36 hours in Glasgow, Scotland

By Mark H · Sep 21, 2016

Glasgow, Scotaland
Glasgow, Scotland
Main mode of transport
Car, walking
Cost per person
While there are loads of accommodation options on Arran, myself and my two kids opted for the Youth Hostel in Lochranza (around £90 for an ensuite four bunk room). While basic, it was very clean and the staff very helpful. For me though, the real advantage to a Youth Hostel is that you have access to a full functioning kitchen. Consequently, you can feed you and your kids what you want, when you want and obviously it's very economical. The main Youth Hostel is at Lochranza, a very short walk from the castle. Be sure to stock up on food in Brodick or Lamlash though, as there are few options for buying food in Lochranza itself.

Best Bits

Having a pint at The Lauriston….one of the best ‘old school’ Glasgow boozers (bars) where everyone is welcome. Having a paddle in the sea while looking across to The Holy Isle from Arran. Trying a ‘Haggis, Neaps and Tattie’ pie. Playing Lawn Bowls on the same rink as where The Commonwealth Games final was played…and it was free! Having a pie, pint and play in a former church.

Worst Bits

The fact that kids aren’t allowed in The Lauriston (although they made an exception for me!).

Trip Dates and Comments on Timing

August. People from Arran will tell you that it enjoys lovely weather all year round because of the ‘Gulf Stream’. While it was lovely when I was there, I would be prepared for rain/low cloud at any time of year. Climbing any of the Munros (what they call a mountain over 3,000ft in Scotland) is pretty pointless when it’s cloudy, so you may need to allow more time on Arran if your heart’s set on hill walking.

Arrival Logistics

Glasgow is easy to get to by all major modes of transport.

General Route

This trip offers an itinerary for someone with limited time to spend in Scotland and wants to see its less touristy side. It’s an itinerary that can work equally well for a solo traveller, couple, group or family. When many people plan a visit to Scotland they want to see a city and they want to go to The Highlands and Islands. City-wise, Edinburgh is the obvious choice. It’s the nation’s capital, is very picturesque, a pleasure to walk around and easy to orient yourself in. However, its appeal can be its problem: it can be very ‘touristy’. This itinerary offers the alternative of Glasgow, the biggest of Scotland’s cities. Whilst Glasgow’s attractions are not always as readily apparent as Edinburgh’s, this guide hopefully touches on some of its ‘hidden gems’
In terms of The Highlands, while they should be on everyone’s ‘bucket list’, there’s no quick way to get there and you need time to do them justice. This trip incorporates the readily accessible Ilse of Arran. It starts and finishes in Glasgow and can be done in as little as 36 hours.

Main Activities

Walking, sight-seeing, eating, drinking

Food and Drink Highlights

Drinks: The Lauriston, 58 Bridge Street, Glasgow G5 9HU It doesn’t have a website (which pleases my Luddite inclinations) but does have a five star rating on Trip Advisor…which is higher than The Ritz in London! Eats: A Haggis, Neaps (Swede) and Tatties (Potatoes) Pie on Arran (http://www.wooleys.co.uk/). Scotland’s national meal in a pie. It made me so happy!

Essential Packing for this Trip

If you have kids, I’d recommend taking a pack of cards/Top Trumps for the train to/from Glasgow.

Mark’s Experience…

10am: Kelvin Museum

Uproute traveller Mark gives top tips for visiting Glasgow, Scotland

Named after Lord Kelvin, the Scottish scientist who discovered absolute zero, -273 degrees Celsius to you and me. This is a great mix of art, natural history and Scottish history. Dali’s Christ of St. John of the Cross is probably the art highlight…

Uproute traveller Mark gives top tips for visiting Glasgow, Scotland

…although be sure to see what a Haggis really looks like in the natural history section. Viewing the grandeur of this museum and its surrounding parks and houses, it’s not hard to believe that Glasgow was once the second city of the British Empire. 11.30am Lawn Bowls Scotland tops the international league tables for things like ‘Rates of Preventable Heart Disease’. When Glasgow hosted the Commonwealth Games in 2014, the only concern expressed by the locals was that the city would run out of beer….not the type of prioritisation you’re necessary looking for when hosting a major sporting event. Consequently, Glasgow’s bureaucrats were keen to try and create a health improvement legacy from the games, but given the baseline, realised they couldn’t be too ambitious. The result……free lawn bowls for everyone! While I’m not sure it will do wonders for reducing the nation’s cholesterol levels, it’s good fun. The lawn bowls rink is just beside the Kelvin Museum.

Uproute traveller Mark gives top tips for visiting Glasgow, Scotland

1.00pm Pie, Play and Pint at Oran Mor Having worked up an appetite it’s time for a typical Scottish luncheon – a pie and a pint. To add a bit of culture, I recommend Oran Mor, a former church that’s now a pub. Every day, except Sunday, you can watch a play, with a pint and a Scotch pie for only £10-14 pounds: http://playpiepint.com/. It’s a 10-15 minute walk from the bowls. 2.00pm Start making your way to Arran Just down the road from Oran Mor is Hillhead tube station. Take it to St. Enoch and then make the short walk to Glasgow Central. From there it’s an hour’s train journey to Ardrossan. A 50 yard walk from Ardrossan train station takes you to the ferry terminal and a 50 minute ferry gets you to Brodick on the Isle of Arran. Your train ticket can include the ferry fare and fares/times can be got via: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/ 4.30pm: Pick up your hire car This is my type of car rental: £40/day and they don’t try and fleece you with extra warranties (the excess is only £500 and you can’t lower it even if you wanted to!). Their only request is that you bring it back in “roughly the same state as you found it”. Hertz and Avis et al could learn a thing or two from this place: http://www.arran-motors.com/car-rental.html
Next 24 hours: Explore Arran Top Tips:

  1. Have a paddle at Lamlash beach
  2. Take the 2-3 mile walk (total there and back) to Glenashdale Falls.

Uproute traveller Mark gives top tips for visiting Glasgow, Scotland

  1. Go to the cave where Robert the Bruce was inspired by a spider to fight and defeat the English in 1314. The Scots often don’t take too much persuading to fight the English. http://www.walkhighlands.co.uk/arran/kings-cave.shtml
  2. Help Maintain John McLean’s Grave This grave belongs to a sailor who fell ill and died on his ship in 1854, but was not allowed into the villages of Lochranza or Catacol for fear of infection. Consequently, he was buried alone between the two villages. Ever since, locals and tourists have paid their respects by putting a stone on his grave.
  3. Visit Lochranza Castle Although a ruin, it has a great location and is free to enter.

Uproute traveller Mark gives top tips for visiting Glasgow, Scotland

  1. Have a Haggis, Neaps and Tattie Pie Available at Wooley’s the Baker in Brodick. http://www.wooleys.co.uk/ Optional, but notable additions: (i) Play at the 13th best golf course in the world: http://www.top100golfcourses.co.uk/golf-course/shiskine Unusually the course has only 12 holes (no idea why). (ii) Get a boat over to The Holy Isle: http://www.holyisland.org/

(iii) Take a walk up Arran’s highest munro, Goatfel.

4.00pm-6.00pm Head back to Glasgow 6.15pm Have a Pint at the Lauriston This place is great. On arriving back into Glasgow Central, take the Glasgow Bridge over the Clyde river and The Lauriston is on the right hand side a couple of blocks down. It’s very friendly and a great place to soak up Glasgow’s dry and sardonic humour. Stay till you have to get your flight/train back to wherever you’ve come from!

About The Traveller

Gender & Age Range
Male, 36 - 40

I’m from
Dumfries, Scotland

Self Employed

My favourite trip as of late
Returning to my homeland – 36 hours of seeing the best of rural and urban Scotland.

Travelling Style

It’s a dealbreaker when
The DJ is not receptive to my calls for limbo dancing

Continent I know the best
Europe (although I know Australia pretty well too).

First Last Name

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I’m from Perth, Western Australia

My favourite trip as of late is New Zealand, solo travel in lots of nature for a soul-refresher.

My travelling style is to Book the first night, then wing it from there!

It’s a dealbreaker when I’m stuck around large groups of package tourists.

Continent I know best is Asia.

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