Best Day Trips from Glasgow
As Scotland's second city, Glasgow has more than enough to keep you occupied even on a long trip. It's the perfect place to take a deep dive into Scottish culture, and it offers an earthier, more down-to-earth atmosphere than the capital, Edinburgh. Glasgow is a famously unpretentious place where you will nevertheless be able to enjoy incredible food, lively nightlife, and the best museums in the city.
But Glasgow's location on the west coast of Scotland also makes it the ideal jumping-off point for some excellent day trips. The beautifully wild scenery of the Scottish Highlands can be reached from Glasgow, along with plenty of other fascinating historical, cultural, and natural sites. Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Glasgow and take advantage of the opportunity to enjoy some of the best day trips from Glasgow. No matter where you choose to go, you'll have a great time exploring this fascinating region.
How to get out of Glasgow
Glasgow central station is the heart of the city's transportation system and a great gateway to enjoy day trips from Glasgow. Trains leave from Central Glasgow to cities and towns throughout Scotland and the rest of the UK. Driving in Glasgow is an experience to be avoided if possible, and the public transport network makes that a possibility. Don't forget to check out our guide on how to get around Glasgow for more information.
With that said, there are some locations outside Glasgow that you may need a car to visit on a day trip. Although the Scottish train network is extensive, it doesn't go everywhere, and if you prefer to explore more rural or natural locations, driving may be the only way to get there. Just remember that in Glasgow, like the rest of the UK, cars drive on the left side of the road.
From Glasgow to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is one of Scotland's most beautiful natural areas, and it's only about an hour from Glasgow. The park has something for everyone, whether you're looking for a strenuous hike or a leisurely stroll. There are also plenty of opportunities for water sports, fishing, and other activities.
The area around Loch Lomond is also home to one of Scotland's finest golf courses, which offers incredible views of Ben Lomond over the waters of the lake. One great way to spend some time on Loch Lomond is to take a boat tour over the calm waters to enjoy the outstanding scenery. Of course, this is Scotland, so don't be surprised by the opportunity to taste some excellent whiskey. The National Park is home to the Famous Grouse Experience, which will teach you all you need to know about the production of whiskey in the West Highlands.
Because Loch Lomond is so close to Glasgow and so easy to reach, this is one of the best day trips from Glasgow for visitors to take. But even though the area can get crowded during the busy season, it's still well worth taking the time to enjoy this exceptional day trip. A boat cruise on the lake or a hike through the surrounding hills is the ideal way to enjoy the Scottish Highlands on one of the best day trips from Glasgow.
How to get to Loch Lomond
It's possible to take bus 916 from Glasgow's Buchanan Bus Station to the Loch Lomond golf course. From there, you can explore on foot or take another bus to the Loch Lomond visitor center. However, to really get the best out of Loch Lomond and the National Park it's in, this is a destination you may want to consider renting a car to explore fully.
From Glasgow to Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle is a magnificent example of Scottish architecture, set on the shores of Loch Fyne. The castle has been the seat of the Duke of Argyll, chief of the Clan Campbell, since the 15th century. Visitors can tour the castle, visit the museum, and enjoy the beautiful grounds. The castle also has an excellent restaurant, which is the perfect place to enjoy a traditional Scottish meal after exploring the castle and its surroundings.
Inveraray is about two hours from Glasgow by car, making it one of the farther day trips on this list. But the drive is well worth it, and there's plenty to see and do in the area around Inveraray. The town of Inveraray itself is worth a visit, with its 18th-century streets and buildings. The Loch Fyne Oyster Bar is a great place to enjoy fresh seafood, and there are also several distilleries in the area where you can learn about the production of whisky and sample some of the finished products.
How to get to Inverary Castle
You can take a couple of buses from Central Glasgow to Inverary Castle, with a journey time of just over two hours. Alternatively, you can drive, which will take an hour and a half.
From Glasgow to The Isle of Arran
The Isle of Arran is often called Scotland in miniature, and it's easy to see why. The island has a little bit of everything, from sandy beaches and rolling hills to mountains and forests. There are also several castles on the island, including Brodick Castle, which is set on the shores of Loch Ranza.
The Isle of Arran is about an hour and a half from Glasgow by ferry, making it one of the most convenient day trips from Glasgow. Once you're on the island, there's plenty to keep you busy. In addition to Brodick Castle, there are several other castles worth visiting, as well as a variety of museums and galleries. The island is also home to some of Scotland's best golf courses, so if you're a fan of the game, be sure to pack your clubs.
Whether you're looking for a relaxing day by the water or an opportunity to explore some of Scotland's most beautiful scenery, the Isle of Arran is a great option for a day trip from Glasgow.
How to get to the Isle of Arran
Driving from Central Glasgow to this island takes around two and a half hours, including the ferry ride. This is the best way to get to the island, as public transport is scarce in this area.
From Glasgow to Stirling Castle
Stirling Castle is one of Scotland's most important historic sites. The castle has been the scene of many pivotal events in Scottish history, including the coronation of Mary, Queen of Scots, and the Battle of Bannockburn, a legendary event in the story of Scottish independence. Visitors can explore the castle grounds and buildings, which include several museums and galleries.
Stirling Castle is about half an hour from Glasgow, making it one of the closer day trips on this list. But even though it's close, there's still plenty to see and do at the castle. In addition to exploring the grounds, be sure to visit the National Wallace Monument, which is dedicated to the Scottish hero William Wallace. You can also take a stroll through the Old Town of Stirling, which is home to several historic buildings and monuments. History lovers shouldn't miss the opportunity to visit Stirling Castle. Even those who aren't as interested in Scotland's rich history will probably enjoy the magnificent scenery of the Scottish Highlands that form the backdrop to Stirling Castle itself.
How to get to Stirling Castle
A drive of just over 30 minutes will bring you from Glasgow to Stirling Castle. It's also possible to reach the castle by train, which takes under an hour.
From Glasgow to Loch Ness
Although it's a little further from Glasgow than many of the day trips on this list, Loch Ness is such a famous and iconic Scottish destination that it would be a shame to leave it out. You can reach Loch Ness in around three hours from Glasgow, and if you're interested in myths and legends, it's definitely worth the trip.
Loch Ness is, of course, famous for its resident Loch Ness monster, but there's much more to see and do in the area. The Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition is a great place to learn about the history and legend of the loch, and there are also several boat tours that will take you out onto the water for a closer look.
Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, is also nearby, and it's worth spending some time exploring this charming city. Inverness Cathedral is one of the highlights, but be sure to allow some time to simply wander the streets and enjoy the atmosphere.
How to get to Loch Ness
Loch Ness is over a three-hour drive from Glasgow. If that doesn't appeal to you, you can take the train to Inverness for around three hours and 40 minutes, then take a bus from there. Yes, it's a long journey. But you can make things easier on yourself by staying an extra night in Inverness to make the trip worthwhile.
From Glasgow to The Cairngorms National Park
The Cairngorms National Park is one of Scotland's most beautiful areas of natural scenery. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including red squirrels, deer, and eagles. There are also several lochs and mountains in the park, making it a great place for hiking and climbing.
The Cairngorms National Park is around two hours from Glasgow, making it one of the further day trips on this list. But if you're looking for a chance to explore some of Scotland's most stunning scenery, it's definitely worth the journey. Once you're in the park, there are numerous walking and cycling trails to enjoy, as well as plenty of opportunities for wildlife watching.
How to get to Cairngorms National Park
It's only around an hour and a half's drive to reach the edge of this National Park from Glasgow. Given the scarcity of public transport in this area, a car is probably the best way to visit, although you may find some bus tours leaving from Glasgow that can get you there too.
From Glasgow to Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle is a beautiful castle located on the Ayrshire coast. The castle has an eventful history and was once home to the Kennedy family. It is even featured on the Scottish five-pound note. Today, the castle is open to the public, and visitors can explore the gardens, grounds, and apartments.
Culzean Castle is around an hour from Glasgow, making it one of the closest day trips in our guide. The castle grounds are well worth exploring, and there are also several walking trails in the area that offer stunning views of the coast. If you're interested in Scottish history, Culzean Castle is definitely worth a visit.
How to get to Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle is very reachable, sitting only an hour's drive from the center of Glasgow. You can also reach it via train to Ayr followed by a bus, which will take a couple of hours in total.
From Glasgow to Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
Although literature fans will get a lot out of a trip to this location, you don't have to be a big reader to enjoy it. Robert Burns is Scotland's national poet, and he occupies a place in the literature of this country that is unrivaled by any other of Scotland's many writers. In fact, this poet is so intertwined with Scottish identity that his birthday has become one of Scotland's biggest annual celebrations.
The Robert Burns Birthplace Museum is located in Alloway, around an hour from Glasgow. The museum tells the story of Burns' life and work, and also has a large collection of his writings. If you're interested in learning more about Scottish culture and history, this is definitely a place you should visit.
How to get to Robert Burns Birthplace Museum
You can reach this location by bus or car. Expect the bus to take around 90 minutes, while a car will take only 50 minutes to make the journey.
Glasgow certainly doesn't lack things to do for visitors. But there's much more to Scotland than just this city and Edinburgh. Iconic destinations like Loch Lomond and the Scottish Highlands are simply too beautiful not to visit when you have the chance, and when you're in Glasgow, you're ideally situated to take advantage of these wonderful locations.
Drop off your bags at a Bounce luggage storage in Glasgow, and you'll be able to take advantage of day tours from the city to these legendary destinations. With your bags safely looked after, you can take a train, local bus, or rent a car and enjoy some of the favourite day trips of locals and visitors alike.
Of course, any list like this is just the tip of the iceberg. Choose your own day trip from Glasgow, and you'll be able to enjoy everything this fascinating part of Scotland has to offer.