Visiting Glasgow and Edinburgh with Side Trips by Car

Glasgow and Edinburgh are spectacular destinations by themselves. However, it’s always nice to venture out and see what else is there that Scotland has to offer. With a rich history, plenty of castles, outdoor sightings, lochs, and breathtaking landscapes in the vicinity or a short trip away, you will definitely stay entertained for long. The best thing is that you can reach all destinations easily – either with a rental car or by hiring a taxi from Glasgow to Edinburgh for the road trip.

With a car, you can freely enjoy your travel without having the constraints of a schedule. And it’s amazing how much you can see and learn about the area if you travel an hour or two away from Edinburgh or Glasgow. 

Following the coastline

It will take you roughly 50 minutes from Glasgow by car to reach the southwest coast and the beautiful city of Ayr – a gem in Scotland’s history. In medieval times, it was a national marketplace, as well as a harbour and a port. You can easily spend your days here but we recommend that you head further south, until you reach the Culzean Castle and Country Park. Here, your eyes will feast on the views of beaches, gardens, woodlands, trails and more, before you enter the castle to marvel at the interior and the largest military collection of flintlock pistols in the world.

The seaside towns near Ayr are also worth visiting. Check out the town of Troon or return to Glasgow by visiting the Dumfries House with a guided tour of one of the most beautiful and well-maintained stately homes from the 18th century.

Stirling & Falkirk

Less than a 40-minute drive from Glasgow and an hour from Edinburgh, you can find these two towns, with their own rich histories and a myriad of monuments to see. Among them are the Stirling Castle, the National Wallace Monument, the infamous Falkirk Wheel and The Helix that houses one of the iconic Scottish sculptures – The Kelpies. You can even make this a road trip by returning to Glasgow via the Trossachs. On your way back, don’t miss the Lake of Menteith and the other sightings south of lake Loch Lomond. While there, you can take a stroll around The Trossachs National Park and enjoy the breathtaking views or even take a photo of a red deer. 

Along the shores of Loch Lomond

The area around Loch Lomond has so much to show, you can spend an entire day trip just for that. And travelling by car or a taxi is the perfect way of exploring it. If you take the A83 road east of The Trossachs National Park, you can visit the Rest and be Thankful – the highest point that has a marvellous view of the old valley road. Located further west is the charming historic town of Inveraray, a former royal burgh with many tourist attractions. Make sure to visit the Inveraray Castle, the Georgian Inveraray Jail, the Celtic Inveraray Cross, and the Argyll Folk Museum while in town. 

The entire journey will take you around an hour and a half with a car, but prepare to spend your entire day at the mentioned landmarks. 

If you don’t want to return via the same route, you can always go around and check some additional sightings along the way. For example, you can enjoy the beautiful nature of the picturesque villages in the area. Two such villages are Tyndrum and Crianlarich. You can also check the Kilchurn Castle and Cruachan Power Station for a fun-filled day. 

Have you had any side trips from Glasgow or Edinburgh? What was it like?

Dkot5A Author