Cathkin Braes County Park covers a large area in the south east of Glasgow, approximately 8km from the city centre.
It is rich in history and a familiar landmark on the southern skyline reaching 200m above sea level, the highest point in Glasgow. The park is renowned for its panoramic views over the city and beyond. The east side of the park was designated a City-wide Site of Importance for Nature Conservation (SINC) in 1989 and the farmland in the west in 2009. The whole park is a proposed Local Nature Reserve.
The country park represents one of Glasgow’s richest habitat mosaics, with areas of long-established or ancient woodland, species-rich unimproved grassland, dwarf shrub heath, marsh, bracken and thorn scrub areas. The mosaic in turn supports a diverse range of animals, notably invertebrates and birds.
The country park is home to Glasgow’s international mountain bike trail which featured in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
The eastern part of the Country Park was gifted to the city in 1887 by millionaire Mr James Dick who stipulated that the open space most by retained in a natural state and open for public enjoyment.
The area was originally known as the Cathkin Hills and during the Iron Age a Celtic tribe known as the Damnonii lived here. The discovery of many artefacts has been recorded and several cairns still exist to this day.
Both the Big Wood and Cathkin Braes Park Wood are of ancient origin and appear on General Roy’s Military Survey (c1750).
Queen Mary’s seat is a large cairn in the area where Mary Queen of Scots is reputed to have observed the defeat of her forces at the Battle of Langside on 13 May 1558.
Both Castlemilk and the Cathkin Hills formed part of the Carmunnock parish. Much of Cathkin Braes was originally part of the Castlemilk Estate owned by Sir John Stuart (Baronet).
A park pavilion was built around 1890 and was used regularly until the early 1980s when it had to be demolished for structural reasons.
At the beginning of the last century major events were held at the pavilion site including music concerts attracting crowds in excess of 10,000
Glasgow Corporation acquired the western part of the site from Castlemilk Estates in the 1940s
The Country Park initiative was established in 1995 after a consultative process in the local area supported by the Strathclyde Structure Plan and Carmunnock Local Plan.
- Car park
- Cycle path (inc mountain bike trails)
- Wildflower meadows
- Wildlife viewing
Cathkin Road, Glasgow G73 4SE