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Recommendation for best day trip from Glasgow that IS NOT Edinburgh

Hi heading to UK next year and looking for day trip options from Glasgow that could be done on public transit. As always I appreciate the great advice we get on this forum.


Posted by
72 posts

Check out New Lanark to see if a visit to this partially preserved old mill town is of any interest. It can be reached by train or bus in about 55 minutes.

Posted by
19509 posts

Hill House in Helensburgh is one of Charles Rennie Mackintosh's masterpieces; I highly recommend it for architecture fans. The town is easy to reach from Glasgow; frequent trains make the trip in about 45 minutes. The house is a good distance from the train station, but it's walkable. In inclement weather (common in western Scotland), most folks would prefer to take a taxi. I don't know whether there are local buses that would get you at least part of the way.

I'm not a fan of castles, so I didn't go to Stirling, but I know it's accessible from both Glasgow and Edinburgh. Train service is frequent. I don't know how far the castle is from the train station.

Falkirk (Falkirk Wheel and the Kelpies) is also accessible by train.

It would perhaps be a bit odd to go all the way to Dundee (1-1/2 hours or longer by train) when there are other attractive options considerably closer to Glasgow, but the city has a lot of interesting sights: the newish V&A Design Museum, Discovery Point, Verdant Works (old textile mill), and multiple art galleries.

Posted by
10293 posts

I know it's not public transportation, but I've taken numerous day trips out of Glasgow using Rabies. They can take you to so many places not available via public transportation. Small coaches (16 seats max), plenty of stops, knowledgable guides.

Posted by
2814 posts

You can take a cruise on Loch Lomond out of Balloch (located at the southern end of the loch). I believe Sweeney's and Cruise Loch Lomond have boats going out of there. With some of the cruise routes, you may be able to get dropped off at a certain beach and spend an hour or more walking, then catch the next boat coming by. I believe Balloch is served by both train and bus from Glasgow.

On a completely different note, if you are a Robert Burns fan there are sites in Ayrshire you may want to visit. I'm not sure about the public transport connections, but you can research it. See

Posted by
234 posts

If you don’t mind a 1.5 hr bus journey you could go to Inverary in Argyll. Lovely scenery once you are out off Glasgow and Inverary is a lovely little town on Loch Fyne. Nearby is the Castle which is the home of the Duke of Argyll chief of the Campbell Clan.

Or take the train from Glasgow to Weymss Bay and then the CalMac ferry to Rothesay on the Isle of Bute, a journey of about 1.5 hours from Glasgow. CalMac ferries website

Posted by
115 posts

Maybe a long day trip to Brodick? There's probably a bus to Androssen and frequent ferries back and forth. Some call Arran a "Scotland in miniature". You'd probably want to find a tour van to a few spots once you're there.

Didn't see someone already recommended it. Make it a second vote.

Posted by
941 posts

Hi, Mike,

Here's a third vote for Arran. The trains run very frequently from Glasgow Central to Ardrossan. Trip time is about 45 minutes. From there, it's a short walk to the ferry for Brodick. Once you're there, you can catch a bus for just about anywhere on the island. Brodick Castle and grounds are nearby (walking distance), or a bus will take you to the start of the Glen Sannox hike, or Lochranza Castle. The bus service on Arran is excellent, and relatively inexpensive.

There are good restaurants in Brodick, Lamlash, and Whiting Bay, and if you fancy staying overnight, there is lots of accommodation. If you enjoy hiking, you could try Holy Island, which is a short boat ride from Lamlash. If you enjoy charity shops, one of the best in the islands is close by the Brodick ferry terminal.

You could also visit the Isle of Bute for the day. There are very frequent ferries from Wemyss Bay (reached from Glasgow Central by train) to Rothesay. Rothesay itself is a bit of a tourist trap, but there are buses to most of the island. There are a couple of castles, and Mount Stuart, one of Scotland's grand houses (check to see if they have a re-opening date).

Another possibility would be the isle of Great Cumbrae, which can be reached from Largs You can rent a bicycle in Millport, the main town, and tour the island in a day.

For a really interesting day, if you end up visiting Helensburgh by train, you could take a short trip out to the Peace Camp at Faslane (reached by bus from Helensburgh), and discuss the current political situation with the CND campaigners.

You will be spoiled for choices, but there are so many things to see and do in Glasgow itself, that you may never want to leave the city.

Best wishes for your travels!

Mike (Auchterless) (from DE)