Attractions Nearby Glasgow, Day Trips and Excursions
(Glasgow, Scotland, UK)
Glasgow is located within comfortable reach of many interesting Scottish towns and cities, with the attractions of Edinburgh being ideal for a day trip. As the Scottish capital, Edinburgh is always busy with tourists and holiday makers, although accommodation is extremely scarce in August, when the famous Military Tattoo and Fringe Festival come to town.
Especially close to Glasgow is Paisley, the biggest town within the county of Renfrewshire, where attractions include the Paisley Thread Mill Museum, the Coats Observatory and the Gleniffer Braes Country Park, which serves as a popular excursion and offers scenic walking trails leading all the way to Barrhead and Johnstone. Also within reach of Glasgow is the Scottish seaside town of Gourock, where the recently revamped saltwater Gourock Outdoor Pool dates all the way back to 1909, although heating was not installed until some 60 years later.
, Scotland's impressive capital city, enjoys a particularly scenic location, surrounded by volcanic hills on the southern edge of the Firth of Forth. On the east coast of Edinburgh is Portobello, a popular seaside resort, and to the south are the Pentland Hills.
The Firth of Forth is situated to the north of Edinburgh and has several elegant bridges, while Leith is also close by and is a large port town. You are able to see the whole of Edinburgh from the top of Arthur's Seat, an extinct volcano which is one of the city's top attractions, attracting thousands of tourists each year. Edinburgh is less than one hour's drive from central Glasgow. Highlights include:
- Edinburgh Experience - featuring a 3D film, which explains the history of the city
- Royal Observatory Visitor Centre - offering spectacular views across the cityscape and the surrounding area
- Edinburgh Castle - one of the city's most famous and important landmarks, in constant use for more than 1,000 years
- Craigmillar Castle- a substantial and atmospheric ruin managed by Historic Scotland
- Royal Yacht Britannia - now docked here after it was decommissioned in 1997, following 44 years of Royal service
- Edinburgh Crystal Visitor Centre - founded in 1867 with glass-blowing displays, a factory shop and a crystal glass shop
- Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre - with guided tours explaining the distillation process of this important Scottish whisky
- Scott Monument - created in 1846 as a monument and memorial to the famous Sir Walter Scott, with almost 300 steps to the highest gallery
- Calton Hill - in central Edinburgh, home to the Nelson Monument and the National Monument
- Palace of Holyroodhouse - built by James IV, with antique furniture, tapestries, paintings, historic artefacts from several centuries and the lavish private apartment of Mary, Queen of Scots
- The Royal Mile - the oldest part of the city, marking the road running directly from Edinburgh Castle down to the Palace of Holyroodhouse
Paisley is a small town nearby Glasgow, in the Renfrewshire area, and is most famous for its fabric design known as the 'Paisley Pattern'. This westerly suburb grew up around its large abbey and by the 19th century, Paisley was a major producer of stylish, printed cotton and woollen cloth. Fernie Guided Tours of Paisley run two-hour walking tours from Paisley Abbey and these operate from Monday to Saturday at 10:45 and at 13:30. Attractions at Paisley include:
- Barochan Cross - a 10th-century Celtic monument
- Paisley Museum and Art Gallery - containing a large display of Paisley shawls and the history of this design
- University of Paisley - an important building in Paisley, featuring impressive architecture
- Thomas Coats Memorial Church - a glorious Paisley church, with many interesting features
- Coats Observatory - containing displays about astronomy, earthquakes, weather and climate
- Sma' Shot Cottages - including a charming 18th-century weaver's cottage and a 19th-century artisan's house
- Paisley Arts Centre - housed in a converted church, with a theatre, bar and popular bistro
Kilbarchan is located in the Renfrewshire area and is just of the A737 Irvine road, around 8 km / 5 miles from Glasgow. This small town has a population of around 4,000 and a number of interesting tourist attractions, including:
- Weaver's Cottage - dating from 1723, this historic, thatched building features video presentations about fabric making, period furnishings and demonstrations of handloom weaving
- Boobins - serving excellent food, this is the perfect spot for a snack in Kilbarchan
The town of Greenock, in the Inverclyde area of Scotland, is situated on the west coast of Glasgow. The Greenock Cut is a popular 8 km / 5 mile walk from Overton, through the surrounding hills above the town, following an aqueduct. Specific highlights include:
- Clyde Marine - with regular cruises from Greenock Victoria Harbour during the summer months
- Free French Memorial - commemorating the sailors who lost their lives during the Battle of the Atlantic in World War II
- Customshouse Quay - containing a number of interesting shops, cafés and bars
- McLean Museum and Art Gallery - charting the history of steam power and shipping in the Clyde area
- HM Customs and Excise Museum - tracing the interesting history of the area's Customs and Excise service
Gourock is a popular seaside resort 5 km / 3 miles to the west of Greenock and is within easy reach from Glasgow. With pleasant suburbs and an important location, attractions in Gourock include a ferry terminal, small shops, cafés and restaurants, often with scenic views.
Wemyss Bay is situated 13 km / 8 miles from Gourock and is close to Glasgow, Rothesay and the Isle of Bute. With regular ferries and a Victorian train station, Wemyss has good transport connections and a number of attractive red-sandstone buildings.