Calm your senses at Cardowan
In 1124 Cardowan Moss belonged to the Bishops of Glasgow, who built a palatial retreat at nearby Bishop Loch. Today you can follow easy trails through the wood and enjoy your own slice of countryside in the city. There’s a wealth of wildlife and great views of Glasgow and the Campsie Fells from the higher ground. Keep an eye out for a surprising scrap metal sculpture as you go...
There’s a network of about 4 miles (6.5km) of paths across Cardowan. The paths are wide, smooth and mostly flat, making this a great place to explore on foot, by bike, on horseback or with buggies and pushchairs. There’s a map and more information in our Cardowan leaflet. Two phototrails give extra access information, covering two easy circular routes through the woods: Cardowan Moss and Cardowan Wood.
You can find toilets and plenty of places to eat, drink and shop at nearby Glasgow Fort retail park and the Shandwick Square Shopping Centre in Easterhouse.
Mountain biking trails
Watching wildlife at Cardowan
For a wood so close to the city, there’s a remarkable variety of habitats here, including ponds, wetlands, open grassy areas, woods and a raised bog – and each one attracts a host of different creatures.
Cardowan’s raised bog is a particularly special place to explore. A host of water-loving plants grow here amongst heather and moor-grass, with butterflies, dragonflies, frogs and toads attracted to the patchwork of ponds and marshes. This is also an important place for water voles. Watch for roe deer grazing and listen out for the sweet songs of wheatears and meadow pipits amongst the rushes, and skylarks high overhead. The habitats and wildlife here are so important that the site has been designated a Local Nature Reserve.
Easterhouse and the Bishops Estate Forest
Five wonderful woodlands spread across Greater Easterhouse and the Bishops Estate, so called because the land here was once owned by the medieval Bishops of Glasgow. All the woods are different, but each makes a great getaway without leaving the city. You can enjoy walking, cycling, horse riding, wildlife spotting or simply sit back to enjoy the peace and quiet.
Glasgow City Council owns the land here, while we at Forestry Commission Scotland manage the woods. Together, we have improved the trails across the Easterhouse woods and planted new native woodland to create more green spaces for people and wildlife in the city.
The woodlands at Easterhouse are also one of thirteen Commonwealth Woods, designated as part of the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, that provide outdoor spaces for people to enjoy free events and activities, get active or just to go for a walk in the fresh air. The network of green spaces around the city includes a mix of well-established and newly-planted woods, and a new riverside park created out of derelict land opposite the Commonwealth Games athletes’ village.
Seven Lochs Wetland Park
Cardowan is part of the Seven Lochs Wetland Park. Destined to become Scotland's largest urban nature park, the Seven Lochs Wetland Park is an exciting new Green Network project. Bringing together 20 square kilometres of lochs, parks, nature reserves and woodlands between Glasgow and Coatbridge, the park offers an exciting range of things to see and do. With seven lochs, five local nature reserves, a country park and one of Glasgow’s oldest buildings at Provan Hall, plus miles of waking and cycling routes to explore, the park is the perfect place to unwind from the stresses of city life.
Over the next five years Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership, Glasgow City Council, North Lanarkshire Council, Forestry Commission Scotland and others will work together to develop the park as a place for people, nature and heritage. With lots of activities to encourage recreation and education, and a range of ways to get involved in the park, we hope there’s something for everyone.
How to get here
Cardowan wood lies to the north of Garthamlock and Craigend in Easterhouse at the eastern end of Glasgow. It is easy to reach from Junction 11 of the M8 motorway.
The entrance to the wood is off Avenue End Road (B765), between Junction 11 of the M8 and Millerston. From Junction 11, follow Avenue End Road north for about ¾ mile (1km). The entrance to Cardowan wood is on the right hand side, about 150 yards (150 metres) beyond the turning to Mossvale Road, at grid reference NS 648 674.
There is no car park for the wood, but on-street parking at nearby Mossvale Road or Hogganfield Loch.
G33 5PU is the nearest postcode (Mossvale Road).
There are regular trains from Glasgow Queen Street to Easterhouse railway station. Find details at Traveline Scotland.
There are four other woods to explore around Easterhouse.
Discover a wildlife haven with wonderful views beneath a rocky outcrop at nearby Todds Well or follow in the footsteps of the medieval Bishops of Glasgow to explore tranquil Bishop Loch, a great place for wildlife watching.
There are attractive woods and lovely summertime wildflower meadows at Lochend Burn, or watch out for birds of prey at quiet West Maryston wood and get a bird’s eye view of your own over the lost villages of Easterhouse and out to Tinto Hill.
For more bird-watching and easy trails for the whole family, visit nearby Hogganfield Park with its lovely loch and island bird sanctuary.
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