Areas in Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley

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VisitScotland Greater Glasgow and The Clyde Valley Guides
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  • Shoppers on Buchanan Street in Glasgow
    Buchanan Street, Glasgow
  • Looking over the River Clyde where it is crossed by Bell's Footbridge to the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow.
    Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow
  • Gourock, Inverclyde
    Gourock, Inverclyde
  • New Lanark, South Lanarkshire
    New Lanark World Heritage Site, South Lanarkshire
  • A small boy and his mum chat with the driver of a vintage steamroller at Summerlee - Museum of Scottish Industrial Life
    Summerlee - Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, North Lanarkshire

Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley is a region with so much to offer. The host of the spectacular 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is a warm, friendly city boasting great shopping, delightful restaurants and a range of vibrant attractions. Just beyond Glasgow and within easy reach, you’ll find lush countryside, great family days out and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

City of Glasgow

Visit the city of Glasgow, a cultural hub with exceptional architecture, beautiful parks and gardens, some of the UK’s best shopping and dining and countless fun attractions to visit, many of which are free. The proud host of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow is a UNESCO City of Music, a former European Capital of Culture and was recently named by TripAdvisor as one of Europe's top 10 'Travellers' Choice Destinations on the Rise'.

With many of Glasgow’s attractions free to enter, the city is a great destination for a family day out. In the heart of the city you will find the magnificent Glasgow Cathedral, head to the West End for the fantastic Riverside Museum or marvel at the exhibits of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, one of Scotland’s most popular free attractions.

Discover why the city is known as Scotland’s vibrant style capital. With the best shopping in the UK outside London, Glasgow is ideal for a spot of retail therapy and the pedestrianised Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street and Argyle Street are dubbed together as the ‘Style Mile'. From the spacious Buchanan Galleries and elegant Princes Square to the charming Merchant City and bohemian West End, there’s a fashion fix to suit all tastes and budgets.

Explore Glasgow’s flourishing arts scene in major exhibitions and galleries, thriving independent studios and acclaimed events and festivals. Learn about the city’s connections with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, one of Glasgow’s famous sons who has left a legacy of remarkable buildings and artworks across the city. Uncover attractions such as the Glasgow School of Art on Renfrew Street, House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park and the University of Glasgow’s Hunterian Art Gallery.

Glasgow has a lot to offer in entertainment and food and drink, and the city really comes into its own in the evening. Try a restaurant in the atmospheric cobbled Ashton Lane in the West End, or head for cocktails in the Corinthian Club, which has its own casino.

Why not attend one of the live music events which take place in venues across the city? Head to the Arches, the SECC or the new Hydro, Scotland’s home of live entertainment which opens in September 2013.

Inverclyde

Visit Inverclyde for a relaxing day out by the sea. Situated along the coastal reach of the River Clyde, this part of the region is approximately 40 minutes west of Glasgow and the town of Gourock is just a 25 minute ferry journey from Dunoon in Argyll.

Explore the charming villages of Inverkip and Wemyss Bay for watersports and other exciting activities. Visit Port Glasgow for the 15th century Newark Castle, and at the Greenock Cut Visitor Centre within Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park you can enjoy coastal walks, wildlife spotting and more.

Greenock is a historic town which grew from a fishing community to become the site of the first dock on the Clyde in 1711. You can explore the maritime history of Inverclyde at the McLean Museum and Art Gallery and Greenock is also home to the Beacon Arts Centre, where you can enjoy popular theatre and art productions.

East Dunbartonshire

Lying to the north of Glasgow, East Dunbartonshire is bounded by North Lanarkshire, Stirling and West Dunbartonshire. Some of the area’s charming towns include Milton of Campsie, Bishopbriggs and Kirkintillloch, with its popular annual canal festival.

In Bearsden you can get an insight into the limits of Roman conquest in Britain, demonstrated by parts of the Antonine Wall, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Excellent walking opportunities present themselves in East Dunbartonshire, with Milngavie marking the starting point of the West Highland Way, a 95-mile path through the West Highlands to Fort William. If you’d prefer a shorter, gentler walk, Milngavie’s Mugdock Country Park has some great short routes and a host of activities from horse riding and orienteering through to archery and golf.

North Lanarkshire

With Glasgow to the west and Edinburgh to the east, North Lanarkshire is an ideal place to base yourself when exploring Scotland’s top attractions. You don’t actually need to leave this charming part of central Scotland to find fun things to see and do, with North Lanarkshire being home to Scotland’s first theme park, a fascinating World Heritage Site and much more.

Explore 400 acres of open parkland, woodland and varied wildlife habitats in Strathclyde Country Park. Located in Motherwell, this Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games venue is also a great place to try out sailing, kayaking and rowing and is home to Scotland’s first theme park, M&Ds.

Summerlee, the Museum of Scottish Industrial life, is located on the site of a 19th century ironworks in Coatbridge. Billed as ‘Scotland’s noisiest museum’, you can ride on an electric tram and venture underground to a recreated mine.

Granted UNESCO World Heritage status in 2008, the Antonine Wall stretches 60 km from Bo’ness to Old Kilpatrick and some of the best forts can be seen at Bar Hill, Croy Hill, Westerwood and Castlecary. Download the Antonine Walks leaflet to find out more.

Renfrewshire

Renfrewshire is located to the west of Glasgow on the south bank of the River Clyde. Discover historic towns and villages, gorgeous countryside, unmissable attractions and top shopping facilities.

Situated just 10 minutes by rail from Glasgow city centre, Paisley boats a long and interesting history. Visit the magnificent Paisley Abbey which dates back to 1163 and is reputedly the site where William Wallace was educated, and visit Paisley Museum for the finest collection of Paisley Shawls in the world.

Braehead Shopping Centre boasts more than a hundred stores to browse, and the Xscape leisure centre offers the ultimate family entertainment destination with the UK’s largest indoor real snow slope and the highest freestanding climbing wall in Europe. Enjoy the state-of-the-art cinema, ice skating rink, and live concerts and sports events at Braehead Arena.

The whole family will enjoy a visit to Finlaystone Country Estate in Langbank, with its beautiful gardens, 140 acres of woodland and amazing views of the Firth of Clyde. The RSPB Lochwinnoch Nature Reserve is also a great place to enjoy the great outdoors with trails, birdwatching hides and a treetop tower viewpoint.

South Lanarkshire

Stretching from Glasgow to West Lothian and bordering North Lanarkshire, East Ayrshire, Dumfries & Galloway and the Scottish Borders, South Lanarkshire is an easily accessible part of Scotland. Discover beautiful rural landscapes, charming towns and villages, a rich history and a great range of attractions to explore.

South Lanarkshire boasts some fantastic country parks which are perfect for wildlife spotting, fun outdoor activities and picnics. Spend a day at James Hamilton Heritage Park and take a taster watersport session on the beautiful 16 acre loch. You can also explore 10 miles of woodland walks at Chatelherault Country Park and visit the meerkats at Calderglen Country Park.

You can also find out about many important moments in Scottish history when visiting South Lanarkshire. Explore the David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre to learn about Scotland’s most famous explorer and missionary, uncover centuries of history at the castles of Bothwell and Craignethan, and follow the story of Scotland’s countryside and people at the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride.

The New Lanark UNESCO World Heritage Site is a beautifully restored 18th century cotton mill village which offers a fascinating insight into Robert Owen’s idealistic vision of workers in the 18th century. At the nearby Falls of Clyde Visitor Centre you can learn about the curious wildlife found within the reserve.

East Renfrewshire

Located just 20 minutes north east from Glasgow, East Renfrewshire boasts plenty of things to see and do.

In Clarkston you’ll find the historic Greenbank Garden, an 18th century house and garden owned and operated by the National Trust for Scotland. The fabulous grounds display around 3,000 different species of flower and are divided into around a dozen different areas, each with its own character.

The Barrhead Heritage Trail comprises three specially designed walks which take in various sites of historical value around the town. Visit the 9th century Arthurlie Cross, the railway station and the former home of Glasgow tea room entrepreneur and Mackintosh patron, Miss Kate Cranston.

Rouken Glen Park is a unique space as it contains one of the most important geological sites in the country - the Orchard Beds. This family-friendly attraction is steeped in history and dates as far back as the 16th century.

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