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The Clyde Arc and the River Clyde, VisitScotland / Stuart Brunton

Outdoors

Glasgow 7 Day Itinerary

Pack your bags, it's time to book yourself a well-deserved holiday. If you've been dreaming of a trip to the west coast of Scotland, turn your plans into reality with our Glasgow 7 Day itinerary. Start off in the bright city lights of Glasgow before venturing out to more of its west coast regional delights and finishing off with a bit of island hopping. Along the way, you'll discover the very best of Scotland's art and culture scene, take in historic sites, visit the country's best green spaces and much more.

Whether you're looking to cherry pick a few ideas or follow the itinerary in full, you're bound to enjoy the wonders that the west coast of Scotland has to offer!

Transport

Ferry Car Walk

Days

7

Miles

337

Route

Starting in Glasgow, the route follows the west coast to Inverclyde before travelling through Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire. The final stages of the itinerary take you on an island adventure around Arran, Bute and Cumbrae.

Highlights

Colourful murals, historic attractions, shopping, Scotland's vibrant art & culture scene, country parks, adrenaline-filled watersports, cycling, a distillery tour of Lochranza Distillery.

Areas Covered

West

Day 1

overview

Glasgow

A trip to the west coast wouldn't be complete without stopping off in Glasgow. Named the UK's first UNESCO City of Music, this recognition has helped shape Glasgow's art and culture scene through live music venues, exhibitions and tours to even street art. It's not just music though, the city oozes with character and personality through a range of cultural experiences; from world-class visitor attractions, shopping, and food & drink, to discovering the history behind one of Glasgow's architectural greats, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. So, what are you waiting for? Get ready to kickstart your west coast adventure today!
  • Miles

    21

  • Km

    33

  • Stops

    6

  • Transport

    Car Cycle Walk

Finnieston Crane and the Clyde Arc bridge, Glasgow

Contemporary Art Trail

Glasgow is notorious when it comes to street art, with local and international artists showcasing their incredible talent through an array of creative works; from colourful murals to stainless steel statues. If you're looking for free things to do in Glasgow, be sure to check out the Contemporary Art Trail. Explore 14 of the city's contemporary public artworks including The Clyde Clock, Cherub Skull and Tympanum, to name just a few.

Shopping at De Courcy's Arcade

Fancy a bit of shopping? With its eclectic mix of boutiques, high-street and high-end stores, selling everything from clothing and homeware to jewellery, it's really no surprise that visitors and locals choose Glasgow as their go-to shopping destination. Situated in the heart of the city's West End is De Courcy's Arcade. This two-level arcade is a great find if you want to shop and support more local businesses. Whether you're looking for the latest fashion accessories at Ziri, enjoy a spot of afternoon tea at The Cup and Saucer Vintage Tearoom or spruce up your living space with some wall art from Janet & John, you'll be sure to find everything in one place here.

Hidden Lane in Finnieston

Not too far from De Courcy's Arcade is another West End gem. From jewellers and designers to craftspeople and furniture upcyclers, Finnieston Lane brings a pool of talent together in one of Glasgow's well-established communities. Get ready to spend those pennies and browse through its wonderful selection of shops, including Shona Jewellery, Burning House Books and SPIN Pottery. If you've worked up an appetite while out shopping, be sure to pop into Hidden Lane Tearoom for a pot of tea and delicious cakes or try out Rafa's Mexican Food.

Barra's Art & Design

Say hello to one of Glasgow's coolest venues. Barra's Art & Design is a hub of creativity, hosting live music events, exhibitions, street food markets and much more - all under one roof! Take advantage of the nicer weather throughout summer at The BackYard. This outdoor space is a popular food & drink hotspot featuring an outdoor BBQ & Grill, gourmet food trucks and a beer garden.

Cycling around the city

You might want to take the bus to see the wonderful sights of Glasgow, but cycling can be just as fun. Nextbike is Glasgow's bike hire scheme and for as little as £5 a day, it is all the more reason to explore the city on two wheels. Check out Aye Cycle Glasgow's for some great routes to take across the city.

Mackintosh at the Willow

A champagne afternoon tea? Yes please! Step inside the beautiful surroundings of the Salon De Luxe at Mackintosh at the Willow where you will be given a tailored talk through the history of the original Willow Tearooms. Afterwards, sip on flutes of champagne while tucking into a delicious selection of sandwiches and pastries, a perfect place for resting your weary legs after lots of sight-seeing. To round it all off, the Salon De Luxe Afternoon Tea packages gives you exclusive access to the interactive exhibition where you can discover more of Glasgow's rich and vibrant history in the late 1890s to the early 1900s and learn about one of the city's most well-known architects, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Not to be missed!

Day 2

overview

Inverclyde

Today we're heading out of the city and travelling further west to Inverclyde. Known for its outstanding natural beauty, maritime history and industrial past, Inverclyde offers a wealth of outdoor pursuits and activities, from sailing and walking, to swimming, wildlife watching and more.
  • Miles

    48

  • Km

    77

  • Stops

    3

  • Transport

    Car

Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park

Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park

Soak up the great outdoors at Scotland's largest regional park. From taster sessions on paddle sports to powerboating at Castle Semple Loch, Clyde Muirshiel is a glorious spot to enjoy some adrenaline-fuelled action. If you prefer staying on dry land, there are lots of cycle routes suitable for all abilities, as well as walking trails too. Love animals? The park is home to an abundance of wildlife. Keep your eyes peeled for ravens, tawny owls, deer and if you're lucky enough, rare birds of prey.

Lyle Hill

When it comes to exploring Scotland off the beaten track, you're always guaranteed spectacular views at Lyle Hill. On a clear day, you will be able to see across the Firth of Clyde and the southwest Highlands.

Gourock

Our final stop for today is the ferry port town of Gourock. Keep the kids entertained by stopping off at Gourock Park. With a pet's corner and large play area, it is a great place for kids to explore and run off all that energy. If you're a fan of golf, make sure to swing by Gourock Golf Club. This 18-hole course provides great playing conditions with its spacious greens and fairways and with the Clyde Estuary as your backdrop, what's not to love?

In the summer, take a dip at Gourock Outdoor Pool - the oldest heated swimming pool in Scotland. Swim a few laps while out in the sun (hopefully) or lounge at the traditional patio while overlooking the Clyde Estuary.

Day 3

overview

Lanarkshire

Our next stop is Lanarkshire. Get ready for a jam-packed day full of museum visits. Remember to bring your walking boots too and enjoy scenic walks around Lanark Loch.
  • Miles

    68

  • Km

    110

  • Stops

    3

  • Transport

    Car

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life, Coatbridge

National Museum of Rural Life

Ever wondered what life is like on a working farm? The National Museum of Rural Life is the perfect way to experience it! Discover Scotland's largest collection of farming machinery, from tractors to combine harvesters, before getting up close and personal with some of the farm's animal residents, including Aberdeen Angus and Highland cattle, sheep, hens, Clydesdale horses and much more. No two visits are the same here with each season bringing highly anticipated arrivals, from new-born animals and family trails to harvesting.

Feeling hungry? Be sure to pop into the Shielings Café for a bite to eat and with the attraction's Taste Our Best accreditation, you can enjoy some of the finest Scottish produce available. If you wish to save some money and bring a packed lunch instead, there are lots of picnic areas to be found for lunch.

Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life

Situated within Scotland's 'industrial heartland', transport back in time and discover the old Summerlee iron works. Home to an amazing array of machinery, award-winning play park and interactive displays, you will never be short of things to do here. Other highlights include riding on Scotland's only operational heritage tram railway, as well as guided tours of a recreated mine where you can learn the story behind the miner's row. With free admission, it certainly calls for a vintage day out!

Walking at Lanark Loch

There's nothing better than a nice afternoon walk. This smooth 1-mile circuit route along Lanark Loch is a great chance for the whole family to stretch their legs and enjoy nature at its very best. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of fish along the way including leaping carp and pike.

Day 4

overview

Renfrewshire

We're now halfway through our west coast adventure and stopping off in Renfrewshire. Get ready to step back in time and delve further into Scotland's historical past and venture outdoors with an exciting falconry experience on the cards. Enjoy!
  • Miles

    45

  • Km

    73

  • Stops

    2

  • Transport

    Car

Paisley Abbey, Paisley

 Paisley Abbey

Scotland is full to the brim when it comes to historical attractions, from medieval castles and ruins to peaceful abbeys. A history lesson awaits at Paisley Abbey. Founded in 1163 by Walter Fitz Alan and set up on the site of an old Celtic church by 13 monks, the priory brought Christianity to the area in the sixth century and was later granted abbey status in the 13th century. Today, the venue is home to a whole host of cultural events running throughout the calendar year. Guided tours around the abbey take place twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2pm. After the tour, why not stop off for a light refreshment at the café, browse through the gift shop or if that's not enough history to fill your boots, pop into the visitor centre?

Did you know? Paisley Abbey was once a centre of learning and it was believed that Sir William Wallace was educated by the monks here.

Finlaystone Country Park

After uncovering Scotland's historical past it's time for some much-needed fresh air. Head to Finlaystone Country Park and create more precious family memories while exploring Renfrewshire. With its mix of deciduous and coniferous woodlands, the park allows families to take things at an easier pace with its range of walking trails, all varying in length and difficulty. There's lots of wildlife to be seen here too! Keep an eye out for roe deer, foxes and grey squirrels who are bound to make a special appearance during your visit. Want to try out a cool experience while on holiday? If you've ever wanted to try your hand at falconry, here's your chance! Hootenanny Owls offers specialised sessions in falconry including exclusive deals on handling for kids.

Of course, no holiday would be complete without taking a few good snaps. Stroll through its gardens where you will come face-to-face with a beautiful array of flowers and plants. From daffodils in the spring to rhododendrons in summer, the garden is a floral paradise whatever time of year you choose to visit. Another photo keepsake to have is Finlaystone House, its striking fairytale-like appearance is a popular venue for weddings and events.

Day 5

overview

Arran

Rise and shine! It's another bright and early day as you leave the Scottish mainland for a wee bit of island life. First up on the island bucket list is Arran. The largest island in the Firth of Clyde, Arran is often described as 'Scotland in miniature' with its blend of Highland and island scenery, with granite peaks and deep glens to the north of the island, contrasting to its rolling, green hills to the south. From castle visits and mesmerising scenery to sampling some of the finest single malts, buckle up for another jam-packed day.
  • Miles

    54

  • Km

    87

  • Stops

    3

  • Transport

    Ferry Car

Looking over Brodick Bay to Goat Fell, Isle of Arran, Ayrshire & Arran

Brodick Castle

There is no shortage when it comes to castles here in Scotland. Pay a royal visit to Brodick Castle during your next family break. Steeped in history, the castle was the ancient seat of the Dukes of Hamilton and houses a fabulous collection of artefacts, from silverware and paintings to even sporting trophies. Let the kids blow off some steam at the Isle Be Wild adventure play area and for the adults, take it easy as you stroll through the formal gardens on the Silver Garden Trail.

Goatfell

We're taking things to dizzying heights on our next stop with a hearty climb up to Goatfell. At 874m (2,867ft), it is the highest peak on the Isle of Arran where you will be treated to incredible panoramic views at the top. Along the way, you will discover an abundance of wildlife and fauna including the dwarf juniper, sweet-scented heather, buzzards and golden eagles.

Top tip: The weather in Scotland can be very unpredictable at times and its best you come fully prepared before you set off on your hike. Make sure to bring your waterproofs, hiking poles and most importantly wear hiking boots as the ground can be very rocky and rough. If you wish to tackle this hike in the summer months, make sure to stay hydrated and bring plenty of water with you.

Lochranza Distillery

After taking on the mighty Goatfell, we think you deserve a special treat. If you've been longing for a taste of Scotland's national drink, you'll certainly be in high spirits for the last stop of the today. Lochranza Distillery offers a great selection of whisky tours for both the novice and whisky connoisseurs. Head on the Distillery Tour where you can see behind-the-scenes of the production process before proceeding to the tasting bar to sample the Arran Gold Cream Liqueur. If you would like something sweet to go along with your tipple, choose the Whisky and Chocolate Pairing. Not only that you will also be given a voucher for £5 off the distillery's 70cl malt whisky which can be purchased from the Arran Malt Shop.

Day 6

overview

Bute

We're off to Bute today! Known as one of Scotland's most accessible islands, you'll be able to find everything in one place here. Tranquil gardens, beautiful beaches and historic houses await you on your next stop.
  • Miles

    70

  • Km

    113

  • Stops

    3

  • Transport

    Ferry Car

Ascog Bay, Isle of Bute, Argyll

Ascog Hall Fernery and Gardens

Enter and enjoy a slice of paradise at Ascog Hall Fernery and Gardens. The three-acre garden is home to a colourful display of flowers and plants, including Northern Marsh orchid, a Chilean Fire Tree and a 1,000 year old Todea Barbara.

Scalpsie Bay

Scotland is a great place to see wildlife no matter what time of year you decide to visit. During your trip, stop by Scalpsie Bay where you can see the resident seals basking on the rocks. Get your camera at the ready too, you'll be treated to some of the best scenery of Arran and the Holy Isle. If you're willing to brave the cold sea temperatures, take the plunge and go for a refreshing wild swim.

Mount Stuart House

Once the ancestral home of the Marquess of Bute, take a guided tour around Mount Stuart and get ready to be dazzled by its striking Victorian architecture and interior design. From the foraging squirrels carved into the dining room panelling to the painted mirror in the ladies' drawing room, each design element tells a story of the people who once lived here. Other highlights of the tour include viewing the first domestic heated swimming pool, a look at an early telephone system and a Victorian passenger lift.

When you complete the tour, take a turn outdoors and enjoy a stroll along the beautiful gardens or pop into the visitor centre which houses a gallery, audio-visual presentation shop and restaurant.

Day 7

overview

Cumbrae

Last but by no means least, end your final day on the Isle of Cumbrae. Explore the town of Millport by squeezing in a visit to the Robertson Museum & Aquarium before getting on your bike to take a whistle-stop tour around the town with lots of hidden gems and unmissable sights to discover.
  • Miles

    31

  • Km

    51

  • Stops

    2

  • Transport

    Ferry Car

Isle of Cumbrae © Ayrshire & Arran Tourism

Robertson Museum & Aquarium

A beautiful variety of marine wildlife awaits you at the Robertson Museum & Aquarium. Learn about the captivating world under the sea with the aquarium offering a range of exciting exhibitions, from the history of marine science in Scotland to the current plastic pollution problem. You even get the chance to have face-to-face interactions with starfish, velvet swimming crabs, sea urchins and much more.

Cycling Around Millport

Feel the wind in your hair as you pedal to your heart's content around Cumbrae. The 10-mile Cumbrae Circular route is a great way to uncover some of the island's hidden gems in just a few hours. Starting off in the town of Millport, you will be able to see stunning bays along the way, including Deadman's Bay, Fintray Bay and Little Skate Bay before finishing the route via Kames Bay, home to an abundance of wildlife from golden eagles, seals, dolphins and much more.

Forgot to bring your bike? No problem at all. Mapes of Millport have over 400 bikes available to hire from many award-winning manufacturers including Burley, Raleigh and Leggero.