From the Highlands to the Lowlands, and even the delightful Hebrides, there’s plenty of inspiring day trips from Glasgow to take. With great connections throughout Scotland and beyond, here are just a few places to visit outside Glasgow, which can be enjoyed in a day and back.
1. Glasgow to St Andrews
Put on the map thanks to its iconic links golf course, St Andrews has much to offer on a day trip from Glasgow. First off, the Old Course at St Andrews is a must, as the oldest golf club in the world. Take a guided tour, or for a fee, you can enjoy the 18-hole course spanning 6,609 glorious yards. Make time to visit West Sands beach, with two miles of breath-taking views which feature in the opening scene from ‘Chariots of Fire’. Before you leave, take a trip back in time at St Andrews Castle, which has a rich and proud history.
2. Glasgow to Edinburgh
A day trip from Glasgow to Edinburgh offers lots of tourist attractions and sights to pack in. If exploring by foot, pack your walking shoes for the many hills you’ll encounter. Start with the National Galleries, this free attraction is home to many classics, including those from Da Vinci and Raphael. Head over to Edinburgh Castle, the city’s biggest attraction reigning over the city. Bagpipe tunes and tourist shops fill the cobbled streets on the brisk walk up! While there, make time to try out the delicious local favourite – Haggis, neeps and tatties. For five-star dining the Wedgwood is the place to go, otherwise, The White Hart offers a pocket-friendly option, including veggie alternatives. Finally, an easier way to see the city is by Edinburgh Bus Tours, allowing you to hop on and off as you like. It’s worth mentioning that August is a great (although busy) time to come, with the famous Edinburgh Fringe Festival taking over with comedy and entertainment galore.
Getting there: The fast train from Glasgow to Edinburgh takes 54m from Glasgow Queen Street to Edinburgh Station.
3. Glasgow to The Kelpies
For a day of modern art that all the family will enjoy, try out The Kelpies – the world’s largest equine sculptures. Take a half-hour tour covering the engineering feat by artist Andy Scott. The onsite café offers casual dining with impressive views. If the weather’s nice, you can try your hand at water sports, with pedalos available to hire on the calm lagoon next door. There’s also an adventure zone with splash play that the kids will love.
Getting there: A day trip by train from Glasgow to Falkirk High takes 17m, from here it’s a two-mile taxi journey.
4. Glasgow to Loch Lomond
You can easily spend a day or longer at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. A celebration of natural beauty at its best, each season provides a different backdrop (and reason) to come. There’s even a local Sea Life for little ones to enjoy. Great to discover by foot or bike, there are numerous pathways through peaceful forests. At the heart of the park, and the reason why so many people visit, is Loch Lomond. This gentle lake is the biggest in Britain, equally great for a picnic by the water’s edge, or trying out the local water sports. The rugged terrain bodes well for ramblers with 220 miles of glens, mountains and lochs to discover.
Getting there: The train from Glasgow Queen Street to Balloch takes 46m.
5. Glasgow to the Outlander Adventure Tour
There’s no better way to spend a day trip from Glasgow than learning about its proud history on an Outlander tour. Inspired by the hit TV Show, this organised tour takes you around real-life sites as featured in the programme. This includes castles that are 600-year’s old and a historic village from the Jacobite uprising.
Getting there: A Rabbies coach tour departs from Glasgow Parish Hall at 09:15, returning at 18:30 the same day.
6. Glasgow to Alloway
When it comes to places to visit outside of Glasgow, Alloway in Ayr is the ideal place for a day trip. Learn about the history of Scotland’s famous song in the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. The local ploughman who came to be one of the century’s foremost poets is commemorated annually on ‘Burns Night’, a much-loved Scottish tradition. There’s also the ‘Brig O’Doon’ and nearby Ayr beach to swing by in this charming suburb.
Getting there: Take the direct train from Glasgow Central to Ayr in under 50m. Once you arrive, catch the X77 or 58 bus that takes 10 minutes to Alloway.
7. Glasgow to Stirling
A visit to Stirling offers a cultural day trip from Glasgow by train. A popular stop-off point en route to the Highlands, there are two main attractions that haul in tourists. The first is the National Wallace Monument – a striking tower that looms over the city, paying tribute to the 13th-century Scottish hero Sir William Wallace. The other is Stirling Castle, a magnificent fortress that hosts events for all the family to enjoy. You can spend a whole day here learning about its fascinating history and legacy throughout the wars. It’s also where Mary Queen of Scots was crowned.
Getting there: The direct train from Glasgow to Stirling takes 29m from Queen Street station.
Whether you’re looking for day trips from Glasgow for a visit to an interesting historical site, art gallery, or national park, you can discover a lot with day trips from Glasgow by train.