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Stirling Castle and/or Glasgow

We will be in Edinburgh from evening of September 1st to September 5th and leaving on the 6th. We are doing the Heart of Scotland tour on my husbands birthday the 3rd but are wondering about some good day trip options. Looking for some feedback on these options.

1) Glasgow or Stirling Castle
2) Glasgow and Stirling Castle
3) Alnwick Castle in England

What are some highlights of Glasgow? Should Stirling be the main focus? Thanks everyone!

Posted by
631 posts

Glasgow and Stirling Castle is too much.

Which Heart of Scotland tour? Some include Stirling.

Glasgow is under-rated, especially by Edinburgh tour guides. It has some excellent museums and galleries (some free!!) and is easy to reach by train from Edinburgh. Would fill a couple of days so finding enough for one should be no problem.

Alnwick Castle is reasonably easy to reach by train to Alnmouth (about an hour). Then bus or taxi for 10 minutes. Weekdays wait until 9:30 to get cheaper train fares and buy round trip day ticket. Or book cheap tickets in advance but that limits flexibilty .

The various accents should leave you bewildered. Alnwick is pronounced ANN-ICK but Alnmouth is ALUN-MOUTH - don't ask me why! Edinburgh is ED-INN-BRRR (just dies off at the end) all over UK. When you are there, Glasgow is GLAS-GAE but as it looks if you are anywhere else.

Posted by
36 posts

Awesome info Steve! I heard Glasgow is underrated too. We are doing the "best of Scotland" tour. So a little of everything but it does not include Stirling. I think we would be okay with seeing one or the other. Are they equally as interesting or is one favored more than the other? Very interesting about the accents!

Posted by
3052 posts

Interested in the earlier comment about the pronunciation of Glasgow. To my ear, "as it looks" would rhyme with "blast cow," but those in the know pronounce it "Glasgo" (2nd syllable rhymes with Citgo). I include with "those in the know" a family member (granted, an American) who lived in Glasgow for a while.

Glas-go is the normal accepted pronunciation for non-Glaswegians. Calling it "Glas-gae" will sound like you're attempting the accent, which is never a good idea. Just don't call it Glass-go or worse, Glass-cow.

But Edinburgh is indeed usually pronounced Edinbrr. Although locals often sound like they're saying Embruh.

Posted by
8639 posts

Glasgow and Stirling are just two completely different experiences. One is a vibrant city with different points to hit according to your interests, while one is a historical castle and site.

Glasgow has the fantastic Riverside (transport) museum and, if you're an Art Nouveau lover, all the works and influence of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Lively pubs and restaurants, great shopping. The super interesting Tenement Museum. It's beautiful and grand over by Kelvingrove and the university.

You should read some descriptions of Glasgow (perhaps in Rick's book or elsewhere on the web) and Stirling to see if either one particularly appeals.

Posted by
11294 posts

"What are some highlights of Glasgow?"

Here's my trip report from September 2016 (just skip over the Manchester and Liverpool sections):

Short version: I had a great time, and I highly recommend going to Glasgow! But, as said above, it is a city; if you're not looking for a city experience, it's not what you want.

Posted by
17 posts

Yes to all the above, but wanted to add that if you end up with a day in Stirling, try to make it out to Doune Castle (pay for the audio guide!) and the Deanston Distillary (lovely walk between the two, if a bit long). Would need a bus or car to get out there. In Stirling itself, go to the Curly Coo for a dram or two :)

Posted by
1520 posts

As a Glaswegian, Glasgow is definitely worth a visit.

Pronunciation. Glaz'go or Glez'ga tend to be the local. Highland accents tend to make the s an s sound so Glas-ko, matching the origin of the name 'Glaschu' (Dear Green Place)

The a is always short. It never rhymes with cow

Posted by
702 posts

We spent 5 days in Edinburgh in May and took a day trip out of the city one of the days, to Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond & Glengoyne Distillery. We loved it.