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Eco city break

Eco city break in Glasgow

Eco city break in Glasgow

Visiting Glasgow and keen to reduce your environmental impact or be a responsible tourist? Here are our top tips for an eco city break in Glasgow.

Things to do

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum

The exterior of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum shows the Victorian brown sandstone building with its turrets rising into a blue sky.
The Floating Heads installation at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, with each head displaying different emotions.

Arguably Glasgow’s top attraction, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is a must-visit on your trip to the city. And what’s more, it has been given a coveted Green Tourism Award which recognises its commitment to becoming more sustainable. Visit Glasgow Life's website to find out more.

Join a walking tour

Two people enjoying a Glasgow Music City Tour outside of King Tut's Wah Wah Hut in Glasgow.

Get a warm welcome to Glasgow by joining a city walking tour guided by friendly locals. Learn about street art, Charles Rennie Mackintosh and the highlights of the city centre with Walking Tours in Glasgow, or all about the city’s legendary music scene with Glasgow Music City Tours. Visit our tours page to find out more.

Glasgow Science Centre

Fun for the whole family, the Glasgow Science Centre offers an interactive and informative day out. Their ‘Powering the Future’ exhibit explores topics such as energy consumption and green energy through a magnificent biowall and an energy dance floor. Head to glasgowsciencecentre.org to find out more.

Parks and gardens

Two people sit on a bench looking out on a green tree-lined view. The turrets of Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum can be seen in the distance between trees.

With over 90 parks and gardens, it is no wonder that Glasgow is known as the Dear Green Place. Check out our guide to the top parks and greens spaces in each of Glasgow's neighbourhoods and be sure to visit a couple whilst you’re here.

SWG3

SWG3 is a hip arts venue, bar and nightclub in Glasgow, which is making waves with its green approach to energy. From late 2021, a renewable heating and cooling system is being trialled which will turn body heat from dancers into power for the venue’s lights, music and electricity. Visit swg3.tv to check out what’s on.

Glengoyne Distillery

A person tending to the beehives at Glengoyne Distillery, with rolling fields and hills in the background.

Credit: Glengoyne Distillery

Nestled amongst picturesque Scottish scenery on the outskirts of Glasgow, Glengoyne Distillery is a special spot to savour a dram of whisky. Glengoyne’s whisky is produced using 100% renewable electricity and they are committed to protecting the beauty of the environment around them with their own beehives and wetlands. Head to glengoyne.com to book a tour.

Whitelee Windfarm

Explore over 130km of trails and admire over 200 wind turbines at Whitelee Windfarm. The largest onshore windfarm in the UK, Whitelee also has an onsite visitor centre and is only 20 minutes from Glasgow. Visit the Whitelee Windfarm website to find out more.

Explore Scotland with Rabbie's

If you’re keen to explore other parts of Scotland in an eco-friendly way, then perhaps a mini-coach trip with Rabbie’s is for you. Rabbie’s try to only recommend shops with local owners as well as charge themselves £10 for every tonne of carbon used, which supports environmental and community projects. Visit Rabbie’s website to browse available tour options.

Shopping

Independent shopping

A view of the Hidden Lane in Glasgow, with a cobbled street and colourful buildings.

Glasgow is a city rich in artists, creators and makers which allows for a thriving and exciting independent shopping scene. Check out our guide to independent shopping in Glasgow and support some of the city’s best independent stores.

The Clydeside Collective

With sustainability at its heart, the Clydeside Collective sells beautiful gifts from creatives who reuse, recycle, reclaim, and resell items that may otherwise have gone to landfill. Read more about this eco-friendly store on the St Enoch Centre website.

Zero waste stores

Reduce your plastic waste whilst you’re here by visiting one of the city’s many zero waste stores. Visit societyzero.co.uk, tgchoice.co.uk and zerowastemarket.org.uk to find out more.

Where to eat and drink

Drygate

A brewer hard at work moving kegs within. The image is in black and white.

Credit: Drygate Brewery

Drygate is a brasserie, bar and brewery in the east end of Glasgow. Enjoy one of their fantastic beers in the spot where it is brewed and tuck into some of their delicious Freedom Bakery bread, which is created using discarded grain from the brewery. Visit Drygate’s website to book a table.

Social Bite

On a mission to end homelessness in Scotland, Social Bite is a cafe with a difference. Pop in for breakfast, brunch or lunch whilst you’re here and support their ‘pay it forward’ scheme, where you can buy something to eat or drink in advance for someone struggling with homelessness. Find out more at social-bite.co.uk.

Locavore

You’ll find this tasty cafe inside the Locavore shop on the southside of Glasgow. A fully organic experience, you’ll be dining on seasonal vegetables from Locavore’s own market garden and local produce which is available in-store. Visit Locavore’s website to find out more.

Gamba

Featured in the coveted Michelin Guide 2021, Gamba is a long-standing favourite seafood restaurant in Glasgow city centre. Sourcing sustainably caught fish and as much local produce as possible for their dishes, head to gamba.co.uk to book a table.

Ubiquitous Chip

A family-run restaurant championing the quality of Scottish produce since 1971, the Ubiquitous Chip is a cornerstone of Glasgow’s cobbled Ashton Lane. Book a table at ubiquitouschip.co.uk and tuck into Perthshire pigeon, scallops from the Isle of Mull and all manner of local produce.

Cail Bruich

The menu at Cail Bruich, Glasgow’s only Michelin-starred restaurant, is influenced by the Scottish seasons. Working closely with local butchers, fishmongers, farmers and foragers, you can be assured of a delicious yet sustainable dining experience. Book a table at cailbruich.co.uk.

Vegan and vegetarian

From new neighbourhood cafes to award-winning restaurants offering plant-based menus, Glasgow is well known for being a vegan and veggie friendly city. Read our guide to vegan and veggie dining in Glasgow.

Where to stay

Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel

The interior of the 'La Chambre Verte' room within Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel.

Credit: Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel

A person doing yoga inside the 'La Chambre Verte' room at the Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel.

Credit: Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel

Be surrounded by nature in the heart of the city centre by booking into La Chambre Verte at Kimpton Blythswood Square Hotel. Complete with many plants and sound therapy in your room, visit kimptonblythswoodsquare.com to book.

Native Glasgow

Enjoy local Dear Green Coffee in your room and rest in the knowledge that Native Glasgow has a zero plastic waste policy on milk deliveries and bathroom supplies. Take a look at the room types available on Native’s website.

Hotels with a Green Tourism Award

There are several hotels in Glasgow which have a coveted Green Tourism Award, which recognises their commitment to operating more sustainably. Visit the Green Tourism Award website for more information on eco-friendly accommodation.

Getting around

Cycling

Two people with Nextbikes near Glasgow Green. Cherry blossom trees in the background.

Glasgow has a fantastic cycle hire scheme with both regular and electric bikes to hire across the city. Visit OVO-Bike’s website to find out how it works.

Public transport

  • Train: travelling by train is one of the lowest carbon options. ScotRail operates train services across Glasgow and beyond, visit scotrail.co.uk to plan your journey.
  • Bus: taking the bus reduces congestion and car emissions. First Glasgow are also expanding their fleet of electric buses throughout the city, with 126 fully electric buses to be on the road by March 2023. Check out firstbus.co.uk to find out more.
  • Subway: following a circular route, Glasgow’s subway is a simple way to get around the city. Visit spt.co.uk to find out more.

Car

For the freedom of travelling by car, rent a hybrid or electric vehicle with Co-wheels, who offer a pay-as-you-go car hire scheme from many locations across Glasgow. Visit Co-wheels website to find out more.

For more information about responsible tourism in Scotland, head to visitscotland.com.

Article last updated: September 2021

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