An 18th Century painting shows Shawlands as completely undeveloped, save for a solitary cottage at the Cross (the meeting place of Pollokshaws Road and Kilmarnock Road, and not as is sometimes assumed, the junction of Langside Avenue/Minard Road and Pollokshaws Road). This would change dramatically within the next century.
Today, housing in the Shawlands area consists mainly of tenement flats and two-storey terraced cottages along with a small number of detached and semi-detached houses. The area has seen a gradual gentrification over the past 20 years, leading some to dub it "the new West End". Property prices are substantially above the Glasgow and Scottish averages.
Shawlands has both a primary and a secondary school. Both are fairly large with Shawlands Academy having around 1250 pupils, about 3 times the number in attendance at Shawlands Primary. Shawlands Academy represents many nationalities and spoken languages within its walls. Mrs Anne Grant is currently the head teacher at Shawlands Academy.
South of Shawlands had traditionally been designated “Dry Areas” where pubs and alcohol have been forbidden, so people have traditionally come from miles around to shop, work and have a night-out in Shawlands.
Property prices are substantially above the Glasgow and Scottish averages. Shawlands has a range of tenement flats, of both red and blond sandstone, ranging from one bedroom to five bedroom tenement mansions and 'main door' flats. These are mostly three and four stories high, but Springhill Gardens on the A77 across from Queen's Park have the tallest tenements built (at five storeys). On Tantallon Road, there is what was once the largest co-ownership developments in Europe - flats and garages set in manicured gardens, built in the 1970s. There are 1920s semi-detached houses, 1890s semi-detached villas, terraced cottages, detached houses, council flats with verandas, and even some post-modern flats with elevators, curved glazed exteriors and penthouses.
As a result, residents of Shawlands vary. There are a lot of small flats that serve as starter flats for young couples, or as rented accommodation for students or nurses. Smaller flats also attract the retired and elderly. The houses and larger flats are popular with families, and give the area a more settled demographic than Glasgow's West End.
There are many 'Victorian Gothic' Christian churches in Shawlands, two at Shawlands Cross and many others along Deanston Drive. Tantallon Road has a Mosque. There are bowling clubs and greens and the biggest public park in Scotland -- Queen's Park which has allotments, a botanical garden glass house, public tennis courts, a public golf course, children's play areas, a boating pond, farmer's markets and a hill affording unrivalled views of the city.
Shawlands is served by many toddler groups, and kindergarten nurseries. Langside Primary, Shawlands Primary and Shawlands Academy are large old Victorian sandstone school buildings. Hutchesons' Grammar is large and more modern.
The area can be best described as a 'hub' for most of the South Side of Glasgow, due to many shops, services, and amenities available in the Shawlands area, although is not always known as a safe area.
It is well served by various transport links, including three railway stations (Pollokshaws East and Shawlands on the Cathcart Circle Line and Crossmyloof on the Glasgow South Western Line) and frequent bus services to various points in Glasgow, details of which can be found at Traveline Scotland
Shawlands is thriving shopping location with a diverse range of independent shops as well as a wide range of pubs, restaurants, cafes and nightclubs, and serves as an entertainment and shopping hub for many of Glasgow's southern suburbs.
Within walking distance are The Tramway theatre (and The Hidden Gardens), Pollok Park, Burrell Collection; the Victoria Infirmary; Hampden Park, National Stadium and home of Queen's Park F.C. and the location where the Scotland national football team play the majority of its home fixtures; Newlandsfield Park, home of Pollok F.C.; and Alexander Skirving's Battlefield Monument, erected to commemorate the 1568 Battle of Langside.