Lena Points #16: Old Calderpark/ Glasgow Zoo, East Glasgow

Student Tours Scotland teams up each week with Lena, our resident French living in Glasgow. We travel around the city and find interesting, weird and wonderful things to point at. This week we point at the abandoned entrance to the old Glasgow (formerly Calderpark) Zoo near the Mount Vernon area of East Glasgow.

There are few places in the city that tear apart Glaswegians so much as Glasgow Zoo. It was a great place and then a very sad place. Everyone loves a zoo park but Glasgow's had become a farce by the time it closed in 2003. I remember going near the end when I was quite ill and thought it was a sad way for the zoo to end after all this time. It's closure left a gaping hole in the East End of the city and sadly, it's part taken over by housing. It would make a fantastic addition to the park set in the city if only Glasgow City Council would actually plan. 

The North Calder Water runs through it and there is a lot of cool lanscaping all around. There are even rumours of a puma or large cat still roaming around. I certainly wouldn't like to go in after dark. The entrance block where Lena is standing, is sadly all that remains of this once awesome place. The time when you could walk around the enclosures is gone, them all having been knocked down to prevent undesirables lingering in them for too long.

The good news is that Student Tours Scotland recenly read that Glasgow and Rutherglen will be getting a new zoo. If the planning permission is granted then a section of park land on the Cuningar Loop in the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen in Glasgow's South East will be home to a new animal park with a futuristic twist. The enclosures of old will be replaced with themed pods. Fingers crossed that Glasgow gives the go-ahead to this wonderful idea. A new tourist draw like this would really put Glasgow on the map after the 2014 Commonwealth Games.