New Lanark Visitor Centre, New Lanark

Things to see and do

Day Trips & Day Tours from Glasgow

Fancy a brilliant day trip or day tour from Glasgow? With this dynamic city being so centrally located in Scotland, there are plenty of historic attractions, castles, lochs, outdoor activities and remarkable landscapes either right on Glasgow's doorstep or a moderate distance away.

Best of all, you've got options when it comes to how to go - you could book an organised tour, hop aboard public transport or take the car to enjoy a road trip! Here are some ideas on how to have a great day out from Glasgow:

An organised one-day tour is often a great way to experience many of Scotland's icons, from breathtaking landscapes to the amber-coloured delights of Scotch whisky. It's time to re-think what you think you know about coach trips - tour buses are often luxurious and compact, accommodating small numbers for a more personal experience. Many also boast green initiatives which allows them to off-set their carbon emissions.

Find a day tour from Glasgow.

Tour operators who offer one-day trips from Glasgow include Timberbush Tours, Rabbies Tours, Discover Scotland Tours,  Haggis Adventures and Highland Experience. For many, it can take the stress out of travel as you don't have to worry about navigation - instead, soak up the views from the window and listen to your knowledgeable guide tell you stories about the area.

But where do they go, we hear you asking? There are a number of destinations to pick from, depending on what is on offer from the tour operator. You'll find that there are trips which take in Loch Lomond & The Trossachs, Oban and Glencoe, and Perthshire - some even go as far as Loch Ness! Tours follow the most scenic routes and take breaks at viewpoints with stunning views. On some trips, the bus will make a stop at a distillery, where you can take a tour and discover whisky-making secrets.

With the car, you can enjoy the freedom of the road and can head off in almost any direction. It's amazing where you can travel to from Glasgow in an hour or two! Help reduce carbon emissions and rent an electric car/vehicle (EV) which you can collect in Glasgow from a company like 365 Luxury Car Hire which offers a fleet of Teslas.

Find a reliable map of all the EV charge points in Scotland at ChargePlace Scotland, Scotland’s national EVcharging network; and Net Zero Nation.

If you're keen to see some of our coastline, head to Ayrshire and follow the coastal roads to the impressive Culzean Castle and Country Park. On the way, plan stops at Ayrshire's seaside towns, such as Troon. You could return to Glasgow via Dumfries House, a stunning 18th century house with exquisite gardens.

From Glasgow, Stirling and Falkirk are less than 40 minutes' drive. In and around these places there is a huge range of fantastic attractions to visit, including Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument, the Battle of Bannockburn Centre, the Falkirk Wheel, and The Helix, home to The Kelpies by Andy Scott. Make it a round trip by returning via the Trossachs taking in the Lake of Menteith, Aberfoyle and Balloch at the south of Loch Lomond. This route also takes in Blair Drummond Safari Park whilst Doune Castle is just a short detour.

For a day trip which allows you to see more of those famous bonnie, bonnie banks, head north west of the city and travel along the shores of Loch Lomond before heading over the Rest and Be Thankful pass to the charming historic town of Inveraray on Loch Fyne. It's a splendid drive which takes 1 hour 30 minutes. Instead of returning the same way, you could travel back via Tyndrum and Crianlarich, and visit attractions along the way such as Cruachan Power Station and the crumbling Kilchurn Castle. Why not explore Lochs Near Edinburgh and Glasgow for a fun-filled day out?

That's just the tip of the iceberg - there are plenty more ideas for brilliant road trips in Scotland!

Scotland's national and local rail and bus networks connect Glasgow with some wonderful places all across the country. From Glasgow, it's easy to visit one of Scotland's six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. New Lanark, a restored 18th century cotton mill village, is easily reached by taking a train to Lanark and then jumping on a local bus to this fantastic family friendly attraction.

Did you know you can escape to the coast by train in under an hour, and then 'hop' to an island in the Firth of Clyde? It's just a 45 minute train journey to Ardrossan, and then a 55 minute ferry crossing to the pretty Isle of Arran, often referred to as 'Scotland in miniature'. Once on Arran, you can explore the port of Brodick, or catch a local bus round the island.

Largs has been a popular seaside destination for generations of Scots, and today this coastal town still makes for a jolly day out by the sea. The train from Glasgow takes less than an hour. Once you arrive, stroll along the promenade with an ice cream or jump aboard the ferry and take the short crossing to the Isle of Cumbrae. Here you might want to hire a bike at Millport and discover the island on two wheels, or discover Millport's attractions as you wander round the tiny island town.

Or, take the train from Glasgow Central to Wemyss Bay where you can catch the ferry to the Isle of Bute. The ferry arrives in Rothesay where you can get a local bus to the magnificent Mount Stuart, Britain's most spectacular Gothic house.

Should you be more excited by the thought of seeing Scotland's capital than its coastline, then jump aboard one of the regular train or bus services to Edinburgh. Lying just 45 miles east of Glasgow, you'll find that it doesn't take long before you are walking over the ancient cobbles of the Royal Mile, admiring the stunning city skyline from Arthur's Seat, or exploring world-class attractions such as Edinburgh Castle and the National Museum of Scotland.

Remember, you can use Traveline Scotland to help you plan days out by public transport.