If you need a break from your living room, these lovely walks less than an hour away from Glasgow are worth getting your walking boots on for.
1. Pollok House
Located south of the city, Pollok Country Park is over 360 acres in size, making it Glasgow’s largest. Within its boundaries you’ll find a walled garden, originally used as a kitchen garden and orchard, and the woodland garden, where there are many species of flowers. It is also home to the historic Pollok House, where you’ll be transported to a fairytale of your own. The grounds certainly accommodate everyone, with a variety of trails for cyclists and walkers alike. We suggest picking up a drink from the outdoor tea garden to enjoy with a walk along the riverside. Check out out guide to Pollok Country Park here.
Distance from central Glasgow: 20 minutes by car
2. Gleniffer Braes
Another country park but a little further afield, Glennifer Braes also offers great trails and wonderful vistas, whatever the season. Located not far from Paisley, this country park spans 480 acres of woods and moorlands and has a number of signposted walking routes. Tannahill Walkway, a four-mile circular countryside route starting in Glen Park, takes in Craigielinn waterfall, the 50 ft deep Gleniffer Gorge and passes the Robertson car park, ideal for glorious panoramic views of the Clyde Valley. Depending when you visit—and how cold it is—you might even notice large icicles hanging from the Craigielinn waterfall in Glen Park, making the walk seem even more magical.
Distance from central Glasgow: 30 minutes by car
3. Dollar Glen
Deep gorges, rushing burns, and a ruined castle make Dollar Glen the perfect place for an impressive escape. This stretch of woodland lies east of Stirling and is positioned in the shadow of the Ochil Hills. Spend the day discovering the ruins of Castle Campbell, watching the eloquently named Burns of Care and Sorrow plunge down tumbling waterfalls and look out for the rich array of wildlife. From foraging brown long-eared bats to great spotted woodpeckers, it’s no wonder the area is known as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
Distance from central Glasgow: 55 minutes by car
SEE ALSO: 14 Of The Best Parks In Glasgow
4. Campsie Glen
If you want to go chasing waterfalls, then Campsie Glen is the place. Located north of Glasgow in East Dunbartonshire, Campsie Glen used to be a hugely popular destination for city workers in industrial times who were desperate to escape the grit and smog for some clean country air just a few miles away. And we can definitely see why they chose this spot. Campsie Glen has plenty of picturesque picnic spots and, no matter which route you choose to take, you’ll be rewarded with dramatic views and scenery. You can find public toilets, refreshments and bike hire at the carpark in Clachan of Campsie village, and nearby Lennoxtown provides places to eat, drink and shop. There is a choice of seven routes, with the short walk into the glen one of the most popular, with the option to keep going in order to enjoy additional views in a more challenging walk.
Distance from central Glasgow: 36 minutes by car
5. Chatelherault Country Park
With 500 acres of countryside and more than 10 miles of walks, this park in Hamilton, South Lanarkshire has something for everyone. The fairly challenging three-hour Green Bridge Trail goes round five miles of woodlands as you follow the Avon Gorge to the bridge and then return past the ancient Cadzow oak trees and Cadzow Castle. There are also shorter walks, a great adventure park and a lovely café. There are routes along the Avon and you’ll pass the gigantic and impressive Duke’s Bridge poking through the oaks, which makes for a pretty special sight.
Distance from central Glasgow: 43 minutes by car
6. Balloch Castle Country Park
If you’re looking for a shorter journey—and less of a trek than taking on 974m mountain, Ben Lomond, which is further up Loch Lomond—then this is the walk for you. An easy one-hour loop of Balloch Castle Country Park offers fantastic views with less of the sweat and exhaustion. From the car park, follow the wooded Fairy Glen down to the loch. At the shore you’ll be met with tranquil sounds as you listen to the leaves blowing and the calm waters. You can also visit the beautiful walled gardens and castle within the park. For a bite to eat or something to drink, the town of Balloch is not too far away. Here you’ll find multiple restaurants, cafes and pubs to choose from. If you do feel like a bit of a climb, head up Whinny Hill for brilliant views of the loch.
Distance from central Glasgow: 23 minutes by car