Packed with incredible sights, stunning green spaces, and more than a few secrets, there's always something new to discover in Greater Glasgow & The Clyde Valley - even for those of you who've lived here your whole lives!
These suggestions are not just for visitors - if you're lucky enough to call this region home, then these ideas are for you too!
Walk the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail
Only in Scotland can a city become a canvas. Take a wander through Glasgow city centre and you can't miss the huge pieces of art adorning some of its buildings. From Sir Billy Connolly to the city's patron saint, St Mungo, there's a wealth of vibrant urban art to be found on Glasgow's walls. Keep an eye out for the city's resident panda as you explore the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail!
Did you know?
- While guided tours aren't running for now, you can still explore the trail with the help of the handy City Centre Mural Trail Map.
- The Lost Giant that stands guard over Sauchiehall Lane is part of a series which Australian artist Stormie Mills has created and installed across various major towns and cities all over the world.
- The latest mural to be added to the trail features a giant gold representation of a popular 10p chocolate bar. You can find this sweet-looking comment on inflation in the lane beside Princes Square.
Find out more about the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail.
Explore the Forth & Clyde Canal
Running from Bowling in West Dunbartonshire, through the heart of Glasgow, and all the way to the Firth of Forth on the east coast, the Forth & Clyde Canal is a centuries-old manmade wonder that's ideal for exploring by boot or bike - or just sitting back, relaxing and enjoying the slower pace of life alongside the water.
There's more than a little magic to be found on the canal…
- Angling for a wee fishing adventure? The Forth & Clyde Canal is home to everything from roach and bream to pike and trout. Check out Scottish Canals' guide for some top tips. One thing to bear in mind - the canal is strictly catch and release!
- Even in the heart of the city, the canal is a haven for wildlife. Keep an eye out for herons, swans, kingfishers, and even the odd cheeky otter!
- Flat, traffic-free and easily accessible, the towpaths of the canal are a great route for a family walk or cycle - just make sure you follow Scottish Canals' guidance to using the routes safely.
Plan an adventure along the Forth & Clyde Canal.
Sample some fantastic food and drink
Glasgow's food and drink scene is home to successful street markets, cool café culture and award-winning dining - and you can still sample some of the city's finest right now. Our pals at People Make Glasgow have pulled together a mouthwatering list of restaurants and cafés offering takeaway and delivery. Check it out here and treat yourself to something scrumptious whilst supporting local business at the same time. It's win-win!
Glasgow foodie facts…
- Glasgow is the UK's most Vegan Friendly City with over 100 places to choose from.
- Glasgow's oldest bar, Sloans, has been welcoming people since 1797.
- Finnieston is considered the city's 'foodie quarter' with a brilliant mix of cool, quality and affordable venues.
Check out Glasgow's pubs and restaurants.
Discover the Glasgow Botanic Gardens
The city's very own tropical paradise, the Botanic Gardens offer a tranquil blend of green space and woodland walks. The gardens are dominated by the recently restored Kibble Palace - a magnificent glasshouse which houses plants from all around the world. Kibble Palace is open on restricted hours, and you can still explore the dear green place of the gardens.
Some seeds of knowledge…
- As well as countless plants, Kibble Palace is also home to marble statues, a tree trail and the annual Bard in the Botanics - Scotland's biggest Shakespeare festival.
- The gardens' tearoom is housed in what was once the curator's house and boasts some incredible architecture. Thankfully, the scones live up to the view!
- The gardens were once served by a railway line and the disused remains of the station still sit within the grounds today.
Explore the Glasgow Botanic Gardens.
Tower Hill, Inverclyde
Enjoy stunning views from the top of Tower Hill in Gourock overlooking the River Clyde. Head out on an afternoon stroll to stretch your legs whilst taking in gorgeous views, or explore later on in evening and witness a magical west coast sunset. Stretching up 318 ft (97 m) it makes for a fun and adventurous climb, or run if you want to challenge yourself, or explore with the kids. Stop by the reservoir and ruins along the way too.
Keep your eyes peeled and see if you can spot:
- Holy Loch
- Loch Long
- Cowal Villages
- Arrochar Alps
Explore Tower Hill.
Come to the countryside at the National Museum of Rural Life
Experience life in the countryside at this 5-star museum, farmhouse and historic working farm, set in 170 acres between East Kilbride and Glasgow. Learn about the land, people and ways of working that shaped Scotland's rural history and discover the huge collection of tractors, combine harvesters and other farming machinery. After you've had your fill of the museum, take a tractor-trailer ride to the working farm, where you'll meet bonny Highland cattle, Tamworth pigs, sheep, hens and colossal Clydesdale horses.
Did you know?
- Although it's set amidst the rolling South Lanarkshire countryside, the museum is only 8 miles from Glasgow city centre and easily reached by car or bus.
- The Georgian farmhouse, where Lanarkshire's Reid family lived for 10 generations, is decorated as it would have been in the 1950s.
- You can watch a milking demonstration from the museum's experts and find out more about the Ayrshire cows that call the working farm home.
Plan a trip to the National Museum of Rural Life.
Discover Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life
Take a trip to the 'iron burgh' of Coatbridge in North Lanarkshire and discover the tales of Scotland's industrial past. Formerly one of the nation's most important ironworks, today Summerlee hosts an array of interactive exhibits, cutting-edge displays, and one-of-a-kind experiences.
Dig into the area's coal mining past with a tour of the museum's colliery, take a trip on 'Glasgow's last tram', and explore a replica of Scotland's first iron-hulled boat - The Vulcan - on one of the last-remaining sections of the Monkland Canal. Best of all, entry is free!
Psst! Let us clue you in on some of Summerlee's secrets…
- You can take a whistle-stop tour through time in Summerlee's miners' row, which features period-accurate recreations of miners' homes from 1840 all the way to 1960!
- From 1962 until Edinburgh completed its tramway in 2014, Summerlee was home to the only working tram line in Scotland.
- The iron-hulled Vulcan barge which carried passengers on the canal between Edinburgh and Glasgow during didn't have an engine - it was horse-drawn!
Plan a trip to Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life.
Marvel at nature at the Falls of Clyde
Although New Lanark, one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites, is currently closed (apart from the shop and cafe), you can still explore the picturesque village set on the banks of the River Clyde and the surrounding towering native woodlands. New Lanark sits within the Falls of Clyde nature reserve and is famous for its spectacular waterfalls, scenic woodland walks, and wonderful wildlife - including a colony of Daubenton's bats!
Did you know?
- Once described by the writer William Wordsworth as ‘the Clyde’s most majestic daughter’ the rushing waters of Corra Linn waterfall are simply entrancing.
- On the Falls of Clyde walk you can visit both the Corra Linn and Bonnington Linn waterfalls. Begin at New Lanark and follow the path along the winding banks of the River Clyde.
- The best vantage points for both involve a short (but quite steep) up-hill climb but the panoramic views more than make up for it.
Follow the Falls of Clyde walk.
Go a wee bit wild at Calderglen Zoo and Country Park
Small but perfectly formed, Calderglen Zoo in South Lanarkshire might only be around an acre in size, but it makes for a big day out. Home to over 50 different species, some of which are critically endangered, the zoo specialises in small creatures and amongst the ornamental gardens and conservatory you'll discover meerkats, families of monkeys, noisy kookaburras, cheeky ring-tailed coati, and burrowing owls.
Wee wild facts…
- The zoo is part of a program that's helping to reinstate the rare Scottish wildcat (of which there are only around 150 left) into the wild.
- Calderglen's resident kookaburras can be trained to laugh on command!
- The country park extends along scenic woodland featuring waterfalls, trails and stunning geological features.
Plan a trip to Calderglen Zoo and Country Park.
Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park
Scotland's largest regional park, Clyde Muirshiel is home to dozens of outdoor activities, family-friendly things to do and more that you can get stuck into. Admire the park's wildlife with a variety of species you can spot, including wildfowl, otters, tawny owls, butterflies and deer, to name a few.
Here are some more things to get involved in…
Explore Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park.
With so many places to visit across Scotland, will you head to one of your favourites or try somewhere new? Share your ideas and fascinating facts on Greater Glasgow & Clyde Valley in our iKnow Community or on social media.