Scotland’s biggest city is famed for great shopping, grand Victorian architecture, friendly locals, and its buzzing pub, club, music and arts scene.
Take the train to Glasgow and you are on track for fun, culture, fab food and new friends. During the day you can shop till you drop, while at night you can explore the city’s ever-changing array of traditional pubs, bars, restaurants and vibrant live music scene. Add in world class museums and galleries, easy onward transport links, and Glasgow offers the perfect place to relax or party.
Arriving by train at either Queen Street or Glasgow Central Station puts you right in the heart of the action, and the journey can be part of the fun. Travelling from Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee, Perth or Stirling, you can enjoy fabulous scenery. Travelling from London, you pass through both the Lake District and the Scottish Borders, while the short hop from Edinburgh gives you just enough time to check your guide book and maps, to make sure you hit the ground running.
Getting to and from Glasgow by train
- Aberdeen to Glasgow – approx 2 hours 25 minutes
- Dundee to Glasgow – approx 1 hour 20 minutes
- Edinburgh to Glasgow – approx 55 minutes
- Inverness to Glasgow – approx 3 hours 20 minutes
- London to Glasgow – approx 4 hours 30 minutes
- Perth to Glasgow – approx 1 hour 5 minutes
- Stirling to Glasgow – approx 40 minutes
One or two days in Glasgow
Glasgow is a busy cosmopolitan city that offers lots to see and do, whatever your age or interests. Culture fan? Explore the city’s many world class galleries and museums (all for free). Fashion follower? Enjoy the city’s big name stores, independent shops and specialist boutiques. Hungry for more? Eat your fill in the many and varied restaurants on offer.
Culture is central to the Glasgow experience, whether that’s enjoying a drink at a pub folk music session, taking in a show at the city’s famous Citizens’ Theatre, or watching some of the biggest names in pop and classical music at the 13,000-capacity SSE Hydro Arena. Visit in January, and you can enjoy the city’s Celtic Connections Festival, a truly global gathering of traditional music fans.
Glasgow is famed for its Victorian architecture and its many parks, meaning walking is one of the best ways to explore and discover the city. And, if your feet get sore, the city’s Subway system and extensive local train and bus network, make it easy to get around.
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Days out from Glasgow
Jump on the train to make the 55m hop to Edinburgh, Scotland’s ‘Festival City’. Our capital, with its historic Castle, medieval Old Town, and Georgian New Town, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Home to Scotland’s National galleries, great shops, and historic pubs, no visit to Scotland is complete without a day out in Edinburgh.
Glasgow offers easy rail access to the seaside resorts of the Clyde coast. Generations of Glaswegians have enjoyed a trip ‘doon the watter’, to enjoy a day at the seaside, a fish and chips tea, or a ‘pokey hat’ (ice cream). From Central Station, it only takes an hour to reach Largs or Ayr, two of the most popular seaside towns. More adventurous travellers should catch the train to Ardrossan, to board a ferry for the island of Arran. Often referred to as Scotland in Miniature, Arran offers the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of Glasgow – and you can get a single ticket for train and ferry with Rail & Sail.
Want to enjoy a country walk amongst beautiful scenery, or cruise on one of Scotland’s most famous lochs? Catch a train to Balloch, climb aboard a Sweeney’s cruise across Loch Lomond. You can step off at Balmaha or Rowardennan to join the West Highland Way long-distance walking trail. Walk the Way up to Inversnaid (15 miles from Balmaha, 8 miles from Rowardennan) to catch a Cruise Loch Lomond boat back to Tarbet. Returning on the train from Arrochar or Tarbet, you can be back in Glasgow in time for dinner. If shopping, cycling, or canoeing are more your kind of thing, head for the Loch Lomond Shores visitor centre, which is just a short walk from Balloch Station.
Climb aboard a West Highland Line train from Glasgow and, before you know, you will be enjoying your very own Highland adventure. Head for Oban and, along the way, you will travel through lush glens, by soaring mountains and tranquil lochs – it’s our most popular Great Scenic Rail Journey. Once in Oban, enjoy the freshest seafood Scotland has to offer, or a tour, and a taste, at the local whisky distillery. The town’s harbour, right by the station, is also the departure point for ferries to the islands of Mull, Lismore, Colonsay, South Uist, Barra, Coll and Tiree.
Want to add some magic to your trip? Take the West Highland Line all the way north to Mallaig; en-route you will cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous in the Harry Potter films.
Travelling from Glasgow?
Glasgow, as well as being the gateway to the West Highlands and islands, the Clyde coast, and Ayrshire, also offers rail connections to Stirling, Perth, Dundee, Aberdeen, Inverness and London. It’s also the start of the stunning West Highland Line, one of our Great Scenic Rail Journeys.
Ways to save...
- Spirit of Scotland Travel pass: 1-2 weeks of train, ferry and coach travel covering the whole country
- Rail & Sail: combine train and ferry travel into one ticket for more convenience and better value
- Kids Go Free: travel off-peak and up to two children aged 5-15 can travel free with each adult
- Railcards: see if you could save with a national or regional Railcard