5 Best Day Trips from Glasgow

Fancy a brilliant day trip from Glasgow? This dynamic city is centrally located in Scotland, which means there are plenty of historic attractions, castles, lochs, outdoor activities and remarkable landscapes right on Glasgow's doorstep. Here are some ideas and inspiration for great days out from Glasgow, from exploring national parks to an adventure on the coast.  

  1. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Stirlingshire

    Loch Katrine seen from the summit of Ben A'an in The Trossachs

    © VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

    Time from Glasgow: 50-minute train, 45-minute drive 

    Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park is one of Scotland’s national parks and is the perfect place to unplug from city life and explore some of the country’s most iconic scenery.  

    Easily accessible by public transport from the centre of Glasgow, it’s amazing how quickly you can find yourself transported to woodland walks, rugged mountains and the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. The park has over 720 square miles to discover, with 21 Munros, 22 larger lochs and one of the UK’s largest National Nature Reserves – The Great Trossachs Forest. Take a cruise on the famous loch, kayak around some of the smaller islands dotted around the park or relax and unwind on the sandy beaches on the shorefront. 

  2. Largs Ayrshire

    Largs seafront and the Pencil Monument

    Time from Glasgow: 1-hour train, 45-minute drive 

    If you’re looking for an easy day trip from Glasgow to breathe in the fresh sea air, then Largs is for you! 

    The town is a traditional seaside holiday escape on the west coast of Scotland, situated on the Firth of Clyde. Make sure you soak up all the classic beach holiday activities to enjoy, from strolling along the Victorian promenade to savouring an ice cream from Nardini’s - an iconic 1930s ice cream parlour with panoramic views. The town also has a rich history with strong Viking links, famous for a battle in 1263 when Alexander III defeated a Viking fleet of longboats. The Isle of Cumbrae is also only a short ferry trip from Largs and is well worth a visit.  

  3. Isle of Arran Ayrshire and Arran

    The pools at Glen Rosa with a view of Goat Fell on the Isle of Arran

    Time from Glasgow: 45-minute train to Ardrossan, followed by 55-minute ferry   

    The Isle of Arran is one of the most accessible islands off the west coast of Scotland. Just a short train or bus journey takes you to Ardrossan station, where you can catch a ferry to the island in under an hour. 

    Arran is often described as ‘Scotland in miniature’ with beautiful seascapes, lochs, hills, standing stones and castles to discover. For those looking for adventure, its twisting roads and hilly landscapes lend itself to some excellent cycling routes, or you could climb Goatfell – the highest point on the island. There’s even an Arran Snorkel Trail if you’re ready to dive in! If history and heritage is more your thing, make sure you visit Brodick Castle, Gardens and Country Park, which was once the seat of the Dukes of Hamilton and has some lovely walks and trails in the grounds. At the north end of the island you’ll find Lochranza Distillery, where you can take a tour and sample a wee dram before heading back through to Glasgow.  

  4. Stirling Central Scotland

    Stirling Old Bridge

    Time from Glasgow: 30-minute train, 45-minute drive 

    Stirling is the historic heart of Scotland and an easy 30-minute train journey from Glasgow city centre. It’s the perfect day trip from Glasgow for history lovers and a great access point to explore the rolling hills and abundant fields of the surrounding countryside. 

    There are so many iconic spots to visit in Stirling, it’s hard to know where to begin! Wander through the atmospheric medieval streets of the city centre and head up to Stirling Castle, which sits perched atop volcanic rocks and overlooks the whole city. It has a rich history and was the royal residence for many of Scotland’s kings and queens, including Mary Queen of Scots. From Stirling you can also take the short bus trip to the Wallace Monument – a stunning tower dedicated to Scotland’s national hero, William Wallace. It offers spectacular views across Stirlingshire as well as over Bannockburn, where Robert the Bruce defeated the English in 1314.  

  5. New Lanark Lanarkshire

    New Lanark Visitor Centre

    Time from Glasgow: 1-hour train, 45-minute drive 

    Lanarkshire spans a wide area around Glasgow and is full of beautiful landscapes to uncover, including the Falls of Clyde and the hills of the Southern Uplands.  

    Take the train to Lanark, an historic Royal Burgh with characterful streets, independent shops and green spaces to wander. A short drive or 30-minute walk takes you to New Lanark, a UNESCO World Heritage Site based in a former 18th century cotton spinning mill village, once owned by Robert Owen. Learn more about the people who worked here, and the rich textile heritage of the area. You can visit the Mill Cafe for a bite to eat, or the Mill Shop to take home your own unique gift. All of this is set within a National Nature Reserve, so there are also lots of picturesque surroundings to enjoy whilst you’re out of the city. 

    Key facilities
    • Parking
    • Hearing Loop
    • Accessible Parking Or Drop-off Point
    • Level Access
    • Accessible toilets
    • WiFi
    • Cafe or Restaurant

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