Glasgow is one of the UK's most scenic cities, and the best way to see the beautiful sights around Glasgow is by getting out and about. With plenty of adventurous activities to enjoy, including some based in Glasgow's stunning parks, enjoying outdoor activities is an absolute must. With more of us than ever working from home, there is even more reason to get out and enjoy the great outdoors on weekends! Whether you love to stay fit with energetic activities, or enjoy seeing as much of a city as you can whilst visiting, these are some of the best outdoor activities Glasgow has on offer.
Getting to Glasgow with CrossCountry is easy - simply hop on board at your local CrossCountry station and travel in comfort to Glasgow Central. Find more travel inspiration for your visit with CrossCountry's Glasgow blogs.
Watersports in Glasgow
Glasgow is brimming with lakes, canals, and rivers, making it perfect for enjoying watersports. Just a ten-minute walk north of Glasgow Central Station you’ll find Glasgow Wake Park; a wakeboarding park along the Port Dundas Canal. Here, boarders of all levels can try their hand at one of the UK’s fastest growing watersports, with the help of a cable system keeping them in place. Wakeskating and stand-up paddleboards are also available for those with a bit more experience.
Sharing the same facilities as Glasgow Wake Park, Pinkston Watersports offers its own stand-up paddleboarding, as well as open water swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater activities. Created as part of the city’s 2014 Legacy Project renovation, Pinkston Watersports provides high quality facilities, coaching, and clubs for those looking to take their new skills to the next level.
West End Adventure sits further out of the city but offers something a little bit different. Its kayaking and paddleboarding adventures are the perfect taster sessions for beginners, making it an ideal watersports centre for kids. It even runs after school clubs for children looking to make it a regular event. But that doesn’t mean parents have to wait around whilst the youngsters have all the fun; stand-up paddleboarding yoga is the perfect outdoor activity for the body and mind, as long as you can balance!
If you want the adventure but without the exercise, there are dozens of boat trips that will get your adrenaline going. Seaforce is just one provider that can take you on speed boat trips to visit some of Glasgow’s most iconic locations, including the Erskine Bridge, Dumbarton Castle, the Isle of Bute, and even a shipwreck. For those who are better drivers than passengers, Seaforce even offers powerboat training sessions.
Skiing & Snowboarding in Glasgow
We know what you’re thinking - skiing in Glasgow? At any time of the year? It may not be the Pyrenees, but Glasgow has not one, but two places you can go to satiate your adventurous streak. Sitting in Bellahouston Park, just outside of the city centre, is Glasgow Ski and Snowboard Centre, an artificial slope that offers skiing and snowboarding all year round. You don’t need to be an expert; Glasgow Ski provides equipment for hire and lessons for the uninitiated. If you like the idea of sliding down a slope but the thought of doing it standing up terrifies you, tubes are also available.
Cycling in Glasgow
Cycling and Glasgow have a history that goes years back. The Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome – named after Britain’s joint most successful Olympian – was the venue for indoor cycling at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, while the Glasgow BMX Centre hosted the 2018 European Championships. Both are now open to the public, whether it be an advanced BMX rider looking to show off their skills or a beginner in need of a training session or two. The BMX Centre even provides all safety equipment and a BMX bike for each induction section.
If you prefer a gentle sightseeing cycle to a thrill-seeking one, there are plenty of tours and trails you can take in and around the city. Glasgow Bike Tours provides guided rides around this stunning and historic city, from the famous sights and hidden pathways to its most famous breweries and whisky distilleries. There are plenty of tours on offer, each taking a different amount of time and requiring various levels of fitness.
If going off the beaten track is more your thing, the dozens of country parks outside the city are a great way to move away from the hustle and bustle but still get your legs pumping.
Climbing in Glasgow
Climbing is a real thrill-seekers sport, and it's only growing in popularity. Luckily, Glasgow boasts some of the best climbing facilities in Scotland for you to get your adrenaline fix.
Glasgow Climbing Centre offers lead, tight rope, and bouldering-style walls, all split into different difficulties to satisfy climbers of grades (3 to 8a). Routes are refurbished regularly, making them safe and keeping them interesting for regular visitors, with just under half less than a month old. For true beginners, there are even individual courses or group schools to give you the basics before you brave the climb.
In Kelvin Hall you’ll find Clip ‘n Climb. It doesn’t have the variety that Glasgow Climbing Centre does, but its single wall still caters for all skill levels. Kelvin Hall is also home to the National Library of Scotland, Glasgow Club, and several of the city’s most popular museums, so you can easily add it to a packed Glasgow itinerary.
Scuba Diving in Glasgow
If you’ve taken part in all the activities you can on land but still looking for another thrill, you might want to consider looking a bit deeper. Scuba Diving Scotland in Glasgow is Scotland’s largest diving centre, offering various courses to suit all skill levels. If you’re new to the diving world and looking to get sunk in for the first time, there are six courses to help you get started, from one-off pool sessions to a complete PADI open water course.
More experienced divers can take things to the next level with seven professional level courses and three rescue and first aid courses, all taught by some of the best PADI diving instructors in the UK. It’s an activity you can do now but a certification for life that can take you to some of the most stunning diving spots in the world.
The UK is bursting with fun activities. Whether you’re visiting one of the best historical places in the UK, the best forests in the UK, or the best cinemas in the UK, you can always travel by train. CrossCountry has services running up and down the country to ensure you can get to the places you need to be.
Written by Julia