Glasgow Botanic Gardens hark back to 1817, though their highlight glasshouses arrived decades later. Today, it’s a popular local hangout, making people-watching an added attraction and best during the gardens’ regular art exhibitions, theatrical performances and festivals.
The gardens’ most handsome glasshouse is the Kibble Palace with its elegant curved iron frame. Originally built for an estate Loch Long in the 1860s, it arrived here on a vast raft towed some 30miles by a steamer in 1873. Initially it became a Victorian pleasure palace, but drunken revels proved a bit much for surrounding lawns and plants, so that idea gave way to its current incarnation as the steamy home for an international set of verdant orchids, palms, begonias and ferns.
Strolling the gardens is pleasant enough, but if you’d like to give your legs a proper stretch, look out for the paths that follow the deep-set River Kelvin. They connect with a riverside path that almost runs as far as its confluence with the Clyde.