Glasgow’s canal is a bustling and vibrant urban hub of activity and an emerging destination in the north of the city.
The dawn of 2020 marks the start of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters and north Glasgow’s stretch of waterway has plenty to celebrate, with leading cultural organisations, cutting-edge sports activities, Scotland’s first urban nature reserve and a festival, all calling the canal home.
Here’s 10 things you can do along it this year:
1. Get on the water
With wakeboarding, kayaking and a whole host of watersports available along Glasgow’s canal, there is no excuse not to get in amongst it.
Port Dundas is home to Pinkston Watersports Centre – Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course, which offers whitewater rafting, kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddle boarding. Glasgow Wake Park also opens back up in March, where you can learn to wakeboard via a special cable system. ‘Water’ you waiting for – come along and carve up the canal this year!
2. Visit a market
A new local night market is set to light up north Glasgow this January when it launches on Friday, 31 January. Hosted by Carnival Arts Yard, the debut event will kick off at 6pm, giving people the chance to spend the evening exploring a local flea market and enjoying food, drinks and live music.
Driven by the talent found within the Glasgow canal community, local businesses, artists and makers will be selling artisan goods including arts, crafts, clothing and soaps.
3. Take in Scotland’s first urban nature reserve
Hamiltonhill Claypits, Scotland’s first urban nature reserve, is due to reopen in spring 2020. Explore the wildlife and plant life hidden in the 25-acre plot on the banks of the canal.
Substantial improvement works by Scottish Canals, including the introduction of new paths, will make it easy for anyone to access the local reserve – look out for those spectacular views across the city from Hamiltonhill.
4. Learn to skate
Get yourself down to The Loading Bay – Glasgow’s first indoor skate park and try your hand at skateboarding, BMXing and more. The stylish, state of the art action sports hub covers an impressive 30,000 square feet and is one of the largest and most advanced skateparks in the country. Skate the street plaza, bowl or modular area, check out the ‘super trampoline’ or drop in to the cafe – it’s a must-visit in 2020.
5. Come along to Glasgow Canal Festival
On Saturday, 25 July 2020, the banks of Glasgow’s canal will be bursting with activity in a celebration of the unique and iconic waterway and its vibrant surrounding community for Glasgow Canal Festival 2020.
Alongside live music, artistic performances and workshops, sporting activities and chances to explore and celebrate the area’s heritage and unique environment, the 2020 festival will feature a captivating Canal Carnival Flotilla as part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters.
6. Check out a world class theatre show
The National Theatre of Scotland’s headquarters Rockvilla is located on the banks of Glasgow canal. Named Rockvilla in recognition of the industrial and social heritage of the area, the building is an engine room for Scottish Theatre.
It is a place of imagination, learning and play where you can catch world-class theatre productions and take part in invigorating conversations. In June, Rockvilla will host an international conversation around the health and wellbeing of LGBTI+ people in Scotland, The Coming Back Out Conversation.
7. Try some sculpture
Glasgow Sculpture Studios run two public sculpture programmes a year, in the spring and autumn, for anyone looking to give sculpture a go.
Whether you’re returning to sculpture or trying it for the first time, you can get involved. From metalwork to mould-making, the programmes aim to introduce you to new ways of thinking, making, and doing, while creating space for you to bring your own thoughts, ideas, and interests to each session. They also run a free sculpture club for kids and families – check their Facebook page for details.
8. Attend a workshop
Every month, the spaces of Civic House are filled with workshops led by people working across art, design and sustainability that you can join in with. Test new ideas, learn through making and share skills and knowledge in this stimulating environment.
Spend the day developing a new skill, exploring a practice or learning about new topics and subjects. Then from 7pm, share a meal with everyone who’s taken part in the workshops, served by the Civic House Kitchen team.
9. Grab a bite
There’s some great wee spots along the canal to grab a bite. For something special at lunchtime, why not try Civic House Kitchen – a public canteen for Speirs Locks located on Civic Street. The vegan cafe is open over lunchtimes, and occasional weekend evenings, serving a single dish cooked on the day available for just £5.
Elsewhere, Ocho Cafe is situated on the banks of the impressive Speirs Wharf, in a corner of the original 1851 heritage building. Escape into the lovely surroundings and enjoy some brunch, lunch or cocktails or get on board one of their popular gin and whisky tasting canal boat trips later in the year on the quaint Navvie’s Barge.
10. Get out and about
The canal is the perfect place for a walk, run or cycle. We are the gateway to an exciting network of cycle paths and routes within Glasgow and that stretch all the way to Loch Lomond. Whether you’re looking for a green way to get to work, or to enjoy some time stretching your legs along the water’s edge – you can do it via Glasgow’s canal.
Glasgow’s Canal, in the north of the city, will be bursting with activity in a celebration of the unique and iconic waterway and its vibrant surrounding community, for the fourth annual festival on Saturday, 25 July 2020.
As part of Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters, the 2020 festival will feature a captivating Canal Float.
Produced by Carnival Arts, visitors will be able to enjoy a wonderful floating display as it travels down the Forth and Clyde Canal in North Glasgow – with more details on the spectacle to be announced next year.
Hosted by Glasgow Canal Co-op, Glasgow Canal Festival is nestled on the balcony to the city between Speirs Wharf and Firhill Basin, just ten minutes from the city centre.
Sally Hobson, Festival Director for the Glasgow Canal Festival, said: “The banks of Glasgow’s stretch of canal will come to life once again this summer with a programme of live music, artistic performances and workshops, sporting activities and chances to explore and celebrate the area’s heritage and unique environment.
“Thanks to funding from the Years of Coasts and Waters, we’re excited to work with Carnival Arts to bring something really special to the waterway so put the date in your diary and join us next year for this wonderful event in the heart of Glasgow.”
The festival is one of several events and initiatives to share in £770,000 of Scottish Government funding as part of a year-long programme of activities which will shine a spotlight on the vital coasts and waters of Scotland’s landscape.
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, said: “We have an exciting year ahead celebrating Scotland’s wonderfully diverse coasts, canals, rivers and lochs.
“Scotland’s Themed Years have been running since 2009 and we know they are a proven mechanism for us all to work together to create opportunities to diversify our tourism offer whilst promoting Scotland as a great place to visit for people from around the world.
“Whether it’s a canal boat holiday, a week sailing round the Western Isles, an afternoon kayaking or walking by our rivers, lochs or on the beaches, I would encourage everyone to take advantage of the opportunities offered by Scotland’s beautiful coasts and waters.”
Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland said: “We are inviting the world to dive into the amazing experiences our coasts and waters provide. Scotland’s enviable reputation for unspoiled beaches, vibrant natural and cultural heritage and thrill-seeking adventure activities will be celebrated through a packed year-long programme of events and activities”
As human beings we often see ourselves as separate from the natural world. But, just like the tides and the hills, we are part of nature and there has never been a more important time to reconnect. These books are here to help you do just that. Whether by painting dazzling landscapes, introducing us to flourishing flora and intelligent fauna, or exploring the challenges they each face we begin to see — really see — the wonders of our planet one word at a time, sparking curiosity and a new appreciation for nature at a time when it needs our attention the most.
The Nature Library will be on display in the ground floor Project Space between 15th-30th October, Tuesday-Fridays 12:00-16:00.
There will be occasional readings and events taking place – stay up to date on Instagram to find out more.
This night is open to folx from all backgrounds, experiences, sexualities, and identities and celebrates and prioritises the QTIPOC community. There will be limited tickets available in advance with the remainder on the door.
Vogue Scotland is a community and platform for the underground House Ball scene in Scotland, a culture borne out of a need for a safe space for Black and Latinx LGBTQ people in Harlem, New York, predating the 1950s.
If you have any questions or want to get involved with any training or meet-ups please reach out on our facebook page @ Vogue Scotland.
Tix :£5 or PWYC on the door please email, no one turned away for lack of funds.
Every Friday of the month TWB hosts Creative Mornings Glasgow, a breakfast lecture series for the creative community. To find out more about the upcoming events and themes go to creativemornings.com/cities/gla
A cracking video from this year’s brilliant Glasgow Canal Festival! There were watersports, heritage, arts and culture, stalls, music and entertainment to be enjoyed. And the sun was shining – it was a great celebration of Glasgow’s Canal!
Back by popular demand, the Glasgow Canal Festival returns to Glasgow’s iconic Forth & Clyde Canal between Spiers Wharf and Applecross Basin on Saturday 20th July 2019! Don’t miss it!
The Glasgow Canal Festival is North Glasgow’s most exciting annual festival, with a packed programme of arts, watersports, interactive adventures, heritage tours, boat races and much more!
Uniquely, the festival takes place on the banks of the Forth & Clyde Canal, just a 5-minute walk from Cowcaddens Subway station. The event celebrates the local community and shares the story of the canal’s incredible heritage.
Enjoy an afternoon listening to live music performed by a range of local musicians, discover hidden storytelling corners, take part in a family-friendly arts workshop, try your hand at canoeing or race down the canal with a team of friends. There’s really something for everyone and audiences always report discovering and enjoying something they didn’t expect and had never tried before.
Head to the Festival section for the full programme for 2019…
Community Workshops: Arts, Culture & Heritage
Come along and share your thoughts at one of four workshops taking place this month as we work to develop a Canal Arts, Culture and Heritage Strategy.
These workshops are for everyone, you don’t need to be creative – we would welcome your thoughts on what kind of events, public art and storytelling we should be doing to celebrate our communities and their unique history.
The strategy will focus on the communities around Port Dundas, Spiers Wharf, Hamiltonhill, Ruchill and Firhill.
The workshops take place on the 14, 18 and 21st May 2019.
Bring your family and friends along to Pinkston Watersports on Saturday 1st June for a fun day of watersports, food and music!
There will be a chance to try kayaking, canoeing, white water rafting and SUP Yoga – no experience necessary and it’s free! There will also be demonstrations going on throughout the day, and a duck race with prizes up for grabs!
No need to book or get tickets, sessions will be on a first come, first served basis, running every half an hour from 10am; so just turn up!
If you plan to get in a boat please wear comfortable clothes and some old trainers. You might want to bring change of clothes, just in case you get wet! All safety equipment will be provided. Children are welcome and they must be over 8 years of age to take part in the sessions.