Boats, trains and no automobiles: Part II

Jocelyn Spottiswoode

By now you’ve been in Glasgow for a few weeks, and if you’re needing a break from hectic city life here are three amazing places to get to using public transport. This is the second installment of my three part series highlighting the coolest places around.

Pollok Country Park

Boats, Trains and No Automobiles Part II Pollok Park LandscapeGetting there: Although you can get trains from Glasgow Central to Pollokshaws West, the easiest way to get here is by bus; the 34, 45 and 57 run from the city centre and stop opposite the Park’s main entrance.

Why: Although you’re not strictly leaving Glasgow city limits this park is well worth a visit.  It’s easy to get to and for those of you who don’t want to commit a whole day or are short on time you can tick all your boxes here: peace, clean air, art, history and walking all within easy distance of a Glasgow city fix when the quiet gets too much.

What to do: Pollok Country Park is famous for being home to the Burrell Art Collection, which was originally a private collection owned by Sir William Burrell and is widely recognised as one of the greatest art collections ever put together by one person.  At the moment the museum has an Impressionist exhibition on until the middle of January.  As well as the museum you can also visit Pollok House and wander through the Park, which was gifted to the Glasgow Corporation on condition that it remained a public park.

Inverness

Getting there:  Trains depart from Glasgow Queen Street to Inverness regularly and take about three and a half hours to get there. Prices vary according to time and day.  

Why: Inverness is a small city nestled in the heart of the Highlands.  Its most famous attraction is the Loch just outside town, but it also has plenty of other interesting things to see and do whilst there.

What to do:  Inverness has more to do than most people think.  Not only does it have the usual shopping street to wander down, there is also the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, St Andrew’s Cathedral and a castle (currently used as a courthouse).   Above the city is Craig Phadrig, originally a stronghold for Pictish Kings, where you can enjoy forest walks overlooking the Moray Firth. The best way to reach the famous Loch is down the Caledonian Canal.  There is plenty to do at the Loch, including looking out for Nessie.

Oban and Tobermory

Boats, Trains and Automobiles Part II Mull PortraitGetting there: Starting with a train at Glasgow Queen Street, about three hours, you can either stay where you are or get the connecting ferry across to Tobermory, on the Isle of Mull.  

Why: This is more of a weekend trip than a day event, although if early morning starts don’t scare you there is no reason you can’t make it on a Saturday.  Oban is fondly known as the Seafood capital of Scotland so if you like everything fishy this is the place for you, not to mention Tobermory is a picturesque fishing village.

What to do:  In Oban you can embrace the sea life and go on a Seafari or visit the Sealife Sanctuary.  Renting bikes and exploring the town on your own steam is also an option. Over on Mull, you can visit Duart Castle, Mull Pottery, The Mull Museum, and Baliscate Standing Stones.  What I like best about Oban and Tobermory is not what there is to do there but the character and the feel of different parts of Scotland.  Travelling out here, away from big city life, you can truly start to feel how varied Scottish culture is.