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Unmissable Day Trips

Unmissable day trips from Glasgow

Unmissable day trips from Glasgow

Glasgow is the gateway to Scotland, with plenty of unmissable day trips to stunning scenic spots. With Loch Lomond, Ayr and Stirling all under an hour away, you are spoiled for choice.

Breathtaking Loch Lomond

Looking out to Loch Lomond from Luss

Loch Lomond from Luss Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

The lyrics ring true, they're called the bonnie, bonnie banks for a reason. It’s only 50 minutes by train from Glasgow Queen Street Station to the charming town of Balloch, which sits on the banks of Loch Lomond. There are lots of great things to do in and around Balloch, here are some of our top picks to get you started.

A boat on the loch, moving towards a pier. There is greenery from the land in the background.

Sweeney's Cruises of Loch Lomond Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Experiences on the Loch

Admiring the beauty of Loch Lomond from the shore is something special, but it’s even better from the water. Sweeney's Cruises offer several boat trips from Balloch which run all year round. Enjoy views of Ben Lomond, discover the legends of Loch Lomond’s islands or take in a picture perfect sunset. Find out more at sweeneyscruiseco.com.

For something a bit different, get a bird’s eye view of the dramatic landscape with Loch Lomond Seaplanes who operate tours from nearby Duck Bay. Book at lochlomondseaplanes.com.

A large park with large area of grass with trees in the distance.

Balloch Country Park Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Lochside Walks

Enjoy a gentle 30 minute walk beginning from Loch Lomond Shores before you head back to Glasgow. For something a little longer, visit Balloch Castle Country Park. Spanning over 200 acres of woodland, it offers gardens, nature trails and a great vantage point for views over Loch Lomond. Visit Balloch Castle Country Park's website for more info.

Explore Loch Lomond Shores

Loch Lomond Shores is a great place to visit for a bite to eat with unparalleled views of the loch all around. Check out Cafe Zest or shop local crafts and produce at the farmers market which takes place on the first and third Sunday of every month. Visit lochlomondshores.com for more information.

Half Day Guided Tours

Tour operator Rabbie’s offer a half day trip to Balloch and Glengoyne Distillery where you can enjoy a taste of our national drink – whisky! Or enjoy some off road driving on the Loch Lomond hills with 4x4 Adventures Scotland. Your 4x4 vehicle comes complete with a friendly, kilted guide too. Both are ideal if you would prefer a guided tour from start to finish. Visit rabbies.com or 4x4adventures-scotland.com to book.

Coastal Ayr

Visit the town of Ayr, enjoy the seaside and discover the heritage of one of Scotland’s most celebrated figures, Robert Burns. Ayr is easily accessible from Glasgow, catch a train from Glasgow Central Station and you'll be there in 50 minutes.

A Scottish beach, the sand lightly covered in the sea and a town in the distance.

Ayr beach Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Ayr Beach

A 20 minute stroll from the train station and you’ll have sand at your feet as you reach Ayr Beach. On a nice day, enjoy expansive views out to sea and try to spot the nearby islands of Ailsa Craig and Arran in the distance. And even if the sun isn’t shining, there's always ice cream. Make sure to pick one up at Renaldo’s or Mancini’s, both of which have been open for over 100 years.

The Graveyard and Gable End Of The Auld Kirk In Alloway, South Ayrshire Which Featured In Robert Burns Classic Tale Of Tam O Shanterburns Father, William Burns and His Sister, Isabella Burns Begg Are Buried In The Kirkyard

The Auld Kirk In Alloway Credit: VisitScotland / Paul Tomkins

Robert Burns

More fondly known as Rabbie Burns, Robert Burns was a poet and lyricist and is one of the most celebrated figures in Scotland. He even has his very own national day every year on January 25, called Burns Night. The majority of Robert Burns’ visitor attractions are in the quaint village of Alloway where he was born, a short bus ride from Ayr town centre.

Visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum and learn all about ‘Scotland’s favourite son’. You’ll soon discover that there are many landmarks nearby the museum which inspired many of Burns’ works. From Tam o’ Shanter at the Brig o’ Doon to the witches at Alloway Auld Kirk, Burns’ heritage is all around. Visit nts.org.uk to find out more.

Historic Stirling

Take a day trip to Stirling, one of Scotland’s most historic cities. You can discover the historic Stirling Castle or climb the monument celebrating Scottish legend, Sir William Wallace. Catch a train from Glasgow’s Queen Street Station and you could be in Stirling within 30 minutes.

Stirling Castle Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Stirling Castle

From the train station, wander through the cobbled streets of Stirling’s old town towards one of Scotland’s most impressive castles. Many Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned here, including Mary Queen of Scots. A guided tour of the castle brings it to life, and is included in the price of your ticket. The castle's striking positioning makes it a great spot for taking in views of the surrounding area. Find out more at stirlingcastle.scot.

Hall of Heroes at the Wallace Monument

Wallace Monument Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Wallace Monument

Standing proudly atop Abbey Craig, the National Wallace Monument is one of Scotland’s distinctive landmarks. Visit the Hall of Heroes to take a look at the alleged sword of William Wallace. Climb the 246 steps to the monument’s Crown and you’ll be rewarded with 360 degree views of Stirlingshire. Visit the Wallace Monument's website for more info.

Explore all that Scotland has to offer during a Glasgow short break. Check out ScotRail's website for information on direct rail services to Balloch, Ayr and Stirling from Glasgow City Centre.

Article last updated: May 2022

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