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20 Fun Things to Do in and Around Glasgow

From the crowning place of Scottish Kings to Charles Rennie Mackintosh treasures, you can find many places to visit in Glasgow and the surrounding area this summer. There are plenty of fun things to do so read on and see how many you can tick off your Glasgow sightseeing list.

1. Balloch Castle and Country Park

Locals and visitors alike flock to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, but few perhaps venture to Balloch Castle Country Park on east of the Loch. This is an ideal spot for a picnic and has great walks to explore, as well as a sandy beach!

Explore Balloch Castle Country Park

 

2. Hill House

Charles Rennie Mackintosh is known for his internationally renowned designs. Glasgow is a hotbed for his style, but nearby in Helensburgh, you will find an entire house designed by the man himself.

Explore Hill House

 

3. Auchentoshan Distillery

Tucked away, at the foot of the Kilpatrick hills and on-route to Loch Lomond from Glasgow, the Auchentoshan Distillery uses a unique triple distilled process to create a delicate, smooth and light single malt whisky.

Explore Auchentoshan Distillery

 

4. Snow Factor

There is no need to wait for winter to hit the slopes with real snow every day at Snow Factor at intu Braehead. Whether skiing, snowboarding, sledging or ice climbing is your thing, you are in the right place.

Explore Snow Factor

 

5. Paisley Abbey

Quite simply, Paisley Abbey is spectacular and it’s less than 15 mins by train from Glasgow Central train station. The building itself is steeped in history but look out for the gargoyle based on the monster from the popular 1980s film, Alien – an example of one of the stonemasons who helped refurbish the abbey in the 1990s having some fun.

Explore Paisley Abbey

 

6. The Burrell Collection and Pollok Country Park

A haven in the city, Pollok Country Park and its two fabulous visitor attractions boast a great location for a family day out. The Burrell Collection reopened in spring 2022 following a major refurbishment with more of its world-class collection on display than ever before, all within a greener and more accessible museum.

There are over 9000 works on display, including world-leading tapestry and stained glass collections, as well as one of Europe’s finest collections of Degas. Jump on the free electric shuttle bus or enjoy a woodland stroll to Pollok House. This Edwardian gem houses an impressive collection of Spanish Art, an Edwardian kitchen and idyllic riverside views.

Explore Pollok House

 

7. Pinkston Watersports

You don’t need to leave the city to get stuck in to some exhilarating watersports thanks to Scotland’s only artificial whitewater course at Pinkston. This centre is in the north of the city with plenty to do nearby, such as taking a stroll along the canal or dining in some truly delicious local eateries.

Explore Pinkston Watersports

 

8. Forth & Clyde Canal

The Forth & Clyde canal runs through the north of the city to Falkirk, where it meets the mighty Falkirk Wheel, the world’s first and only rotating boat lift. The flat towpaths along the canal are ideal for cycling and walking.

Explore the Forth & Clyde Canal

 

9. Glasgow Cathedral

Marking the birthplace of the city of Glasgow, this medieval cathedral is a stone’s throw from the city centre and the ideal place to escape from the bustle of the city. The cathedral is the only one on the Scottish mainland to have survived the Reformation of 1560.

Explore Glasgow Cathedral

 

10. Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

One of the finest university collections in the world is found at the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery. Admire Roman artefacts, impressive ethnographic objects from Captain Cook’s Pacific voyages as well as the largest single holding of Charles Rennie Mackintosh works in The Mackintosh House.

Explore the Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery

 

11. Tramway

Glasgow is well-known for its artistic flair with art-spaces and galleries across the city. Tramway is an international art-space for contemporary art and there are lots of exhibitions to see all-year-round.

Explore the Tramway

 

12. Barras Art and Design

At BAaD in the East End, just a stone’s throw from the city centre, you will find a trendy hang out. Browse shops and studios from local artists, dine out at an award-winning restaurant, enjoy a cocktail, or grab a bite at Glasgow’s first shipping container street food yard.

Explore Barras Art and Design

 

13. Bothwell Castle

Catch the train from the city centre and venture out to Bothwell. A town with some excellent restaurants, a quaint main street, as well as Bothwell Castle one of the largest and finest 13th century castles in Scotland.

Explore Bothwell Castle

 

14. Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life

Based around the site of a 19th century ironworks, Summerlee in Coatbridge is a great free day out. Highlights include Scotland’s only operational heritage tramway, exploring the miners’ cottages through the ages from 1840 to 1980, and mine tours.

Explore Summerlee Museum of Industrial Life

 

15. Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

Ever wanted to see the world’s oldest football? Well, Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum is the place. Alongside the football, which was found in Stirling Castle, there are 40,000 other objects to admire which all celebrate the people, heritage and culture of Stirling.

Explore Stirling Smith Art Gallery & Museum

 

16. Old Town Jail

While in Stirling join a guided tour (if you’re brave enough) and learn all about the grim and gruesome history of Stirling’s Old Town Jail and its inmates. Your guide will truly bring the stories of the area’s heroes and of course villains to life.

Explore the Old Town Jail

 

17. Dunblane Cathedral

As you walk through the narrow streets of Dunblane, you won’t miss the imposing Dunblane Cathedral. This spectacular medieval church dates back to the 12th century but the tower is from the late 11th century. Don’t forget to look out for Andy Murray’s gold post box too.

Explore Dunblane Cathedral

 

18. BliSS Trail

Explore the stunning landscapes of Rob Roy Country with the BliSS Trail, north of Stirling in the Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. As you journey through the trail, you will see a variety of art installations, such as the ‘Soaring Eagle’ and ‘Stan the Stag’.

Explore the BliSS Trail

 

19. Scone Palace

Scone Palace was the crowning place of Scottish Kings, including Macbeth, Robert the Bruce and Charles II, and a place where you really can walk in the footsteps of royalty. Today, it is the family home of the Earls of Mansfield near Perth but continues to breathe history like nowhere else in Scotland.

Explore Scone Palace

 

20. Paisley walking trails

These walking trails of Paisley guide you into the historic and cultural heritage of this town. Discover great architectural works, street art and more.

Explore Paisley walking trails

 

We hope you have enjoyed our roundup on just some of the fun things to do in and around Glasgow. Fancy extending your stay just that wee bit longer? Make a weekend out of it with our Glasgow 2-day itinerary.

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