Sometimes it can be hard to escape the city to search for an adventure. Luckily, the city is our playground too - and there are plenty of places to go urban exploring in Glasgow!
We have dabbled with ‘urbexing’ in the past - searching out interesting old buildings to satisfy our curiosity and even rigging [urban highlines] for a bit of an adrenaline rush, but our latest trip didn’t require much research - the truth is, it has been right under our noses for years.
Not far from our workshop lies the Glasgow Botanic Gardens. With glasshouses, vegetable patches and plant specimens from all over the world, it’s a great place to explore anyway - but tucked away in a corner, there’s a gaping hole in the ground that looks down onto an abandoned underground train station. We’ve often looked down and wondered what else is down there, but we’ve never known how to get in.
When we finally found the entrance to the abandoned tunnel, we were expecting a big fence, barbed wire - maybe even a pack of guard dogs. In fact, there was a big fence. A big fence with a big gate, and it was left wide open.
From the entrance, the tunnel runs underground for a few hundred metres. We trudged through the darkness until the platforms came into view and roof opened up to the sky. The station has been closed to the public since 1939, and today the old railway line is completely overrun with vegetation while greenery from the gardens above pours in, making the whole place feel like a post-apocolyptic film set.
Like most abandoned buildings nowadays, the walls of the botanics subway station are covered with graffiti. It’s a playground for artists and vandals alike and all of that adds to the atmosphere. Despite feeling so old, the concrete beams that run overhead give the space a modernist feel, and we couldn’t help but think it would make a great restaurant. Apparently, someone once drew up plans to turn it into a nightclub, but nothing ever came of it.
After exploring the length of the station and taking a few snaps with the camera, we retraced our steps back through the old railway tunnel and emerged once again into the botanic gardens themselves. Having found the entrance, it’s location seemed so obvious, and we retreated from the park feeling just a little bit smug.
So next time you’re looking for a great adventure, maybe you should look down first!
One of the most recognisable prints in Scotland, Emily Mackenzie's "50 Shades of Scotland" print manages to pick 50 simple shades from this beautiful country, and transforms them into a journey through Scottish history, and Scottish culture.
We caught up with Emily and asked her about her hometown of Edinburgh, and for her advice on how to make the most of being an artist in the city.
The Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens is the green and growing heart of Edinburgh. Big enough to spend the day in, it's the perfect place to take a packed lunch and try to get lost among the trees.
If it's a little too far for you to visit, then here's a little tour from our most recent visit to the Gardens.