The Best of Summer in Glasgow

Scotland’s notoriously unpredictable weather may not always come up with the goods during the summer months, but when it does you can be assured that Glaswegians are receptive to the heat. The city comes alive as bars and restaurants dust off their outdoor seating and festivals and al fresco events spring up all over town. The summer months are also a great time to venture into the great outdoors and with Glasgow in close proximity to the coast and the Highlands the possibilities are endless.

730 Great Western Rd, Glasgow G12 0UE, UK
The Gaelic translation of Glasgow, Glaschu, literally means “dear green place”—an appropriate name for a city which boasts over 90 parks and gardens within its city boundaries. A fantastic example of this is the sprawling Botanic Gardens, which encompasses more than 40 acres of meticulously maintained lawns, flowerbeds, herb gardens, and exotic trees. Walking paths that wind among them make for some of the city’s prettiest spring- and summertime strolling; but even in winter, you can browse among the thousands of blossoming plants collected in the property’s twelve glass houses—including tropical palms, ferns, water lilies, and myriad species of orchids. The largest and most unusual of the glass houses is the Kibble Palace, an 1873-built wrought-iron wonder covering more than 20,000 square feet. For more information about the places and people who make Glasgow special, visit
Loch Lomond, United Kingdom
Full of wild scenery, fascinating history, and delicious local food, Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park is a Scottish treasure. At the center of the park is Loch Lomond, the largest body of freshwater in the U.K., featuring ample recreation (everything from kayaking and canoeing to jet-skiing), 30 islands (visit Inchconnachan in spring to see a blanket of bluebells), and miles of bonnie banks (for strolling in the shadow of Ben Lomond). Beyond the lake, the park is packed with interesting corners to explore, from the lush landscapes of the southern section to the sprawling glens and rocky peaks in the north. For the best views, cycle the challenging Loch Eck Loop, or hike the craggy Cobbler. Also worth seeking out are villages like Balmaha, national scenic areas such as Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, and more off-the-beaten-track areas like the Cowal Peninsula and Breadalbane.
Milngavie, Glasgow G62 6PB, UK
Challenge yourself over 12 days and 95 miles, crossing the woodlands, moorlands, and mountains of Western Scotland. The long days on foot are rewarded with a good night’s rest at local inns. From $2,095. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue.
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AFAR Journeys
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
Journeys: Africa + Middle East
National Parks