Cities, towns and villages
- 1 Glasgow is the booming heart of this region, a great city in every sense, with lots to see, do, and eat & drink. Don't just rush through on the way to the Highlands - you need several days here to take it all in.
The industrial south & east: a series of small to medium towns, commuter-land for Glasgow, and long past their 19th C heyday. This, bluntly, is the least attractive and least interesting part of Scotland, and you wouldn't come just to see it. If however you found yourself here, there's actually a surprising amount to occupy you. Orbiting Glasgow anti-clockwise:
- 2 East Kilbride is a post-war planned new town, with all that's wrong with that, yet its main attraction is the Museum of Rural Life.
- 3 Hamilton has a huge mausoleum, the Chatelherault country park, and at nearby Blantyre is David Livingstone's birthplace.
- 4 Motherwell has Strathclyde Country Park, a landscaped former mining area, and Scotland's only Theme Park.
- 5 Coatbridge has the Sumerlees Museum of Industrial Life.
- 6 Cumbernauld, another "new town", has a small museum.
- 7 Kilsyth is a good base for exploring the Antonine Wall.
- 8 Kirkintilloch is also near the wall, and with a surprising history of ship-building: the "Clyde Puffers" sailed out along the canal.
- 9 Milngavie has Mugdock Country Park, and is the start of the West Highland Way to Fort William.
- 10 Paisley, pick of the bunch, is arguably the western terminus of the Silk Road, with its distinctive patterned fabrics.
Downriver: the view improves.
- 11 Dumbarton: pity about the ugly modern town, but castle rock marks the start of the Highlands, and the Firth of Clyde opens up to the west.
- 12 Balloch with Alexandria is on the shores of Loch Lomond: loch ferries and cruises run from here.
- 13 Greenock is the start of the "Costa Clyde", with a gallery and Fire Service museum.
- 14 Gourock is the ferry port for Dunoon on Cowal.
- 15 Inverkip: a little way south is Wemyss Bay, ferry port for Rothesay on Bute.
The city of Glasgow itself is served by two airports.
2 Glasgow Prestwick Airport (PIK IATA), situated 30 miles south west of Glasgow, is the only Scottish airport with a direct rail connection; there is a frequent and comfortable service to Glasgow and both arriving and departing passengers may use their ticket, booking confirmation or boarding pass to claim a 50% discount on single train tickets between the airport and any station in Scotland. PIK is used by budget airline Ryanair with occasional flights from a few European cities.
You can get around very easily using all means of public transport such as buses,trains and taxis.
The southern and eastern Glasgow suburbs are some of the safest areas in Scotland.