Have you ever felt stuck in the city? Good news: you don’t have to head for the Highlands to enjoy the great outdoors! There are plenty of enjoyable hikes and walks suitable for every level of fitness or experience right at your doorstep. Here are 18 brilliant walks in Glasgow to get you started.
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Let’s – for a moment – put aside the fact that 2020 was a dumpster fire of a year. Without diminishing any of the awful things that happened that year or their long-lasting consequences, there were undoubtedly also some glimpses of hope too.
One of the silver linings of numerous lockdowns during the global pandemic was that countless people found a new appreciation for the great outdoors and picked up walking as a hobby. With fitness centres closed and the tall mountains of the Highlands out of reach for most, exploring local parks and walking routes became more essential than ever before.
Glasgow residents are lucky enough to live in an incredibly green city. There is no shortage of city parks and walks near Glasgow. Did you know the Gaelic name of Glasgow – Glaschu – means “Dear Green Place”?
Over 90 parks and gardens are dotted throughout Glasgow offering a wide network of trails and some much-needed opportunities to escape the busy city.
And when your sense of adventure longs for something a bit wilder, you can always turn to the numerous country parks, woodlands and hillsides lining Glasgow’s edges in all directions.
This post contains 18 suggestions for outstanding hikes and walks in Glasgow and nearby:
- 10 walking routes in or just outside Glasgow – within the allowed 5-mile radius during strict lockdown periods, and
- 8 walking routes that are a little further out of town, but still within easy reach from Glasgow for a spontaneous outing.
Some of the walks are mostly flat and super beginner-friendly, while others really deserve to be called hikes in their own right.
So without further ado, let’s go hiking in Glasgow!
10 Walks in Glasgow
The following Glasgow walks are either within the city limits or no further than 5 miles from the border of the local authority area.
Pollok Country Park
Pollok Country Park is the largest park in Glasgow and offers over 146 hectares of woodland and garden. The 11km of paved tracks and even more informal footpaths are perfect for walking, cycling and running.
Highlights at Pollok Park include the Georgian beauty of Pollok House, Highland cows which can often be spotted on either side of the main access road into the park, and even a magical Fairy Garden.
While it is easy to simply follow your nose through the park, there are three suggested routes available: the Highland Cattle Walk (1.9 miles, red markers), the Pond Walk (1.4 miles, blue markers) and the Burrell Walk (0.7 miles, yellow markers).
Pollok Park is one of the most popular parks for walking in Glasgow. On weekends it can be tricky to find parking. But the wide network of trails makes it easy to escape the crowds.
How to get to Pollok Park
The closest train station to the main entrance of Pollok Park on Pollokshaws Road is Pollokshaws West. Trains from Glasgow Central station to Kilmarnock and East Kilbride stop here approx. 3 times per hour. Various entries of the park are also accessible by bus – First buses 10, 34A and 57A.
There are two main car parks inside Pollok Park: the Riverside Car Park near Pollok House and the car park at the Burrell Collection.
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Rouken Glen Park lies in the southside of Glasgow, approximately 6 miles from the city centre. The park is typical for Glasgow mixing tame Victorian features like a boating pond and a walled garden with the wilderness of a rough woodland glen.
There is a large waterfall at the top of the glen and if you look very closely, you might be able to make out the remains of the old Rock End Meal Mill that stood at its foot in the 16th century.
The Glen Walks is a network of trails hugging the steep slopes that the Auldhouse Burn has carved into the glen. Since water is never far from the trail, be prepared to navigate some seriously muddy sections – this Glasgow walk might require hiking boots!
How to get to Rouken Glen
The train from Glasgow Central to Neilston stops near Rouken Glen twice an hour – get off at Whitecraigs station. First buses 38 and 38A-E stop near Whitecraigs station as well as Rouken Glen Garden Centre.
With the car, it is best to park on the other side of the glen at Rouken Glen Garden Centre.
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Gleniffer Braes in Paisley
Stretching south of Paisley, a town south-west of Glasgow, Gleniffer Braes is a woodland and moorland area with a network of formal and informal trails, sweeping views of the city and lots of wildlife to discover.
For a 2.5 mile loop through Gleniffer Braes that includes views from near Glenburn Reservoir, a visit to Craigie Linn waterfall and plenty of tiny woodland footpaths, follow my suggested route via the Komoot app. It’s free to use and a great tool to discover new walking routes.
How to get to Gleniffer Braes
Getting to Glennifer Braes in public transport is a bit tricky. The closest bus stops are on Glenfield Road and Nethercraigs Road – bus 26 runs here from the train station at Paisley Canal.
Driving is by far the easiest way to get to Gleniffer Braes. There are multiple car parks to choose from: Brownside Farm car park, Gleniffer Braes car park, Braehead Road car park and Robertson car park (from east to west).
Fereneze Braes in Barrhead
The Fereneze Braes trail is easily one of my favourite walks in Glasgow. Located just east of the Gleniffer Braes near the suburban town of Barrhead, they offer a physically challenging walk as well as beautiful views of Glasgow and the hills north of the city.
I’d suggest a 4.5 mile circular route that takes in the summit cairn at the top of Fereneze Braes and the hidden waterfalls at Killoch Glen. I describe the exact route step by step in my hiking guide for the Fereneze Braes.
For a linear walk with public transport access on both sides, begin your walk in the Gleniffer Braes in Paisley and walk over the hills of the Fereneze Braes to Barrhead.
How to get to Fereneze Braes
From Glasgow Central station take the train to Kilmarnock (2x per hour) and get off at Barrhead station. The trail starts near the train station.
There is no official car park at the start of this trail in the Fereneze Braes, but there is free on-street parking available on Graham Street in Barrhead.
Dams to Darnley Country Park
Dams to Darnley is a relatively new country park in the southside of Glasgow. Stretching from the busy M77 motorway in the east to Barrhead on the west, the park is made up of serene woodlands, the narrow Waulkmill Glen and the sprawling reservoirs of the Barrhead Dams.
I usually follow a mostly flat 10-mile route through the park that takes in all of the highlights. I describe it step by step in my hiking guide for Dams to Darnley.
How to get to Dams to Darnley
The western entrance of Dams to Darnley is approximately 40 minutes walk from Barrhead train station. There are some buses that stop closer, but none directly to the entrance of the park.
The closest train station to the northern entrance of the park in Darnley is Priesthill & Darnley (approx. 10 minutes from the park). First bus 57A also stops close to this entrance on Kennishead Road.
There are three car parks to choose from: one near the northern entrance on Corselet Road, another further down Corselet Road in the middle of the park and a third at the western entrance in Barrhead.
Clyde Walkway to Cambuslang
The Clyde Walkway is a flat walking route along the River Clyde in Glasgow.
At the start of the Clyde Walkway in Partick, the river is wide and straight, navigable for the ships and boats that once made Glasgow one of the world’s most important port cities.
But after passing Glasgow Green and continuing to walk east, the river begins to flow more naturally, meandering left and right as it pleases. Here, instead of urban architecture, the banks of the river are framed by lush green fields and woodlands.
For a linear 9-mile walk with public transport access on both sides, start from Riverside Museum near Partick train station and finish in Cambuslang.
The trails at Cunningar Loop offer a lovely detour or a reason for another day on this Glasgow walking route.
You can also cycle along Clyde Walkway. Follow the National Cycle Route 75 all the way from Glasgow to Cambuslang, on to Uddingston via Neilston and finish at Bothwell Castle. There are only short sections of road cycling along this route.
How to get to the Clyde Walkway
Since the River Clyde cuts right through the centre of Glasgow, it is very easy to jump on the Clyde Walkway anywhere along the route.
There are multiple train stations and bus stops along the way to access this Glasgow walk.
Kelvin Walkway to Milngavie
The Kelvin Walkway is a linear walk that connects Glasgow with the start of the West Highland Way in Milngavie, a suburbian town north of the city.
The mostly flat path follows the course of the River Kelvin and the Allander Water. Along the route, explore Kelvingrove Park and the Glasgow Botanic Gardens, or visit the Maryhill Locks.
The path is paved the majority of the way, but as you leave the city behind north of Maryhill, it turns into a narrow, sometimes overgrown footpath. It’s easy enough to follow, but you may want to wear sturdy shoes as it can be boggy.
How to get to the Kelvin Walkway
The Kelvin Way starts on the banks of the River Clyde at the Riverside Museum. Partick train station and several bus stops are nearby. The route ends in Milngavie at the train station.
Seven Lochs Wetland Park
The Seven Lochs Wetland Park covers a huge surface area in the east end of Glasgow and offers a wide network of trails and paths to explore. The park contains Drumpellier Country Park, four nature reserves and many formerly industrial areas that have been reclaimed by nature.
I suggest hiking the Seven Lochs Trail – it’s one of those hidden walks in Glasgow that even locals don’t always know.
This 6-mile linear walk runs from the east side of the park to the west. I describe the Seven Lochs Trail step-by-step in my hiking guide for the Seven Lochs Wetland Park.
How to get to the Seven Lochs Wetland Park
There are several train stations and bus stops near various entry points to the park. Choose between Blairhill, Easterhouse, Stepps or Gartcosh station.
The Seven Lochs Trail starts near Blairhill station and ends near a stop of First Bus 38C.
There are car parks near the visitor gateways at Hogganfield, Provan Hall, Drumpellier Country Park and Glenboig.
Mugdock Country Park
Boasting two castle ruins, several lochs and moors and many other historic sites such as WW2 Gunsites, Mugdock Country Park packs a punch.
At nearly twice the size of Pollok Park, this country park north of Glasgow and near Milngavie offers a lot to see and experience.
There are many paved and unpaved trails, so it’s easy to simply follow your nose and explore different parts of the park on multiple visits. Find a few suggested loop trails through the park here.
How to get to Mugdock Country Park
The nearest train station to the park is in Milngavie. It takes approx. 25 minutes to walk to the southern entrance of the park at Drumclog Moor car park, 45 minutes to reach Mugdock Castle and Loch.
There are five car parks along the edge of the park.
Duncarnock Fort (Barrhead)
Short but sweet is the best way to describe this hike in Glasgow. The walk up Duncarnock Fort from the bottom at Glanderston Dam takes only 15-20 minutes. But the beautiful views from the top and interesting historic features at the summit turn this walk into a real gem.
I describe the suggested walking route from Barrhead in my hiking guide for Duncarnock Fort.
How to get to Duncarnock Fort
The nearest train station to Glanderston Dam and Duncarnock Fort is in Barrhill. From there, it takes around 45 minutes to walk to Glanderston Dam. There are some buses that can take you part of the way, but it takes just as long.
There is space for 2-3 cars to park at Glanderston Dam, but you can also park on Springhill Road in Barrhead and walk approx. 20 minutes to Glanderston Dam along the quiet country road.
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8 More Walks near Glasgow
One of my favourite walks near Glasgow takes in Loch Humphrey, the rounded summits of Duncolm and the Slacks in the Kilpatrick Hills.
The first half of the route leads along a wide track that is at times very steep and offers lovely views of the River Clyde, Dumbarton and Paisley. The further you climb, the better the scenery and even Glasgow comes into view.
Once you reach Loch Humphrey, the walk continues on small, boggy footpaths to Duncolm and the Slacks from where you can see Loch Lomond, Glasgow and the Campsies.
My hiking guide to the Kilpatrick Hills describes this route step by step.
How to get to the Kilpatrick Hills
The Kilpatrick Hills are easily accessible by train. Take a train from Glasgow Queen Street to Kilpatrick. The suggested hike starts just behind the station.
There is a small car park at the start of the trail behind Kilpatrick train station.
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The Whangie is another popular hike in the Kilpatrick Hills and is accessed from the north-east.
Featuring bizarre rock formations and an unexpected cleft in the rocks, this makes for a spectacular hike near Glasgow. Not to mention the great views of Loch Lomond, the Highlands and the Campsies along the way.
The 3-mile loop trail takes 1.5 – 2 hours and you can follow my route via the Komoot app. Note that I forgot to stop recording as I was driving back to Glasgow – not for the first time…
How to get to The Whangie
There is no public transport to the trailhead of The Whangie.
By car, make your way to the Queen’s View & The Whangie car park, approx. 12 miles from central Glasgow.
The Campsie Glen at Clachan of Campsie is a popular hike in the hills north of Glasgow.
There are two routes. The low-lying path leads down the glen and leads past several scenic picnic spots. The higher-lying route climbs the steep slopes of the glen, culminating at a roaring waterfall.
The walk to the waterfall can be cut short by parking at the closer of two car parks.
How to get to Campsie Glen
First bus X85 runs from Central Glasgow to Campsie Glen and stops near the start of the trail at Clachan of Campsie. The journey takes approx. 40 minutes.
There are two car parks, one at Clachan of Campsie, the other one closer to the waterfall.
Locherwood Community Woodland
Just half and hour south of Glasgow lies the Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, a vast landscape of heather moorland and rocky hills. At the edge of this park, you’ll find the Locherwood Community Woodland.
There are two waymarked paths through the area that offer stunning views across the moorland and just the escape from the city you need. The longer of the two paths – the Lady Muir Trail – takes about 2-2.5 hours.
How to get to Locherwood Community Woodland
There is no public transport to Locherwood Community Woodland, so you have to drive to get here.
Semple Trail at Lochwinnoch
Located in Renfrewshire, Lochwinnoch is a lovely area for walking approx. 18 miles south east of Glasgow.
There is an RSPB Nature Reserve, one of the few wetlands left in the west of Scotland and home to many interesting bird species. Trails and footpaths lead along the western shore of Castle Semple Loch, which is also popular for boating and stand-up paddling.
My favourite route is part of the Semple Trail. It leads from the banks of Castle Semple Loch to the top of Park Hill for lovely views, through Parkhill Wood, past the ruins of the Collegiate Church and back to the Visitor Centre for a cuppa.
How to get to Lochwinnoch
There is a train station in Lochwinnoch – trains for Ayr leave from Glasgow Central twice an hour. Buses stop at the Roadhead Roundabout, just east of Castle Semple Loch – Stagecoach bus X34 or X36.
There is a car park on Castle Semple Loch near the visitor centre.
If cycling all the way from Glasgow to Bothwell Castle sounds like too much effort for you (see Clyde Walkway above if this sounds up your street), don’t worry. You can easily plan a walk at Bothwell Castle itself too!
Located in Uddingston, west of Glasgow on the banks of the River Clyde, Bothwell Castle is surrounded by serene woodlands and network of quiet footpaths.
It is hard to imagine how quaint the River Clyde looks this far east! In the spring time, the woodland is filled with bluebells – it’s one of my favourite walks near Glasgow at the time these flowers bloom.
How to get to Bothwell Castle
Take the train from central station towards Lanark and get off in Uddingston. Some slow Edinburgh trains also stop here. From the train station, it is a 20-minute walk to the castle ruins.
There is also a car park at the castle if you prefer to drive.
The Falls of Clyde at New Lanark
The Falls of Clyde are comprised of a series of spectiacular waterfalls. The surrounding nature reserve is home to countless species of birds and the woodlands offer relaxing walking routes approx. 25 miles south-west of Glasgow.
There are two routes to choose from. A shorter 4-mile loop to the Falls of Clyde that sticks to the eastern banks of the river and a longer 6-mile circuit taking on both sides of the river between Kirkfieldbank in the north and Bonnington Weir in the south.
How to get to New Lanark
Both routes start near the New Lanark World Heritage Site. The closest train station is located in Lanark (2 trains per hour from Glasgow Central) and bus no. 135 connects the train station with New Lanark. On foot, it takes about 30 minutes.
Of course, you could also drive to New Lanark and park at the Heritage Site.
Tucked away on the quiet North Ayrshire coast, the Fairlie Glens make for an excellent hike to chase some waterfalls.
The trail first climbs a woodland gorge with several hidden waterfalls. You then walk across fields and moorland with sweeping views of the coast and islands in the distance, until you reach a small road which leads you back down to Fairlie.
But don’t follow it right away as there is another hidden waterfall waiting in the glen. The final waterfall is the tallest of the hike. You can walk behind it and if you’re brave, even swim in the pool.
The final leg of the hike sees you walking down the tarmac road to Fairlie and following the coastal road back to the train station. You can find a full description here.
How to get to the Fairlie Glens
Jump on the train from Glasgow Central Station to Fairlie – that’s the train towards Largs and takes about 50 minutes. The hike begins and ends right by the train station.
As you can see, there is really no need to leave the city if you heart longs for the hills. I hope you find this list of 18 brilliant hikes and walks in Glasgow useful for your future adventures!
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