Glasgow’s west end is the city’s new shopping destination as city life gets congested with traffic, expensive parking and the west end flourishes with independent shops and better parking.
I was born and brought up in the west end, Westbourne Gardens to be precise. We left when I was 10 to build a family house in the country, where I spent the next 11 years.
This post was inspired by a couple of things. Firstly, an email I got from Nancy Smillie’s shop, stating the west end parking prices, and secondly an article I have just read on a BA flight to London. BA’s Business Life magazine is always a great read and I frequently take snaps of what’s been written and turn them into blogs or post an image on social media.
The article which inspired me today was about London being the centre of everything diverse and innovative. Whilst I can’t argue with that, there is still a lot to be said about communities. Independence. A lot of my thinking nowadays is around relevancy, communities (in the wider sense of the word) and getting to know more specific details/insights before being able to devise strategies at work.
Big stores and brands place their HQs in London and indeed in other cities around the UK, but there are some great communities sustaining their own businesses and building lifestyles for those who choose to live and work there.
The west end has always been a desirable place to live, work and open a business. It’s a cool, leafy part of Glasgow, where there is little wrong! Just recently millions of pounds of investment has been announced for streets and pavements on Byres Road and part of Glasgow University.
The other part of the west end, which I’m also linked to, is the West End Festival, which brings tens of thousands to the west end each year, for cultural performances, art, dance, community events and more. There really is something for everyone. It’ll be 22 this year.
Although the new parking enforcements will shake up the west end’s much loved free parking of the past, it will bring a bit more order to the streets and it will certainly be muche cheaper than parking in town. City centre parking starts at 60p for 12 minutes and the west end will likely start at 20p for the first 30 minutes and 20p for 10 minutes thereafter (max 3 hour stay).
To add perspective, the west end will soon be all paid-for parking. It’s a bone of contention with residents and businesses and many people signed petitions against it. It could be good for the area or it could harm businesses.
With the west end having a fantastic selection of restaurants, bars and shops, why wouldn’t you choose to shop local, rather than head into town to sit in queues and pay over the odds for parking?
In particular, I think Hyndland Road has so much to offer. I like Byres Road, but it can get very busy. Hyndland however has a more chilled, quaint feel. Maybe something a bit more grown up. It has developments including the Italian restaurant at Western Tennis Club, Caffe Parma, which also by the way, has a great private room to hire, I believe there are plans for a new Italian deli instead of Tabac and Pizza Magic, plus further along towards Dowanhill, there’s my client Solo, the go-to fashion boutique for smart and casual clothes by Marc Cain, Eileen Fisher, Not Shy and Mac Jeans, to name a few.
If you think about it, you can spend a day out on Hyndland Road, eating, drinking, pampering with hair and beauty salons, plus undies from Silks, clothes from Solo and shoes from Daniel!
I have shyed away from town for years now, escaping the terrible parking on the streets and in car parks, where people think it’s OK to park over two spaces, the Saturday craziness with kids running about and throwing tantrums. I much prefer the west end. It doesn’t stress me out, it’s closer to where I live, it’s more grown up and a nicer experience.
The west end really goes as far along as Great Western Road in both directions and as far up as Maryhill and as far down as Partick. It’s a big area! I’d also consider Finnieston to be verging on the west end.
So go on, plan your trip to the west end and make a day of it with eating, drinking, shopping and maybe catch a performance!