Day trips from Glasgow

Scotland offers plenty of destinations intrepid tourists can visit, and Glasgow is an excellent base from which you can plan your travels. Nature, history and fascinating culture, it’s all there. In addition, a bigger part of the country is within your grasp. But choosing the place you want to see may not be the easiest choice in the world precisely because there are so many spectacular places. To help you decide, here are some of the most popular ideas for day trips from Glasgow. Take a look, you won’t be sorry.

Day trips from Glasgow, Scotland


Loch Ness

DISTANCE

About three and a half hours

BOOK A TOUR HERE

GETTING THERE

You will want to get an early start for this one because while it is a pretty straightforward trip via the A9, it will take you more than three hours to get there by car. A more scenic route is via the A82, but that will add about half an hour to your journey. To avoid driving fatigued, take a train to Inverness, a city just north of the Loch from which you can then catch a bus or even rent a car. You can get return tickets for about 70 pounds, and the ride lasts between three and three and a half hours.

Loch Ness, Scotland
Loch Ness, Scotland

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

If you’re visiting this part of the world, you simply have to visit the famous Loch Ness. Not only is this place the focal point of numerous tales and myths, including the one about the mysterious monster that lives in the lake, but it also provides an incredible scenery you can enjoy. Drumnadrochit is an absolutely beautiful village on the Loch’s shore, but the Victorian town of Pitlochry is also more than worthy of a visit. Relaxation and fascinating sights await you here, that’s for sure.

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Culliss House B&B 



Cairngorms National Park

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland
Cairngorms National Park, Scotland, Author: Manuel Osdoba, Source: Flickr

DISTANCE

About 1 hour and 45 minutes

BOOK A TOUR HERE

GETTING THERE

Catching a train seems like a very convenient way of reaching Cairngorms National Park as you can approach it from the east side if you head to Aberdeen or from the west via several stations (Kingussie, Aviemore, Blair Atholl). You can reach Blair Atholl in about two hours, for example, so just sit back and enjoy the ride. The car is a good choice too because once again you follow the A9 to reach Blair Atholl directly in an hour and 45 minutes.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Although it too is close to Inverness, Cairngorms National Park really should be a separate day trip from Glasgow. It is absolutely massive, the largest national park in the British Isles, so you will need at least one whole day to explore it. And there is quite a lot to discover because the area encompasses museums, gardens, castles and various other attractions which blend serenely into their surrounding. A combination of history and culture, it will provide you with an unforgettable experience and quite a bit of fresh air.

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES

As mentioned, there are a lot of places you can visit here, so here are just a few examples to show you what you can expect.

Grantown Museum – open from April to October, Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 5 PM. Tickets: 4 GBP.

The Speyside Centre – open every day from 9 AM to 5.30 PM except on Sundays, when it’s closed.

Highland Wildlife Park – 17 pounds a ticket for adults. Open year round: from 10 AM to 5 PM from April to October; from 10 AM to 6 PM in July and August; from 10 AM to 4 PM from November to March.

Braemar Castle – 8 pounds per ticket. Open from 10 AM to 5 PM every day in July and August. During other months they do not work on Mondays and Tuesdays.

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Macdonald Highlands Hotel



Oban and the West Highlands

Oban port, Scotland
Oban port, Scotland

DISTANCE

Two and a half hours

BOOK A TOUR HERE

GETTING THERE

This is a very scenic drive along the A82, so if you have a car with you you’re in for a treat since you will be driving through a beautiful part of the Highlands. However, if you don’t have a car, don’t sweat it – trains and buses are also available. It’s just over three hours by train, and the same goes for the bus which is also about five pounds cheaper (26 to 21 GBP approximately).

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Oban is a beautiful little town located north-west from Glasgow and it offers plenty of things to do during your day here. The seafood over there is absolutely phenomenal, and you can try a variety of dishes. You will also be able to learn a lot about Gaelic culture, since many people in the town speak Gaelic. Then there’s the option of climbing the McCaig’s Tower for a spectacular view of Oban Bay.
But to thoroughly explore Scotland and see what this beautiful country is all about, head deeper into West Highlands. This is where Scotland’s biggest (Loch Lomond) and longest (Lochawe) lakes are located. Apart from that, though, there are plenty of beautiful castles to see and picturesque towns like Argyll to visit. It truly is a fairy-tale experience. Don’t forget to bring your camera/phone with you – not taking any pictures here would be a real shame.

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES

McCaig’s Tower – open round the clock, no admission fees

Dunstaffnage Castle – from October 1 to March 31 open from 10 AM to 4 PM; from April 1 to September 30 open from 9.30 AM to 5.30 PM. Last entry is 30 minute before closing time. Tickets are 6 pounds.

Carnasserie Castle – free to visit. Open year round, every day non-stop. 

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Failte Bed & Breakfast



Ayrshire Coast

Ayrshire Coast, Scotland
Ayrshire Coast, Scotland

DISTANCE

Less than an hour

BOOK A TOUR HERE

GETTING THERE

The town of Ayr is just over 45 minutes away from Glasgow and you need to take first the M77 and then the A77 to get to it. From there on, you are free to explore the beautiful coast however you want. Train takes considerably longer (about two hours), but you can get a ticket for just 9 pounds. A bus can get you there in an hour, though, plus you can get a return ticket for like 10 pounds.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

This country is so much more than just lakes and emerald forests. You only need to visit the Ayrshire Coast to see that. Culzean Country Park is the place to visit here, and you can have a great lunch there while exploring everything it has to offer. The Culzean Castle is an option too, while the small town of Alloway is an excellent way to spend your afternoon. It is also the birthplace of the famous poet Robert Burns, so you will be able to explore the most famous locations from his works and visit the house where he was born which is now a museum.

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES

Culzean Castle is closed from the end of October to the end of March. Otherwise, open from 10 Am to 5 PM. Culzean Park is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10.30 AM to 4 PM in the winter period, from 10 AM to 5 PM (or 6.30 PM, depending on the part you want to visit) in summer. Tickets are 11.50 pounds just for the park, 16 pounds if you want to add the castle to your visit.

Robert Burns Birthplace Museum – open every day from 10 AM to 5 PM. The birthplace cottage is open from 11 AM to 5 PM. Tickets cost 10.50 GBP.

ACOMMODATION OPTION

ByTheSea Ayr



Glencoe

Glencoe Mountains, Scotland
Glencoe Mountains, Scotland

DISTANCE

Just over two hours

BOOK A TOUR HERE

GETTING THERE

This destination is slightly north of Oban, but no worries – the A82 will lead you right to it. It’s another of Scotland’s scenic drives across the highlands, so you are bound to enjoy every minute of your two-hour trip. The bus takes only a little more to get there, and this will set you back around 25 pounds. Trains are also an option, with Fort William or Bridge of Orchy being the nearest station, but this takes about three and a half hours and costs a bit more than the bus (30 pounds). The route is exceptionally beautiful, though.

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Glencoe is a village in Glen Coe, so don’t get those two things mixed up. The village is surrounded by spectacular mountains, and the biggest fans of the Harry Potter movies will recognize them as Hagrid’s home. Apart from that, there are plenty of outdoor activities to choose from, so you will definitely not be bored. The place also holds a dark secret – in 1692, this is where Clan Macdonald was massacred, so there is quite a bit of history to be learned, too. Fortunately, those times are well behind us, so you can rest, relax and just soak in the view and the nature that stretches all around you for miles.

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Loch Leven Hotel and Distillery



Stirling Castle and whisky tour

Stirling Castle, Scotland
Stirling Castle, Scotland

DISTANCE

Between half an hour and 45 minutes

BOOK A TOUR HERE

GETTING THERE

Stirling is reasonably close to Glasgow and you can reach it with your car in less than 45 minutes with your car by taking the M80. Bus is also an option as it takes approximately the same amount of time and a one-way ticket can be bought for about 5 pounds or less. Trains are even faster and some of them cover the distance in about half an hour, although it will cost you more than the bus (10 pounds). To get to Trossachs from Stirling, you need to take the A84 and the A821, which will also take you about 45 minutes, plus there’s the option of taking a bus.  

WHY YOU SHOULD VISIT

Stirling Castle is one of the most important castles in Scottish history because numerous kings and queens of this nation were crowned here and the castle itself was under siege several times in its lifetime. It was built somewhere in the early 12th century, although most of the buildings there were added later on, around 16th century. Still, it is a fascinating sight to behold.

Glengoyne Distillery is very close by, so you can taste premium Scotch and enjoy yourself even further. It should be noted that you are also near Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park when visiting this place, so a small detour on this day trip from Glasgow will be well worth it.

OPENING HOURS/TICKET PRICES:

Stirling Castle – open every day from 9.30 AM to 5 PM. Price for a ticket is 15 pounds if you book ahead, but may go up to 16 if you buy it on-site in the summer time.

Glengoyne Distillery – open every day from 10 to 5. The price of tours here starts from 11 and a half pounds.

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park – no tickets needed.

ACCOMMODATION OPTION

Friars Wynd



PIN FOR LATER!

If you have any other propositions for this Day Trips from Glasgow, feel free to share them in the comments below!

Logistical Tips and Tricks

Organize your trip in five easy steps!

BOOK A FLIGHT!

Obviously, if you’re going on a trip somewhere far a way, you’ll need to book a flight. There is absolutely no need to worry about this, though, because with Skyscanner, you will be able to find a cheap flight anywhere in the world. And their website is extremely easy to use, so you will have your seat on a plane in no time at all!

BOOK A ROOM!

To easily find the best possible room in the city you’re visiting, just head to Booking.com. They have quite literally thousands of options, a reliable rating system and will always get you a great deal. On top of that, you can learn a lot from the comments people leave there, too. No matter if you’re looking for an apartment or an elite hotel, you’ll find what you need here.

GET A CAR!

If you want the ultimate sense of freedom while on your trip, a car is a must. Fortunately, there is a simple way to get one – just visit Booking’s Rentalcars and they’ll have your vehicle ready in a jiffy. Now you’ll be able to explore the new city thoroughly and, who knows, maybe even make a trip outside it.

INSURE YOURSELF FOR PEACE OF MIND!

Accidents, mishaps and other troubles happen to everyone. The key is to be prepared. That’s why getting a travel insurance is such a great idea: it can help you deal with any health issues, theft and even cancelled flights. World Nomads know full well about the problems that can arise on a trip because they are passionate travelers themselves. That’s why they can offer you the very best deals.

FIND SOMEONE TO HELP YOU GET AROUND!

Want to have some company as soon as you land? Through Welcomepickups.com, you can find a local to meet you at the airport and help you find your way around the new city. They can also set things up for you, give you some useful tips and be helpful in general. The whole project is a great idea and very well executed, so do go and see how these people can make your trip a more pleasant one.

MAKE SURE YOU HAVE EVERYTHING YOU NEED

Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2019.

Anca One Day Itinerary

Anca B.

Travel writer at

Anca is a travel writer and the founder of One Day Itinerary - the biggest collection of travel itineraries for those who are time-limited or just want to maximize their time while traveling. Although she easily becomes homesick for Croatia, she thinks travel is essential to her happiness. She has traveled to more countries than she is years old and doesn’t plan on changing that fact. In her travel guides she aims to inspire people to travel whenever they have a spare day (or two).

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