OVER the last 10 months our Insider Guides have visited villages and small towns the length and breadth of Scotland, from the Outer Hebrides to the Borders. As readers pointed out, however, our bigger towns and cities have been ignored.

Not any more. In the weeks and months to come we’ll be featuring city neighbourhoods, too, and we want your recommendations. For now, let’s start with one of Glasgow’s most buzzing urban communities: Strathbungo. This south side district has it all: great architecture, an enviable food and drink scene, one of the city’s best-loved parks and a strong community spirit.

Historical highlights

Situated off Pollokshaws Road, just over two miles from the city centre, Strathbungo was originally a crofting and mining village. By the end of the 18th century weaving was the principal occupation.

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Around 1860 landowner Sir John Maxwell of Pollok gave permission for Strathbungo to be developed as an upmarket suburb. Alexander Greek Thomson designed the masterplan, creating the first terrace at Moray Place. Thomson built the house at No. 1 for himself, dying there in 1875. Three other desirable terraces were built between 1862 and 1880 – Queen Square, Regent Park Square and Princes Square (later changed to Marywood) – named after protagonists in the Battle of Langside, which was fought nearby. In the late 1920s, the red sandstone homes in the “gardens” were added.

Now predominantly a conservation area, Strathbungo, which also incorporates part of Nithsdale Road, is popular with young professionals, families, bohemians and creatives. It is served by two railway stations – Queens Park and Pollokshields West – and buses including the 38.

Things to do

With such stunning architecture all around, a walk among the leafy terraces is a must. Start at No. 1 Moray Place, where Thomson’s vision for the area was most fully realised in the Greek-influenced columns, pediments and stonework. And, as you walk down Regent Park Square, look out for number 27, where a certain Charles Rennie Mackintosh, first ever winner of the Alexander Thomson medal, lived in the 1890s. For more information on the history of the area, go to bungoblog.com.

Every February, residents decorate their windows for Window Wanderland, a one-night-only festival of DIY colour, creativity and light, complete with live music. They also gather on Hogmanay for Bungo at the Bells.

Bungo in the Back Lanes, a quirky cross between a market, festival and a gala day takes place on a Saturday towards the end of in June (this year it took place on 22 June) in the lanes that run along the back of Strathbungo’s streets, with many residents opening their gardens to visitors. With stalls, homemade food, live music and children’s activities galore, it’s no surprise people flock from all over the city to attend. While perusing stalls you might bump into Bungo in the Back Lanes regular and local MSP, Nicola Sturgeon.

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Strathbungoans have their own entrance to Queen’s Park, on Pollokshaws Road, near the pond. Don’t forget to doff your cap to Clyde, the Commonwealth Games mascot, as you enter. Favourite attractions for locals at this side of the park include the well-equipped playpark, swans, ducks and moorhens in the pond and the pretty poetry rose garden. The flagpole at the highest point of the park – a favourite meeting place – offers stunning views across the city to Dumbarton rock and beyond. From there, the Glasshouse, a children's favourite for generation, is just a short hop.

The park also has well-kept tennis courts, an outdoor gym and a pitch and putt course, which are all free to use.

Where to eat

Arguably the hottest place in the city to eat brunch, Strathbungo is teeming with great eateries, which fill up remarkably quickly – and early – at weekends.

Gnom, on Pollokshaws Road, has a small but perfectly formed menu that includes breakfast baos, Turkish eggs, smoked salmon and moreish German spaetzle (noodles). Local Seb Barnhill says: “The hanger steak with salsa verde is amazing. Followed by a French toast ice cream sandwich I can’t think of a tastier lunch.”

Round the corner on Nithsdale Road, The Bungo is an established favourite, with an eclectic menu of small and larger plates, not to mention great cocktails and mocktails. Look out, too, for the regular tasting nights. Up the street, newcomer Niven's is also gaining a city-wide reputation for its small plates and friendly ambience.

Back on Pollokshaws Road, Halloumi south side’s Greek small plates are a hit, while Ranjit’s Kitchen serves up some of the best Indian food in the city – all vegetarian – in a warm and welcoming canteen atmosphere.

For a good fish supper, Marina's is the place to go.

Where to drink

Strathbungo’s stretch of Pollokshaws Road has a fantastic array of pubs to suit every taste. Those looking for a traditional experience should head to Heraghty’s, an Irish institution in the area since 1890. Irene Dawson says: “There really is nowhere else like Heraghty’s in terms of the welcome and the craic. The history and the warmth are unique.”

A few doors away the Allison Arms offers an old-fashioned welcome to the younger, hipper crowd, while Marchtown and The Stag and Thistle have impressive wine and craft beer lists. Both also benefit from outdoor seating.

For a chilled-out vibe, the Rum Shack has an excellent selection of rums and a pleasant beer garden at the rear. At weekends, the Dancehall downstairs hosts live music and club nights.

Round the corner on Nithsdale Road, The Titwood remains a favourite with the not-so-hipster crowd, while The Bungo attracts a younger, foodier clientele.

Where to shop

On Nithsdale Road, “pre-loved” baby and child emporium Merry-Go-Round stocks clothes, buggies and toys at very reasonable prices. A couple of doors up, Emily Rose Vintage is a furniture up-cycler par excellence with a delightful showroom; it also runs workshops for those looking to learn painting and refurbishing for themselves.

On Pollokshaws Road, new kids on the block include Aume, which sells homeware and gifts, Apercu, which stocks a huge array of house plants and flowers, and the Wee Beer Shop, for craft beers.

What to do nearby

Just a 10-minute walk down Pollokshaws Road, there’s always something interesting going on at Tramway, on Albert Drive, Pollokshields, whether it’s theatre, visual art or music. The Hidden Garden at the rear provides a perfect respite from the urban hustle and bustle.

Ten minutes the other way, the Glad Café is the café, bar, live music venue and community hub that has been at the centre of the south side’s renaissance as an arts and culture hub over the last decade. Under threat due to a £40k roof bill, locals – including the band Deacon Blue – raised the money through a crowdfunder. Vintage clothes fans should also check out Glad Rags next door.

Those who enjoyed Strathbungo’s Alexander Greek Thomson architecture will want to visit Holmwood House in nearby Cathcart, which many consider to be his finest domestic creation. Run by the National Trust for Scotland, the design of the house and gardens, completed in 1858, showcase Thomson’s commitment to Grecian style and symmetry.

For a wilder park experience, Pollok Park is a 30-minute walk through Crossmyloof, which was once home to one of Glasgow’s best-loved ice-rinks.

In the weeks to come I’ll be visiting Millport, Fort William and Drymen. I’m also after pointers for the city neighbourhoods I should seek out. Send hints and tips for where to go and what to do, and where to eat, shop and stay to marianne.taylor@heraldandtimes.co.uk.