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Glasgow to Campsie Fells

Top 10 Best Day Trips from Glasgow, Scotland: Explore Scottish Charm & Natural Wonders(2024)

Looking to escape the lively ambiance of Glasgow and venture into the captivating Scottish landscapes for a day? Smile since you are in for a treat.

Glasgow is centrally positioned in Scotland and has a lot of things to do. However, this Scottish city also opens doors to a plethora of day-trip possibilities. With a promise of a touch of authentic Scottish charm, Glasgow acts as a gateway to the natural wonders of Scotland. For water lovers, it offers access to the Scottish Isles within reach, and for history enthusiasts, Edinburgh, Stirling, and Dundee aren’t far away. And if you look towards its north, the untamed highlands will greet you with rugged beauty, towering mountains, picturesque glens, and serene lochs.

So, what are you waiting for? Join us as we list down the Best Day Trips From Glasgow, Scotland.

Day Trip Ideas from Glasgow

1. Glasgow to Campsie Fells

Distance: 48 min (15.4 mi) via A879 and A81

For a serene day trip from Glasgow, escape to Campsie Fells, a range of hills in central Scotland. An escape to these beautiful hills allows you to spend some time in peace in nature with breathtaking vistas at every turn. On this day trip, you can explore the eerie ruins of Lennox Castle Hospital. A visit to this abandoned mental institution will add a touch of intrigue to your journey. Next, head to Glengoyne Distillery and savor Glengoyne Distillery. You can also opt for informative distillery tours. Campsie Fells is also home to Campsie Glen, a charming village home to the Shrine of Schoenstatt. Some beliefs suggest that it is a bridge between heaven and earth. The village has a range of historic buildings and woodlands for a peaceful walk.

Glasgow to Campsie Fells, Scotland

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2. Glasgow to Isle of Arran

Distance: 2 hr 26 min (51.0 mi) via A737 and Ardrossan – Brodick

For a memorable day trip from Glasgow, escape to the picturesque Isle of Arran. Plan to reach the town of Ardrossan by train from Glasgow and then hop on for a one-hour ferry ride to the Isle of Arran. When at the Islands, begin your day with a visit to a whisky distillery and a cheese producer. Further, visit the Isle of Arran Heritage Museum and learn about the Islands’ history. Brodick Castle is another landmark that history enthusiasts cannot miss. Or, if you are in for a day of relaxation and peace, unwind on the serene shores of Brodick Bay. Also known as the Scotland in Miniature, Arran is compact but holds a lot to explore. The Islands are also home to three excellent courses attracting golf enthusiasts. In addition, a day trip here also offers access to charming fishing harbors, sandy beaches, and moorlands and introduces you to diverse wildlife.

3. Glasgow to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands

Distance: Depends upon the route, starting point, and destination within the Highlands. Typically 2.5 hours.

Venturing towards Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands is definitely a top-rated day trip idea from Glasgow. Towards northward from Glasgow, depart into the breathtaking scenery that defines this region. Once you arrive at Loch Ness, the elusive Loch Ness Monster, a quintessential part of Scottish folklore, will keep you occupied for an hour or so. Next, head to the iconic Urquhart Castle and explore the historic ruins. The position of the castle on the loch’s shores adds an element of its own. Continue your adventure into the Highlands and enjoy the rugged landscapes, serene lochs, and towering mountains. Do check out the town of Inverness, the Highland capital, for the Inverness Castle and the picturesque River Ness. If you have some extra time, visit the hauntingly beautiful Culloden Battlefield. This landmark is popular for Jacobite Rising. Lastly, explore Glen Coe, a glen of dramatic beauty and a mecca for hikers.

4. Loch Lomond and the West Highlands

Distance: 1 hr 19 min (55.7 mi) via A82. Approximately an hour’s drive to the southern tip of Loch Lomond and 2 to 2.5 hours towards Glencoe (in the West Highlands) or Fort William (near Ben Nevis).

A day from Glasgow to the pristine beauty of Loch Lomond and the rugged West Highlands is perhaps the best idea. Begin driving from Scotland, and within no time, you will reach the heart of Scotland’s natural wonders. Start the adventure and begin exploring Loch Lomond, the U.K.’s largest freshwater lake. Opt for a boat ride or enjoy a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Loch Lomond Shores. Further, move into West Highlands, a little deeper, and encounter breathtaking mountain vistas and charming villages. Do check out the quaint beauty of Luss village. Or, take some time and explore Glencoe, a glen of awe-inspiring beauty with a rich history. This trip will leave you with tons of memories while craving to come back.

5. Glasgow to Stirling

Distance: 49 min (26.5 mi) via M80

If you are looking for a quick and enjoyable day trip idea from Glasgow, look no further than Stirling. The historic city of Stirling is just a stone’s throw away from Glasgow and thus a local’s favorite. Both the cities connect well with public transportation options, including bus and train rides. Once in Striling, the stunning Stirling castle steeped in heritage overlooking the surrounding landscape will welcome you. Explore this magnificent castle, a symbol of Scotland’s past. Next, walk through the charming old town with its cobbled streets, traditional pubs, and unique shops. Nature enthusiasts can choose to visit the National Wallace Monument. This distinctive landmark commemorates the legendary Scottish hero William Wallace. It is also a great place to enjoy panoramic views of the countryside.

6. Glasgow to The Trossachs National Park

Distance: 1 hr 1 min (31.9 mi) via A81

Trossachs National Park is about an hour’s scenic drive away from Glasgow. The National Park is a nature lover’s paradise nestled in the heart of Scotland. It is the fourth-largest national park in the British Isles. Trossachs is home to 21 Munros, 19 Corbett and 22 large lochs. The parkland is a compilation of rolling hills, shimmering lochs, and dense woodlands. The highlight here is Loch Katrine, a jewel ideal for a tranquil boat ride with stunning mountain backdrops. Trossachs National Park is also popular amongst hikers, especially for the West Highland Way. In addition, it offers a great variety of scenery, wildlife, and recreational opportunities for visitors. When here, do not forget to explore the charming Aberfoyle and Callander villages, especially for the quaint little shops and local cuisine. Do add the Duke’s Pass, a winding road offering panoramic vistas, into your itinerary.

7. Glasgow to Edinburgh

Distance: 1 hr 27 min (46.8 mi) via M8

A day trip from Glasgow to Edinburgh is truly exciting and vibrant. Visiting the capital city of Edinburgh always holds numerous opportunities. Glasgow’s excellent transport links make it easy to reach Edinburgh, and it takes more or less an hour or so by any means. A day trip in Edinburgh begins by visiting the iconic Edinburgh castle. This historic structure stands dramatically on Castle Rock and is one of the best tourist attractions in Scotland. A visit here allows us to explore history while enjoying the panoramic views around. Next, visit the Royal Mile and check streets lined with shops, cafes, and historic sites. The same route will lead you to the majestic Palace of Holyroodhouse. When in Edinburgh, take time to explore the beauty of Princes Street Gardens and plan a hike up to Arthur’s Seat, an extinct volcano offering stunning vistas of the city. The National Museum of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery, too, are worth checking out.

8. Glasgow to Pitlochry

Distance: 1 hr 44 min (83.4 mi) via M80 and A9

A trip from Glasgow to the charming town of Pitlochry may take nearly 2 hours (one side), but it is absolutely worth it. Pitlochry from Glasgow is easily accessible via train, bus, and car ride. All of these modes unveil the scenic beauty of the Scottish countryside. Pitlochry, nestled in the heart of Highland Perthshire, offers a perfect blend of nature and culture. Start your visit with a leisurely stroll along the town’s quaint streets, lined with shops and cafes. When here, take a chance to visit the renowned Pitlochry Festival Theatre. This landmark is popular for its vibrant performances and stunning setting. Further explore the great outdoors via nearby trails, including the enchanting Faskally Wood or the picturesque Queen’s View. Pitlochry is also popular for its whisky, so indulge in a distillery tour at one of the local establishments. Before heading back to Glasgow, savor traditional Scottish fare at a local restaurant.

9. Glasgow to Kilmarnock

Distance: 32 min (22.6 mi) via M77

The town of Kilmarnock is just 25 miles southwest of the city. Kilmarnock is easily reachable by train, making it an easy and efficient journey. Kilmarnock is known for its rich history. The highlight of the town is the Burns Monument Centre, which is dedicated to the beloved poet Robert Burns of Scotland. Further stroll through the peaceful Kay Park, known for its beautiful gardens and a lovely lake. Next, catch a game at Rugby Park, which is also home to Kilmarnock Football Club. Or, visit the Dick Institute, which houses a diverse collection of artworks and exhibitions, especially if you are interested in art. A day trip from Glasgow to Kilmarnock offers a pleasant day out with its mix of culture, nature, and sports.

10. Glasgow to Dumbarton Castle

Distance: 34 min (20.3 mi) via M8

Last is a captivating day trip from Glasgow to Dumbarton Castle. This historic fortress is perched on a volcanic rock overlooking the River Clyde. From Glasgow, take a short 30-minute train ride that will take you to the town of Dumbarton. Upon arrival, ascend the ancient rock to explore the well-preserved Dumbarton Castle. Enjoy the stunning views of the river and surrounding landscapes. The castle also boasts a rich history, which dates back over a millennium. Wandering through the castle’s walls and dungeons, you’ll gain insight into its role in Scottish history. The castle was once a royal residence and military stronghold. After your castle exploration, take a leisurely stroll along the picturesque River Clyde or visit nearby attractions like the Denny Tank Museum.

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