At Hold Fast Entertainment, we take pride in Scotland as it is full of beautiful places, some which can be seen on a day trip from Glasgow.

Glasgow is a beautiful, vibrant city with dynamic offerings. Our great city is thriving with live music, nightlife, museums and shops. Located in West Central Scotland, Glasgow is surrounded by stunning national parks and rugged coastlines and is advantageously close to many beautiful Scottish locations.

If you are visiting Glasgow for a long weekend and wish to explore further afield or simply just want something a little different to do with your weekend off work, we have curated a varied list of Scottish highlights within a few hours drive from Glasgow. 

Our Top 10 Day Trips from Glasgow are in order of travel time to make planning your trip that little bit easier. The list includes quaint coastal towns on the East coast; a picturesque Perthshire village;  Scottish isles on the West coast; and a rugged peninsula in the Western Scottish borders.  

1. Stirling

A quaint Scottish city packed with historical attractions, Stirling is bursting with things to do and places to eat. Visiting as one of your day trips from Glasgow is super easy, with the train being your quickest form of transport. However, if you want to explore the surrounding area a bit more, then you might prefer to have a car for the day. 

Stirling Castle

Sitting atop the prominent Castle Hill is Stirling Castle, a great place to visit if you wish to learn more about Scottish history and appreciate the incredible mix of Renaissance and Gothic Revival architecture. The castle is open to visitors between 9.30am-5pm. 

The National Wallace Monument 

If you are a fan of the world-famous Braveheart film, the monument is the perfect place to visit. The tower rises above the Abbey Craig, commemorating Sir William Wallace and is open to visit almost every day from 10am – 4pm.

Top 10 Day Trips From Glasgow
Stirling Castle (Trip Advisor)

Distance

26.6 miles

To Drive

37 mins

Public Transport

26 mins (Train)

2. Loch Lomond

The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a Scottish gem, popular for walking, sailing, cycling and camping. There are many options for travel between Balloch and Luss. If you want a change from driving, you an take a ferry or cycle along the West Loch Lomond Cycle Path.

Balloch 

Known as the Gateway to Loch Lomond, Balloch offers a diverse range of activities. Explore the gothic Balloch Castle Country Park, walk along the bonny banks of Loch Lomond. If you are looking for something to excite children then the Loch Lomond Sea Life Aquarium or the TreeZone Arial Adventure Course would be a good idea to visit. 

Luss

Depending on how you travelled there will determine how you want to spend your time in Luss. Options include a stroll along the beach; catching a cruise from the pier; or venturing up the Luss Hills for stunning views of Loch Lomond. 

Top 10 Day Trips From Glasgow
Loch Lomond

Distance

25.4 + 6.9 miles

To Drive

39 + 13 mins

Public Transport

49 + 29 mins (Train)

3. Helensburgh & Rhu

Helensburgh

Walk along Kilcreggan Pier to take in the views of the River Clyde and visit The Hill House to experience the creations of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

Rhu

Situated north of Helensburgh, the little village of Rhu is nice for a quick pit stop to walk around the Rhu Marina.
 
If you still have time left in your day and wish to continue exploring, head East to Luss to discover Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park before travelling back to Glasgow.
Helensburgh (Visit Scotland)

Distance

31.8 +  1.4 miles

To Drive

49 + 6 mins

Public Transport

41 mins (Train) + 11 mins (Bus)

4. Largs & Isle of Cumbrae

Largs

Despite the typical Scottish November weather of rain and wind, Largs is a charming seaside town. Located on the West Coast, Largs offers a variety of things to do. Walk along the waterfront and take in the views of the Isles of Cumbrae and Arran. Have lunch in one of the cafes or grab a drink in a local coffee shop. If you are looking for something a little different you can make your way to the Vikingar! Experience where you can learn about Viking history through an interactive tour. 

Kelburn Castle and Estate

Next, make your way to Kelburn Castle and Estate to see the home of Lord Glasgow. After spending time admiring the beautiful castle and quirky graffiti, take your pick of walks through the grounds. If you have time, take The Long Glen Walk. The trail will lead you to the top of the glen, past a pretty waterfall and rocky pools. 

Isle of Cumbrae

A mere 10 minute ferry ride from Largs, lies the small Isle of Cumbrae. With over 1,000 bicycles to hire, it is widely known as the Bicycle Island. Be sure to cycle the 10.25 miles around the island to experience the incredible views that the isle offers of the West coast of Scotland and the Isles of Bute and Arran. 

Top 10 Day Trips From Glasgow
Largs (Visit Scotland)

Distance

32.1 + 5 miles

To Drive

51 mins + 10 mins (Ferry)

Public Transport

55 mins (Train) + 10 mins (Ferry)

5. Callander

Callandar

Also known as the ‘Gateway to the Highlands’, sits on the River Teith at the edge of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. There are numerous walks including those to the Bracklinn Falls, The Meadows and Callandar Crags. 

Ben Ledi

If you are looking for a physically challenging activity to do do as one of your day trips from Glasgow, then consider climbing the 760m ascent up Ben Ledi, the highest mountain in the nearby national park. It should take around take around 6 hours but be careful to check the weather conditions and necessary precautions before climbing! 

Top 10 Day Trips from Glasgow
Callendar Crags (Visit Scotland)

Distance

41.4 miles

To Drive

54 mins

Public Transport

1 hr 29 mins (Train)

6. Dunkeld

Dunkeld

The beautiful village of Dunkeld lies on the banks of the River Tay, making it an idyllic place to discover. Drive through the lovely grounds of the Dunkeld House Hotel and park your car by the main hotel. Walk down to the river banks and follow the path heading East back into Dunkeld via the beautiful Dunkeld Cathedral. Wander through the main streets, popping into the lovely shops dotted around the High Street. Stop for some lunch at Howies Bistro or dinner at Darjeeling and work your way to the hotel along the river bank.

The Hermitage

If you still have some time and wish to see a little more of the area, drive over to The Hermitage on the other side of the A9. Follow the trail along the River Braan to the incredible Black Linn Falls.  Gaze up at the huge Douglas Fir trees and take in the fresh air. 

Top 10 Day Trips from Glasgow
The Hermitage, Dunkeld (Hold Fast Entertainment)

Distance

71.1 miles

To Drive

1 hr 24 mins 

Public Transport

1 hr 44 mins (Train) 

7. St. Andrews & Anstruther

St. Andrews

A coastal town in Fife, St. Andrews is famous for the  prestigious University of St. Andrews and historic buildings. Wander around the charming town and pop into the numerous shops , cafes and restaurants.  Walk past the St. Andrews Cathedral to the pier to get a stunning view of the town from the sea or take a stroll along the beach. If you fancy something a bit more active, try your hand at golf on the Old Course at St. Andrews, which is considered the oldest course in the world.

Anstruther

A drive to Anstruther (pronounced ‘Ainster’) is worth it to relax on Shore Street, and look out to the harbour whilst eating award-winning, locally sourced fish and chips. Pop into Anstruther Fish Bar to taste from a variety of incredibly fresh fish, homemade fishcakes and homemade Brattesani Ice Cream. 

Top 10 Day Trips from Glasgow
St. Andrews Pier (Hold Fast Entertainment)

Distance

73 + 9.4 miles

To Drive

1 hr 39 mins + 16 mins 

Public Transport

2 hrs 12 mins (Train to St. Andrews) + 27 mins (Bus to Anstruther)

8. Isle of Bute

The Isle of Bute lies off the West Coast of Scotland in the Firth of Clyde. 

Attractions

After arriving on the ferry to Rothesay, get your bearings then head to the centre of the town to visit the Rothesay Castle ruins. After exploring the town a little head South to the Mount Stuart House a Victorian neo-Gothic mansion set among wonderful gardens that looks over to the Isle of Cumbrae. 

Beaches

The Isle of Bute beaches are stunning, no matter what time of year it is. If you are looking to see some wild seals, make your way to Seal View at Scalpsie Bay. If you walk along the beach you should come across some WW2 remains. Continue North until you come to the long stretch of sand that is Ettrick Bay, another notable beach on this wee isle. 
 
Top 10 Day Trips from Glasgow
Isle of Bute (Walk Highlands)

Distance

42.7 miles

To Drive

57 mins + 47 mins (Ferry)

Public Transport

59 mins (Train to Skelmorlie) + 47 mins (Ferry)

9. The Rhins of Galloway

In the Southwestern Scottish borders lies the The Rhins of Galloway. The peninsula juts out close to Ireland and boasts many visit-worthy towns.

Highlights of The Rhins include the Mull of Galloway lighthouse, Scotland’s most Southerly point; Portpatrick and Dunskey Castle; and the coastal walks of the breathtaking Port Logan beach.

Port Patrick Harbour (Discover South West Scotland)

Distance

92.7 miles

To Drive

2 hrs 12 mins

Public Transport

2 hrs 19 mins (Train to Stranraer) + 38 mins (Bus to The Rhins)

10. Isle of Arran

Being the largest isle in the Firth of Clyde, Arran has ample choice of things to do for visitors on day trips from Glasgow!

Hiking

Looking for the best views on the whole isle? Take a hike and climb to the top of Goat Fell! Peaking 874 metres, this mountain is the highest on the island. 

Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park

Brodick Castle, Garden and Country Park is Scotland and the UK’s sole island country park.Wander along the halls of the baronial castle, and explore the beautiful grounds and woodlands to look out over Brodick Bay  on the East coast of the island.

Isle of Arran (Visit Arran)

Distance

50.9 miles

To Drive

54 mins to Ardrossan + 1 hr 13 mins (Ferry to Brodick)

Public Transport

38 mins (Train to Ardrossan) + 1 hr 13 mins (Ferry to Brodick)

Depending on where you choose to visit, it could be a long day. However, you may make it back with a little energy to spare. If so, be sure to check out the bustling Glasgow nightlife. 

Our two legendary nightclubs in Glasgow, The Garage and Cathouse Rock Club are fully welcoming to tourists. Also functioning as live music venues, each club host hundreds of bands and artists every year. The full gig lists can be found on the Facebook pages of The Garage and Cathouse Rock Club.

Keep posted for our future weekly blogs that focus on Glasgow nightlife, live music and tourism!

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About the Author Lauren

After studying International Business at the University of Strathclyde for four years, I travelled around Latin America for seven months, learning Spanish. I am now a Marketing Executive at Hold Fast Entertainment and a regular volunteer at Nordoff Robbins Scotland's SSE Scottish Music Awards.

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