Whether they’re going to another part of the UK, mainland Europe, or even further afield, it seems like everyone has summer holiday plans. But if you’re staying in Glasgow over the summer you shouldn’t have to miss out on the fun of having a holiday. While it’s easy to get caught up in a university bubble and rarely leave the West End, there’s a lot to discover within reach of a simple bus or train trip. And it doesn’t have to be expensive to enjoy yourself in Glasgow over the summer: there’s plenty of museums and parks which you can visit for free, as well other inexpensive day trip activities and overnight stays. Here are some ideas of what you can get up to:
How to get there: Walking
This is a bit of an obvious suggestion, but if you haven’t been to all of Glasgow’s museums yet, why not check them out? The Hunterian, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Gallery of Modern Art and Riverside Museum are all free and within walking distance of the West End. On a sunny day, I would particularly recommend walking down the Kelvin Walkway to get to the Riverside Museum and The Tall Ship.
Fun sports activities
Price: £4.50-£11, plus subway tickets
How to get there: Subway to Kinning Park or walking
If you want to stay active in the summer but Glasgow weather means you want to stay inside, you can try your hand at a new sport without having to spend too much time outside. If you’ve never been bouldering, a Groupon deal means that you can try it at The Climbing Academy for £11. On Tuesday nights Ryze Glasgow has a student night, so you can go trampolining for £7.50. Or for just £4.50, you can relive your 12th birthday party by going to Laser Quest.
Parks and Walks:
Price: £4.50 for the bus ticket
How to get there: Simplicity 4/4A or train to Cathcart
In the forests of Linn Park, it’s easy to forget you’re just a short bus ride away from the West End. Despite not taking long to get to, it’s a bit more out of the way, meaning that it has the additional benefit of being a lot less crowded than places like Kelvingrove or the Botanics. You can wander through it for a couple of hours before stopping next to the river for a picnic. You’re also almost guaranteed to see some very friendly dogs, which is always a plus. If you enjoy Linn Park, you’ll be happy to hear that Glasgow has plenty of other nice parks that are easy to get to by bus or train. Seven Lochs Wetlands Park, Pollok Country Park and Cathkin Braes Country Park are all worth a visit.
Price: £5-10 for the train ticket
On a sunny day there’s no shortage of beaches that are easy to get to by train: Troon beach, Ayr beach and more are less than an hour away.
Price: £6.10 for the train, from £20 for a night to stay in a hostel
The easiest place around Loch Lomond to get the train to is Balloch. For a relaxing day out, you can stay in Balloch – take a walk through Balloch Country Park, or head to the beach. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you have numerous options for long walks and hikes. For a day trip, you can walk from Balloch to Helensburgh, then get the train back to Glasgow from Helensburgh. This walk takes about three hours and if you get up early enough you’ll have time to enjoy Balloch before you set off on your walk.
If you’re willing to spend a bit more time travelling, you could instead get the bus from Balloch to Balmaha and from there take a walk up Conic Hill. Alternatively, you can get the bus from Balloch to Drymen, and tackle part of the West Highland Way. If you’re doing this, you might want to stay in the hostel in Rowardennan, which has beds from £20 a night.