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Day trip to Glasgow from London

Good morning! My 17 yo daughter is attending a drama program in London for 5 days at the end of July, and she wants to go check out Glasgow one day because there is a school she is possibly interested in attending for college. I don't want to have to spend the night because I've already booked and paid for a hotel for the duration in London. I've been looking at different options, and flying seems to be the quickest (and cheaper than train). Has anyone done this in a day? Any tips you can provide? Anything that we should definitely see while we are there?

Posted by
11292 posts

With the time it takes to get to and from the airports (especially on the London end), with a single day you won't see much of Glasgow - particularly if the goal is to see what it would be like to attend school there. You could take the hop-on, hop off bus, but that's quite a different experience than walking the streets and seeing where and how students live. Glasgow has multiple universities, so she'll want to check out the particular one she's interested in, spending time in that area.

If you really want to do this, I'd just pay for a night in a Glasgow hotel, and "eat" the cost of the London hotel for that day. Glasgow hotels need not be expensive - look at a Premier Inn in the center for your dates, and there are other inexpensive options as well.

Posted by
13225 posts

Depending which day you travel. Train tickets to Glasgow are as low as £45 for the direct 4.5 hour train (July 31). Other days are higher.

However, all Glasgow trains on the schedule are marked with a red alert, which starts, “At present we cannot confirm whether this service will run and some additional services may be missing from the journey planner. . .”

That would give me pause about taking the train.

I completely agree with the above opinions that if you want to see GlSgow, just swallow the cost of the London hotel and stay overnight in Glasgow. The Grasshopper hotel just above the Glasgow Central train station is very inexpensive, and friendly, clean and modern.

Posted by
639 posts

I also think you need to spend a night in Glasgow. I flew into Glasgow a couple of years ago, spent one night there which gave me an afternoon, evening, and until mid-afternoon the next day to explore it, and that was beginning to scratch the surface. Even with a specific school in mind there, the most you could do in a single day from London (whether by air or train) is a quick visit to the school and maybe look around the area a little.

If you're going to invest the time and money to travel to Glasgow, I think you should just eat the cost of your London hotel room for that night, leave your main luggage there and travel with a small bag for your overnight essentials in Glasgow. Good luck!

Posted by
2141 posts

First flight of the day from Heathrow at 07:10 gets you to Glasgow at 08:35. Last flight from Glasgow at 20:35 back at LHR for 21:50. A long day but achievable.

Posted by
5719 posts

I have done this journey several times on business and it’s a very long day. I usually have to leave home c 5 am and get back close to midnight. Flying is the most realistic way of covering it in a day. Spending a night there would obviously give you better quality time there, rather than rushing.

Posted by
1264 posts

I'll be honest, this sounds horrible, especially on a holiday. You only have 5 days. Would you fly from New York to Chicago for a very short day if you only had 5 days in New York.

Posted by
64 posts

I can only recommend to you what I would do.
I would forget trying to squeeze Glasgow into this trip. If she really needs to see it, plan another trip, or modify this one to be more than 5 days. Definitely, definitely, do NOT try to run up there and back in one day. Total waste of time

Posted by
70 posts

Just a follow up: You guys convinced me this was a terrible idea. We decided to scratch it. The school she wants to attend is an audition-based school, and they travel to the US for one set of auditions. We decided to just hit them up while they are here, and if she gets in, we will take another trip across the pond to check it out at that point. Thanks for your feedback!

Posted by
5767 posts

You made the smart choice. If she gets accepted, then you can plan a trip to visit Glasgow and see more of Scotland (well worth the trip!).