3rd August 2015
By: Christopher McQuade
Pollok Country Park and Pollok House
Where is it? 2060 Pollokshaws Road, G43 1AT. There’s also an entrance on Dumbreck Road (B768). The park is situated on the south side of Glasgow and is signposted on all surrounding roads.
How to get there? About a 15 minute drive from George Square in off-peak traffic times the park is situated just off junction two of the M77 motorway. Trains leave every 35 minutes from the city centre to Pollokshaws west station then a five minute walk will take you over to the park. Alternatively, you could cycle from the city centre to the park in about 20 minutes. You can take a 57 simplicity bus (towards Pollokshaws) to Christian Street or the 57a simplicity bus (towards Kinnishead) to Christian Street then walk to the park.
What is there to do? Cycling and mountain bike tracks, horse stables, bulls, art and crafts, Pollok House and the world famous Burrell collection are just some of the things that the park has to offer. The Dumbreck road entrance is quite a bit away from the car parks-so make sure you drive right in as the park prefer you not to park on the side of the very narrow road on the way in. inside both Pollok House and the Burrell collection there are cafes and gift shops. July, 14, August, 18 and September 22 are farrier’s dates-where you can go along and meet the horses and watch as they get their new shoes fitted. There’s allotments on both sides of the park where you can ask locals how they grow their produce. The White Cart river runs alongside the park-which is perfect for anglers looking for brown trout amongst others-although you need a permit to fish the water (available in most local shops). Pollok House is a grand building that was built by ‘The Maxwells of Pollok’ in 1747. The family are recorded as living in the area since the mid-thirteenth century; after a Maccus Maxwell, a Saxon fled after the Norman Conquest first seeking refuge in Kelso-then the region then known as ‘Nether Pollok’, it is better known today as Newton Mearns. The knighthood title was passed through many generations the second baronet commissioned the building that we today know as Pollock House. The house was completed in 1752-just weeks before his death-and his son, the third baronet-is thought to have built the bridge over the White Cart. Now a National Trust building, Pollock House is a reminder of the great wealth of the family, who are thought to have had over forty servants. There is a charge (listed below) for entry and there is a café, toilets and baby changing and a gift shop in the house. The architecture and gardens are stunning-kids can explore outside without fear of breaking any of the priceless antiques! The corridors have hanging masterpieces and there’s: a music room, print room, library, silver corridor, cedar room and servants quarters- amongst others. Situated at the heart of the park is the Burrell Collection and each of these buildings are start attractions. The initial red-sandstone walls of the building of the Burrell Collection contain some of the most amazing artefacts held in Glasgow. Greek, Roman, Syrian and Chinese are just some of the origins of the collection and there are just too many to mention in one article. 1786bc and 16th century figures, tapestry and paintings make up just some of the 8,000 plus objects on display. Sir William Burrell was a shipping magnate and he donated the prized collection to the city of Glasgow in 1944. From Rembrant to Islamic art, even someone with no interest in art will find something that they like inside this magnificent structure. Just along from the Burrell Collection there is a large kid’s play park with swings and picnic tables. There are other play areas around the park, which is surrounded by woodland that is popular with cyclists and dog walkers. There is free parking with disabled and parent and child spaces.
Best Bits? If you have even a passing interest in anything artistic-the Burrell Collection is for you. As well as the artefacts mentioned above, there’s medieval armoury and weapons that all have precise descriptions about their origin and who might have used them. There’s an eerie atmosphere in the building, especially when you realise that your walking amongst ancient Egyptian, Roman and greek artefacts. If your more of an outdoor adventurer, then the old stables are a treat. Get up close to the horses and even stroke them as they graze on their hay.
Anywhere to eat? Theres a cafe in Pollok House that serves full lunches and soups. Another cafe in the Burrell Collection means you can dine indoors at any side of the park. There’s also picnic tables at various positions throughout the park.
How much does it cost?-Entry to the park is free. Pollok House costs £6.50 for an adult and £5 for a concession. A family pass costs £16.50. The Burrell collection is free to enter, although donations are welcomed.
Opening Times? The park is open all year round. Pollok House and The Burrell Collection are open between 10am and 5.00pm.
Anything else I should know? If you fancy getting up-close to the highland cattle you can meet in the Old Stable courtyard on the following dates; July, 16, August, 20, September 17 where you can see them being washed, groomed and even blow dried! The arts and crafts centre is open between 11am and 3.30 for the summer holidays where the kids can draw, make masks and learn about local wildlife. There’s also a huge range of free workshops for kids over five at the Burrell Collection. Create a scary Gorgon mask-July 9 and 18, Mirror design July 11and 14, Roman mosaics July 7 and 16, candle-making July 21, 30 and August 1, clay candlestick making is on July 23, August 4 and 22, and ancient Greek-style piggy bank decorating.
Contact details: Pollok Country Park 2060 Pollokshaws Road, G43 1AT.