Want to make the most out of your half-term holidays and weekends? Then why not take a day trip from Glasgow to Argyll? Where you can enjoy stunning scenery, tourist attractions, fantastic food and wonderful walks. Argyll is only a short trip away from Glasgow and not many people realise that you can enjoy the feel of a holiday all within a day, be sure to take a look at some of our suggested day trips!
Get to Oban from Glasgow Queen Street, whilst looking at the Highland Explorer carriage, which has room for up to 20 bikes. The Scotrail service runs direct trains a couple of times a day and offers fewer services on Sundays. One of the best ways to experience the coastline of Oban & Lorn is to take a boat trip. Several companies are offering marine wildlife trips in the area. With years of experience, they can take you to the best spots to view wildlife, as well as visit secluded coves, beaches, and islands. Basking Shark Scotland offers wildlife trips from Oban and Sealife Adventures also operates wildlife-watching boat trips from Seil Island near Oban. There are lots of amazing castles located in Oban and Lorn, which you can find here. Don't forget to stop by some of the food places Oban has to offer, great spots with local produce include Etive Restaurant, food from Argyll at the pier and a stop for some coffee at Hibna Coffee Roasters.
Etive Restaurant in Oban is perfect for a bite to eat, Credit: Etive Restaurant
Inveraray and Mid-Argyll
Inveraray is a classic example of an eighteenth-century planned town with a stunning setting on Loch Fyne. This handsome town is a bustling place, with independent shops, historic buildings, and glorious gardens. Don’t miss the chance to visit Inveraray Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, Chief of the Clan Campbell, and Inveraray Jail, a living museum and one of Scotland’s top visitor attractions. If you’re feeling active, take a walk up Dun na Cuaiche or head to Argyll Adventures for rock climbing, horse-riding, paintballing and more. If you have time visit Auchindrain Township, a fascinating example of a Highland settlement.
Auchindrain Township and the land, Credit: Auchindrain Township Trust
It’s just a short ferry ride from Wemyss Bay to Rothesay on Bute. It’s a gem of an island. The Victorians left their mark with splendid architecture and glorious gardens which you can view on the Rothesay shoreline. You’ll also find stunning beaches, fabulous walks, and cycling, why not cycle around Bute using Bike Bute? Along your journey, you will find some great places to eat and drink, including the Anchor Tavern in Port Bannatyne. A highlight of any visit to Bute must be Mount Stuart, a spectacular neo-gothic palace set amid acres of lush woodland.
Enjoy a warm welcome and local food at the Anchor Tavern, Credit: Anchor Tavern
Dunoon, Cowal’s only major town, is a lively place, with shops, restaurants, pubs, and coffee shops a plenty. It’s a top spot for a rainy day, with plenty of indoor activities to keep all the family amused including indoor soft play and a swimming pool at Hunters Quay. Discover the story of Dunoon from the Neolithic to the present day at Castle House Museum, set in gardens opposite the historic Dunoon Pier. Dunoon is surrounded by large tracts of forest which offer great mountain biking, walking and horse riding. Puck’s Glen is a magical woodland world and a great place for a family walk. Benmore Botanic Garden is not to be missed, with a magnificent mountainside setting and world-famous collection of flowering trees and shrubs including over 300 species of rhododendron. If you are looking for something a bit more action-packed, then check out Wreckspeditions, perfect for exploring the Cowal waters. If arts and culture are more your thing, then why not catch a show at Dunoon Burgh Hall if you have some spare time!
Castle House Museum in Dunoon, Credit: Castle House Museum
Hop on the train at Glasgow’s Queen Street and in just 45 minutes you’ll be in the beautiful Argyll town of Helensburgh. With elegant, broad, tree-lined avenues, piers, a promenade, shops, and eateries galore, there’s something for everyone to enjoy in this lovely Scottish town. There’s also a rich heritage to discover, from the town’s notable residents to its world-class architecture, as well as a cracking visitor attraction of Hill House. For a great day out, make your way to Helensburgh. Be sure to check out the Destination Helensburgh Visitor Centre to find out more about things to do in Helensburgh!
Hill House in Helensburgh, Credit: Historic Environment Scotland
The great outdoors around Glasgow!
If you fancy bagging one of Scotland’s iconic hills, then the Arrochar Alps is about an hour's drive from Glasgow. This rugged mountain range offers some of the best walking and climbing experiences in Argyll and the Isles and includes the famous Cobbler. For world-class mountain biking head for the forests of Bishop’s Glen, Glenbranter, Ardgarten and Glenmassan or cross the loch to Lochgilphead to try out the famous Firetower Trails.