In the second part of my Insider Guide to the Glasgow neighbourhood of Pollokshields, this week I’m heading eastwards.

Pollokshields East, which has bustling Albert Drive as its epicentre, has long been one of the most diverse areas in Scotland, a hub for culture, food and fashion reflecting the large Asian population that has made the area home for the last 65-plus years.

Young artists and creatives from the across Scotland, the UK, Europe, North America and beyond are also increasingly drawn to this buzzy area, thanks to the historic architecture, vibrant south side arts scene and close-knit community spirit.

Historical highlights

As part of the masterplan for Pollokshields devised and implemented by the Maxwell family, the eastern side was developed between 1855 and 1910, with mostly upmarket tenements based on a grid street pattern.

In 1893, Glasgow’s vast main tram terminus, Coplawhill, was built on Albert Drive. In the 1960s, after the trams were decommissioned, the building became the city’s transport museum. Faced with demolition when the museum was relocated to Kelvin Hall in the 1980s, an ambitious plan to save the venue was created in preparation for Glasgow’s year as City of Culture in 1990.

The industrial architecture makes Tramway the ideal place to stage big exhibitions and live performances, and it is now recognised as one of the most innovative galleries, theatres and music venues in the UK, attracting artists and performers from around the world. Currently it is also the temporary home of the Citizens Theatre, which is undergoing a major renovation.

In 2003, the Hidden Gardens, an urban green space, opened to rear of Tramway.

Read more: Glasgow's Insider Guide: Pollokshields West

For four generations Pollokshields East been the heart of Scotland’s Asian community, which mostly originates from Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Some of the early pioneers came to Glasgow following the upheaval and violence of Partition in 1947, others followed to start their new lives in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. Many new arrivals – who often worked selling garments or on the "corporation" buses – initially settled in the Gorbals, but by the 1960s Pollokshields had become home for the Muslim and Sikh communities.

In the years that followed these new citizens made a huge contribution to their adopted city, building families and successful businesses, becoming politicians, public servants and activists, sometimes in the face of discrimination.

The UK’s first Muslim member of Parliament was local man Mohammed Sarwar, elected to represent Glasgow Govan in 1992. Pollokshields also produced Scotland’s first Asian female police officer, Sawaranjit Mattharu, in 1974.

Glasgow's Asian community also revolutionised the Scottish palate: legend has it that chicken tikka masala, now one of the UK's most popular dishes, was invented in 1970 at the Shish Mahal restaurant in Gibson Street.

Ken Loach’s 2004 film Ae Fond Kiss, which follows an inter-racial relationship, was set in Pollokshields.

What to do

If you’re travelling from the city centre, I suggest taking the train to Pollokshields East station.

Turn right and you’re right at Tramway. Current exhibitions include a big new show by Glasgow-based visual artist Hardeep Pandhal. There’s also a packed programme of music, dance, theatre and comedy over the next six weeks – check the website for details. The building also now houses the Scottish Ballet headquarters.

Hidden Gardens, accessed to the rear of Tramway, is a must-visit at any time of year. The plants, trees, flowers and art works in this free oasis are laid out to excite all five senses.

Just a few minutes’ walk from here is Glasgow’s main Gurdwara, or Sikh temple. This purpose-built place of worship opened its doors in 2013 and is open to people of every faith and none, offering food, companionship, learning opportunities and the warmest of welcomes.

From here, head west along Albert Drive, noting the handsome sandstone tenements on each side of the road. Look upwards and you'll see a wealth of beautiful Victorian and Edwardian features. This busy high street has a fantastic array of Asian supermarkets, clothes shops, cafes and restaurants to explore, and a friendly neighbourhood vibe.

Read more: Glasgow's Insider Guide: Pollokshields West

Turn left on to Kenmure Street and walk along to Pollokshields Library, a handsome building in its own right and vibrant meeting place for readers of all ages. It sits across from Maxwell Square, which has a good children’s play area. Just round the corner on Herriet Street is Pollokshields Primary, alma mater of Madge Easton Anderston, the UK’s first practising female lawyer, who received her degree from Glasgow University in 1919.

Turn right on to Shields Road, and you’ll spot the handsome town houses and stone villas that dominate neighbouring West Pollokshields and Dumbreck.

Keep walking north and you’ll come to Glendale Women’s Café, a marvellous drop-in centre run by volunteers. Another great community hub for residents is the Nan McKay Hall, just a 10-minute walk away on St John’s Road.

Shields Road Subway, which also has a park and ride facility, will have you back in the city centre in minutes.

Where to eat

Pollokshields East has some of the best and most authentic curry houses and grills in Scotland.

My own favourite is Ambala on Forth Street. An order of fish pakora, followed by chicken saag, served with a crispy paratha, makes for a fine feast. And don’t forget to leave room for kulfi.

Michael Cook recommends the Khyber Pass on St Andrews Road: “The best grill for miles. Top notch lamb dishes.”

Shandar on Albert Drive is the place to go for Asian sweets.

For a laid back brunch vibe at weekends, the Tramway Café, also back on Albert Drive, has hot rolls, soups and paninis. In the evening, it turns into a vibrant bar and hang-out.

Across the road is Café Coco, where the scones are cheap, cheerful and tasty.

Read More: Glasgow's Insider Guide Strathbungo

Where to stay

Home from home: If you’re looking to stay locally, AirBnB has a wide selection of rooms and flats around Albert Drive starting from just £20 a night.

Park View: There aren’t many hotels in the neighbourhood, but the Ivory in nearby Shawlands, which overlooks Queen’s Park, has comfortable rooms from just £29.

Riverside: The Village Hotel at Pacific Quay, next to BBC Scotland, is just a 15-minute walk from Shields Road Subway station and offers rooms from £68.

What to do nearby

Right across from Shields Road Subway is Scotland Street School, one of Glasgow’s quirkiest museums. Housed in a stunning building designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh, it gives a unique insight into Scottish school life from Queen Victoria’s reign to the present. Great interactive fun for youngsters and oldsters alike. And all free of charge.

For those of an adventurous disposition, Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre, in Bellahouston Park, offers year-round fun on the slopes for skiers of all levels.

If the weather is bad and you've got energy to dispel, Inflata Nation Glasgow offers soft play for all the family. A couple of hours in this indoor inflatable theme park in Portman Street, Kinning Park and even the bouciest bouncy castle fan will be ready for a rest.