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A port city famed for its Victorian and Art Nouveau architecture, Glasgow is a city built on the prosperity of the trade and shipbuilding that flourished in the area during the 19th century. The largest city in Scotland, Glasgow is brimming with exciting things to see and do, from art galleries and museums to live music and shopping. Many of Scotland’s national arts organisations are based in Glasgow, including the Scottish Opera and the Scottish Ballet, so expect a burgeoning culture scene, with plenty of delicious food to boot, as in 2013 PETA declared Glasgow the most vegan-friendly city in the UK.
Beyond Glasgow, your hire car can help you venture to other exciting areas of Scotland including Kilmarnock (a half-hour drive), where you can explore the picturesque Dean Castle, the stronghold of the Boyd Family, lords of Kilmarnock for more than 400 years. East Kilbride is also within easy reach (a half-hour drive), where you can soak in the natural beauty of the James Hamilton Heritage Park, a 16-acre loch with a water sports centre and adventure playground.
Fly into Glasgow Airport and from there it’s an easy 15-minute drive into the centre of Glasgow.
Beyond Glasgow, your hire car can take you to Stirling (a 34-minute drive), where you can tour the majestic Stirling Castle and visit the memorial stone tower constructed in honour of William Wallace.
Choose from a wide selection of hire car providers in Glasgow to suit every budget and requirement, from Greenmotion and Inter Rent to Easirent and Enterprise.
The Riverside Museum is a popular Glasgow destination, where hi-tech, interactive displays bring to life some of the world’s finest cars, bicycles, ship models and locomotives. With over 3,000 objects, the museum tells the story of Glasgow’s days as a maritime powerhouse through to contemporary life in the city. Similarly, the Glasgow Science Centre provides a hands-on insight into the world of science and technology, with hundreds of activities designed to engage both kids and adults.
Further afield, the picturesque Loch Lomondd is just a 50-minute drive in your hire car, a freshwater loch that crosses the Highland Boundary Fault. Surrounded by the Trossachs National Park, the area is perfect for birdwatching, hiking and mountain biking through Scotland’s beautiful and rugged landscape. The capital city of Edinburgh is also just over an hour’s drive, where the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe (often referred to as The Fringe) is the highlight of the city’s cultural calendar, held in August each year. As the world’s largest arts festival, thousands of acts descend on the city, with everything from theatre, dance and circus to cabaret, opera and spoken word performances.
Speed limits will be signposted, but if not, national limits apply of a maximum of 70mph on motorways and 30mph in built-up areas. There are no toll roads or bridges in Scotland, but expect some single lane rural roads. However, there should be plenty of passing places where traffic from opposite directions can pass safely.
Feeling inspired to start exploring Glasgow and other parts of Scotland? Check out this city guide and use the Expedia search tool to help you find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research the best attractions and activities.
Glasgow has its own airport and several large train stations. This makes it incredibly easy to get into the city without a vehicle, allowing you to hire your own car once you arrive. There are multiple car rental shops in Glasgow, but the best places to head are Glasgow Airport and the centre of town, near to Glasgow Central, Queen Street and Anderston train stations. Once you have rented a car, you should find it fairly simple to drive around the city. There are three main motorways running through the centre of the city – the M8, which connects the city to the airport, the M77 and the M74 – as well as smaller A-roads.<p/>
There is plenty to see and do in Glasgow, but one of the most popular places to start is Glasgow Cathedral, which is Gothic in design and dates from the 15th Century. Other historical sites in the centre include the Hunterian Museum, and the Kelvingrove Art Galley & Museum. Family fun can be had at the Glasgow Science Centre and the Pavilion Theatre, while sports fans can get their fix at the Ibrox and Celtic Park stadiums. There are also many opportunities to shop, see concerts and gigs, and dine at some of the country’s finest restaurants.
The beauty of hiring a car is that you can easily get out of the centre of the city and access nearby attractions. The Seven Lochs Wetland Park can reached from the M8 and offers family activities, walking, cycling and wildlife spotting. Hampden Park, a music and sporting venue which is home to the Scottish Football Museum, is a short drive out of the centre, as are the Glasgow Botanic Gardens and the University of Glasgow campus.
For a scenic day trip out of the city, drive west on the M8 and the A737, before turning off at the A760. You’ll pass Barr Loch and Castle Semple Loch, then loop round through the small town of Kilbirnie and enter Clyde Muirshiel Regional Park, which offers many opportunities to walk, cycle, sail and spot wildlife. Once in the park, drive up to the waterside town of Largs. From here, you can continue on up through the park, passing farms, campsites and lochs as you go. Alternatively, you can drive up the coast from Largs on the A78, through Skelmorlie and Wemyss Bay, a route that offers stunning views of the Firth of Clyde and the island of Great Cumbrae.