15 Places To Visit Near Glasgow For An Enduring UK Holiday

Places To Visit Near Glasgow

Loch Lomond, Loch Ness, Pitlochry, Glencoe, Oban, Inveraray, Kilmarnock, Ayrshire, Coast, Trossachs and many more

You can find many different places to visit near Glasgow, Scotland’s second largest city after Edinburgh, and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the whole country. Surrounded by the Scottish Highlands, and home to verdant forested lands, there are numerous places around the city that are perfect for a day trip, or for a weekend getaway from the city’s bustling everyday life.

While there are many things to explore right inside the city, there are plenty of beautiful and unique places to visit around Glasgow as well, like the city of Edinburgh, the Scottish capital known for historical monuments like Edinburgh Castle, or the Ayrshire Coast, which boasts of some of the most panoramic beaches and views of the sea. The nearby Loch Ness is a must-visit place as well, located just a short drive away from Glasgow. You can even explore Dundee, and gain insights into the rich Scottish traditions and history.

Here are some of the best places to visit near Glasgow:

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  • Popularly known as the capital city of Scotland, in addition to being the largest city in the country as well as the seat of the government, Edinburgh is also one of the best places to visit near Glasgow. 
  • Located a short one hour distance away from Glasgow, this city is known for its lush open spaces, the rich history as well as the vibrant local culture.
  • It is here where you can witness a stunning blend of the old and the new, evident in its tiny historic centre which comprises of the Old Town and the New Town.
  • Some of the major attractions of Edinburgh include the spectacular Edinburgh Castle, Royal Yacht Britannia, Arthur’s Seat and the National Museum of Scotland, among others 

Distance from Glasgow:
47.2 miles 

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Loch Lomond

  • Known as the largest freshwater loch in all of Scotland, the Loch Lomond ranks as one of the best places to visit near Glasgow.
  • Often referred to as “The Highlands in Miniature,” Loch Lomond is also a major hotspot of a plethora of outdoor activities, from boating and golf, hiking, cycling and a lot more.
  • Stretching over an expanse of more than 30 kilometres, this freshwater lake is also famous for the cruises that depart from its southern end, where numerous shopping and dining facilities, as well as the SEA LIFE Aquarium are situated.
  • With around 30 islands dotting the lake and making it a rarity in the British Isles, you can also enjoy kayaking, motor boating and swimming in Loch Lomond

Distance from Glasgow:
34.4 miles

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Loch Ness

  • Home to the fabled sea serpent Nessie, Loch Ness ranks as one of the most infamous places to visit around Glasgow, located a three-hour drive away from the city.
  • Stretching across 23 miles, this deep lake is located in the Great Glen, which surrounds the lake and makes it a sight to behold.
  • It is also the second largest loch or lake in the United Kingdom, with the breath-taking vistas of the high mountains, rocky ridges and gushing waterfalls making it a perfect place to spend a day or two at.

Distance from Glasgow:
181.8 miles 

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  • When looking for offbeat tourist places to visit near Glasgow, head over to the Scottish burgh or town of Pitlochry, which is often considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the country.
  • Located around an hour and a half drive towards the northeast of Glasgow, Pitlochry is the place where the Scottish Highlands begin, thereby giving you a chance to witness the actual outdoor regions of the country.
  • This quaint town gained fame as a tourist destination sometime in the mid-19th century, when Queen Victoria visited this place
  • It is in Pitlochry where you can soak in the beautiful blend of the wilderness of the outdoors with the cosiness and comforts of being in your own home

Distance from Glasgow:
83.9 miles

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  • Your search of some of the most picturesque tourist places to visit around Glasgow should end at Glencoe, also known as Glen Coe, a national nature reserve located around two hours to the north of the city.
  • Glencoe is also said to be the real Highland Country in Scotland, which was once ruled by Scottish clans and tribes who used to wear kilts.
  • This mountainous region is a popular destination to indulge in outdoor activities like hiking, rock climbing as well as climbing and exploring nature trails.
  • It has also been featured in numerous films, including James Bond’s Skyfall, and several of the Harry Potter films franchise.

Distance from Glasgow:
93.5 miles 

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  • Amongst the most popular tourist attractions near Glasgow is the Victorian town of Oban, which is also considered to be the seafood capital of Scotland.
  • Located right on the coast, it acts as the main port for the ferries and ships that connect the country’s southern regions to Mull, Skye and the Hebrides Islands.
  • It is also home to attractions like the McCaig’s Tower, which offers some of the most stunning views of the entire city as well as the harbour.
  • Oban is also a popular holiday resort destination in the country, with the Oban Bay being one of the most spectacular in all of Scotland.

Distance from Glasgow:
98.6 miles 

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  • When looking for places to visit near Glasgow with a historical significance, visit the town of Inveraray, located on the western banks of Loch Fyne.
  • The town is a former royal burgh, and once served as the ancestral seat to the Duke of Argyll.
  • It is most famous for the Inveraray Castle, which dates back to the mid-18th century, and was built by the Duke of Argyll.
  • It is in Inveraray where you can get a taste of true Scottish hospitality and nobility, whilst also gaining insights into the lifestyle of the Scottish nobles in the bygone eras.

Distance from Glasgow: 65.2 miles 

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  • Known as the place where the famous poet Robert Burns first published his work, Kilmarnock is amongst the most popular places to visit around Glasgow.
  • It has also gained famed as the hometown of Johnnie Walker, the founder of the world-famous whiskey line of Johnnie Walker, which has been brewed and bottled in this Scottish town for almost three centuries now.
  • The rich history of this town also suggests that it is here where the Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin, was educated.
  • Other places of attraction here include The Dick Institute, Dean Castle and Country park, The Kay Park and more.

Distance from Glasgow: 24.2 miles 

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Ayrshire Coast

  • Amongst the best tourist places to visit near Glasgow, especially for a weekend getaway, the Ayrshire Coast is also one of the most beautiful coastal regions in the country.
  • It is best known for being the place where Robbie Burns, the national poet of Scotland, lived and gained inspiration for his works of poetry.
  • Complete with numerous tranquil islands, traditional Scottish hamlets as well as hiking and walking paths, the Ayrshire Coast is one place where you can simply relax and unwind as well.
  • Some of the major attractions of the Ayrshire Coast include the Burns Heritage Trail, the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum, the Robert Burns House as well as the Culzean Castle and Country Park. 

Distance from Glasgow:
27 miles 

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Culzean Castle

  • Located on the Ayrshire Coast, and one of the region’s most significant attractions, the Culzean Castle is also amongst the best tourist places to visit around Glasgow.
  • Perched atop a high cliff, and built over the Firth of Clyde, the castle dates back to the late 18th century, and is a great place to visit if you wish to learn about the history of Scotland.
  • Currently owned by the National Trust for Scotland, the castle was the former home of the Marquess of Ailsa, the chief of the Kennedy clan of the country.
  • The castle has also appeared on the reverse side of the Scottish five pound note from 1972 to 2015.

Maybole KA19 8LE, United Kingdom
Timings: 10:00 a.m. to 04:00 p.m. 
Entry fee: Adult: £18.50; Concession: £13.50; Child: £10.50

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  • If you are a nature lover, and are looking for places to visit near Glasgow with immense natural beauty, the wild forested glens of Trossachs, located towards the north of the city, are the best place to head to.
  • Exuding a typical Scottish romantic ambience, complete with rolling hills, rugged scenery as well as tranquil and peaceful surroundings, the area of Trossachs are great to spend a few hours away from the bustling city streets.
  • The area is full of dense woodlands and numerous lakes, in addition to small streams and waterfalls, making it perfect to enjoy hiking, and camping.
  • Trossachs also gained fame for being the place where poet Walter Scott wrote “The Lady on the Lake”.

Distance from Glasgow:
31.9 miles 

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St. Andrews

  • Home to the oldest university in the whole country, St. Andrews is one of the most famous places to visit around Glasgow, and is said to be the city where the game of golf was invented.
  • Located towards the northeast of Glasgow, this city sits on the coast above Edinburgh, and has played a significant role in the history of Scotland.
  • Furthermore, it is here where you can explore a plethora of different museums, universities and other landmarks related to the rich Scottish history, including the St. Andrews Cathedral, Old Course and Scotland’s Secret Bunker, to name a few .

Distance from Glasgow: 74 miles 

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  • Located two hours to the northeast of the city, the city of Dundee is amongst the top tourist places to visit near Glasgow.
  • Known as the sunniest city in Scotland, it is home to the only Victoria and Albert Museum outside of London in the whole world, in addition to other attractions, like the statue of Desperate Dan, a comic book character that calls Dundee his home.
  • Dundee is also recognised as a UNESCO City of Design, and boasts of numerous stunning structures, from museums and galleries, to theatres, restaurants and more.
  • One of the best places to go to in Dundee in the museum that is dedicated to Captain Scott’s Arctic expedition, wherein you can also learn about the city’s rich nautical history, as well as its shipbuilding industry.

Distance from Glasgow:
81.5 miles 

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  • Located on the shores of the River Tay in central Scotland is the city of Perth, an age-old city that doubles up as one of the most popular places to visit around Glasgow.
  • It has served as the capital city of Scotland for five centuries, and is said to be one of the most easily accessible cities in the whole country.
  • Boasting of an ultra-modern cultural scene, with many theatres, bars, pubs and other landmarks, Perth is one place where you can enjoy a great and vibrant nightlife during your Scottish holiday.

Distance from Glasgow:
63 miles 

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  • Located a mere 30 minutes from the city, the town of Stirling is considered to be amongst the top places to visit near Glasgow.
  • It is predominantly known as the site of the Battle of Bannockburn of 1314, in which Robert the Bruce defeated his English enemies.
  • According to history, Stirling is also the place where the Battle of Stirling Bridge was fought between William Wallace and the English, which gained the country its independence.
  • The town is also the birthplace of numerous Scottish kings throughout the different eras, including King David I,
  • Some of the other attractions that you can visit here include the Wallace Monument, and the 12th century Stirling Castle, among others.

Distance from Glasgow: 27.1 miles 

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People Also Ask About Glasgow

  1. Which are the best tourist places to visit near Glasgow?

    1. Greenock: Greenock is one of the most offbeat yet beautiful tourist attractions around Glasgow. A popular industrial centre, this historic town is best known as being the birthplace of engineer James Watt, who made the river Clyde navigable. It is also the final resting place of Robbie Burns’ Highland Mary, and boasts of attractions like the McLean Museum and Art Gallery, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Services Museum and Heritage Centre as well as the Lyle Hill.

    2. Gourock:
    Amongst the most tranquil places to visit around Glasgow is Gourock, located around 28 miles west of the city. It is most known for the 6 foot tall slate monolith called the Granny Kempock’s Stone, where fishermen would come in the bygone eras to make small offerings in return for a good catch or fine weather for the day. 

    3. Oban:
    The Victorian town of Oban, also known as the seafood capital of Scotland, is amongst the best places to visit near Glasgow. It serves as the main port for the ferries and ships connecting the southern parts of the country to other destinations, like the Hebrides Islands, Mull and Skye.

    4. Dundee:
    Considered to be the hottest and sunniest city in Scotland, Dundee is one of the most popular tourist places to visit near Glasgow. A recognised UNESCO City of Design, Dundee has a rich history, and boasts of numerous museums, theatres as well as art centres and bars. It is also home to the V&A Dundee, which is the only V&A museum outside of London in the whole world. 

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  2. Which are the best places to visit near Glasgow with family?

    1. Edinburgh: When looking for some of the best tourist places to visit around Glasgow to visit with family, the city of Edinburgh is the place to be. Known as the capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is amongst the oldest cities in the world, with a past steeped in history. The city also has a lot to offer to visitors, from delicious dining options and world-class festivals, to numerous shopping destinations, as well as attractions like the Medieval Old Town, the Georgian New Town and more. 

    2. Loch 
    Lomond: Loch Lomond is, by far, one of the most beautiful places to visit near Glasgow with your family. Tucked amidst rolling hills and surrounded by quaint villages and spectacular natural landscapes, Loch Lomond is also a great place to indulge in a plethora of activitie. With a shoreline that sprawls across over 150 kilometres, the loch is also a perfect place to enjoy hiking, picnics or even a weekend getaway.

    3. Glencoe:
    Amongst the top places to visit around Glasgow with family, the village of Glencoe is known for its charming ambience, and the towering mountains that flock around it. Complete with an ancient volcano, rugged mountainous nature trails and some of the most beautiful flora and fauna, Glencoe is also popular for having been featured in numerous Harry Potter movies as well as James Bond’s Skyfall. 

    4. Perth:
    If you are looking for tourist places to visit near Glasgow with your loved ones, you must head over to Perth, which was the former Scottish capital for 5 centuries. Located on the banks of the River Tay, this cosmopolitan city is one of the best for a getaway, and is known for its beautiful public parks, Georgian era townhouses as well as cobblestoned streets.

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  3. How far is Edinburgh from Glasgow?

    Edinburgh is one of the best places to visit near Glasgow, and is located at a distance of 42 miles, or 67 kilometres from the city. It typically takes around an hour to an hour and a half to get to Edinburgh from Glasgow, depending upon the traffic conditions.

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  4. What is the best time to explore Glasgow?

    The best time to explore Glasgow is during the summer season in the city, which is between the months of March and August. This is when the temperatures are warm and pleasant overall, which makes it perfect to spend time outdoors, and even go out for day trips to other destinations located around the city. 

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  5. What is special about Glasgow?

    Glasgow is popularly known as the second largest city in Scotland and is famous for its modern structures, which are a stark contrast to the city’s rich and ancient history. It is also famous for its artistic vibes, along with the plethora of spectacular natural landscapes.

    Glasgow is located on the shores of River Clyde, and has served as one of the most important cultural as well as trade centres of the country for many centuries, in addition to being the abode of some of the most significant historical monuments and attractions in the entire UK. Furthermore, it is also a UNESCO City of Music, in addition to having the largest number of art galleries and museums in the UK, which makes this city all the more special.

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