix of elegant 1, 2 and 3 bedroom apartments most of which have been created from townhouse refurbishments over the last 10-15 years.
Whilst there are a few townhouses still in a single ownership, these are generally occupied by businesses or by the extremely wealthy. The listed status of both the area and the buildings themselves has ensured that these refurbishments have generally been carried out to the highest standards.
Accommodation is normally generous with large floor areas, well lit rooms with high ceilings usually decorated with the most ornate plasterwork and delicate cornicing.
The large windows of the upper floor apartments allow light to flood into the spaces; the views from almost every apartment are to die for as many look out onto either Kelvingrove Park or their own Private Residents’ Gardens.
Many of the apartments in Woodside Terrace, Park Gardens and Woodlands Terrace offer stunning views beyond the Parks over Glasgow itself and further beyond to the countryside and rolling Scottish Lowlands to the south and south west.
There are also many mews houses in the Park which have a totally different feel to the apartments. Created from coach houses of the original buildings, they are generally 2 stories in height and look out into the intimate cobbled back lanes which nest between the banks of the Crescents and Terraces of the area.
The mews houses are generally smaller in scale and more intimate in feeling.
There are also several tenement properties of later date which are generally located towards the Woodlands Road area of the Park on Lynedoch Place, Royal Terrace and Park Quadrant which provide more traditional and bespoke accommodation.
The introduction of parking permits and meters into the Park area has greatly
benefited residents by discouraging city and indigenous office workers using the area as free parking. This has decreased the volume of traffic into the area which was never excessive in any event.
The area is generally very quiet especially at evenings and weekends and has a restrained business like air to it during the working week.
Letting Hints and Tips
It is nearly all good in the Park Area. Points to watch out for are as follows:
Furnishings: Flats generally come furnished and the majority of the people who rent in the Park expect a good standard of furnishings throughout the property.
Indeed you will be hard pushed to find an unfurnished property in the area. Typical renters are professional singles or couples who usually work in the city. A high proportion of the lets in the Park Area are company lets.
Limited wheelchair access / provision: The hilly nature of the streets together with the steps to the raised ground floors of most properties mean that the area is less suitable for wheelchair users or anyone with physical impairment. There are a limited number of flats which are on ground level with reasonably level – these are located along Woodside Place.
Attic Flats: Attic Flats are mainly suited to the young as lifts in any Park property is the exception rather than the rule.
The last flight of stairs to attic accommodation in Townhouses tend to be small and winding arrangements away from the formal staircase since the attic originally served as servants quarters. Conversions will require to have 2 means of escape from attic flats to comply with Building Regulations.
Anyone considering an attic flat should also remember that since these spaces were servant quarters, the floor to ceiling heights are not nearly as generous as in the main living apartments on Ground, First and Second Floor levels.
If you are persuaded by the unbelievable views that most attic flats in the Park Area have to offer then please ensure that the roof is in good repair and is inspected annually.
Garden Flats: If you are after a view in your Park property then forget the lower ground floor flats. Whilst many still allow good levels of daylight, views are generally always restricted. With the ResidentsGardens on your doorstep and Kelvingrove Park a short walk away, you should ask yourself if that small outside space is really what you want.
Floor to ceiling heights are generous but not as good as the upper floors. (These were after all the kitchens and pantries of the great houses before they were converted.)
If you are set on a garden flat then make sure that the owner can demonstrate the property has been adequately
The tenement properties on Lynedoch Place and the lower levels of Park Quadrant
can be fantastic value but do not expect the same standard of accommodation that the more expensive properties in the area provide.
Best Value: The properties on Royal Terrace or La Belle Place offer some of the best value in our opinion. The flats are generously proportioned and vary in size from 2 to 4 bedrooms and above.
Whilst this is the bottom fringe of the Park Area, the outlook is onto the open spaces of Kelvingrove Park and the area is still close to the shops on Argyle Street as well as being close to the City Centre and the West End.
2 bed flats here rent from about £750 or less if you do not mind a more basic level of furnishing. Common areas are also more basic and of the tenement close style.
Flats closer to Woodlands Road also tend to be more affordable but most have limited outlook and are subject to noise from Woodlands Road itself.
Flat Hunting: Try to avoid the peak periods of May and September if possible. November and December is quieter.