Known as the ‘Dear Green Place’, Glasgow’s lush green landscape is complemented by architecture from across the ages; whilst Scotland is renowned the world over for its awe-inspiring scenery. Such spectacular landscapes offer a great opportunity for adventure enthusiasts.
Continue to quench your thirst for adventure across the country, by heading just half an hour out of the city to Loch Lomond for watersports and treetop adventures or to Scotland’s very own adventure coast, Argyll and Bute, for coasteering, climbing mountains and even swimming with sharks! And that’s all before we even get to the spectacular Scottish Highlands and Islands.
Whether your preference is a road bike, a track bike or a mountain bike – you will find the right bike and terrain for you in Glasgow.
For real mountain biking experiences in the city, head south to the Glasgow Mountain Bike Circuit in Pollok Country Park or try out the various courses at Cathkin Braes Country Park, where the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games athletes competed. For track cycling, there’s the amazing Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, Scotland's first indoor velodrome, which is open to beginners and elite athletes. Or hire a road bike from the city’s Nextbike to travel around the city’s diverse neighbourhoods and canals on two wheels.
Cycling is a great way to take in Scotland's beautiful scenery. Whether you are looking for a one-day adventure or a full on cycling holiday, there are lots to choose from.
Forth & Clyde Canal offers great day adventures in Central Scotland, with routes including Glasgow to the engineering wonder, the Falkirk Wheel. If you are looking for more rugged terrain, then there’s the Kintyre Way – a popular route for mountain bikers. And what better way to explore the Scottish Islands than by bike – you can visit 10 Outer Hebridean islands from Vatersay to Lewis by cycling the Hebridean Way.
The seaside resort of Dunoon, situated on the Cowal Peninsula, is ideal for cycling and walking adventures and is easily accessible from the city with transport providers linking up to offer joint rail and ferry tickets. Wild About Argyll have devised a number of cycling and walking trails for those looking to ditch the car and get stuck into nature.
Walking and Hill Walking
Image credit: Tom Denesyk
Getting out in the fresh air for a walk is a great way to explore Scotland and take in some spectacular scenery.
There are walks and trails for all including The Clyde Walkway from Glasgow city centre to New Lanark, which can be undertaken in one go or split into shorter walks.
The West Highland Way starts just north of Glasgow at Milngavie and you can follow the 96 mile route to its finishing point at Gordon Square in Fort William. Along the route you will take in some of Scotland’s most breathtaking views, including Loch Lomond, Ben Lomond, the Rannoch Moor, Glencoe and Glen Nevis. Whether camping, glamping or hostelling; carrying your own gear or getting a company to transport it to your next stop; the scenery will be spectacular no matter how you tackle the route!
Ben Lomond, overlooking Loch Lomond, is Scotland’s most southerly Munro. It is popular with first-time ‘Munro-baggers’ and is highly accessible from Glasgow as the start point of Rowardennan is only an hour’s drive away. If you want to reach a higher summit (in fact the highest mountain in the UK) then Ben Nevis, close to Fort William, is the Munro for you.
Watersports and Sailing
Scotland offers sailing and watersport enthusiasts a lot of choice, whether that be on the open-seas, in a loch or a canal.
Try your hand (and your feet!) at kayaking, Canoe Polo and open water swimming at Scotland's only artificial whitewater course; or try out wakeboarding, one of the world’s fastest growing water sports, at Glasgow Wake Park - both are based at Pinkston Watersports at the Port Dundas Canal in the city centre.
Located nearby to Glasgow, both Strathclyde Country Park and Loch Lomond offer a variety of water-based activities including open-water swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking, rowing, sailing and much more.
The canal networks across Scotland are well used by walkers and cyclists, as well as by those seeking water based activities. Connecting Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Forth and Clyde Canal has a canoe trail, meaning you can canoe between Scotland’s two largest cities!
If sailing on the open waters is your thing, you can set sail off the West Coast and explore the coastline and coastal towns as well as the Islands.
For more inspiration on Scotland's great outdoors, VisitScotland has all the information you need to start planning your Scottish adventure.