Nature and geography in Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

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Explore the nature and geography of Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley, a region home to tranquil nature reserves and country parks where native wildlife thrives. Take in tumbling waterfalls, lush woodlands and the stunning coast of the Firth of Clyde.

There are plenty of places and ways visitors can enjoy the outstanding natural landscape of Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

Choose from a fantastic choice of country parks including Clyde Muirshiel, the country’s largest regional park and home to one of the UK’s rarest breeding birds, the hen harrier.

Other great country parks include Finlaystone Country Estate with its beautiful gardens and waters, and Dams to Darnley which extends over 1,350 acres. Both Pollock Country Park and Mugdock Country Park offer visitors an outdoor idyll without having to leave the confines of Glasgow.

Within the city are Kelvingrove Park on the banks of the River Kelvin and the sprawling Glasgow Green, the city’s oldest park. Take in a dazzling array of native and exotic flora inside the ornate Kibble Palace at Glasgow Botanic Gardens and explore the city’s other glorious green spaces. 

The Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve (NNR) encompasses six natural woodlands including the Falls of Clyde Wildlife Reserve. Take in tumbling waterfalls and look for over 100 species of bird which reside in the surrounding woodland.

One of the best ways to experience the stunning scenery of the lush Clyde Valleys is to follow the Clyde Valley Tourist Route, a 42-mile trail that take in various attractions and breathtaking viewpoints along the way.

Enjoy a leisurely walk or cycle along the Forth & Clyde Canal or build a sand castle at one of the region’s pristine beaches on the Firth of Clyde. Situated near Glasgow, the award-winning Lunderston Bay is the ideal place to fly a kite and soak up the sea air. Not far from the region you can find wonderful beaches such as Prestwick Beach, Troon Beach and Ayr Beach. 

With a breathtaking coastline and an abundance of country parks, nature reserves and gardens, visitors will find it impossible not to be swept away by the natural beauty of Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley.

  • The Kibble Palace,  Glasgow Botanic Gardens in the west end of the city.
    The Kibble Palace, Glasgow Botanic Gardens
  • Shot of a road sign for the Clyde Valley Tourist Route
    Clyde Valley Tourist Route
  • Looking through the trees, down the Main Street at Eaglesham - a village south west of East Kilbride, East Renfrewshire.
Clyde Valley Tourist Route sign

Clyde Valley Tourist Route

Follow the Clyde Valley Tourist Route, a 42-mile scenic route taking in attractions and stunning vantage points.

The Forth & Clyde Canal at Old Kilpatrick

Forth & Clyde Canal

The Forth & Clyde Canal crosses central Scotland from the Bowling Basin on the River Clyde to the Forth estuary.

The view from the abbey over Paisley, with the town hall visible, Renfrewshire

Towns and villages

Find out more about the towns and villages in Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley and plan a visit there or book accommodation.

A dinghy at the Watersports Centre in Strathclyde Country Park at sunset

Country parks

Whether you want to enjoy exhilarating activities such as sailing and cycling, or simply want to take a quiet walk along the wonders of a canal, the Clyde Valley has it all.

Looking over the garden maze towards Pollok House

City parks and gardens

There are not many cities in the world where you can enjoy world-class events, free, exciting attractions and stunning architecture alongside beautiful and serene parks and gardens.