This time of year is perfect for getting out of the house for a day trip and, as far as locations go, Glasgow and its surrounding areas have some fantastic activities.
Glasgow and the nearby areas of Scotland have a lot to offer anyone planning a visit, or locals who’ve yet to discover some of the hidden gems. Whether you’re looking for some beautiful scenery, modern architecture, historical attractions or simply just fancy a stroll in the Scottish countryside, you won’t be short of options that are close enough for a day trip.
via Antonio Cinotti
The charming city of Stirling is a 30-minute journey from Glasgow, which is ideal for groups travelling down for the day on a coach or minibus, as you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the attractions. For most, the focal point is its castle, but the surrounding area has plenty of sights to be seen.
Stirling is considered by many as an important part of Scotland’s history, most notably when William Wallace defeated the English at the Battle of Stirling Bridge. A victory for Scottish independence, and an event that shaped Scottish and British history as we know it today.
The castle itself is built on a 250ft-high volcanic crag – and if that doesn’t intrigue you, then nothing will. Not only is the castle a fitting attraction for anyone who appreciates a historical landmark; the quaintness of the city and the scenery in all directions is a sightseer’s dream.
2. Loch Lomond
via Hoops Hooley
Loch Lomond is a very popular location for day trips, and with good reason. The loch is 23 miles long and 4 miles wide, making it Britain’s biggest lake. Whether you want to take to the water for some adventurous activities or want to hike the enchanting hillsides, Loch Lomond has something for everyone.
With separate islands to explore, Loch Lomond can provide you with a vast array of scenery and activities. With mountains to see, woodland to explore and wildlife to find, you couldn’t wish for a more ideal spot get out for the day.
3. Isle of Arran: “Scotland in Miniature”
via Neil H
Now, this day trip isn’t as near to Glasgow as the others on this list, but it’s worth a mention for sure.
The Isle of Arran is a short ferry ride from the Ardrossan (about an hour from Glasgow), which in itself adds some more character and authenticity to your Isle experience. Arrans is described as “Scotland in Miniature”, because the island contains a bit of everything that makes Scotland such a popular tourist location. Sandy beaches, mountainous regions, moors, wildlife, castles and even a whisky distillery – literally a bit of everything that makes Scotland great.
4. Benmore Botanic Gardens
via Karen Miller
For any outdoorsmen, gardener or just anyone who appreciates what nature has to offer, the Benmore Botanic Gardens are something special. It’s located in the mountainous region to the north of Glasgow and is a part of Edinburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden.
As you enter the garden’s driveway, you’ll see rows of massive Californian redwoods on either side of you. The garden itself will present you with an abundance of brightly colourful, eye-catching plants and flowers. Argyll Forest Park is also nearby and is certainly worth checking out. Any hiking enthusiasts will be at home as you wander the 185-mile network footpaths.
5. Edinburgh Castle
via Mike Murry
Scotland’s rich heritage can be seen in every part of the country. Edinburgh Castle is the most iconic landmark in Scotland and a proud reminder of its history. As a popular location for larger groups such as tourists or schools, It’s easy to reach by coach and minibus from Glasgow. Allowing you plenty of time to explore everything the castle has to offer.
The castle grounds have so much to offer in regards to its diverse architecture, some of which dates back to the 12th century. With a range of different experiences to take in, such as the crown jewels, the National War Museum and keeping an eye on your watch for the one o’clock gun, Edinburgh Castle has more than enough to make for a fun and educational day trip.
The locations on this list are just a small number of the places near Glasgow that would make a worthwhile day trip, and the city itself offers a wide range of attractions, too. With that said, the destinations we’ve picked out are those that would be considered must-see trips, and offer up some of the characteristics of what makes Scotland so great.