Top things to do near Glasgow Airport
Visit The Mackintosh Building
One of Glasgow’s most famous figures is the architect, designer and artist, Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Active at the turn of the 20th century, Mackintosh's visionary buildings have become some of Glasgow’s most iconic, with the prestigious Glasgow School of Art, now named The Mackintosh Building in his honour, cited by experts as one of the finest buildings in the UK. The Hunterian Gallery at The University of Glasgow has painstakingly rebuilt the interior of Mackintosh's home, which he designed and lived in with his wife and fellow artist, Margaret. Less than 10 miles (16 kilometres) from Glasgow Airport, the house is filled with furniture designed by Mackintosh and a rotating selection of artworks by the couple is hung on the walls, making it a truly unique place at which to experience the work of one of the modern world’s most important designers.
Take a walk around the Loch
Loch Lomond National Park and its huge array of outdoor activities is only a 20-minute drive away from GLA, so whether you’re after an adventure or just craving some fresh air, there’s nothing more convenient. With bikes to hire, horses to ride, hills to climb, golf to play, fish to catch, stunning sunsets over the loch and breath-taking sunrises over the mountains, Loch Lomond National Park is rural Scotland at its best and only 15 miles (24 kilometres) from the airport.
Explore one of Europe’s finest collections
The Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum has been a free-entry favourite with Glasgow residents and visitors alike since first opening in 1901. The museum proudly displays the 8,000 items and artefacts it has acquired over the years in its 22 distinctly-themed galleries. From Scottish art to Ancient Egypt via one of the finest collections of arms and armour in the world, there’s something for everyone.
Formerly the site of a power station, Braehead is now home to a huge entertainment and retail mega-centre. Across its 1,059,970 square feet (98,474 square metres) of floorspace, the Braehead centre contains over 120 shops, the Braehead Arena and an international-level ice rink that hosted the 2000 Curling World Championships. If that’s not enough, Braehead Soar, situated nearby, is an artificial slope specifically designed to help people get into skiing and snowboarding, providing all the gear you need to hit the slopes straight from the airport.
Take a walk around the Glasgow Botanic Gardens
Situated in the city’s West End, the Glasgow Botanic Gardens are only nine miles (14.5 kilometres) from the airport and have been offering shelter and tranquility away from the bustle of the city for 200 years, having been set up in 1817. The Botanic Gardens feature several ornate glass houses, which are just as impressive as the unique collections of rare plants and trees that they hold. Whether you’re just visiting for a quick walk or are intrigued by the long and colourful history of Glasgow's Botanic Gardens, entry is completely free.
Explore one of Scotland’s last medieval churches
Glasgow Cathedral’s rich history is intertwined with that of the city. Allegedly the site where St. Mungo, Glasgow’s patron saint, built his first church, the 800-year-old Cathedral was built in the 12th century and is a superb example of Scottish Gothic architecture. In 1451, the Cathedral precinct housed the very first classes of the University of Glasgow and played a significant role in battles over the subsequent 100 years. A medieval masterpiece and iconic symbol of Glasgow, the Cathedral is a must-see.
Go out for a night of rock ’n’ roll
Glasgow’s Barrowlands Ballroom is one of the UK’s premier venues for live music, with its quirky charm, sprung dancefloor and 2,100-capacity attracting some of the world’s most popular artists since its renovation in 1960. Legendary bands such as Oasis, U2, The Clash, The Stranglers, The Smiths and, more recently, Muse and The Foo Fighters have all graced the stage. If you’re looking for an evening of entertainment in Glasgow, your first move should always be to check what’s happening at ‘the Barra’.
Take a tour of Tennent’s
Proud brewers of Scotland’s favourite pint, the Tennent’s brewery tour will take you behind the scenes of the brand and explain how the beer-making process has changed since the brewery opened over 450 years ago. With mountains of memorabilia, cutting edge technology and, of course, the occasional taster, the Tennent’s tour is a great way to explore and enjoy the rich heritage of one of the country’s best-loved beers.
Head to Edinburgh
If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, the city of Edinburgh is only an hour east of Glasgow. As well as its own collection of galleries, museums and even a zoo, Edinburgh is internationally renowned for the Edinburgh Festival: an eclectic mix of music, comedy and the performing arts that takes over the whole city between July and September every year. With Scotland’s rail network easily accessible from Glasgow Airport, a trip east to Edinburgh is a lot easier than you might think.