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 and then either take an onward train from there, from Glasgow’s other station, Queen Street, or hop on a bus to take you to some of the best of Scotland’s camping spots and holiday parks.
Let’s take a look at some of the best walking routes and campsites in Scotland that you can easily access from Glasgow city centre.
Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park
Loch Lomond is closer to Glasgow than you 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 where there are by-laws restricting this.
Because Loch Lomond is such a popular site, Camping Management Zones have been created in some areas of the park, meaning you can only camp in a campsite or a permit zone (areas with fewer facilities, offering a more authentic wild camping experience) 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 including Sallochy and Beinglas Farm, with views over the loch to the Arrochar Alps.
Alternatively, catch a bus to Drymen, set up for the night at Drymen campsite 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 to get up the hill early - a bonus, as it’s a very popular little hill!
This campsite is harder to get to via public transport, but there’s a car park right at the bottom of the hill, making it a great option if you can hire a car. It’s a short, steep walk of between two to four hours, but the views from the top are some of the best in Scotland - well worth the effort!
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) and stands 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. Alternatively, during the summer you can take a bus from Glasgow to Tarbet, and then a ferry across the loch from Tarbet for an adventurous start to your camping holiday.
The Arrochar Alps are a group of Munros, Corbetts (mountains between 2,500–3,000 feet) and Grahams (mountains between between 2,000–2,500 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 reach on the train from Glasgow, reaching Arrochar and Tarbet station in roughly an hour and a half.
One of the most popular hikes in the region is Ben Arthur, more commonly known as The Cobbler and is instantly recognisable 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 at 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, stretching from Greenock on the Firth of Clyde to West Kilbride in the south. There’s plenty of walking and hiking options for everyone, with signposted trails ranging from 2k to 20k. That means you can take a few days to explore this country park, walking up Kaim Hill one day and tackling the Greenock Cut, voted as one of the top 50 most panoramic walks in Scotland, the next.
The park is really well connected for travelling by train. The campsite, located at Castle Semple Visitor Semple, is roughly a 30 minute walk from Lochwinnoch train station which can be reached by train in around 40 minutes 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, and the northern part of the hill range is located within Loch Lomond at 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 either want 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, go for a walk in Mugdock Country Park, or walk part of the 134-mile John Muir Way.
Wherever you decide on for your Scottish camping and hiking adventure, don’t forget that the best way to save money on your train tickets to Glasgow 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!
Getting there by train
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