DIY Walking Tour: Glasgow Riverside
The Glasgow Riverside DIY Walking Tour is a competely step-free and level walk of just 5.5 kilometres (3-4 miles), which can be made in either direction – taking a wheelchair accessible taxi either to the start, or at the end (to return to where you started): although with a 1-2 hour stop at each of the Riverside Museum, the Glasgow Science Centre and the Clydeside Distillery, I would allow for a 5-6 hour walk (and even more if you plan to stop at the riverside cafe of the Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow City Centre, as this will allow you to break your journey in two, and the riverfront views are sensational).
And because it’s a DIY walking tour of Glasgow, you can take it at your very own pace; stopping for a coffee/snack/drink where, when, and for as long as you like; lingering at the attractions of central Glasgow which interest you (and speeding past those that don’t).
So if you were to simply rush round without stopping, you could easily complete the walk in 2 hours. However, I would recommend taking a full day to complete this route along the River Clyde in central Glasgow – as there’s just so much to see and do (and splitting the walk over two days would be even better).
Glasgow DIY Walking Tour: Walking Directions
I definitely recommend that you follow the Google Streetview route of the entire Glasgow DIY Walking Tour first, from the comfort of your own home before you head to Glasgow, as this will allow you to better visualise the entire route before you arrive].
START: Glasgow Riverside Museum [MAP]:
Leave the Riverside Museum building via the main/car park entrance (NOT the entrance/exit facing the River Clyde).
Walk straight ahead to the pedestrian crossing.
Pedestrian Crossing [MAP]:
After crossing here, continue straight ahead, and follow the path around the car park. The tarmac pedestrian path continues all the way until the Glasgow Clydeside Distillery.
Glasgow Clydeside Distillery [MAP]:
After visiting the Glasgow Clydeside Distillery, continue along the pavement as it curves around the Distillery building. At the furthest right, you will see a small gap, and a path leading onto the Riverside Walkway.
The Gap/Path [MAP]:
At the end of the small gap/path, turn LEFT and continue along the Riverside Walkway (the River Clyde will now be directly on your right).
The surface of the Riverside Walkway here is brick/cobbles. But as cobbles go, the surface is reasonably easy/flat.
Continue along the walkway until you reach the very first bridge on your right (the Millennium Bridge).
Millennium Bridge [MAP]:
The Millennium Bridge is a smooth-surfaced pedestrian bridge over the River Clyde, and leads to the Glasgow Science Centre.
At the end of the bridge, continue STRAIGHT AHEAD until you see the main entrance of the Glasgow Science Centre on your right/on the left-hand side of the larger glass-covered building (just to the right of the cyclist in this photograph).
Glasgow Science Centre [MAP]:
After visiting the Glasgow Science Centre, walk east along this side of the River Clyde (in front of the BBC Scotland building), until you come to Bell’s Bridge (the next pedestrian footbridge leading back across the River Clyde).
Bell’s Bridge [MAP]:
The partially covered Bell’s Bridge is another pedestrian footbridge – which will take you back across the river, to the Scottish Events Campus (SEC).
At the end of the bridge, turn RIGHT, and continue along the River Clyde walkway (the river will be on your right again, and the “Armadillo” building of the SEC will be on your left.
Just before you reach the Titan Crane, the path veers slightly to the left/away from the river. Just continue following the path (you will now see the flying saucer shaped SEC Hydro building on your left.
Continue along the pavement (with the Titan Crane now on your right – and the SEC Hydro building, and road, on your left), until you see the Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow City Centre on your right (the Glasgow Radisson RED Hotel will be on your left, on the opposite side of the road).
PIT STOP TIME!
You have a choice here: the indoor/outdoor riverside terrace of the Hilton Garden Inn (the accessible entrance is also on the riverside side of the building), or the rooftop Red Sky Bar (also indoor/outdoor) of the Radisson Red Hotel (open from noon). The Red Sky Bar also serves Afternoon Tea – with amazing rooftop views of Glasgow city centre, and views over the River Clyde (call +44 (0)141 471 1687 or email email@example.com to book your Afternoon Tea slot in advance).
Both options have accessible toilets too.
After your wee pit stop, continue in the same direction as before, and you will shortly arrive at the Pedestrian Crossing – which crosses the road of the Clyde Arc bridge (you are staying on this side of the river though, crossing the road only – and not the actual bridge itself).
Pedestrian Crossing [MAP]:
After crossing the road here, continue along the pavement ahead of you, until you see the ramp on your RIGHT which will take you back onto the pedestrian riverside walkway.
Follow the riverside walkway, again with the River Clyde on your right, and passing below the Kingston Bridge, until you see the Squiggly Bridge on your right.
Squiggly Bridge [MAP]:
After crossing the S-shaped, and pedestrian, Squiggly Bridge, turn LEFT and follow the opposite bank of the River Clyde (along Clyde Place Quay – also pedestrian – the actual river will now be on your left then), until the path ends at the King George V Bridge.
King George V Bridge [MAP]:
The King George V Bridge is the final bridge over the River Clyde that you will cross. The King George V Bridge is a road bridge, carrying traffic into central Glasgow, but you don’t have to cross the actual traffic here (instead, just remain on the pavement on the left).
After crossing the bridge, a pedestrian crossing (in two stages) AHEAD of you, will take you across the Broomielaw (the road that runs parallel to the River Clyde). At the end of the second crossing, turn RIGHT, and almost immediately, turn LEFT into Oswald Street.
Oswald Street [MAP]:
Walk up the pavement on the left-hand side of Oswald Street, until the end, where you will see a Pedestrian Crossing on your right (taking you across Oswald Street to the Glasgow Motel One).
Pedestrian Crossing [MAP]:
At the end of the crossing, turn LEFT, and you will almost immediately see a second Pedestrian Crossing ahead of you (which crosses Argyle Street).
At the end of the crossing, continue straight ahead (up Hope Street). You will also see an entrance to Glasgow Central Station here – but it involves taking a lift up to the main station level, which leaves you INSIDE the ticket barriers – so just ignore it (unless it’s raining quite heavily, when the advantage of staying dry outweighs the need to have to take the lift – the lift is immediately on your left as you enter).
Continue along this right-hand pavement of Hope Street until you see the sloping entrance to Glasgow Central Station on your right (just before you see the main entrance of the Grand Central Hotel on the corner with Gordon Street).
Glasgow Central Station (Hope Street Entrance) [MAP]:
This entrance to Glasgow Central Station slopes gently upwards, and at the end of the slope, you will arrive on the main station concourse.
Should you neeed a taxi, these can be found on the taxi rank just outside the Gordon Street Entrance.
Your Glasgow DIY Walking Tour now ends.