Plenty of green space to explore, well-kept gardens and an abundance of added fun to keep children entertained.
There are so many wonderful parks to explore here in Glasgow. If the weather were to stay as good as it has been recently, there really would be no need to spend your time or money anywhere else!
Joseph and I have been fully embracing the opportunity to do so during this heatwave and yesterday we were lucky enough to spend some quality time with Joseph's granny down at Strathaven Park.
Strathaven is a historic market town set in South Lanarkshire and comes complete with everything you'd imagine a quaint, rural town to behold; cobbled streets, colourful bunting, an old-fashioned grocers, and of course, the park which also has an air of charming nostalgia.
Surrounded by beautiful farmland, the park feels far from being a bustling town and more of a sleepy village from an Enid Blyton storybook. There is a bandstand, a bowls green, a mini golf course, two parks, flower gardens, a pond and the famous wee stream train that is sure to be a hit with any transport-mad little one!
The day we chose to visit was fairly warm and bright and we planned to make the most of the trip by arriving fairly early. Despite the nice weather, the park was never overly swamped, however, the car park attached is small so come early to avoid having to park elsewhere.
Strathaven does not have a railway, so accessing the park via public transport could be tricky. From Glasgow Central, you would have to get a train, either to Hamilton or East Kilbride and then a bus.
It is a long journey but not impossible and so worth the trip given that the park was voted one of the UK's top ten in 2017.
This park is so much more than swings and slides; although the play parks are, themselves, very good! The two are clearly split into a 'senior park' and toddler park which are set far apart so there is no confusion and no chance of little ones getting hurt by older kids. In the senior park there is an impressive climbing frame and even a zip wire.
Our favourite part of the trip, however, was the pedal boats that you could hire for the bargain price of £2.60 for half an hour. Joseph sat on my lap while me and his granny pedalled and it was a lovely experience for all of us. There is also somebody monitoring on land in case you should need any assistance so you can rest assured you're never too far from help - plus the pond is only a foot deep!
After the boat ride, Joseph ran straight to a wee track nearby which had a few cars and bikes that ran on pound coins; you have to be four to use this facility, but the man running them happily let Joseph sit on the cars and that seemed to be good enough for him! There is also a bouncy castle in this area, which again, is more suited to older children as it was quite busy and perhaps a bit much for toddlers and younger children.
The popular train that you sit on for a trip around the small track, we were disappointed to learn, is only there on weekends and bank holidays, however, with so much else on offer, it really didn't matter - there will always be next visit! The train ride only costs £1 for reference but you need cash.
There is plenty of green space for children to explore and a well-kept garden full of the most beautiful flowers. We enjoyed a stroll around these before heading to one of the many benches for a picnic.
There is also a cafe on site offering hot and cold food and drinks and also well-kept toilet facilities.
The journey may be a bit further out for those based in Glasgow but it really is worth the extra travel; especially if you make a day of it and visit the town itself or even the nearby historic castle. If you're looking for any more reason to visit, in August, Strathaven park host Scotland's only hot air balloon festival, attracting over 20,000 people across the weekend; so what better excuse than that to make the trip?