From the Clyde Walkway to Pollok Country Park, Glasgow is the perfect launchpad for hiking and camping adventures.
As the largest city in Scotland, it’s well-connected to the rest of the country. Simply jump on a train to Glasgow Central Station, hop on a bus or take a scenic car journey to enjoy the best spots for hiking and camping Glasgow has to offer.
So, if you’re planning a wild camping trip, a romantic night under the stars or a family day out, these are the best hikes and campsites close to Glasgow.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Loch Lomond is closer to Glasgow than you may think, and many areas of the park are easily accessible by public transport. Whilst wild camping is permitted in most of Scotland, the national park is one of the few places with by-laws restricting it at certain times.
Because Loch Lomond is such a popular site, Camping Management Zones have been created in some areas. These areas make up just 4% of the park, so those looking for wild camping near Glasgow can still enjoy the majority of the park year-round.
Areas covered by the management zones still allow camping. However, this is restricted to designated permit zones (areas with fewer facilities, offering a more authentic wild camping experience) or campsites between March and September.
The West Highland Way is a 96-mile walking route that starts at Milngavie, just over 20 minutes by train from the centre of Glasgow. The start of the route is just minutes from the train station.
If you’re feeling adventurous, you can walk the whole thing over several days, stopping off at some of the best Scottish campsites along the way. These sites include Sallochy and Beinglas Farm, which enjoy views over the loch to the Arrochar Alps.
Alternatively, for some of the best hiking near Glasgow, catch a bus to Drymen, set up camp and hike along the West Highland Way to Conic Hill. The climb is worth the effort with incredible views over Loch Lomond on a clear day. Enjoy an ice cream at Balmaha and then return the way you came, or simply take a bus straight home.
Another great spot for camping in the national park is at Loch Achray. Situated at the foot of Ben A’an, you’ll be in prime position for the perfect morning hike, beating the crowds to enjoy a beautiful sunrise.
Although the Loch Achray campsite is harder to get to via public transport, there’s a car park right at the bottom of the hill. This makes it a great option if you can hire a car. Ben A’an is a short, steep walk of between two to four hours, but the views at the top are some of the best in Scotland.
If you’re looking for some serious hiking near Glasgow, you can’t beat Ben Lomond. It’s the most southerly Munro (mountains in Scotland over 3,000 feet) standing at 3,248 feet, with spectacular views over Loch Lomond below.
Cashel campsite is the closest to the mountain, and while there’s no bus to the start of the walk at Rowardennan, there is a car park. During the summer months, you can also take a bus from Glasgow to Tarbet, and then a ferry across the loch for an adventurous start to your camping holiday.
The Arrochar Alps are a group of Munros, Corbetts (mountains between 2,500 to 3,000 feet) and Grahams (mountains between 2,000 to 2,500 feet) clustered around the villages of Arrochar and Lochgoilhead.
Some of them lie within the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, whilst others sit in Argyll Forest Park. They’re easy to visit by train from Glasgow, reaching Arrochar and Tarbet Station in roughly an hour and a half.
One of the most popular hikes near Glasgow is Ben Arthur, also known as The Cobbler thanks to its rocky peak at the summit. The mountain is a Corbett, sitting at 2,900 feet high, and the walk takes between four and six hours, so you may want to rest your legs afterwards!
The closest campsite to the mountain is Glenloin House in Arrochar, which is also handy for the train back to Glasgow the next day.
To the west of Glasgow is Clyde Muirshiel, Scotland’s largest regional park. Encompassing over 108 square miles of countryside, the park stretches from Greenock on the Firth of Clyde to West Kilbride in the south.
There are plenty of walking and hiking options for everyone, with signposted trails starting from just 2km. Some of these trails can take days to explore, perfect for those looking for wild camping near Glasgow. Hikers can walk up Kaim Hill one day and tackle the Greenock Cut the next, voted one of the top 50 most panoramic walks in Scotland.
Whether it's for hiking adventures or camping, Glasgow is well-connected to Clyde Muirshiel Park. A campsite located at Castle Semple Visitor Semple is a 30-minute walk from Lochwinnoch train station, just a 40-minute train ride from Glasgow.
For hiking in Glasgow, you can’t get much closer to the city than the Kilpatrick Hills. These hills stretch from Dumbarton in the west to Strathblane in the east, with the northern part of the hill range located within Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park.
If you have a car, then head to The Whangie, less than half an hour’s drive from Glasgow, or hop on the number 8 bus from Milngavie. Then wander along the route from the car park to see this bizarrely named rock structure. It’s one of the most popular short walks near Glasgow.
Alternatively, take the train to Old Kilpatrick and walk the 15km route up grassy Duncolm and the Slacks. This route gives great views over Loch Humphrey, but watch out as it can be boggy in places!
There aren’t any campsites nearby so you’ll have to wild camp en route or hop on the train to Milngavie, roughly a 45-minute journey, and set up at the West Highland Way campsite. From there, you can either explore some of the West Highland Way route, hike in Mugdock Country Park or walk part of the 134-mile John Muir Way.
Whatever you decide to do around Glasgow, camping, hiking or simply enjoying nature, don’t forget that the best way to save money on your train tickets is to book in advance. The earlier you book, the cheaper your tickets will be, leaving you with more money to spend on hiking snacks and camping gear!
Getting there by train
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