12 reasons to go wild about Glasgow & Heart of Argyll

The Heart & Soul of Scotland

In Glasgow, history is all around you. You see evidence of the city’s past, from the medieval roots to Mackintosh’s influence almost everywhere you look. Discover the fabulous museums, galleries and buildings that tell the story of this great city. 

The Heart of Argyll is equally historic, with opportunities galore to delve deeper into Scotland’s past. If you love history and culture, then here are twelve reasons why you should pair Glasgow and the Heart of Argyll for a short break.

Glasgow & Heart of Argyll

Glasgow

#1 Marvel at the museum

Kelvingrove Museum and Gallery is one of Glasgow’s cultural highlights. The building itself is stunning and houses 22 individual galleries. Discover everything from art to animals, Ancient Egypt to Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

#2 Have faith

Head to the St Mungo Museum of Religious Life and Art for a fascinating exploration of religion across the world. The museum is built on the site of the medieval Bishops’ Castle and is named after Glasgow's patron saint who brought the Christian faith to Scotland in the 6th century.

#3 Cathedral and Necropolis

Explore Glasgow Cathedral, one of Scotland's most magnificent medieval buildings. It’s the only Cathedral on the Scottish mainland to survive the Reformation of 1560 intact. Adjacent to the Cathedral is the Glasgow Necropolis, a Victorian garden cemetery full of wonderful architecture, sculpture and fascinating stories.

#4 House For an Art Lover

Set within the grounds of Bellahouston Park and inspired by the designs of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, House for an Art Lover is a fabulous place to visit. Check out the art gallery and exquisite craftsmanship. 

#5 Train station tour

Go behind the scenes of Glasgow’s Central Station with Glasgow Central Tours. The train station is steeped in history with amazing architecture, incredible underground tunnels, catacombs and has a fantastic glass roof consisting of 48,000 individual panes of glass! 

#6 Eat, drink and play

Have lunch at Mackintosh at The Willow, the original Miss Cranston’s Tea Room, now beautifully restored. For dinner head to the Avant Garde Music Bar and Restaurant in the heart of Glasgow’s Merchant City. Another great option is Stravaigin, a West End institution serving up global food using the best of Scottish produce. For a few drinks, try Islay Inn or the Ben Nevis Bar. Fancy a walk? Then follow the City Centre Mural Trail to see some huge pieces of art adorning the city's brickwork.

Stay at Glasgow’s iconic Grand Central Hotel, a wonderfully historic hotel adjoining Glasgow Central Station.

Glasgow & Heart of Argyll

Heart of Argyll

#7 Get out of jail

The handsome Georgian town of Inveraray is full of history. Visit the iconic Inveraray Castle, ancestral home of the Duke of Argyll, and step back in time at Inveraray Jail, where actors portray life in a 19th-century prison.

#8 Nature's paradise

Discover two of Scotland’s Natural Nature Reserves Taynish and Moine Mhor. Moine Mhor is a surviving remnant of a once much more extensive raised bog. This ancient habitat is home to dragonflies, hen harriers and curlews. 

#9 Meet the beavers

Make the trip to Barnluasgan in Knapdale, a lovely woodland area offering a mix of easy walking trails, a cycling trail, peaceful lochs and wonderful wildlife. It’s home to a population of wild beavers. Join a guided beaver walk with Heart Of Argyll Wildlife Organisation.

#10 Short cut

Take a walk along the Crinan Canal, a nine-mile waterway steeped in history. Known as ‘Britain’s most beautiful shortcut’, it links Ardrishaig on Loch Fyne to the west coast.

#11 Kilmartin rocks!

Explore Kilmartin Glen, one of Scotland’s richest prehistoric landscapes. There are hundreds of ancient monuments, including standing stones, stones circles, cairns and decorated rocks, within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin.

#12 Eat, drink and play

Have a hearty lunch at the George Hotel in Inveraray. This lively pub is full of character with original solid flag-stoned floors, roaring log fires and a beer garden. It also serves up fantastic food. For dinner enjoy Scottish produce expertly prepared at Loch Melfort Hotel. In the AA 2 Rosette Asknish Bay Restaurant there’s plenty of local seafood on offer. 

Stay at the Grey Gull Hotel, a former hunting lodge in Ardrishaig at the start of the Crinan Canal. There’s so much to see and do in this part of Argyll, that you could easily do a two-day tour. If you do, why not stay a night in the Loch Fyne Spa & Hotel in Inveraray?

Travel

Travel around Glasgow on an Open Top Bus Tour or use the Glasgow Subway to get around the city centre and west end of Glasgow. 

To get to the Heart of Argyll, your best option is to hire a car with with Enterprise rent a car and drive via the famous Rest & Be Thankful pass. There are bus services from Glasgow to Inveraray. 

Visit Glasgow

Explore the Glasgow's must-see sights, cultural attractions, amazing shopping, vibrant nightlife and more - discover Glasgow and make your next stop Argyll - the Heart & Soul of Scotland.

Visit Glasgow

Visit Heart of Argyll

Amid the stunning scenery of Inveraray and the Heart of Argyll, including Knapdale, Kilmartin, Tarbert and Crinan, you’ll find opportunities galore to delve deeper into Scotland’s past. Discover beautiful scenery and wildlife galore.

Visit Heart of Argyll

Partnership

'The Heart & Soul of Scotland' campaign is a partnership between Argyll & The Isles Tourism Cooperative and Glasgow Life, supported by partners: Visit Scotland, Argyll & Bute Council, Love Loch Lomond, ScotRail, Calmac Ferries, Loganair, Enterprise rent-a-car and West Coast Motors.