Is Paisley Abbey worth a visit

14 top-rated day trips from Glasgow

Glasgow is in an enviable location, close to many of Scotland's most popular tourist attractions. There are so many things to do in one day trip from Glasgow:

The Scottish Highlands, Robbie Burns Land along the Ayrshire coast, Aran Island, even Oban and Loch Ness. The beautiful Loch Lomond is even closer, as is Stirling and a number of other castles and mansions. When you get tired of Glasgow's vibrant cultural and music scene, there are plenty of ways to spend time outside of the city.

Use it to plan your adventures List of best day trips from Glasgow:

1 Stirling and Stirling Castle

Stirling and Stirling Castle

Only 30 minutes from Glasgow by car or direct train, the city of Stirling is famous as the location of the Battle of Bannockburn 1314 - when Robert the Bruce defeated the English invaders. It was also where the legendary William Wallace defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge, a victory for Scottish independence. (Both battles are punished on the excellent Bannockburn Heritage Center). Between Stirling and the quaint village of Bridge of Allan is the majestic Wallace Monument, a spectacular 246-step tower with breathtaking views of the area and artifacts from Wallace. The spectacular 12th century Stirling Castle, Built on a 76 meter high volcanic rock, it has played an important role in the rich history of Scotland and is open to visitors. You can visit Stirling and the Castle and also enjoy the beautiful scenery of the Trossachs on the Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle Tour from Glasgow. The lakes and mountains of the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park it deserves the name "The Highlands in Miniature".

2 Arran Island: Little Scotland

Arran Island: Little Scotland

The beautiful island of Arran is only 267 square kilometers and contains examples of everything that makes Scotland one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. Arran is an hour-long ferry ride from Ardrossan, which is itself a one-way train ride from Glasgow. Like the mainland, the island is characterized by beautiful mountains, moorland, sandy beaches, an abundance of wildlife, castles, fishing harbors and great golf. It's also a hiker's paradise, and buses run regularly around the island from the ferry terminal in Brodick to its various tourist attractions.

Although its highlights - including Brodick Castle and Goat Fell Mountain (873 meters) - can be seen in a day (including the ferry), you will want to spend at least a few days exploring this beautiful part of Scotland.

Address: Tourist Office, Brodick Pier, Arran Island

3 Benmore Botanical Garden

Benmore Botanical Garden Kloniwotski / photo modified

The Benmore Botanical Gardens are located in the midst of a spectacular, rugged mountain landscape north of Glasgow at the south end of Loch Eck Edinburgh's Royal Botanical Garden. The avenue of giant California sequoia trees planted in 1863 lines the long driveway to the property, where you'll be rewarded with the opportunity to spot more than 300 different species of rhododendrons and azaleas.

Other highlights include Puck's Hut, a wooden memorial to Isaac Bayley Balfour, who came up with the idea of ​​designing the gardens, and a bronze statue from 1875 (a boy with two dolphins) donated by the owner of neighboring Benmore House (now an outdoor -Learning center)). Nearby Argyll Forest Park is also worth a visit. It was founded in 1935 and was the first of its kind in the UK. It has an impressive network of hiking trails.

Location: Dunoon Argyll

Official site:

4 Loch Lomond and the West Highlands

Loch Lomond and the West Highlands

"Yonn Bonnie Banks and yon Bonnie Braes" of Scotland's largest freshwater lake are only half an hour from Glasgow, on the south end of Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park. In addition to the haunted beauty and romantic views the song speaks of, Loch Lomond is a hub for boating and other water sports. Golfers are on their way Carrick Golf Course at Cameron Houseone of Scotland's finest golf courses with standard golf courses and views of Ben Lomond across the waters of the loch. There are plenty of hiking and biking trails throughout the park Loch Lomond cruises Departure from Balloch, at the southern end of the lake. Although you can easily get to the loch by train, Loch Lomond is often part of tours of Glasgow's West Highlands. The full-day, small-group day trip from Glasgow to the West Highland Lochs, Glencoe and the castles includes sights such as Kilchurn Castle, the town of Inveraray and Castle Stalker on Loch Laich.

Official site:
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5 Newark Castle

Newark Castle

The 15th-century Newark Castle is in the industrial town of Port Glasgow, 25 miles west of Glasgow city center. The manor house, with a gatehouse and tower, was once the seat of the (sometimes murderous) Maxwell family. Although the rooms in the Tower House are not open to visitors, you can see the beautiful Jacobean facade of the building and the fascinating rooms "under the stairs" with exhibits about the working conditions and life of the family staff.

Another former industrial center is Greenock, the birthplace of the engineer James Watt, who made the Clyde navigable. It is also famous as the final resting place of "Highland Mary" immortalized by Robbie Burns.

Address: Gilstrap Center, Castlegate, Port Glasgow

Official site:

6 The Ayrshire Coast: Robbie Burns Country

The Ayrshire Coast: Robbie Burns Country

Fans of the poetry and songs of Robbie Burns, Scotland's beloved national poet, will surely want to explore the places he lived and the scenery he immortalized while seeing one of Scotland's most beautiful coastal regions. Follow the Burns Heritage Trail from Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, on the outskirts of Ayr, where you'll see the beautifully preserved thatched roof house where the poet was born and lived as a child. After visiting the 16th century Auld Kirk, where his father is buried, this round trip heads south to Dumfries and the Robert Burns house, where the poet lived for the four years before he died here in 1796, at the age of 36. The house is now a museum and gives a good portrait of his life. His grave is in the nearby St. Michael's Churchyard.

Another highlight is the Ayrshire coast Culzean Castle and Country Parkwith forest paths and landscaped gardens with a Victorian walled garden. You can visit the Burns Sites and Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire Coast Day Trip from Glasgow: Robert Burns Country and Culzean Country Park Tour, with a guide who will tell more about Burns and Culzean Castle, including its connections with President Eisenhower at the end of Second World war.

7 Dumbarton Castle

House of the governor's son by Groucho / photo modified

Dumbarton Castle towers dramatically on a basalt cliff on the north bank of the Clyde overlooking Port Glasgow. This strategically important fortress was founded in the 6th century and was the center of the rule of the ancient Kingdom of Strathclyde over the area until 1018. Of this medieval building, which Mary Queen of Scots entered France when she was five, only the 12th century dungeon and gate remain. Other highlights are the magnificent views, the Georgian artillery fortifications and the Governor's House with its interesting artifacts from the castle.

Address: Castle Rd, Dumbarton, Dunbartonshire

Official site:

8 Oban and the West Highlands

Oban and the West Highlands

Pretty Victorian Oban that Seafood capital of Scotlandis on the coast and is the main port for ferries connecting southern Scotland to Mull, Skye and the Hebridean Islands. For a view that includes the city and the port and up to the Mull Island On a clear day you can climb to the top McCaig's tower, a Victorian monument resembling the Colosseum in Rome. The Glasgow to Oban route takes you through some of Scotland's most picturesque landscapes, a land of mountains, moors, lakes and castles. On the Oban and West Highlands day trip from Glasgow, you'll travel through this scenic country along the coast of Loch Fyne, Loch Awe, and Loch Lomondwhere you will stop in the village of Luss.

9 Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands

Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands

What trip to Scotland would be complete without visiting Loch Ness, home of the fabled sea serpent Nessie? The 23 mile long body of water fills the geological rift known as the Great glenwhose sheer green walls make it one of Scotland's most beautiful sights. for hours Boat trips from Fort Augustus or drive along the shoreline of the loch to reveal breathtaking rocky peaks of the Scottish Highlands. Tours to Great Glen, such as the 12-hour Loch Ness, Glencoe and the Highlands Small Group Day Trip from Glasgow, stop in the distance and atmospheric Glencoe, Scene of the historic massacre of the MacDonald clan in 1692. The entire region is filled with breathtaking landscapes of high mountains, rocky ridges, fast flowing rivers and tumbling waterfalls.

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10 The Hill House, Helensburgh

The Hill House, Helensburgh Karen Bryan / photo modified

Art Nouveau and Arts & Crafts lovers will not be disappointed with a visit to the Hill House in Helensburgh. Designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh from plans for his Art lover houseThe Hill House was built in 1904, overlooking the Firth of Clyde. Surrounded by a beautiful garden, the house is reminiscent of Scottish fortress houses, while the figural elements, the rounded corners, the bay windows and the small chimneys have all the characteristics of the talented designer. In the wide hall, the dark wooden panels contrast with the light wallpaper, complemented by abstract patterns and delicate pastel tones, while Art Nouveau patterns in pink and light green soften the effect of the walls, windows and lamps. The bedroom on the first floor above the living room is considered to be the most successful of Mackintosh's "White Rooms". Mackintosh also designed the furniture, and his wife, Margaret Macdonald, designed and manufactured many of the textiles and a stunning fireplace mantle.

Address: Upper Colquhoun Street, Helensburgh, Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Official website:

Hill House in Helensburgh map

11 The Forth and Clyde Canal and the Falkirk Wheel

Falkirk wheel

The Forth and Clyde Canal, built in 1790, meanders through the Strathkelvin District north of Glasgow, the fully restored 35-mile waterway was an important link for ocean-going vessels between the Firths of Clyde and Forth and joined the River Clyde at bowling and the River Forth at Grangemouth. Today you can have a very enjoyable excursion from Kirkintilloch aboard one of the Forth and Clyde Canal Society ships. Make sure you have time to explore the spectacular Falkirk wheel at the east end of the canal. This unique piece of modern technology - part sculpture, part boat lift - connects up to eight boats and connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal near the important industrial city of Falkirk. Visitors can experience the one-hour journey on board special boats and learn more about its operation in the visitor center.

Official site:

12 Summerlee - The Museum of Scottish Industrial Life

Summerlee Dave Campbell / photo modified

The Museum of Scottish Industrial Life is on the site of the 19th-century Summerlee Iron Works, which opened in 1836 and was once one of the area's largest employers. The sightseeing tour is fun for both kids and adults, with Scotland's only running vintage tram, a newly built mine, workers' houses and a variety of Victorian steam locomotives. Guided tours of the abandoned mines are also possible.

Address: Heritage Way, Coatbridge

13 Paisley Abbey and the Thomas Coats Memorial Church

Thomas Coats Memorial Church

Some surviving parts of Paisley Abbey date from its construction in 1163. Highlights of a visit are the choir stalls and a walk up 197 steps to the tower. Another Paisley landmark is the ornate Thomas Coats Memorial Church. Funded by one of Scotland's leading textile manufacturers and completed in 1894, its intricate masonry was the product of numerous apprentice masons. While in the area, visit Paisley Museum and Art Gallerywith its interesting exhibitions on the development of the textile industry and the history of the unmistakable "drop motif" on the world famous one Paisley pattern. Exhibits include the old looms used to make the best-selling designs, as well as the original woven and embroidered cashmere scarves that were the inspiration for Scottish production.

Address: Abbey Close, Paisley, Renfrewshire

Official website:

14 Gourock: Grandma Kempock's stone

Gourock: Granny Kempock's stone easylocum / photo modified

On the coast at Gourock (45 km west of Glasgow) stands an interesting six-foot-high slate monolith that is said to have been a meeting place for druids. Fishermen also made small offerings for good weather and good catches, and it is still customary for native newlyweds to circle the stone to bring good luck to their marriage. The views across the Clyde Estuary towards the Southwest Highlands make the journey to this coastal town a worthwhile effort. The Gourock Highland Games take place here in May.