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20 things to do near Glasgow

20 things to do near Glasgow

20 things to do near Glasgow

Fancy exploring beyond the city? Glasgow has a back garden full of excellent outdoor spots and attractions, including a number of UNESCO sites. Here's our top pick of trips that are an hour or less away.

The great outdoors

1. 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 for more info.

2. West Highland Way

The West Highland Way is one of Scotland’s most iconic long-distance walking routes. At 96 miles, stretching from Fort William to Milngavie, it’s a challenge that can take around a week to complete. But if you’re looking for a day trip closer to Glasgow, how about walking the first section from Milngavie to Drymen? It’s around 12 miles and is relatively flat with a footpath. Plan your trip at

3. Mugdock Country Park

Crossing paths with the West Highland Way is Mugdock Country Park. Here you'll find an expansive green space with two castles, a loch, stables and a walled garden. The park also has some gift shops and eateries. Visit to plan your visit.

The view over Loch Lomond from Conic Hill part of the West Highland Way

Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

4. Conic Hill

Not far from the lochside village of Balmaha, you can climb 361m to the summit of Conic Hill. You'll enjoy beautiful views over Loch Lomond and the surrounding National Park. A steep but short ascent, it’s a great option if you only have time for a morning or an afternoon in the great outdoors. Find out more at

5. Lyle Hill

At the west end of Greenock you'll find Lyle Hill. Climb to the top and you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views over the River Clyde, the Cowal Hills and on a clear day, even the Isle of Arran!

6. Falls of Clyde

Next to the New Lanark Visitor Centre, the Falls of Clyde is a lovely spot for a stroll along the River Clyde. Enjoy the natural beauty of woodland and waterfalls, and keep an eye out for wildlife. You can often spot badgers, otters and even kingfishers. Visit for more info.

7. Balloch Castle Country Park

Visit Balloch Castle Country Park which spans over 200 acres of woodland. It offers gardens, nature trails and a great vantage point for views over Loch Lomond. See if you can spot the fairy houses carved from stumps of fallen trees in the park’s fairy trail. Plan your visit at

Cyclists on a pathway which has the option of ramps, stairs and cycle paths and includes nice landscaping.

Credit: Scottish Canals

8. The Bowline

The Bowline at Bowling Harbour in West Dumbartonshire is billed as Scotland's answer to the New York Highline. A disused viaduct has been transformed into a linear park and walking & cycling route. It offers off-road access from Glasgow to Loch Lomond with beautiful views. Find out more at

Scotland's UNESCO Trail

Did you know that Glasgow's status as a UNESCO City of Music makes it one of 13 UNESCO sites in Scotland? In 2022, in a world first, Scotland's UNESCO sites were brought together to form a trail. The sites within an hour from Glasgow are listed below. Meanwhile you can discover all 13 sites in this 'responsible tourism' award-winning trail at

New Lanark Visitor Centre

Credit VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

9. New Lanark Visitor Centre

New Lanark Visitor Centre tells the story of the 18th century cotton mill village. It's also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, one of only 6 in Scotland. Learn about the lives of those who lived there by visiting reconstructed homes, a village shop and a school. Visit to plan your trip.

Rough Castle ramparts, part of the The Antonine Wall built by the Romans in AD

Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

10. The Antonine Wall

The historic Antonine Wall spans around 37 miles across Scotland, marking the most northernly frontier of the Roman Empire. What remains today is preserved as an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visit the New Kilpatrick Cemetery in Bearsden to see 2 visible sections, or the fort at Bar Hill Fort near Twechar to take in some great views. Visit to find out more.

11. Edinburgh

The capital city of Scotland has not 1, but 2 UNESCO designations. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site for the old and new towns amazing range of architecture. And a UNESCO Creative City for its contribution to world Literature. Go to Visitscotland's UNESCO Trail for details on visitor experiences related to both.

12. Forth Bridge

Opened in 1890, the Forth Bridge is a UNESCO Heritage site, due to its amazing feat of engineering and technology. The Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing were opened in consecutive Centuries, taking the bridge count to 3 across the scenic Firth of Forth. Check out for viewpoints to see this evolution of engineering.

Top attractions

13. Paisley Abbey

Paisley is rich in architectural history and heritage. In fact, the town centre has the second-highest concentration of listed buildings in Scotland. One of its most striking buildings is Paisley Abbey, which offers informative guided tours and has a café and shop too. Find out more at

14. Auchentoshan Distillery

Auchentoshan Distillery is a Lowland Distillery that sits on the banks of the River Clyde. Through tours and whisky masterclasses, you can learn all about Scotland’s national drink. Visit for more info.

15. Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life

A brilliant (and free!) day out for all the family is the Summerlee Museum of Scottish Industrial Life. It has exhibits with working machinery, electric trams, guided tours of an underground mine, and miner’s cottages. Don't forget to visit the super play park. Visit for more info.

16. The Hill House

Located in the town of Helensburgh, The Hill House was designed by architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh as a home for the future. The house is surrounded by a protective box for conservation reasons. However this mesh box provides visitors a unique chance to view the attraction from walkways above and around the house. Visit the National Trust for Scotland’s website to find out more.

17. Falkirk Wheel

An impressive rotating boat lift, the Falkirk Wheel connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal. To enjoy the full experience, catch one of the boat trips from the visitor centre. Head to to plan your visit.

18. The Kelpies

Created by Glaswegian artist Andy Scott, The Kelpies are a show-stopping sculpture. At 100ft tall, they are the largest equine sculptures in the world, which are modelled on real-life Clydesdale horses. Near Falkirk, The Kelpies are part of The Helix Park, which also has parklands, woodlands, wetlands and boardwalks, a lagoon with a coffee shop. Visit for details.

A view of Stirling Castle on a fair weather day with greenery surrounding.

Credit: VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

19. Stirling Castle

The historic city of Stirling is only 30 minutes from Glasgow by train. The impressive castle stands out from a distance from its striking hilltop location. It is here that many Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned here, including Mary Queen of Scots. Visit

20. National Museum of Rural Life

This 5-star attraction is brilliant for families. Check out the museum and playpark before enjoying a tractor ride up to a historic working farm to meet the animals. Visit National Museums Scotland's website for details of this attraction found just outside of Glasgow in East Kilbride.

Article last updated: April 2023

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