The Best Day Trips from Glasgow
Glasgow is one of the top destinations in the United Kingdom. It’s home to outstanding art, history, entertainment, and—according to Rough Guides—the friendliest locals in the world. Link opens in a new tabIn addition, Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland and the 5th biggest city in the United Kingdom.
As a result, there are so many things to do on a trip to Glasgow.
That said, due to the relatively small size of Scotland and the United Kingdom—mixed with the extensive transport options—there are many convenient day trips available from Glasgow. These include Edinburgh, The Isle of Arran, Loch Lomond, and Aberdeen. You’re never too far away from nearby history, nature, and beautiful architecture when you visit Glasgow.
Here are some of the best day trips from Glasgow, Scotland:
1. Hike Around Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
One of the most popular day trips from Glasgow is Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Located only a 47-minute drive from Glasgow, the national park offers stunning scenery—including lochs, mountains, and forests. Loch Lomond is the largest freshwater lake in Scotland, and gorgeous hiking and cycling opportunities surround it.
Why not take a cycle on the loch, or explore the gorgeous villages of Luss and Balmaha? You could also hike up Conic Hill and enjoy utterly sensational views of the countryside. Moreover, the park offers stunning wildlife—including golden eagles, red deer, and ospreys.
Distance from Glasgow: 47 minutes via car
2. Enjoy Edinburgh’s History
Edinburgh is one of the most popular cities in Europe—and it’s the capital of Scotland, a global financial hub, and home to some of the United Kingdom’s most stunning architecture. A mere short train drive from Glasgow, Edinburgh is a world city with people from every world corner flooding through the streets.
One of the top attractions in Edinburgh is climbing Arthur’s Seat; it offers incredible panoramic views of the city. You should also visit the National Museum of Scotland, take a ghost tour, and check out the Edinburgh Dungeon; these are all excellent attractions that capture the heart and charm of the city.
Distance from Glasgow: 1 hour and 5 minutes via car
3. Visit The Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument
If you’re heading to Scotland, there’s a strong chance you’ll want to see some incredible castles. If so, Stirling Castle—only a 36-minute drive from Glasgow—is the perfect attraction for you. The castle has been a crucial site for centuries, enjoying a rich history and a prominent role in Scottish heritage.
Better still, you’ll find the Wallace Monument—a towering structure honoring the Scottish hero William Wallace—only walking distance from Stirling Castle. You’ll learn about the life of William Wallace, including the events that started his famous battle at Stirling Bridge.
Distance from Glasgow: 36 minutes via car
4. Marvel at The Isle of Arran
Do you fancy checking out some of Scotland’s finest history? The Isle of Arran could be the ultimate destination for you. Many people refer to the Isle of Arran as “Scotland in miniature” because of the varied terrain and landscapes. It’s only a short ferry ride from mainland Scotland, offering cycling, hiking, and kayaking opportunities.
While you’re there, check out the charming villages of Lamlash and Brodick, climb Goatfell, and visit the Arran Heritage Museum. Why not sample some of the island's famous whisky, beer, and cheese when you’re there?
Distance from Glasgow: 2 hours and 19 minutes via car and ferry
5. Check Out Loch Ness and The Highlands
Loch Ness is one of the most famous attractions in Scotland. This Loch is famous due to the infamous—and debatable—Loch Ness monster. Does the monster exist? Nobody knows, but thousands of visitors want to spot the creature yearly.
However, it’s not the end of the world if you don’t see the Loch Ness Monster because the surrounding Highlands are frankly stunning. Why not take yourself for a drive along the North Coast 500, explore the gorgeous town of Inverness, or visit the Cairngorms National Park?
Distance from Glasgow: 3 hours 23 minutes by car
6. Drive Down the Ayrshire Coast
If you’re looking for a good road trip from Glasgow, the gorgeous Ayrshire Coast might be your best option. It’s a stunning stretch of coastline that offers spectacular coastal scenery, beautiful beaches, and the charming towns of Ayr, Prestwick, and Troon.
Excellent attractions on the coast include visiting the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, exploring the Culzean Castle and Country Park, and walking along the stunning Ayrshire Coastal Path. The coast is also home to some of Scotland’s finest delicacies: haggis, tatties, and neeps.
Distance from Glasgow: 50 minutes via car
7. Check Out the Isle of Mull
The Isle of Mull is an excellent day trip if you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Glasgow. It’s the second-largest island in the Herbridges and home to some of Scotland’s most important cultural sites. Perhaps the most impressive part of the Isle of Mull is the stunning coastline, which boasts gorgeous rugged hills, beaches, and wildlife.
The Duart Castle is another popular attraction on the island because of its historical significance. For over 400 years, the Maclean clan occupied the castle; today, it’s open to visitors and offers the stunning Great Hall, beautiful gardens, and an atmospheric dungeon.
Distance from Glasgow: 3 hours 55 minutes via car and ferry
8. Explore Aberdeen
Another excellent day trip option from Glasgow is the popular Scottish city of Aberdeen, known as the ‘Granite City’. Located in the northeast of Scotland, Aberdeen is a popular tourist destination because of its vibrant cultural scene, stunning architecture, and rich history.
Aberdeen also has access to some of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches and coastal trials, such as the stunning beach at Footdee. A popular attraction is the Aberdeen Maritime Museum, which explores the city’s maritime heritage. You could also visit the Tolbooth Museum, showcasing the past of some of the city’s top criminals.
Distance from Glasgow: 2 hours and 40 minutes by car
Glasgow: A Fantastic Base for Exploring Scotland
Glasgow is a fantastic base if you want to explore everything Scotland has to offer. The city is close to the coast, the Highlands, Scotland’s best cities, and numerous gorgeous castles. Likewise, there’s so much to do in Glasgow—such as visiting museums, art shows, restaurants, and nightlife.
That’s why Glasgow, Scotland, is a must-visit for anyone wanting to explore Scotland and get to know this fascinating country better.