Alexander “Greek” Thomson Tour

Route summary

A running tour of Alexander "Greek" Thomson's 19 surveying buildings in Glasgow. The 19.8 miles route is a great way to see the city.

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Alexander “Greek” Thomson Tour

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A fantastic sightseeing tour for all you running historians which captures 19 Alexander Thomson architectural beauties over almost 20 miles. The route was shared by Dan Lowe, and the Alexander Thomson Society.

Week 51/52 #TakesonThomson, Dan Lowe’s Lockdown Long Run – Thomson Route


The 19.7 mile loop begins and ends in Glasgow Green and captures:

  1. Southern Necropolis (Greek Thomson’s grave) 
  2. Caledonia Road Free Church 
  3. Holmwood House 
  4. Millbrae Crescent
  5. Maria Villa  
  6. Salisbury Quadrant 
  7. Moray Place (1-10) 
  8. The Knowe 
  9. Walmer Crescent 
  10. Eton Terrace 
  11. Great Western Terrace 
  12. Wesbourne Terrace 
  13. The Sixty Steps 
  14. Grecian Chambers (CCA) 
  15. St Vincent Street Church 
  16. West Nile Street (99-105) 
  17. Grosvenor Building 
  18. Egyptian Halls (Under scaffold) 
  19. Bucks Head Building


Click on the gallery tab to view images from the route and email us to add your own.

The Alexander Thomson Society is a Charity, founded in 1991, aimed at celebrating the life and work of Glasgow’s most influential nineteenth century architects. Thomson (1817-1875) was a prolific architect designing numerous villas, terraces, tenements and commercial buildings as well as four churches all either in or around Glasgow.

The Society aims to support the conservation, preservation, maintenance and improvement of buildings and artefacts designed by Alexander Thomson and to advance public education in the works of Alexander Thomson by means of exhibitions, lectures and tours.

They have recently been organising a digital exhibition, Takes on Thomson, where they ask people to submit art, design, sketches, or other images which are inspired by the work of Thomson. 

Number 51 in the series (this route) was created by Dan Lowe. A keen runner, he decided to plan a long running route around Glasgow which ticked off all of Thomson’s surveying buildings in the city. 


From Glasgow Green, head to Polmadie Bridge, onto New Rutherglen Road following the road round to the Southern Necropolis to visit Alexander Thomson’s Grave. It’s then a short run to the Gorbals to the Caledonia Road Free Church and heading back up Cathcart Road. At Cathcart, make your way to Netherlee Road and it’s an out and back to see Holmwood House.

Run to Merrylee Road then Langside Drive and divert right for Thomson’s Millbrae Crescent then cross the road again to Mansionhouse Road for Maria Villa. Afterwards head to and through Queen’s Park. Exit onto Pollokshaws Road then along Nithsdale Road where Salisbury Quadrant sits facing the roundabout where Nithsdale Road, Drive and Street all meet. 1-10 Moray Place is on the left, off Nithsdale Road (careful not to miss it).

Continue along Nithsdale Road, taking a right onto Shields Road where you’ll pass The Knowe at its junction with Albert Drive. Continue on Shields until you reach Scotland Street and take a left along Vermont Street, crossing the motorway bridge to Kinning Park.

Next up on the tour is Walmer Crescent in Cessnock which you reach along Paisley Road West taking a slight right where the Underground station is. Follow Walmer Crescent onto Ibrox Street then take a right on Whitefield Road as you head towards the Science Centre to hit the west of the city.

Follow the Clyde then up past Kelvinhall and running up to and through Glasgow University. Coming down University Avenue past Wellington Church (nice but not a Thomson), turn left along Oakfield Avenue where Eton Terrace sits at the corner with Great George Street. Continue to Great Western Road.

Stay on the left side of Great Western Road, running up past the Botanics where you’ll find Great Western Terrace off to the left at the traffic lights (after Belhaven Terrace). Just round the corner is Westbourne Terrace on Hyndland Road as you enter from Westbourne Road.

After Hyndland, cross over to Cleveden Road, right down Cleveden Drive and follow Kirklee to Kelvin Drive, crossing Queen Margaret Drive to the Sixty Steps on Queen Margaret Road. Continue on to take a right on Belmont Street to rejoin Great Western Road to take you into town via Woodlands Road.

Up Sauciehall Street, you’ll pass Grecian Chambers (the CCA), then down Pitt Street to reach St Vincent Street and St Vincent Street Church. Head up to Bath Street via Blythswood Square then run down West Nile Street, passing Thomson’s work on numbers 99-105 West Nile Street. Take a right on Gordon Street for the Grosvenor Building.

Take Union Street, looking up, where you’ll pass the grand Egyptian Halls (under scaffolding at time of writing) to Argyle Street where you’ll find your final landmark – the Buck’s Head Building (named so after the deer statue that sits at the top) just after the St Enoch Centre at Dunlop Street. To finish, head along Trongate and London Road to finsh back at Glasgow Green.

For more information on Thomson’s works, check out the Alexander Thomson Society. Photos used with permission from the Society and Holmwood House by Edwardx – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0


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